After all the talk about Bitcoin using up energy, the first scientific paper calculating how much electricity the cryptocurrency needs is here, and it supports the pessimists. Energy use could double by the end of this year, and if it continues at this rate, by the end of 2019, Bitcoin could be using more electricity than all solar panels produce. Mining crypto is expensive, and with numbers like that, who can resist doing some mining on someone else’s dime?

These calculations published this week in the journal Joule aren’t new. Author Alex de Vries has shared them before, though it’s the first time Bitcoin estimates have gone through peer review. In the paper, he mentions that one of the limitations is that it can’t take into account...

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