Miners in the Bitcoin network are always competing with each other by solving computational puzzles, which results in a large dissipation of electricity and computing Power.
As per the Cambridge University research7, Bitcoin mining consumes more than 120 Terawatt Hours (Twh) per year, using more electricity than countries like Argentina, Colombia, and Austria. The research also concludes that Bitcoin could rank in the top 30 electricity consumers if it were a country. Another index compiled by Digiconomist shows that the Bitcoin network could consume as much energy as all data centers globally and could alone produce enough carbon dioxide to increase the global warming above 2 °C within less than three decades. Although PoW works securely, it’s not green enough to be a sustainable consensus mechanism to become a standard for future blockchain-based projects.
Since Bitcoin’s PoW uses natural resources like electricity to achieve consensus, it puts enormous pressure on the environment and reports suggest that it is also a major contributor to global warming. Nature, a weekly journal of Science, published a study in 2018 that talks about climate change, in which Bitcoin has been referred to as a major contributor to climate change. The entire network of Bitcoin has been accused of playing a major role in breaching the threshold of 2 degrees Celsius.
While the world focuses on ways to reduce emissions, there are currently no plans in place for creating a more environmentally friendly algorithm or making adjustments to PoW to alleviate environmental damage.