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Bitcoin Mining's Energy Use Won't Eat The World -- If Prices Stay Below 19% Annual Growth (Forbes)
January 18, 2018
From the article:
...stepping back to consider how Bitcoin works helps explain these effects of the crypto-currency phenomenon. Bitcoin is a distributed encrypted ledger list consisting of data blocks (the blockchain), each about 1 megabyte in size. To extend the blockchain, a miner (or a pool of miners) solves a difficult computation with computers. The first one to crack a given problem gets to add the next block to the chain and collect revenues for processing transactions into that block; if validated they also get a fixed number of Bitcoins. This is the “proof-of-work” scheme for allocating new Bitcoins. Today that amount is 12.5 Bitcoins per block, but it gets halved every 210,000 blocks (this explains why only about 16 million Bitcoins will ever exist). The Bitcoin code is set up to create about one block every ten minutes by adjusting the difficulty of mining as a function of the overall network rate.