Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk admitted in a recent interview that Bitcoin’s structure is “quite brilliant” and it is “a far better way to transfer value than pieces of paper” pointing to the way of the future of money. Being the CEO of an electric car, solar panel, and clean energy storage company, Mr. Musk cautioned that nevertheless “one of the downsides of Bitcoin mining is that computationally it is quite energy intensive” as it metabolizes electricity into money.

When the electricity used for mining cryptocurrencies is produced from coal or other fossil fuels that cause the most CO2 and other greenhouse gas pollution, the toll cryptocurrency takes on the environment—with destruction manifesting in various parts of the world—is immeasurable.

A stark example of this environmental cost in the context of Bitcoin occurred on Sept. 4, 2017—only five months after 195 countries signed on to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Paris Agreement—and involved events in two completely different parts of the world. These events—China’s “Bitcoin” ban and the Caribbean’s hurricane Irma or “Irmageddon”—were the two most researched terms on Google during 2017, with an invisible thread connecting them to one another.

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