Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Expand chart
Adapted from an IEA chart; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

A new International Energy Agency analysis provides a useful look at a tricky problem: tracking the energy consumed by digital Bitcoin "mining" to process transactions.

Why it matters: Growing use of cryptocurrencies is spurring fears that power-sucking hardware and data centers (and associated cooling and lighting) will make it even harder to fight global warming. The IEA primer is a helpful comparison of the conflicting estimates piling up and offers some big takeaways on Bitcoin energy use: Yes, it's a substantial amount and, no, it's not the apocalypse at all.

What they did: IEA analyst George Kamiya looked at one widely used estimate on the higher end, which is Digiconomist's Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index.

  • He then offers a more conservative "benchmark," which assumes use of the efficient Antminer S9 hardware but does not factor in cooling and lighting, and then plots where various studies fall.

By the numbers: The IEA analysis estimates that Bitcoin mining consumed around 45 terawatt hours (TWh) last year, but it's on track to be "much higher" this year.

  • For a sense of scale, IEA estimates that global electricity demand overall grew by 900 TWh last year.
  • But Kamiya also cites analyses showing much of the mining is in countries with lots of renewable electricity or in renewables-heavy regions of China.

The bottom line: Don't panic!

But, but, but: Bitcoin energy use is growing, and it's just one cryptocurrency. Even there, estimates vary considerably, there are competing methods, and it's not a static thing either.

  • The amount changes depending on the rate of mining and equipment used.
  • Looking forward, there are variables around efficiency of the mining tech, where data centers are located and what powers them.

What's next: "While these early estimates provide a rough indication of bitcoin energy use today, it is clear that researchers need more data, in particular from mining facilities, to develop more rigorous methodologies and accurate estimates," Kamiya writes.

Go deeper: No, Bitcoin won't destroy our climate by 2033

Go deeper

51 mins ago - Health

J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals

Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky said Monday that he is "absolutely" confident that the company will be able to meet its distribution goals, which include 100 million doses by June and up to a billion by the end of 2021.

Driving the news: J&J is already in the process of shipping 3.9 million doses this week, just days after the FDA issued an emergency use authorization for the one-shot vaccine. Gorsky said he expects vaccines to be administered to Americans "literally within the next 24 to 48 hours."

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Clash of the central bankers

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Bloomberg, Samuel Corum (Stringer)/Getty Images

While Fed chair Jerome Powell is brushing off the seismic rise in government bond yields and a corresponding decline in stock prices, a group of central bankers in the Pacific are starting to take action.

Driving the news: Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda told parliament on Friday the BOJ would not allow yields on government debt to continue rising further above the BOJ's 0% target.

Biden expresses support for Amazon workers' union vote in Alabama

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President Biden expressed support for a union vote by Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama in a two-minute video posted on Twitter Sunday, though he did not name the tech giant specifically.

Why it matters: A vote by workers at the Bessemer, Ala., warehouse to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union would make the facility the first Amazon warehouse to unionize in the U.S., per NPR. The election will run through March 29.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!