Jun 13, 2019

Bitcoin mining consumes at least 0.2% of global electricity

Bitcoin mining takes a 0.2% share of global electricity consumption, according to a new paper in the journal Joule described in this MIT Technology Review piece.

Why it matters: That's a lot of power, though James Temple's MIT piece notes other research that provides an even higher estimate.

Details: Per Temple's story, the paper finds that Bitcoin mining produces estimated annual emissions of 22–23 megatons of CO2, "slotting the operations between the nations of Jordan and Sri Lanka in terms of greenhouse-gas pollution."

  • "Including other cryptocurrencies in the calculation more than doubles estimates of how much energy is being used," he writes.

Go deeper: Why Bitcoin's fall gives the planet a breather

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Coronavirus spreads to new countries, while U.S. confirms 57 cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Public health officials confirmed Tuesday the U.S. has 57 people with the novel coronavirus, mostly those repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship — an increase they had expected after the passengers were allowed to return home from Japan against their initial advice.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected more than 80,000 others, mostly in mainland China. There's only been two cases of person-to-person infections in the U.S. so far, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned today that Americans should prepare for the outbreak to broaden here.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 mins ago - Health

Space tourism gets ready for launch

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Multiple space tourism companies are aiming to send their first customers to the edge of space before the end of this year.

Why it matters: Right now, most revenue in the space industry is tied up in government contracts, but experts say the maturing industry will need tourism to grow into the $1 trillion economy some predict it could be.

Go deeperArrow54 mins ago - Science

Family of Mexican teen killed by border agent cannot sue, SCOTUS rules

Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4, along ideological lines, that the family of a Mexican teenager who was killed across the southern border by a U.S. border agent cannot sue for damages.

Why it matters: The court’s decision avoids inviting more lawsuits from foreign nationals against U.S. law enforcement. The court noted in its opinion that “a cross-border shooting claim has foreign relations and national security implications.”