Bitcoin

Don't panic about Bitcoin's energy consumption

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.