Last week, the value of a single bitcoin broke the $10,000 barrier for the first time.
That sort of precipitous rise is stunning, of course, but bitcoin wasn't intended to be an investment instrument. Its creators envisioned it as a replacement for money itself — a decentralized, secure, anonymous method for transferring value between people.
But what they might not have accounted for is how much of an energy suck the computer network behind bitcoin could one day become.
Today, each bitcoin transaction requires the same amount of energy used to power nine homes in the U.S. for one day. Already, the aggregate computing power of the bitcoin network is nearly 100,000 times larger than the world's 500 fastest supercomputers combined.
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