Bitcoin, the virtual currency, has become a massive energy hog
Bitcoin has become the world’s premier virtual currency, and although it exists only online, it runs up enormous energy costs in the real world. Verifying bitcoin transactions is so energy intensive the currency tops 159 individual countries in energy consumption, according to data consultant Alex de Vries. Every transaction related to bitcoin is verified by a key group of users called miners, who collect all those records into groups known as blocks and compete to get their block added to the chain of record. Every 10 minutes or so, one block is randomly selected, winning that miner a prize of new bitcoins.