While the popularity of bitcoin has increased considerably over the last few years, the electricity usage for transactions and mining are coming under scrutiny. Recent studies showcase that the amount of energy being used by computers which mine the digital currency this year, is much greater when compared to the annual usage of around 160 countries.
For those who do not know, mining is the process through which transactions are verified by the network, through the solving of complex cryptographic problems. To make sure that transactions aren’t falsified, and that records of ownership remain unchanged on the blockchain network, transactions must be signed off into blocks, which are then verified by the miners. Once a block is solved, a 12.5 BTC reward is given to the miner, or mining pool responsible. This amount serves as the main incentive for miners, but is also the way that new bitcoin is added to the market.