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Communications of the ACM


Why Cryptocurrencies Use So Much Energy

and What to Do About It

Why Cryptocurrencies Use So Much Energy, illustration

Credit: Andrij Borys Associates / Shutterstock

In recent months, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have plunged in value, yet the market capitalization for these digital currencies is still valued at hundreds of billions of dollars. That market cap has grown more than 20 times since last year, when the cryptocurrency boom began.

With bitcoin's booming popularity comes problems. Speculation in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is rampant. Scams abound, and plenty of initial coin offerings (ICOs) have overpromised or underdelivered spectacularly.


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