The bitcoin and cryptocurrency price roller coaster is on its way back up after a tumultuous week that’s wiped $500 billion from the crypto market.
The bitcoin price crashed to $30,000 this week after Tesla billionaire and “dogecoin CEO” Elon Musk appeared to sour on bitcoin due to environmental concerns and fears swirled around a renewed crypto crackdown in China—but it has already made back much of its losses, climbing back over $40,000.
Now, Musk—who has continued to boost the price of dogecoin with tongue-in-cheek tweets—has called on the biggest bitcoin miners to disclose how much of their energy comes from renewables and claimed bitcoin mining “energy usage is starting to exceed that of medium-sized countries.”
“Recent extreme energy usage growth could not possibly have been done so fast with renewables,” Musk said via Twitter in response to a claim bitcoin mining we could allow solar and battery systems to economically scale to provide a larger share of grid energy.
“This question is easily resolved if the top 10 hashing [organizations] just post audited numbers of renewable energy vs not.”
The debate over bitcoin’s huge energy use has rolled on for years but has been elevated in recent months by bitcoin’s soaring price—which in turn has pushed up the bitcoin network’s electricity demands.
Those that run the computers securing the bitcoin network—known as miners—are rewarded for their computing power with bitcoin tokens. The computers, spread around the world and requiring both power and cooling, are thought to use as much electricity as Sweden, consuming 131.8TWh in 2020, according to Cambridge university’s Bitcoin Electricity Consumption index.
“Bitcoin hashing (AKA mining) energy usage is starting to exceed that of medium-sized countries,” added Musk, replying to a Tesla fan account that claimed “these massive [bitcoin mining organizations] take away the fabric of decentralization. A true ‘for the people crypto’ needs to be realized.”
Musk, who rocked the bitcoin and cryptocurrency market last week when he pulled the plug on Tesla bitcoin payments due to its surging energy use, last week suggested “joke” cryptocurrency dogecoin could be upgraded to rival bitcoin—and continues to signal his support of the meme-based digital token.
“How much is that doge in the window,” Musk posted to Twitter alongside an image sporting a Shiba Inu dog on a $1 bill, subtly suggesting the dogecoin price could more than double from its current 40 cents.
Many dogecoin devotees have long predicted dogecoin, created in 2013 partly to mock bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, could reach a $1 per dogecoin price. The price has rocketed this year, with social media influencers joining with high-profile investors to talk up dogecoin.