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OPINION

Hot air and green crypto

Bitcoin miners feel the effects of high energy prices.

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Talking to the crypto crowd in June about the market’s 70% collapse, Euromoney is sad to hear tales of bitcoin miners unable to pay their soaring electricity bills and throwing dust sheets over their darkened rigs.

Those application-specific integrated circuits eat a lot of power.

High energy prices are crushing miners’ margins. Many have had to abandon the old notion of holding on for dear life to the bitcoins they have earned by verifying transactions and blocks.

Some miners have been selling bitcoins to meet their utility bills, adding to the decline in value in June from $30,000 to $19,000, coming from an all-time high of $68,000 in November. Others that had leveraged up also began cashing out to reduce their debts, fearing even steeper falls and ignoring those touting a possible recovery later this year to $75,000.

Green credentials?

But what’s this? A contact sends Euromoney a June paper from the IMF saying that “some kinds of crypto assets can be more energy efficient than much of the current payment landscape, including credit and debit cards”.

This