Bill Gates recently stated in an interview that Bitcoin uses more electricity for a transaction than any other method known to mankind. This is why it’s not a great climate thing. At a time when organizations and investors increasingly say that they are completely focused on sustainability and climate issues, some of them may be about to collide with the reality of another financial trend. One that’s currently worth about $1 trillion: Bitcoin.
It has become inescapable, with individual investors and big companies like Tesla rushing to stock up on the digital token. However, depending on which research you are interested in, the annual carbon emissions from the electricity required to mine Bitcoin and process its transaction are equal to the amount that’s emitted by Argentina or all of New Zealand.
Carbon Emissions From 1BTC?
To put this into a different point of view, the transaction of one Bitcoin is the “equivalent to the carbon footprint of 55,280 hours of watching YouTube or 735,121 Visa transactions, according to research. Critics of this comparison bravely point out that the average Bitcoin transaction is worth about $16,000, whereas the average Visa transaction is worth $46.37.
As Bitcoin becomes more popular, its ecosystem consumes more and more resources. The so-called miners verify transactions involving crypto by using computers that can solve increasingly complex mathematical equations. They earn bitcoins for their work, which means that the more popular it becomes, the more competition there is to mine new tokens.
Bitcoin Mining & Transactions Increasing
Tesla, a company that’s so focused on reducing climate change through lower carbon emissions, invested more than $1.5 billion of its balance in Bitcoin. How would its holdings affect its sustainability score? Other organizations are also considering whether to add Bitcoin to their balance sheets. Financial institutions like Guggenheim Partners have already invested in Bitcoin and Bank of New York Mellon says it will soon start financing crypto transactions.
So far, Bitcoin’s problem regarding carbon emissions hasn’t slowed down its price, which was hovering Monday night around $50,000 for a token. As a comparison, it was $8,000 a year ago.
South Korea Hits Out at Google and Apple Stores Monopoly Over Payment Systems
South Korea’s Telecommunications Business Act is all set to introduce a watershed bill that prevents Google and Apple store owners from making it mandatory for developers to use only in-house payment systems. Additionally, the proposed law also bans app store owners from delaying the approval of newly developed apps or removing them from the market without sufficient reason. Currently, the law has been passed by South Korea’s National Assembly and awaits approval (by signing) of President Moon Jae-in.
Globally, Apple and Google enjoy a 30% commission over most app purchases, sales made through apps, and even subscriptions. The idea behind the new proposed bill is to offer developers the advantage to identify the best deals for their Apps. Unless developers are looking for specific advantages offered by Google’s and Apple’s stores – like user verification, hassle-free purchases due to storage of database information, or distribution of digital items, developers will now have the freedom to branch out on their own and find their own purchasers. Typically a credit card processor charges a meager one to three percent of sales.
Responding to the proposed legislature Google spokesperson stated that their charges were justified as it costs money for app stores to build and maintain operating systems. Apple on the other hand insisted that in the absence of their locked-in ecosystem, purchasers will be put at risk of scams and frauds. Analytics firm Sensor Tower reports that App Store revenue models run in billions, with Apple facilitating $72.3 billion of global spending in 2020, and Google Play at $38.6 billion.
South Korea’s proposed law is the newest clampdown against the mega app stores. Globally, Epic Games, which owns games like Fortnite and the Unreal Engine, has been at loggerheads with Google’s and Apple’s app store revenue models and has called for regulations. In the US alone, Google has faced lawsuits in 36 states, with some states considering developing their own app store regulations. In fact, several app developers like Epic, Online Music Giants Spotify, and Tinder owners MatchGroup have collaborated to form the “Coalition for App Fairness” advocacy group to contest exorbitant App fees.