Here in November 2018, though, Bitcoin has dropped as low as $4,200, its lowest point in the last calendar year. And that’s probably for the best considering Bitcoin is an environmental scourge by its very nature.
The path to this new low started on December 22nd 2017 with a precipitous crash followed by periodic rebounds which did little to stop the ultimate trend towards the new year-long low. This comes amid increasing discussion of Bitcoin’s environmental cost. The very bones of Bitcoin require massive amounts of computing power and therefore massive amounts of energy, which has culminated in comically depressing scenarios like Bitcoin boosters petitioning for the re-activation of a coal-fired power plant and swarming a small town in upstate New York where hydroelectric power resulted in unusually low energy prices.
The energy costs—and the ensuing environmental costs—of Bitcoin have always been known, but they take on a new urgency in the face of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that unprecedented changes are required in the next 12 years to save the planet from catastrophic consequences. That, and how California is currently suffering from the largest fire in its history, which experts predict is not remotely close to being contained, killing dozens, displacing thousands, and creating wildly dangerous air quality conditions in San Fransisco.
Will Bitcoin rebound? Maybe, but for the good of everyone maybe we should hope that it doesn’t.