To mine a single bitcoin generates the same carbon footprint as burning 15.9 gallons of gasoline, and Bitcoin mining consumes $15 million worth of electricity every day. People have criticized Bitcoin for not being very green. We have massive data centers around the world with massive computational power, and they’re doing nothing but non-stop hash functions.
On September 11, 2001, two towers full of people and data collapsed to the ground. The New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, NY Mercantile Exchange, and US bond markets all stopped trading for four days.
They had to close because the passwords to the nation’s wealth accounts vaporized with the managers who were working in the World Trade Center. Without access to the market-makers’ accounts, the exchanges couldn’t open for trading.
The only way to recover a password is through brute force hash functions. This was a lot to ask of 2001 computational technology.
To save time, security experts called up distressed families to ask them for kids’ names, pets’ names, ex-girlfriends, childhood best friends, anything that could potentially be used as part of a password. It was only with huge amounts of help that passwords were recovered in time to reopen markets the following week.
Today, none of that would be necessary. Thanks to advancements in Bitcoin mining technology, you can rent time on a Bitcoin cloud and hash out 10-character passwords in just a few hours.
We no longer need to worry about whether our families can access our accounts in event of an untimely death. New technology often appears deceptively useless.
The magic of mining –Economist