Cryptocurrency Update 26 November 2019

Is Bitcoin crashing?

Bitcoin’s recent rally after comments from Chinese President Xi Jinping last month now seems over. Bitcoin prices have resumed their six-month bear market trend. Since June, the value of one Bitcoin has declined more than $6,000.  (charts from Coinbase.com)


Bitcoin price, one month to 26 November 2019

Bitcoin hit $18,100 Aussie dollars on 26 June 2019 but is now trading at A$10,575 (26 November 2019).

Over the last 12 months, Bitcoin prices have enjoyed a rollercoaster ride from A$6,164 (22 November 2018) to the recent peak above A$18,000 in June and now back to just over A$10,500. Over the last 12 months, Bitcoin has lost 22 per cent of its value.


Bitcoin price, one year to 26 November 2019

Ethereum, Ripple (XRP), Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin have all followed Bitcoin down since June.

The Ethereum price has fallen from A$479 in June to A$217 now.

Ripple was 68 cents on June 23 and is now trading at 33 cents.

One Bitcoin Cash coin was worth A$703 on 26 June and is now worth $309. 

Litecoin prices have crashed from over A$200 in June to around $68 now.


Is Bitcoin bad for the environment?

One piece of good news for Bitcoin investors this week is the release of a new study claiming that the total carbon footprint from the extremely energy intensive activity of Bitcoin mining might be less than one third of previous estimates.

Bitcoin miners assemble large arrays of energy hungry computer processors and memory banks that work through complex algorithms to ‘mine’ new Bitcoins.

Danish researchers, Susanne Köhler and Massimo Pizzol estimated total carbon emissions from all Bitcoin mining at 17.29 megatonnes per year. Previous estimates have been as high as 63 megatonnes per year.

The researchers also identified the world’s Bitcoin mining hotspots.

Top 5 Bitcoin mining regions

1 Inner Mongolia (China)

2 Xinjiang (China)

3 Alberta (Canada)

4 Russia

5 Washington state (USA)

How much energy does Bitcoin mining consume?

The computing power required to solve a Bitcoin algorithm and create a new Bitcoin has increased four times over since 2018, according to research released in June 2019.

The total carbon emissions from bitcoin mining globally exceed those of a small country or medium sized US state such as Kansas said the researchers, led by Christian Stoll from the University of Munich and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

With annual emissions of around 22 – 23 megatons of CO2, Bitcoin produces around the same amount of carbon as Jordan and Sri Lanka. The researchers said adding in all the other cyptocurrencies would double the total carbon footprint of global crypto activity.

Christian Stoll said more attention needs to be given to the costs of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining.

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