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Mark Gongloff

Bitcoin Has a Resource-Devourment Problem

It hogs more and more of the world’s electricity and computer chips. This can’t go on. 

This is getting to be a bit much.

This is getting to be a bit much.

Photographer: OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images

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Finland is a country with a generous welfare state, a strong military, a very good hockey team and an economy that makes a small group of people very wealthy. The U.S. government has all of that, too (OK, fine, the U.S. hockey team is privately funded, but play along). Bitcoin devours the same amount of energy as both Finland and Uncle Sam, but returns only the getting-a-few-people-wealthy part. No welfare state, no military, no hockey team.