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Billionaire Friedland Slams Bitcoin’s Energy Use

During his appearance at the Qatar Economic Forum, American-Canadian financier Robert Friedland slammed Bitcoin mining as an “energy obscenity.”

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“Huge amounts of energy being sort of used up for nothing,” Friedland said.

According to the most recent data, Bitcoin consumes more energy than the entire state of Utah (or roughly 2% of U.S. electricity consumption).   

“A lot of people get the idea that the internet is green. There is nothing whatsoever green about the internet,” he said. 

“When you do a Google search…you are using a quantum of electrical energy about the same as running a 100-watt light bulb for 10 seconds. When you do an AI search, you are using up to 30, 35 times more energy or enough to run that lightbulb for two or three or four or five or ten minutes.”

The billionaire has predicted that energy demand will go “to infinity” due to the growing popularity of artificial intelligence. 

He believes that AI will have to compete with cryptocurrency mining for power. This is the sentiment shared by some industry leaders, including Marathon Digital CEO Fred Thiel. Some miners have even pivoted to AI in order to diversify their business models.  

Friedland also took a shot at the gold mining industry for wasting too much electricity. “I think most of the world’s gold mines could close today and humanity wouldn’t be materially worse off,” he said.

SOURCE

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