Say “No” To Crypto: Why cryptocurrency is bad


A bitcoin cracked in half to represent their damaging effect.

Ella Ashby, Opinion Writer

More and more people are hopping onto the cryptocurrency bandwagon, most seeing it as a way to make quick money. Unfortunately, crypto has its dark side. There are a plethora of reasons why cryptocurrency is awful in practice.
For those who don’t know, cryptocurrency is a virtual form of money, some popular forms being Bitcoin and Ethereum. These virtual currencies are ‘mined’ using computational puzzles, a series of complex equations carried out by computers. As interesting as that may sound, the environmental destructiveness, financial instability and ‘cryptocurrency crime’ is telling of how bad of a concept cryptocurrency is as a whole.
Mining cryptocurrency consumes a massive amount of energy, and has even been banned in China due to its effect on the climate. Cryptocurrency mining produces about 22.9 metric tons of CO2 emissions each year, according to a study published on Joule. Cryptocurrency is mined using energy-consuming electronic equations, where transactions are recorded on a blockchain. These equations are then solved by computers to generate a piece of virtual currency. To optimize this cryptocurrency mining companies have even gone to purchasing and using old power plants to multiply the amount of profit they create, with no second thoughts on the harm it causes. Not only do these plants consume energy and release large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, they also use large amounts of water to cool the plants themselves. This water is usually sucked from lakes and rivers, destroying natural environments and killing wildlife.
If you’re still ready to toss all your money on the crypto train hoping to see it come back tripled with a shiny gold bow on it, you might want to consider the financial instability of crypto. Unlike real money, the value of cryptocurrency is constantly rising and falling. The people who have gotten rich and famous from crypto have been few and far between, not to mention most of these people were already rich in the first place. It’s much more likely you’re going to lose money than gain any. Cryptocurrency is not government controlled, like usual currency. While this may seem like a good idea in theory, in practice it’s an open doorway for all sorts of crime. In 2021, crypto-related crime raked in up to $14 billion over the course of the year according to a report from Chainalysis, an investigation firm for crypto. Cryptocurrency cannot be tracked, nor linked to a person, so it can easily be used to pay for illegal services, or carry out money laundering or scams.
If cryptocurrency is to become the next big thing, it needs to be safer for us, and the environment.