The cryptocurrency giant Bitcoin has made front page news recently, and not for a good reason…If you’ve been keeping up with the tabloids you’re likely to have seen increasing global concern over what’s being referred to as the ‘Bitcoin energy crisis’. This comes after the shocking revelation that Bitcoin’s carbon footprint is actually equivalent to that of a small country. According to research carried out by Digiconomist, latest figures show the company’s annual carbon footprint to be equivalent to that of Belarus, whilst their annual electrical energy consumption is equal to that of Argentina.

Unsurprisingly the magnitude of Bitcoin’s energy consumption has attracted backlash across the globe. Tesla boss Elon Musk, who has previously invested $1.5bn in the digital currency, has made a complete u-turn in recent weeks, announcing that Tesla will no longer accept Bitcoin for purchases of their electric cars. It’s incredibly concerning for the environment and to say it’s a PR disaster for the virtual currency giant is, well, not really worth mentioning to be honest….

It’s certainly been big news, however you might be wondering why we, as a marketing agency, are chatting about it and indeed what it has to do with green hosting?  

Bitcoin is virtual. It’s not made from plastic, paper or any of the other physical culprits we usually associate with the creation of waste and carbon dioxide emissions. This begs the question of how and why does a virtual company have such a high energy consumption? 

Bitcoin, like other digital giants, relies on extensive usage of powerful computer systems using an excessive amount of energy that ultimately comes from fossil fuels. With this, Bitcoin provides a caricature of the silent environmental impact that running web systems actually has.

Obviously, the size of Bitcoin makes them an exceptional example. Your average business won’t be racking up a carbon footprint as large as Argentina, we would hope. However the principle is the same.The recent energy crisis has brought to light the need for online businesses to consider the environmental impact that the day to day running of their web systems is having and how they can improve it. This is where green hosting comes to light. 

What is green hosting?

A web server works non-stop around the clock, using huge amounts of energy in the process. In order to help counteract the damaging environmental impact of this,  green hosting is web hosting that uses renewable energy sources to either power the web servers or offset the energy used by them. For businesses who are looking to make their processes more sustainable, green hosting is definitely something to consider. 

Look out for our next blog coming soon, where we’ll talk more about how green hosting works and how it can benefit businesses.