Creating a new bitcoin requires electricity. A lot of it. In the virtual currency world this creation process is called “mining.” There is no physical digging, since bitcoins are purely digital. But the computer power needed to create each digital token consumes at least as much electricity as the average American household burns through in two years.
"There Is Nothing Virtual About Bitcoin’s Energy Appetite" is from the January 21, 2018 Business section of The New York Times. It was written by Nathaniel Popper and narrated by Keith Sellon-Wright.