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6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Economics, Civics, Computer Science

Resource Type

  • Videos, 6 minutes, 6 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - Northeast


YouTube Video

The Truth about Bitcoin's Energy Use

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  • This video from Grist explains bitcoin, blockchains, and the energy use involved in cryptocurrency transactions. 
  • Students will learn how decentralized transactions work, how bitcoins get mined, the electricity used in these processes, possible solutions, and the counterarguments bitcoin supporters might have. 
Teaching Tips


  • It uses visuals and simple vocabulary to explain what might otherwise be a confusing subject matter.
  • It demonstrates a conversation for and against bitcoin's energy consumption using different perspectives and counterarguments.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have a basic understanding of supply and demand.
  • Students should understand why diverging from fossil fuel energy consumption is more sustainable.
  • There is a pop-up ad during the video.


Scientist Notes
Cryptocurrency generation requires an extreme amount of electricity. While some estimates claim that nearly 40% of that energy comes from renewable sources, the majority is still generated with fossil fuels. This resource offers an explanation and their sources for easy access. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.6.6-8 Describe the roles of political, civil, and economic organizations in shaping people's lives.
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.1.6-8 Explain how economic decisions affect the well-being of individuals, businesses, and society.
      • D2.Eco.15.9-12 Explain how current globalization trends and policies affect economic growth, labor markets, rights of citizens, the environment, and resource and income distribution in different nations.
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.4.6-8 Explain how cultural patterns and economic decisions influence environments and the daily lives of people in both nearby and distant places.
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