The above graphs show the expected Bitcoin industry energy consumption and carbon emission comparisons in 2024 with some countries and industries. Taken from a recent article in Nature: Policy assessments for the carbon emission flows and sustainability of Bitcoin blockchain operation in China.
Bitcoin mining and processing use almost as much energy as the whole UK uses, and it produces an amount of CO2 which is close to what The Netherlands emits. For what purpose? Does it feed people, improves their life, makes the World a better place? I don't think so. Bitcoins to me are a complete waste of energy, and are used mostly by financial speculators and money launders. While we are working hard on making an energy transition, reducing our energy use and changing to non-carbon emitting energy forms, Bitcoins are just adding to the list of high energy users and CO2 emittors.
Update 14-04-21: I got in contact with Alex de Vries, a guy that investigates the energy use of Bitcoins already for years. Here is a recent video interview with him by The Independent, in which he shows some interesting statistics. He is the founder of the Digiconomist, a platform that is dedicated to exposing the unintended consequences of digital trends, typically from an economic perspective. In the interview he mentions that the Cardano Ada is a newer digital currency than Bitcoin, designed to overcome the bottlenecks in processing of Bitcoin. If you really want to trade in or adopt a modern digital currency, I would recommend to buy Ada's instead of Bitcoins. Its price is rising quickly.