According to Christopher Chapman, an analyst at Citigroup Inc, that might not be a bubble problem or fork which would eventually kill bitcoin, but the staggering energy costs associated with mining of the digital gold.
As Citigroup report states, the price of bitcoin required for mining to stay profitable in 2022 stands at $300 000 — according to the calculations, current growth trends, and electricity use. The amount of power consumed in the process of emission by that time would be enough for the whole Japan.
There’s no accurate way to measure the power consumed in the process of mining by now. Nonetheless, the difficulty keeps growing and bitcoin touches new all-time heights. The analyst believes that the community will find other ways of expanding, possibly leading to the change of proof-of-work algorithm, as the most energy-intensive part.
“As the current arms race is not in the interests of established miners we think that the BTC network may move to a proof-of-stake model; particularly if such a change is implemented by major rival Ethereum. Such a move would not be uncontentious, but may be necessary for the survival of the currency,”—believes Chapman.