The digital currency is slowing our effort to achieve a rapid transition away from fossil fuels. If you’re like me, you’ve probably been ignoring the bitcoin phenomenon for years — because it seemed too complex, far-fetched, or maybe even too libertarian. But if you have any interest in a future where the bitcoin mining grid computing moves beyond fossil fuels, you and I should both start paying attention now. 10,000 barrier for the first time.

Those same people are now realizing that if they’d just paid in cash and held onto their digital currency, they’d now have enough money to buy a house. That sort of precipitous rise is stunning, of course, but bitcoin wasn’t intended to be an investment instrument. But what they might not have accounted for is how much of an energy suck the computer network behind bitcoin could one day become. Simply put, bitcoin is slowing the effort to achieve a rapid transition away from fossil fuels.

What’s more, this is just the beginning. Given its rapidly growing climate footprint, bitcoin is a malignant development, and it’s getting worse. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin provide a unique service: Financial transactions that don’t require governments to issue currency or banks to process payments. Increasingly, bitcoin is failing the test.