Bitcoin mining is bad for the climate like the fossil industry
New climate weight estimates for cryptocurrency mining
(sustainabilityenvironment.com) – The damage to the climate and environment generated by Bitcoin mining is 1/3 of the market value generated by the cryptocurrency since its appearance to date. That is, tall, tall. Climate impact, to get a more precise idea, which is comparable to that of the global fossil gas or livestock supply chain.
This was calculated by the study Economic estimation of Bitcoin mining’s climate Damages demonstrates a closer resemblance to digital crude than digital gold published in Scientific Reports. The authors calculate the climate impact of a range of goods in terms of a percentage of their market value. And they allow to a comparison of the climatic performances, estimated as the average during the period 2016-2021.
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There are three main results of Bitcoin mining. In the 5 years examined, “climate damage per currency has increased, rather than decreased, as the industry matures”. In some situations it is worse: “during certain periods of time, climate damage exceeds the price of each coin created”. The worst year is 2020, when the percentage of damages on the total value was 82%. But exceeding 100% is not uncommon: it happens on average once every 20 days. In any case, the average on luster, the authors calculate, is that for every dollar worth of Bitcoin, the climate impact is worth 0.35 cents.
These values are entirely in line with the global meat industry, which in the last 5 years would have accumulated climate damage equal to 33% of its market value. And just below those of the fossil gas industry, rising to 46%, and gasoline (41%). On the other hand, the extraction of Bitcoin is so energy-intensive that it far exceeds the annual energy consumption of entire advanced economies, such as Austria or Sweden. According to some estimates, every single transaction in Bitcoin “burns” 700 kWh of electricity, the annual energy consumption of a citizen of Morocco.