United Nations says cryptocurrency mining produces the same amount of carbon emissions as 40 billion pounds of coal each year



  • New report reveals the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining around the world
  • This process requires astronomical amounts of water and land
  • Read more: Computers that create cryptocurrencies are causing global warming

Bitcoin mining consumes large amounts of energy, giving the asset a bad reputation as a threat to the environment and a driver of climate change.

A new United Nations report has found that mining cryptocurrencies has extremely high costs in the form of astronomical amounts of water and land.

global water footprint Between January 2020 and December 2021, 1.65 cubic kilometers of water was used, the equivalent of filling more than 660,000 Olympic swimming pools, and the current 300 million people living in rural sub-Saharan Africa. This is more than household water usage.

During the same period, the area of ​​land mined was “more than 1,870 square kilometers, or 1.4 times the area of ​​Los Angeles.”

And from 2020 to 2021, global carbon dioxide emissions will be equivalent to “84 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions from burning coal, 190 natural gas-fired power plants, or more than 25 million tons of landfill waste.” “I will.”

China and the United States are the world’s biggest offenders, using at least 50% more resources in extractive operations than any other country.

A new United Nations report has found that mining cryptocurrencies has extremely high costs in the form of astronomical amounts of water and land.The photo shows a Canadian virtual currency mining rig.
China and the United States lead the world in electricity consumption, carbon emissions, water and land use from Bitcoin mining.

Much of this cost depends on how the power is generated. During this 2020-2021 period, hydropower supported 16 percent of global Bitcoin mining.

Although hydropower is considered a renewable resource, constructing hydroelectric dam reservoirs requires flooding large areas of land.

Beyond this land requirement, hydropower also loses large amounts of water through evaporation.

It has previously been reported that Bitcoin mining has a carbon footprint comparable to beef production or precious metal mining.

A new report shows that “the environmental impacts of BTC mining are not limited to greenhouse gas emissions.”

Bitcoin mining has a reputation as a carbon polluter, but there are also huge hidden costs that arise from its energy source.

Cryptocurrency “mining” refers to the way computers around the world solve complex mathematical problems to complete and verify transactions.

Cryptocurrency mining allows the company to make money because miners can earn rewards by validating transactions and generating more Bitcoins.

However, in order to make a profit from Bitcoin mining, you need abundant and cheap energy.

For a company to make a profit, the power cost of a mining computer must be lower than the mining reward.

Bitcoin mining using natural gas rose from 15% in 2021 to 21% in 2022.

“This increase is primarily due to greater reliance on natural gas for power generation in some of the top BTC mining countries,” the report said.

China and the United States topped the list of countries using the most resources and causing the most environmental degradation by a wide margin during the 2020-2021 study period.

Kazakhstan ranks high on the list because its electricity system, which relies on fossil fuels, costs less to operate than other countries.

The study’s authors write that there is potential to benefit from the increasing digitalization of the global economy. “However, as demand for digital currency exchange and investment grows faster than ever, the world must pay close attention to the hidden and overlooked environmental impacts of this growing sector.”

The report warns that these hidden environmental costs are particularly worrying given that many countries at the top of the list lag behind in social and economic justice. “Unregulated and untaxed mining activities are exacerbating inequalities in these regions and having lasting impacts on the environment.”

Despite the data collected for the study, the report’s authors argue that Bitcoin’s anonymity makes it difficult to track exactly where Bitcoin is being mined and who is mining it. He emphasized that it was difficult.

It recommends that governments work together to increase transparency in crypto policies to reduce environmental disasters.

They also recommend economic and regulatory tools, such as taxes and higher energy prices, to limit the unchecked growth of crypto mining and force miners to shoulder some of the costs.

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