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Bitcoin Mining Nearly As Bad as Crude Oil for Climate: Study

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Research shows that bitcoin mining is more damaging than beef production and not as environmentally sustainable as crude oil. Scientists at the University of New Mexico warn that digital currencies are doing more damage to the climate over time. scientific report.

The study suggests that, in contrast to “digital gold,” bitcoin is far more energy-intensive and has similar environmental impacts to beef, natural gas, and oil.

Study co-author Professor Benjamin Jones of the University of New Mexico said: Vast amounts of air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions are having a negative impact on global climate and health.

A poster with the Bitcoin logo was displayed at the Thailand Crypto Expo held in Bangkok, Thailand on May 14, 2022. Scientists say Bitcoin mining is harming the environment.
Lauren Desicca/Getty Images

“Between 2016 and 2021, we found several examples where Bitcoin was doing more harm to the climate than its actual value. causes climate damage that exceeds the value of the coin, which is very troubling, a sustainability perspective.”

The research team examined how Bitcoin damages the environment according to three sustainability criteria. Whether the estimated climate damage is increasing over time, whether Bitcoin’s climate damage is above market price, and how climate damage as a share of market price compares to others. is. industry and product.

Their results show that CO2-like emissions from Bitcoin mining increased 126-fold from 0.9 tons per coin in 2016 to 113 tons per coin in 2021.

According to the report, climate change damage peaked in May 2020, with 156% of the coin’s price causing environmental damage, with climate change damage exceeding the coin’s actual value.

According to the findings, each US dollar of Bitcoin market value generated contributed $1.56 to global climate damage for the month.

Electricity produced from natural gas had an average climate damage of 46 percent, while petrol produced from crude oil had an average climate damage of 41 percent.

However, Bitcoin’s environmental damage outweighs beef production, with climate change damage accounting for 33% of its market value.

Co-author Professor Robert Berrens of the University of New Mexico added: .

“Among broader efforts to mitigate climate change, the policy challenge is to create governance mechanisms for emerging decentralized industries, including energy-intensive proof-of-work cryptocurrencies. ”

“We found no evidence that Bitcoin mining has become more sustainable over time,” Jones added.

Co-produced with SWNS Talker.

This article was contributed to Newsweek Zenger news.

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