By Darion Curtis
- In 2022, 219 tons of CO2 are emitted mining 1 bitcoin, while just 8 tonnes of CO2 is emitted mining gold
- A single bitcoin has the same carbon footprint as 330K credit card transactions
You can’t scroll through any timeline on social media without being bombarded with spam messages or ads about Bitcoin (BTC). What crypto enthusiasts, timelines and ads fail to mention is the digital currency’s effects on the environment with its high carbon footprint. In 2022, Digiconomist.net estimated that 219 tonnes of CO2 are emitted mining 1 bitcoin, while just 8 tonnes of CO2 is emitted mining gold.
Why This Matters: In comparison with more traditional online banking, a single bitcoin has the same carbon footprint as 330,000 credit card transactions. During November 2020, Reuters reported “gold miners are among the biggest emitters of greenhouse gasses in the mining sector.” CO2 in the atmosphere contributes to global warming thus, the greenhouse effect. To sum this up, the more greenhouse gases your carbon footprint produces is equal to one hell of a hot-girl-summer.
Bitcoin mining is consuming energy at an alarming rate. The Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance found that bitcoin mining consumes more energy per TWh (terawatt hour) than Argentina. Not to mention that as the price per bitcoin goes up, so does the energy consumption of the mining rig.
Situational Awareness: Bitcoin mining rigs use heavy calculations to verify transactions on the blockchain ledger. Computer processing units inside of the miners solve complex hashing encryption to complete these tasks; however, it would take 14 S19 Pros to mine one bitcoin in one month. Each miner uses about 3.25 kW of electricity per hour. If they are run for 24 hours a day to maximize potential bitcoin wins, one miner will produce 1470 kgCO2 into the atmosphere. More than one million of these miners are currently running daily around the world, yet we wonder why each summer we reach record temperature highs!
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