Bitcoin Mining Emissions Are Reaching New Highs Per MIT and University of Munich Report


  • Bitcoin mining energy consumption is reaching alarming levels
  • The goal is to power mining activities with renewable energies

Bitcoin (BTC) is the most popular virtual currency in the world, but there are some critics that complain that it is contributing to climate change. In order for Bitcoin to operate it needs miners to confirm transactions with ASIC hardware. However, these machines consume large amounts of energy. According to a recent study, Bitcoin contributed almost 23 million tonnes of CO2 every year.

Bitcoin Generates Over 20 Million Tonnes of CO2 Each Year

According to a new study released by researchers from MIT and the Technical University of Munich, Bitcoin contributed between 22 million and 22.9 million tonnes of CO2 every year. This is equal to the same amount of carbon dioxide generated by the city of Las Vegas or Sri Lanka.

Although this is not the main reason for climate change, it is helping to make it worse. There are several countries that are also thinking about imposing a ban on mining activities. China, for example, could eventually ban Bitcoin miners from operating in the country. If that happens, Bitcoin’s hash rate is expected to fall for some time.

As per the research, the computing power to generate a Bitcoin has tripled during 2018. This has helped the energy consumption to rise as well. The annual consumption of Bitcoin ranged between 35 TWh and 72.7 TWh.

One of the authors of the report, Chris Stoll, commented about it:

“There are bigger factors contributing to climate change. However, the carbon footprint is big enough to make it worth discussing the possibility of regulating cryptocurrency mining in regions where power generation is especially carbon-intensive.”

Moreover, the report stated that they calculated that the resulting annual carbon emissions range between 21.5 and 53.6 MtCO2. These are the current levels that are produced by countries such as Bolivia and Portugal. Thus, this shows which is the magnitude of these carbon emissions that are combined with the risk of collusion and concerns regarding the monetary system.

There are other reports that show that most of the Bitcoin mining activities are conducted using renewable energies. In general, Bitcoin miners go where there is cheap electricity. China is a good location for miners. Other places that miners selected are countries with cold temperatures that allow Bitcoin mining farms to be refrigerated at all times and to operate in a more efficient way.

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