Scientists have calculated the harm to the climate caused by Bitcoin: worse than the production of beef and oil
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One coin accounts for up to 113 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
Bitcoin is a multi-billion dollar industry that seems to be doing enormous harm to the planet. Scientists have calculated that climate damage averages about 35% of the value of the cryptocurrency, writes Science Alert.
The history of bitcoin actually began in August 2008. However, in a new study, scientists from the University of New Mexico examined the damage that cryptocurrency production causes over the past five years – between 2016 and 2021.
Scientists compared the production of digital currency with other energy-intensive activities and came to the conclusion that the production of cryptocurrency causes irreparable harm to the planet. So, according to scientists, the damage to bitcoin is about 35 cents per dollar of value, which is slightly less than the damage in the extraction of natural gas – about 46 cents per dollar and gasoline from crude oil – about 41 cents.
Results studies also show that beef production and gold mining are more environmentally friendly than digital currency mining – 33 and 4 cents per dollar, respectively.
Scientists believe that the definition of bitcoin as “digital gold” is not at all correct, a more appropriate name for cryptocurrency is the definition of “digital oil”.
As a result, the researchers came to the conclusion that bitcoin cannot be considered sustainable, which means promising and worth the investment. To do this, its climate damage would have to decrease as technology advances. However, in reality, we see completely different results.
Scientists have also noticed that greenhouse gas emissions, or rather carbon dioxide, due to the production of digital currency, are actually only growing. So, for example, back in 2016, less than a metric ton of greenhouse gases accounted for one cryptocurrency coin, and in 2021 this figure reached 113 metric tons of emissions per coin.
However, scientists believe that some glimmer of hope is still exists. In fact, bitcoin mining requires a lot of energy. And if the production of digital currency would switch to renewable energy sources, in the future the cryptocurrency could become more sustainable and environmentally friendly.