How Could Bitcoin Affect the Environment?
There is a massive demand for Bitcoin and it could single-handedly derail efforts to limit the effects global warming is having on the planet. The increasingly popular cryptocurrency takes a humongous amount of energy to produce according to new research.
According to US Research published in the journal Nature Climate Change, producing the leading digital currency with a speed of growing demand could completely defeat the aim to prevent global warming by 2033.
In 2015, around 200 nations agreed in Paris that the goal was to global warming well below a rise of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times.
However, the process of producing Bitcoins, mining and solving mathematical equations uses a high-powered computer and also a lot of electricity according to the research.
The co-author on the paper, Katie Taladay spoke on the matter and said:
"Currently, the emissions from transportation, housing and food are considered the main contributors to ongoing climate change. This research illustrates that bitcoin should be added to this list."
Mining is a well-paid business and one Bitcoin is currently selling for around $6,300 after yesterdayâs drop, though as you know at the moment, mining is far less profitable than it could be, given that Bitcoin still holds a potential value of $20,000.00 plus.
Last year, the production of Bitcoin and usage emitted an estimated 69 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide is equivalent according to the published research. In this year, Bitcoin was involved in just under half a percent of the worldâs cashless transactions.
As the currency becomes more common, the researchers said that it could enough electricity to emit over 200 gigatonnes of carbon in just over a decade. For those who donât know, one gigatonne is equal to a billion metric tonnes of carbon.
One of the other co-authors, Camilo Mora told the Thomson Reuter Foundation that "No matter how you slice it, that thing is using a lot of electricity. That means bad business for the environment.â
On a happier note, mining Bitcoin is becoming somewhat more efficient though according to University of Pittsburgh researcher, Katrina Kelly-Pitou.
The researcher said that miners of Bitcoin are moving away from sites such as China with a coal-generated electricity to environmentally friendly utilities in the United States and Iceland.
What are your thoughts let us know what you think down below in the comments!