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in “ Tech news in brief“, 
September 29, 2022.

Bitcoin no friend of the environment

Bitcoin mining.

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While other cryptocurrencies such as ether have successfully pivoted to reduce their carbon footprint, bitcoin still has a long way to go on the path to environmental consciousness. According to a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports, the environmental and social harm that bitcoin inflicts compares to that of notoriously polluting industrial practices such as beef production and crude oil burned as gasoline. Every dollar in Bitcoin market value generates an average of 35 cents in global climate damage. In comparison, gasoline consumption generates 41 cents and cattle production, 33 cents of damage against the dollar. These numbers are estimated “social costs” due to CO2 emissions, and one could argue about the cost calculation methods. Nonetheless, they are a useful metric to compare various production and use impacts. Between 2016 and 2021, researchers estimate that bitcoin’s total climate damage amounted to 12 billion dollars globally, not to mention the mountains of e-waste.

The Verge, Jess Weatherbed, “Bitcoin’s climate damage is similar to beef and crude oil, says new study.”


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