Bitcoin could be as bad for the planet as beef

By Laura Millan Lombrana

29 Sep 2022 · 2 min read

Editor's Note

In 2020, Bitcoin mining consumed more energy than was used to power Austria or Portugal in that same year. This article discusses the high energy consumption of crypto and how it can be managed.

Bitcoin mining’s climate impact is comparable to farming cattle or burning gasoline when taken as a proportion of market value, according to researchers at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

Cryptocurrency mining is energy intensive because it requires highly specialized computers — and most of the electricity it consumes is generated by burning planet-warming fossil fuels. The climate-related economic damage caused by mining the popular digital token, Bitcoin, exceeded its market value on 6.4% of the days it traded between 2016 and 2021, the paper published in Scientific Reports on Thursday found.

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