Climate Change Vs Cryptocurrency: Considering Crypto’s Environmental Impact
Over the past decade, the demand for cryptocurrency has shot up, and people are driving themselves crazy to try a slice of the crypto pie. The prices of Bitcoin have doubled now, and crypto has gained over three trillion dollars in market capitalization. At the same time, the world is grappling with combating climate change. The prominent offenders leaving severe environmental impacts are fossil fuels and industrial pollution. However, crypto has driven this discussion itself in recent years because the mining process consumes a tremendous amount of energy.
Cryptocurrency is experiencing incredible growth, but is it destroying our planet? Will bitcoin mining and crypto trading contribute to global warming? Let’s reveal the hidden facts regarding crypto’s impact on our environment.
How Does Cryptocurrency Harm The Environment?
Cryptocurrency operates energy-intensive activities which harm the environment. Each crypto transaction and mining required an immense quantity of energy. Every cryptocurrency consumes a different portion of energy but bitcoin is excessively energy-intensive. Crypto mining, and transactions are harmful to the climate, as reported by numerous social and environmental activists.
Bitcoin drives an exorbitant carbon emission as its transactions consume as much energy as an average household consumes in 75 days. Typically, 2100 kWh is used by each Bitcoin transaction. As Bitcoin uses energy from non-renewable sources, it releases 97.2 megatonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, equal to the national emissions of Argentina.
What Are The Social And Environmental Costs Of Crypto Mining?
Crypto has increased global warming to the dangerous level of 1.5 degrees. Apart from crypto’s environmental impact, it has some effects on society too. Crypto mining has caused power interruptions in countries that do not have the infrastructure to manage energy breakdown. Moreover, it has blackouts in several countries including Kazakhstan, Iran, and China, which cause breakdowns of electricity and heat.
Many countries have restricted crypto mining and transaction activity due to electricity blackouts for days, climate change, and threats to power reserves. To protect the environment and energy supplies, cryptocurrencies have been illegalized in countries including Iran, Egypt, Qatar, China, and others. Though cryptocurrencies empower us with financial freedom, they have severe environmental effects due to heavy energy consumption.
Is Crypto Mining Equipment An Environmental Concern?
Crypto mining equipment gets obsolete rapidly, generating contaminated wastes leading to high environmental costs. It is not just carbon emissions that arise from old equipment generations, but also the waste of technological tools. Their toxic material cannot be recycled and pollutes the environment. Crypto mining requires specialized equipment that can process transactions quickly.
Miners are constantly trying to make crypto mining hardware that is more productive. Those machines are improving at a fast rate. The waste of physical electronics is the main issue as computer systems, graphics cards, or other equipment are used to mine crypto. It has caused an annual electronic waste of 30,000 tons because people are upgrading the equipment to mine more coins and throwing away the old ones.