News Bitcoin Has a Carbon Footprint Equal to That of...

Bitcoin Has a Carbon Footprint Equal to That of Las Vegas

-

- Advertisment -

The virtual currency bitcoin is responsible for the same amount of carbon dioxide emissions as a city like Las Vegas or Hamburg and efforts to reduce its climate footprint should be considered, researchers said Thursday.

A study by researchers at the Technical University of Munich and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, examined how much power is consumed by computers used to generate bitcoins and process transactions.

Writing in the journal Joule, researchers said they then combined the results with the carbon emissions from electricity production in the countries where the computers were located.

They concluded that, in late 2018, the entire bitcoin network was responsible for 22-22.9 million tons of CO2 per year — similar to a large Western city or an entire developing country like Sri Lanka. Total global emissions of the greenhouse gas from the burning of fossil fuels were about 37 billion tons last year.

“There are bigger factors contributing to climate change,” said Christian Stoll, one of the study’s authors. “However, the carbon footprint is big enough to make it worth discussing the possibility of regulating cryptocurrency mining in regions where power generation is especially carbon-intensive.”

The researchers said about 68% of the computing power used to generate, or mine, bitcoins is in Asia, 17% is in Europe and 15% is in North America.

Alex de Vries, a bitcoin researcher who wasn’t involved in the study, questioned whether the method used to determine the location of computers was reliable enough.

But de Vries said the emission figures were consistent with those he had calculated using a different method, and could possibly even be on the low end.

“The folks in this study were very conservative on the energy side,” he told The Associated Press.

The environmental impact of bitcoin, which is the most important virtual currency, has long been a concern, especially given its limited uptake.

Last year the bitcoin network processed about 81 million transactions, compared to 500 billion transactions handled by the regular global banking system, said de Vries.

“If you look at the carbon footprint per transaction, that’s where the real shock is,” said de Vries, estimating it at about 271 kilograms of CO2 per transaction — or several hundred times that of a standard credit card payment. “That’s insane.”

More must-read stories from Fortune:

—How some of the world’s oldest banks are moving to a digital future

—Does the SEC’s ICO lawsuit against Kik go too far?

—How Mastercard is trying to push cash out of business

—Scammed porn watchers have paid nearly $1 million in bitcoin blackmail

—Brainstorm Finance is almost here. Join us on the beach this month

Sign up for The Ledger, a weekly newsletter on the intersection of technology and finance.

Source

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest news

5 of the Best Crypto Jobs Sites

The cryptocurrency and blockchain job market has exploded. With new blockchain start-ups and projects being founded at...

What’s the future of decentralized blockchains?

When Bitcoin was new and not valued at anything or just a few cents anyone could join...

My 5 favorite free crypto tools & sites I use daily

So I often get asked by friends, or people visiting my site about new tips for exciting...

Cryptocurrency is The Last Kingdom Where You Can Keep Your Data Private

Data privacy has been a hot topic for quite some time now and particularly after the popularity...
- Advertisement -Bitcoin Has a Carbon Footprint Equal to That of Las Vegas

How To Travel With Bitcoin: 9 Travel Companies Accepting Bitcoin

Bitcoin travel is a reality, as several travel companies now accept payments in cryptocurrencies for their services.

Top 5 Ways To Build a Profitable Business in The Crypto Sector

The crypto industry has grown significantly despite criticism and a skeptical approach from regulators across the globe....

Must read

5 of the Best Crypto Jobs Sites

The cryptocurrency and blockchain job market has...

What’s the future of decentralized blockchains?

When Bitcoin was new and not valued...
- Advertisement -

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you