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Emissions From Bitcoin Mining Expected to Push Global Warming Above 2°C by 2040

Emissions From Bitcoin Mining Expected to Push Global Warming Above 2°C by 2040

Last updated 11th Aug 2022
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(BTC) has become a hot topic recently, as the digital currency has soared or plummeted in value. But it isn't just making headlines for its financial potential or otherwise. Some environmentalists are concerned about the cryptocurrency's impact on the planet.

Mining, the process of creating new BTC, involves solving complex mathematical problems. So to incentivize the miners, the system rewards them with a certain amount of BTC for each problem they solve.

The catch is that this process uses a lot of energy, emitting significant quantities of greenhouse gases (GHG). According to a BanklessTimes.com analysis, emissions from BTC mining will push global warming above 2°C by 2040.

Per a digiconomist estimate, a single BTC transaction has a carbon footprint of about 841 kgCO2. And as Bitcoin becomes more popular, that number is only likely to increase. Bitcoin could eventually have a significant impact on global warming, as the demand for energy-intensive Bitcoin mining grows."
BanklessTimes CEO Jonathan Merry

Is Bitcoin as Dirty as Its Critics Paint it?

When it comes to the environment, BTC has been getting a bad rap lately. Critics say that the process of "mining" new BTC uses too much energy and that this energy typically comes from sources like coal-fired power plants. As a result, they argue that BTC is contributing to climate change.

However, there are also suggestions that BTC may not be as dirty as its critics paint it. Some even go as far as to say that BTC is cleaner than traditional fiat currency. Here's a closer look at the environmental impact of BTC and what the future may hold for this controversial digital currency.

BTC is often criticized for its high energy consumption levels. However, it's important to note that renewable energy sources like hydroelectricity power most BTC mines. A recent report found that renewables power 57 % of all BTC mines.

What's more, some experts believe that BTC could help to drive further investment in renewable energy infrastructure. For example, if more people start using BTC, there will be more demand for renewable-powered mines. This could lead to increased investment in solar and wind farms, helping to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels.

Traditional Currencies Have a Higher Footprint

It's also worth noting that traditional fiat currencies have their environmental impacts. For example, producing paper money requires significant amounts of water and energy. And when you factor in transportation and other costs associated with physical currency, the environmental impacts become even greater.

In comparison, BTC is entirely digital and doesn't require any physical resources for its production or use. This makes it much more environmentally friendly than traditional fiat currencies.

Looking ahead, BTC could play an essential role in fighting climate change. If more people adopt BTC and use it regularly, it could help drive investment in renewable energy and accelerate the transition from fossil fuels.

Elizabeth Kerr

Elizabeth Kerr

Elizabeth is a financial content specialist from Manchester. Her specialities include cryptocurrency, data analysis and financial regulation.