Extracting resources from our earth can be devastating to both local and global environments. Even beyond this, using resources can cause issues such as: Miserable The impact on the planet and dependence on a single resource can wreak havoc on a country’s economy. However, many of these resources are needed in our daily lives, sometimes as luxuries and sometimes as necessities. Responsible countries and companies must always consider how mining of any kind can impact the planet.
Recently, it was discovered that the worst type of mining for the planet’s environment may be Bitcoin. Yes, virtual currency “mining” has left its mark on the planet.The unequally distributed distribution of Bitcoin mining around the world means that some countries are doing more damage to the Earth’s climate and environment than others… For distant “resources” from What our society needs.
Bitcoin mining uses large amounts of computing power to solve central cryptographic puzzles of the industry.As of today (October 30, 2023), each Bitcoin has value With over $34,000 worth of cryptocurrencies and dozens of others, using your computer to unlock even more cryptocurrencies can be a profitable endeavor . Almost $50 trillion of the global economy moves in these “cryptocurrencies.”
What is the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining?
Those who mine Bitcoin rarely stop and reflect on the environmental impact of their “extraction.”a New research on “the future of the earth” by Sanaz Chamanara et al.This is a diary. American Geophysical UnionHere are some of the amazing numbers you can get from mining Bitcoin.
Here are some of the most surprising ones.
From 2020 to 2021, Bitcoin Mining consumed more electricity than the country of Pakistan (population: 230 million).
This source of power has been emitted for over 85 years. megaton of carbon dioxide. This equates to 190 natural gas power plants. ~5 Yellowstone Caldera. This is not a maximum value, as it is based on the actual carbon dioxide emitted by different power generation styles.
if your The electricity comes from hydroelectric power, and due to water loss through evaporation and other means, Bitcoin mining consumed $1.65. cubic Several kilometers of fresh water. This exceeds the domestic water use of his more than 330 million people living in rural sub-Saharan Africa.
If the electricity comes from biofuels, it takes time largely 1,900 square kilometers of land for producing raw material crops. This is bigger than Rhode Island.
The biggest culprit is energy For China and the United States, it is no surprise that it is used to mine Bitcoin. However, some of the other top 10 power users are even more surprising. many People: Kazakhstan, Russia, Malaysia, Iran, Ireland, Singapore. This means that 45% of the total power is used for mining. Bitcoin comes from coal, which is the worst source of carbon dioxide emitted to generate energy.
The race for Bitcoin mining supremacy has, in many ways, brought some countries directly to the brink of disaster. Already a water-scarce country, Iran used more than 19 million cubic meters of water for Bitcoin mining in 2020-2021.it is Almost 20% of the country’s domestic water supply All annual (2021) usage goes towards energy production for Bitcoin.
As the price of Bitcoin increases, so does the electricity people use to mine it. As Chamanara and others point out, when Bitcoin prices soared 400% in 2021, electricity usage from Bitcoin mining also skyrocketed by 140%. If you live in a place with an already taxed power grid, this type of change could easily push that grid beyond the edge.
Is Bitcoin mining worth the cost?
Who specifically will benefit? Bitcoin Mining is unknown. nevertheless Companies, banks, and even some countries. Expanding Regarding the use of Bitcoin and related cryptocurrencies, there is so far little evidence examining how the accumulation and exchange of these coins impacts the environment. Add more lasting effects (and growth) population and climate carbon emissions and water usage; you I wonder why Bitcoin mining is allowed in the first place.
At the end of the day, it’s about how much we care about the Earth’s climate and environment rather than amassing personal or corporate wealth. While so many sectors of our economy are moving towards less destructive modes, the emerging crypto market is doing the opposite. Instead, they are just as exploiting the earth’s resources. Large scale More oil drilling in open pit mines in national forests and on Alaska’s northern slopes.
It is up to the world’s governments to decide whether they need to regulate Bitcoin in the same way they regulate all traditional mining. You cannot go to many countries and open your own mine without permission. Assessing my impact. It may be time for the same guardrails to be put in place in the Bitcoin space.