Bitcoin and the Planet: How Mining Impacts Climate and Humanity
In today's world, there is an increasing debate about whether to consider cryptocurrency a boon or a bane. Society has split into two camps. On one side, figures like Arthur Hayes, and many others recognize cryptocurrency, decentralization, anonymity, and blockchain technology as incredible technological processes propelling the world forward and providing ordinary people with greater financial freedom.
However, there are those who view cryptocurrency as a menace, seeing Satoshi Nakamoto's creation as a global problem. Recently, we reported on the negative remarks in the U.S. Senate from the head of JP Morgan, indicating that these views are reflected in higher circles.
Passions and disagreements regarding the utility and impact of blockchain on established Web2 structures give rise to deep debates and confrontations in society. In this atmosphere, it becomes clear that the future of cryptocurrency and blockchain is actively discussed with a wide range of emotions, as seen in a recent statement from the CEO of Coinbase, introducing a degree of uncertainty into the public consciousness. These discussions not only reveal different perspectives on the potential prospects of the technology but also challenge established norms in finance and high technology, prompting people to rethink the future and the changes it may bring to our lives.
Beyond economic disputes, decentralized structures, and fraudulent uses of blockchain, an ecological question arises, often becoming a primary argument against cryptocurrency. In today's news article, the Coinmooner team decided to delve into this issue and provide the most up-to-date information on the ecological impact of cryptocurrency on the global stage.
When discussing the usefulness of cryptocurrencies, those against it often highlight the environmental consequences. The most frequently mentioned and harmful process is mining, especially in the context of the world's most prevalent cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. The Coinmooner team has conducted a thorough analysis of data related to this debate and is ready to present its findings.
First, let's understand what mining is and how it affects the environment. Bitcoin mining is the process of creating new blocks in the network using computers called miners, which solve complex tasks. Miners receive new bitcoins as a reward for this process, and it's the only way new units of this cryptocurrency are issued. This mining approach is also used for other cryptocurrencies using the Proof-of-Work (PoW) algorithm.
The combination of "Bitcoin" and "global warming" first gained attention in 2018, shortly after another historical price record for the cryptocurrency. This event disrupted the news space, reshaping people's understanding of passive income and investment growth. The information was published on the Nature Climate Change portal dedicated to the issue of climate change on Earth. Researchers conducted thorough studies and concluded that the development of the cryptocurrency industry in the next 16 years could lead to a 2°C increase in climate temperatures. In recent times, scientific studies on the negative impact of Bitcoin on the environment have become more prevalent. Every reputable university addressing environmental issues has considered it their duty to speak out on this matter. Bitcoin seems to worsen an already complex ecological situation on the planet—this is the stance of scientific institutions and some organizations.
According to Digiconomist, the process of Bitcoin mining annually results in the emission of approximately 100 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, comparable to the emissions of some small countries. Ecologists and researchers estimate that this process is expected to generate a total of 130.50 million metric tons of carbon emissions. This volume surpasses the overall annual greenhouse gas emissions in countries like the Czech Republic and Qatar.
In essence, the primary argument revolves around the issue of global warming, which undeniably poses numerous challenges to human life. Among these challenges is the impact on human health, as rising temperatures increase the risk of spreading infectious diseases. Additionally, there is a threat to water resources, directly affecting precipitation patterns and glacier melting, as well as the loss of global biodiversity, potentially leading to the loss and relocation of many animal and plant species, among other aspects.
However, to accurately assess the extent of the harm, it is crucial to have a clear understanding and operate with specific facts. Only in this way can we realistically evaluate whether Bitcoin mining's impact is as dangerous as claimed.
It's crucial to realize that the presented facts forming the basis for claims about the negative environmental impact of Bitcoin mining are merely surface-level information. This information lacks direct evidence, detailed comparisons, and specific data that would give it real meaning and weight. In the pursuit of objectivity and completeness, the Coinmooner team has made efforts to gather current information and partially compare some metrics to provide a comprehensive view for our readers.
When looking at the numbers, Bitcoin may indeed seem harmful to the environment, but in the context of other data, the situation is not as dire. Many experts and cryptocurrency opponents emphasize the sheer scale of energy consumption for mining in 2022, portraying it in truly alarming terms and suggesting potential negative consequences for the environment.
However, it's essential to consider that many critics fail to compare these figures with the energy consumption of household devices. For instance, data indicates that mining farms on average consume 1 kilowatt-hour per hour, while refrigerators use 1.28 kilowatt-hours, televisions use 0.5 kilowatt-hours, microwaves use 1.5 kilowatts, and so on. Comprehensive analysis should factor in various aspects, such as the number of household appliances compared to mining farms.
In comparison to other industries, cryptocurrency mining undoubtedly leaves a carbon footprint comparable to some countries and has a negative impact on the environment due to high energy consumption. However, mitigating this impact can be achieved through the use of renewable energy sources and co-generated fuels. Yet, similar to household appliances, not everyone can afford the implementation of such innovative technologies.
Additionally, there are several ways to generate energy for Bitcoin mining. The most environmentally harmful approach is the use of thermal power stations. This used to be the main method, but the situation has drastically changed today. Currently, the primary source of energy comes from renewable sources such as geothermal, solar, wind, and hydroelectric power stations. This process is called the decarbonization of consumed energy, which in simple terms means reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), associated with the production and consumption of energy.
The Coinmooner team strongly believes that providing analytical information in our news articles will contribute to a better understanding among readers of the real numbers and facts regarding the negative impact of cryptocurrencies on the environment. We not only aim to shed light on this issue but also emphasize the well-known fact of covert cryptocurrency mining using others' devices. This, in turn, leads to additional emissions into the atmosphere, with many users unaware that their computing resources are being utilized. Such cases are known to be in the millions.
Take, for example, Kaspersky Lab, where up to 3,000 tons of emissions were prevented last year by thwarting over 200 million unauthorized attempts to connect to other devices. These alarming figures underscore the importance of adhering to protective measures. We urge users to regularly stay informed and conduct personal checks to ensure the security of their resources.