Bitcoin mining’s climate damages comparable to beef production

An academic paper, from the University of New Mexico, on the energy-related climate damages of mining Bitcoin (BTC), finds that under any of three sustainability criteria for signalling when the climate damages may be unsustainable, BTC mining fails all three.

The authors of the paper finds that for 2016–2021, per coin climate damages from BTC were increasing, and during certain time periods, BTC climate damages exceed the price of each coin created.

It estimates, that on average, each $1 in BTC market value created was responsible for $0.35 in global climate damages, which as a share of market value is in the range between beef production and crude oil burned as gasoline, and an order-of-magnitude higher than wind and solar power.

The paper sums it up as rather than representing “digital gold,” from a climate damages perspective BTC operates more like “digital crude”.

    Share Story:

Recent Stories