SOCIETY - How to improve it for the good of everyone > MONEY

Global Warming - Bitcoin is a real threat to the environment and here is why



Source :
Global Warming - Bitcoin is a real threat to the environment and here is why
by Emma Hollen
5 nov 2018


Bitcoin, a successful cryptocurrency launched in 2009, is now at the heart of many transactions. However, its ecological impact deserves to be put in perspective.

The information unfortunately does not date yesterday. In 2013, researchers were already asking the question of the environmental impact of Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that has revolutionized online transactions in the last decade. An impact confirmed by a brand new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. According to the researchers, bitcoin mining alone could tip temperatures beyond the 2 ° C threshold within 20 years.

A currency with two faces

Since its launch in 2009, Bitcoin has been at the root of many changes in our society. Reduction of risks related to fraud and security, more transparent transactions, fight against organ trafficking, aid for research. Although a large part of the uninitiated are unaware of its existence, its benefits are as numerous as they are varied.

However, Bitcoin also has its dark side. A new study published by the University of Hawaii reveals that if Bitcoin continues to be adopted by a growing share of the population, the phenomenal amounts of electricity required to track these transactions could cause the critical threshold of 2 ° C by 2038, in the best case.

If the use of this one follows the curve of evolution of computers or credit cards, this threshold could be reached as early as 2033.


Contribution to global warming

Mining - the process by which Bitcoin transactions are secure - requires phenomenal amounts of energy. On its own, a transaction may require enough electricity to power a household for a whole month, according to some estimates. "Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency with significant hardware needs, which obviously translates into a significant demand for electricity," said Randi Rollins, a member of the team.

"Currently, emissions from transport, housing and food are considered the main contributors to climate change," says co-author Katie Taladay. "This study illustrates why Bitcoin should be added to the list." Note that Bitcoin is only one of the many cryptocurrencies that have emerged in recent years.

A necessary awareness

According to the team's estimates, the use of Bitcoin is responsible for 69 million tonnes of emissions equivalent to those of carbon dioxide (CO2) in 2017. Comparing its usage curve with that of many other technologies, they were able to estimate how fast it would spread, however these data were contradicted by several experts who called them "naive".

In any case, they suggest for researchers the need to design more sustainable systems in the future, and to become aware of the individual impact that each has on the environment. "Clearly, any further development of cryptocurrencies will have to aim to reduce the demand for electricity, if we want to avoid the consequences of 2 ° C global warming," conclude the researchers.


[0] Message Index

It appears that you have not registered with NEEEEEXT. To register, please click here...
Go to full version