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Bitcoin’s Climate Problem

Christian Sutton- March 21, 2021

Bitcoin could lead to climate change chaos within 20 years

Essentially, Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that is worth more than $1 trillion and has big companies as investors, such a Tesla investing more than $1.5 billion of its balance sheet in Bitcoin. However, it has a huge climate and sustainability issue in terms of using too much carbon footprint. For example, Bitcoin transaction is the “equivalent to the carbon footprint of 735,121 Visa transactions or 55,280 hours of watching YouTube,” according to Digiconomist.

In addition, Bitcoin’s price has significantly jumped from last year’s token being worth $42,000 to $50,000. The problem with this is that the more competitive there is to mine new tokens, the more carbon footprint is used and therefore worse for the climate and sustainability.

To combat the issue, the company plans on using renewable energy, like wind, solar, or hydro power, to mine its operations. On the other hand, the plan does may not be effective as nearly two-thirds of all Bitcoin mining is taking place in China. Specifically, “mining activities can also be found in regions with coal-heavy power generation, such as in the province of Inner Mongolia,” according to a study in the scientific journal Joule.

Moreover, Bitcoin’s carbon footprint has become a red flag, which can possibly risk losing future investors that harp on environmental issues, which in my opinion will most likely occur.

Source: Bitcoin’s Climate Change Impact Is Under Scrutiny – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

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