(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists have found that Bitcoin mining produces 30,000 tons of e-waste and 23 million tons of carbon dioxide every year. In addition, the process consumes as much electricity as a country like the Netherlands spends annually.
Analysts from the Netherlands Central Bank and scientists from the Center for Energy and Environmental Research at MIT have found that mining bitcoins generates about 30,700 tons of e-waste every year. An article with the results of the work was published in the scientific journal Resources, Conservation and Recycling.
The study authors point out that Bitcoin mining requires advanced and expensive special purpose integrated circuits (ASICs). And to maintain and improve the efficiency of mining, such chips must be regularly replaced with newer and more advanced ones. Therefore, on average, their service life is only 1.3 years.
As the scientists note, such chips can only be used in devices for mining, therefore, after the end of their service life, they immediately become electronic waste. According to the authors of the study, in 2020, a total of 112.5 million bitcoin transactions were made, and in terms of the amount of e-waste generated by mining, this gives about 272 grams of garbage for each transaction.
In addition to the impact of mining on the volume of e-waste, ecologists are also concerned about the significant carbon footprint of cryptocurrency mining. According to some estimates, mining bitcoins requires the same amount of energy per year as the rest of the Netherlands, and because of this, carbon dioxide emissions reach 23 million tons per year.
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