Bitcoin Mining’s Impact on Climate Change

Bitcoin Mining's Impact on Climate Change

Bitcoin Mining’s Impact on Climate Change

Bitcoin Mining’s Impact on Climate Change, On Tuesday evening, the New York state Assembly passed a bill that would put a moratorium on new bitcoin mining facilities that require an air permit for on-site fossil fuel burning.

The bill now heads to the state Senate, which passed a similar bill last year, and then to Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, who has not publicly expressed an opinion on the plan.

Although this is the first of its sort in any state, it is unlikely to be the last, as the energy-intensive process of cryptocurrency mining is increasingly being scrutinized for its role in climate change. Environmentalists argue that allowing unrestricted crypto mining is incompatible with meeting these goals.

A number of states have set ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change — New York aims for an 85 percent reduction by 2050 — and allowing unrestricted crypto mining is incompatible with meeting those goals. Bitcoin Mining’s Impact on Climate Change

Liz Moran, a policy advocate for the environmental law charity Earthjustice in New York, told Yahoo News, “We heartily endorse this legislation.” “It takes an incredibly sensible approach to this rising industry’s energy use,” says the author.

The La Geo Geothermal Power Plant in El Salvador.

Mining for bitcoin electricity cost

Bitcoin mining, by far the most popular cryptocurrency by market capitalization, consumes enormous quantities of electricity: According to Cambridge University academics, bitcoin uses around 121.36 terawatt-hours each year. That’s more energy than Argentina’s 45 million people consume, as well as Google, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft combined. According to a study published in November by the trading education site Forex Suggest, simply offsetting the carbon emissions of bitcoin and ethereum — the second-most-popular cryptocurrency — would necessitate the planting of 384 million trees every year.

The crypto sector has its own, lower carbon footprint estimations. Earlier this year, the digital investing business CoinShares estimated that cryptocurrency mining accounts for only 0.08 percent of global carbon emissions, assuming a far lower quantity of electricity is required. Bitcoin Mining’s Impact on Climate Change

Cryptocurrencies lack a government stamp of approval or a physical substance that can be used to authenticate their legitimacy. Instead, virtual money or “tokens” are confirmed using blockchain technology, which records transactions in a network-wide database.

New bitcoins are created by “mining,” which involves validating and recording new transactions in the blockchain. Miners verify the validity of a group of bitcoin transactions bundled into a block — a process that involves checking 20 to 30 different variables — and compete to be the first to have their validation accepted by solving a mathematical puzzle in “proof-of-work,” the most energy-intensive approach to mining. Bitcoin Mining’s Impact on Climate Change

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