According to BanklessTimes.com, the major BTC mining nations use 15% more power than the entire African continent. The entire BTC network used over 170TWh of electricity between 2020 and 2021.
The site’s crypto analyst, Alice Leetham, comments “The substantial increase in crypto trading has led to more Bitcoin mining, which still remains unchecked by authorities and environmentalists. The high power consumption is a clear indicator of how much mining is done and how we need to put in more regulations to reduce the negative impacts on the environment.”
The Impact of BTC Mining on the Environment
The process of validating and verifying transactions on the blockchain network, known as Bitcoin mining, requires a lot of power. Miners utilize hardware to solve mathematical puzzles, which in turn rewards them with Bitcoins. However, this procedure consumes an amount of electricity, raising concerns about its environmental impact.
The environmental footprint of BTC mining cuts across land and water, too.
In 2020-2021, the mining process emitted nearly 90 Mt of carbon dioxide. Surprisingly, this figure is close to the amount of carbon dioxide produced from burning 84 billion pounds of coal.
These carbon (iv) oxide emissions are detrimental to the environment and to our health as well. Most of the carbon dioxide produced contributes to the greenhouse effect, leading to global warming. Predictions stand that the BTC usage alone can make enough greenhouse gas emissions to push global warming beyond the Paris Agreement’s goal of capping anthropogenic climate warming below 2 degrees Celsius.
The global water footprint of BTC mining is a complex matter, too. The BTC mining network affected about 1.65 kilometers of water, which can fend for over 300 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa. Not to mention, over 1870 square kilometers of land were heavily affected by BTC mining, with Kazakhstan and the US being the most affected.
What Mining Nations Should Do to Reduce the Negative Impact of BTC Mining?
Currently, there are no federal laws banning BTC mining in the top mining nations like the United States. However, more regulations must be implemented, especially in Georgia, Kentucky, Texas, and New York. However, countries like China have already set up bans against Bitcoin mining. More research also needs to be done to develop altcoins that are more energy efficient and reduce the pollution effects on the environment.
As crypto trading volume increases, more BTC mining will escalate. As we move forward, nations have to come together to come up with more energy-conserving solutions and alternative mining methods.
Source: Bankless Times