Bitcoin mining poses a threat to the entire planet, new report argues

Bitcoin alone could be responsible for the planet’s temperate moving upwards at speed in the next 15 years…

The environmental concerns surrounding Bitcoin mining continue to escalate, with a new paper warning of potential catastrophic consequences over the next 15 years.

The paper was published in the Nature Climate Change journal, and it concluded that if Bitcoin continues to enjoy growth at the same rate it’s experiencing now, then the demands on the world’s energy are going to be dramatic.

It’s the electricity-intensive Bitcoin mining that’s at the heart of the problem, with the paper arguing that alone could be responsible for enough carbon emissions to raise the temperature of the planet by two degrees Celsius. That’s the warning level that’s already been flagged as enough to cause a catastrophic impact on the planet – and the implication is Bitcoin could do that pretty much alone.

The paper is available to buy here.

As Qatar University’s Jon Truby pointed out, it could “take as much energy” to mine a single Bitcoin as it would “to power your house for months. Right now, that’s not sustainable”.

Bitcoin mining has actually been subsiding over the past months, as the value of a single Bitcoin has fallen. But predictions of a price rocket are not in short supply, and there are legitimate fears that should that happen, the Bitcoin mining boom will be reignited, with the power demands that come with it.

Short of a fundamental moving away from mining for coins – when Bitcoin eventually hits its cap, others are waiting in the wings – it’s hard to see how the situation can reverse anytime soon. We await further developments with interest.

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