Earlier this year we at Bitcoin Buyer’s Guide have set ourselves on a personal mission to give back to nature. We are allocating 20% of our income towards planting new trees.
Our initiative might not make any noticeable change in the electronic waste and carbon dioxide emissions, however, it might help in decreasing the current negative impact.
The impact of blockchain on nature
Participation in any PoW validation process requires a large pool of resources such as hardware and electricity.
If cryptocurrencies become a worldwide standard for payments used by billions, more emissions will follow.
Currently, the bitcoin network consumes a little over 70TW (terawatts) per year, while also leaving a footprint on our planet of around 35 Mt (megatonnes) CO2 . This is comparable to Denmark’s fossil CO2 emissions of 38 Mt CO2 .
Apart from carbon dioxide emissions, cryptocurrency mining produces a lot of electronic waste.
The electronic waste has grown to around 9KT (kilotonnes) due to the hardware, which needs to be manufactured and constantly upgraded in order to sustain the network. This is comparable to the electronic waste of Luxembourg.
Even though for now the resources used by Bitcoin’s network are still insignificant compared to any other major industry and far from leaving a big impact upon nature, it is significant enough to start discussing it as a potential problem.
The footprint of negative emissions is growing exponentially day-by-day together with the network.