Emissions from mining a single bitcoin have increased 126-fold

Between 2016 and 2021, the carbon emissions associated with mining bitcoin have increased from 0.9 tonnes to 113 tonnes per coin

Technology



29 September 2022

There is a large energy cost associated with mining bitcoin

Pulsar Imagens/Alamy

The emissions associated with mining a single bitcoin have increased 126-fold in five years, creating an industry that, according to one measure, is more environmentally damaging than global beef production.

Mining bitcoin involves networks of computers competing to guess the solution to a mathematical puzzle. The process authenticates the cryptocurrency’s transactions, and the first miner to the solve the puzzle is awarded a significant amount of bitcoin. “Because it’s worth a lot of money, you have a lot of people who …

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