The cryptocurrency Bitcoin has been on everyone’s lips for a few years and its value continues to rise. But this cryptocurrency is increasingly becoming an environmental threat. But the end of Bitcoin could soon be in sight.
More CO 2 than all of Italy: Researchers say Bitcoin is a climate sin
This cryptocurrency came with a few setbacks and a few success stories. However, happy are those who were there from the beginning.
The generation of the coins (Bitcoins), known as mining, brings with it a ton of serious problems: For years, the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining has rapidly been increasing, virtual production and transactions have now mutated into real power guzzlers.
In China, where a large part of the world’s Bitcoin inventory comes from, emissions of 130 million tons of CO 2 will be generated from Bitcoins alone by 2024. This is what Chinese researchers have calculated, as the English science magazine New Scientist reports.
The amount corresponds to more than 5 percent of the total CO 2 emissions for power generation in China.
The end of bitcoin? In 2024 mining will become unprofitable
The scientists working with Guan Dabo from Tsinghua University in Beijing, therefore, expect Bitcoin mining to peak in 2024.
For the transactions and the production of virtual coins on a large scale, high-performance computers are required, which in turn swallow up a lot of energy. According to the study, the cost of procurement and operation will exceed the profit from the sale of the bitcoins from 2024.
The researchers expect that Bitcoin production will significantly worsen the chances of achieving climate goals – based on China’s plan to be climate neutral by 2060, but also internationally. Microsoft founder Bill Gates has also been critical of Bitcoins.
Nevertheless, the calculated models also suggest that extreme power consumption could to a certain extent regulate itself as soon as the business is no longer profitable. For this purpose, regulations could be issued that limit, for example, the permitted amount of mining.