Bitcoin’s environmental damage is equal to that of beef, natural gas, and oil, according to a new study published in Scientific Reports.

Source: Guardian News/YouTube

The study found that the environmental cost of producing bitcoin is among some of the least environmentally friendly industries like animal agriculture and fossil fuels.

Bitcoin’s enormous energy usage is mostly due to the “mining” process, which involves the use of specialized computers to solve increasingly more complex, and thus, energy-draining, algorithms. The energy-intensive computer process emits a large amount of carbon dioxide.

According to researchers, between 2016 and 2021, the average climate damage of each bitcoin that was mined was 35 percent of its market value. This number rose to almost 60 percent between 2020 and 2021. These numbers have earned bitcoin a place in the list of the most environmentally unfriendly industries like beef production.

Source: Vox/YouTube

Researchers estimate that the global climate damages of bitcoin between 2016 and 2021 are estimated to be $12 billion, and carbon emissions have increased 126-fold over that amount of time. Studies have estimated that bitcoin mining used more energy than in countries like Austria or Portugal.

Read more about the environmental impacts of bitcoin in One Green Planet. Raise your voice against climate change and buy one of these empowering climate change tees.

Related Content:

Easy Ways to Help the Planet:

  • Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based recipe app on the App Store to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
  • Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take the initiative by standing up against fast fashion pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that are raising awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
  • Support Independent Media: Being publicly funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
  • Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and important stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
  • Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, donate if you can, grow your own food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!