Each bitcoin transaction creates as much e-waste as throwing out two iPhone 12, study finds, as rise in crypto use sparks fears over recycling crisis 

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  • Economists find that each transaction generates more than half a pound of e-waste
  • The typical lifespan of a bitcoin-mining computer is only 16 months.
  • The total e-waste generated by bitcoin exceeds 33,000 tonnes a year.
  • This is the equivalent of small-electronic waste produced by the whole of the Netherlands.
  • Based on the record-breaking jump in bitcoin prices this year, experts worry it could lead to up to 74,000 tonnes of e-waste.

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According to the report of The Economists, one bitcoin transaction generates the same amount of electronic waste as two smartphones thrown away.

Due to my high demands for bitcoins on computers, devices tend to have a very short shelf-life.

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According to a new report, the average lifetime of a bitcoin-mining device is only 1.29 years.

It produces a lot of waste – about 33,800 tonnes per year, or the amount of small IT and telecommunications equipment thrown away by the whole of the Netherlands.

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Each transaction produces 9.5 ounces of e-waste, about the weight of two iPhone 12 minis.

Researchers worry that with increasing interest in the cryptocurrency, the bitcoin garbage heap may soon more than double in size.

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The average lifetime of a bitcoin-mining device is only 1.29 years, resulting in approximately 33,800 tons of e-waste per year. This is equivalent to all the small IT and telecommunications equipment thrown in by the entire country of the Netherlands.

In bitcoin mining, special computers are used to solve complex math calculations and generate a coin of cryptocurrency.

There are toaster-sized processors in warehouses, or ‘farms’, around the world, working day and night.

The process is extremely energy intensive and mining computers, which use specialized computer chips known as ASICs, quickly become obsolete.

According to a report in the Journal, there were 112.5 million bitcoin transactions in 2020 Resources, conservation and recycling.

That works out to about 9.5 ounces of e-waste per transaction, or the weight of two iPhone 12 minis. Guardian indicated.

Warehouses, or 'farms', around the world have toaster-sized processors assigned to solve complex math problems and generate cryptocurrency coins.  Computers quickly become obsolete

Warehouses, or ‘farms’, around the world have toaster-sized processors assigned to solve complex math problems and generate cryptocurrency coins. Computers quickly become obsolete

Co-author Alex de Vries, a data scientist at the Dutch Central Bank, wrote, ‘E-waste represents a growing threat to our environment, due to the release of toxic chemicals and heavy metals into the soil, causing air and water pollution. due to improper recycling. and Christian Stoll, a researcher at MIT’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.

“Bitcoin miners cycle through ever-increasing amounts of short-lived hardware that could fuel the increase in global electronic waste,” he continued.

De Vries and Stoll said demand for mining computers is also driving global semiconductor chip shortages.

As interest grows, researchers worry that the amount of e-waste generated could continue to balloon.

Based on the record-breaking jump in bitcoin price this year—an all-time high of $64,863 in April 2021—that could reach 74,000 tons of e-waste over a six-month period.

Based on the record-breaking jump in the price of bitcoin this year—an all-time high of $64,863 in April 2021—the cryptocurrency mining could generate 74,000 tons of e-waste over a six-month period.

Based on the record-breaking jump in the price of bitcoin this year—an all-time high of $64,863 in April 2021—the cryptocurrency mining could generate 74,000 tons of e-waste over a six-month period.

De Vries and Stoll suggest replacing current bitcoin-mining strategies with a sustainable alternative, such as ‘proof of stake’.

In that system, users put forward some of their coins instead of using large amounts of computing power in exchange for the right to verify transactions and earn more coins.

Blockchain platform Cardano, which has a market capitalization of $50 billion, uses proof-of-stake.

Ethereum announces plans to move to proof of stake ‘within a month’ in May business Insider Reported, although the change has not yet occurred.

According to a 2018 report in the journal, in addition to physical waste, bitcoin uses enormous amounts of energy – more than mining gold, platinum and other precious metals. nature stability.

About 91 terawatt-hours of electricity is consumed annually to spend or trade bitcoins, according to the new York Times, more than generated by the whole of Finland.

The Times reports that its use has increased tenfold over the past five years, and now accounts for almost half a percent of all electricity consumed globally.

A 2018 study warned that the vast farms of computers used to mine bitcoin produce the same amount of carbon dioxide per year as all automobiles in the UK combined.

What is bitcoin and how does it work?

What are bitcoins?

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency – an online type of money that is created using computer code.

It was invented in 2009 by someone calling himself Satoshi Nakamoto – a mysterious computer coder who has never been found or identified himself.

Bitcoins are created without using intermediaries – meaning that no bank charges fees when the exchange takes place.

They are stored in a virtual wallet known as a blockchain that keeps track of your money.

One of the selling points is that it can be used to buy things anonymously.

However, this has left the currency open to criticism and calls for tighter regulation as terrorists and criminals use it to smuggle drugs and guns.

How are they made?

Bitcoins are created through a process known as ‘mining’ which involves computers solving difficult math problems with 64 digit solutions.

Every time a new math problem is solved, a new bitcoin is created.

Some people build powerful computers for the sole purpose of making bitcoins.

But the number that can be produced is limited – meaning that the currency must maintain a certain level of value.

Why are they popular?

Some value bitcoin because it is a form of currency that cuts out banking middlemen and the government – ​​a form of peer-to-peer currency exchange.

And all transactions are publicly recorded so it’s very hard…

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