cryptocurrency

the environmental impacts of crypto

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Since all of this crypto stuff takes place using computers, and computers use energy, some skeptics and environmentalists are concerned about the amount of energy being used to “mine” the crypto. In this lesson we discuss the main environmental impacts of crypto and why they matter.

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transcript

You don’t need to worry too much about what crypto “mining” is or how it works, but according to Investopedia, essentially mining is performed using sophisticated hardware that solves an extremely complex math problem to enter some types of cryptocurrency into circulation. 

But that “mining” is where some of the environmental impacts of crypto come into play. Here are some of the ways crypto can impact the environment:

 

  • Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies require large amounts of energy, due to the computations needed for mining. By the latest estimates according to BBC, the bitcoin network uses as much energy in one year as the country of Argentina. Yikes.
  • According to the Economist, 65% of bitcoin miners are located in China, a country that generates most of its energy from coal. Also yikes.
  • In a study done by Coinshares in 2019 miners claimed that 74% of bitcoin’s energy comes from renewable sources, but it’s hard to say for sure and that was just one study with many other studies disputing this claim.
  • BUT not all cryptocurrencies have big environmental impacts. Many don’t use mining at all.

 

While cryptocurrency can have major benefits, it’s important to understand what the environmental impacts of crypto are, some of the challenges big crypto proponents are facing, and everything that goes into it before you decide to jump into the crypto world.

No account yet? Register

cryptocurrency

the environmental impacts of crypto

Since all of this crypto stuff takes place using computers, and computers use energy, some skeptics and environmentalists are concerned about the amount of energy being used to “mine” the crypto. In this lesson we discuss the main environmental impacts of crypto and why they matter.

You don’t need to worry too much about what crypto “mining” is or how it works, but according to Investopedia, essentially mining is performed using sophisticated hardware that solves an extremely complex math problem to enter some types of cryptocurrency into circulation. 

But that “mining” is where some of the environmental impacts of crypto come into play. Here are some of the ways crypto can impact the environment:

 

  • Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies require large amounts of energy, due to the computations needed for mining. By the latest estimates according to BBC, the bitcoin network uses as much energy in one year as the country of Argentina. Yikes.
  • According to the Economist, 65% of bitcoin miners are located in China, a country that generates most of its energy from coal. Also yikes.
  • In a study done by Coinshares in 2019 miners claimed that 74% of bitcoin’s energy comes from renewable sources, but it’s hard to say for sure and that was just one study with many other studies disputing this claim.
  • BUT not all cryptocurrencies have big environmental impacts. Many don’t use mining at all.

 

While cryptocurrency can have major benefits, it’s important to understand what the environmental impacts of crypto are, some of the challenges big crypto proponents are facing, and everything that goes into it before you decide to jump into the crypto world.

lessons in this course

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