Cryptocurrency emissions: Bitcoin has emitted 200 million tonnes of CO2 since its launch


Bitcoin’s demand for electricity has led to huge carbon emissions, but a slump in the cryptocurrency’s price and rising energy costs have slowed its energy use, at least temporarily



Technology



28 September 2022

Image of a bitcoin in a cloud of emissions

The large energy requirements of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have a big environmental impact

corlaffra/Shutterstock

Bitcoin miners have emitted almost 200 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in the cryptocurrency’s short history, claim researchers at the University of Cambridge. The estimate for the 13 years since bitcoin launched exceeds the emissions of the whole country of Colombia during 2018.

The university launched the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI) in 2019 to provide hard data on bitcoin that would allow people to properly assess its environmental and economic impacts. Initially, it produced …

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