Bitcoin (BTC) CO2 emissions are found throughout the city of Kansas and even a small country, according to a study published June 12 in the Journal Joule.
Christian Stoll, one of the researchers involved in the project, said the large amount of energy consumed by mining results in a significant carbon footprint. And since the computing power needed to solve a Bitcoin puzzle has more than quadrupled since last year, the problem continues to gain momentum, according to the study. He also says:
"The magnitude of these carbon emissions, combined with the risk of collusion and concerns over the control of the monetary system, could justify regulatory intervention to protect individuals from themselves and others from their actions."
Researchers used IPO application data and IP addresses to develop their results. With estimated annual CO2 emissions of 22 to 22.9 megatonnes, Bitcoin lies somewhere between Jordan and Sri Lanka at the international level. The study suggests that this value would double if all other crypto-currencies were included.
Stoll, a researcher at the University of Munich and at MIT, warned:
"We are not questioning the effectiveness of blockchain technology in some cases, but the current debate focuses on the expected benefits, putting more emphasis on costs."
Last November, a study covering the period from January 2016 to June 2018 showed that it took four times more energy to extract $ 1 of BTC than to cut $ 1 of copper. And it takes twice as much energy as extracting a dollar of gold or platinum.
A March report from PwC warned that renewable energies would not be enough to solve Bitcoin's sustainability problem. In the same month, a region of the US state of Montana asked if it should nonetheless require crypto-miners to use renewable energy.