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Bitcoin network produces as much e-waste as the Netherlands

According to a new study by researchers at MIT and the Central Bank of the Netherlands, the amount of e-waste generated in a single Bitcoin transaction is the same as dumping two iPhones in the trash.

The study, published in Science Direct, estimates that the entire Bitcoin network produces as much as 30.7 meters and kilotons of e-waste each year. This is comparable to the amount of small IT and telecommunications equipment waste generated in countries such as the Netherlands.

Last year, the network processed 112.5 million transactions, according to researchers. This means that each transaction produced an average of 272g of e-waste (the weight of two iPhone 12 Minis).

The study estimates that Bitcoin mining can generate as much as 64.4 meters and kilotons of e-waste annually at peak price levels seen in early 2021.

The reason for this large amount of electronic waste is that mining (the process of generating new Bitcoin) uses special single-purpose computer chips called application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). They have no purpose other than running algorithms that protect the Bitcoin network.

In general, each ASIC miner is built to mine a particular digital currency. In other words, Bitcoin ASIC miners can only mine Bitcoin. Researchers say ASICs become obsolete about every 1.3 years and need to be replaced.

All miners participating in the Bitcoin network compete with each other for rewards to create new blocks in the blockchain that underlies Bitcoin. The likelihood of generating new blocks is proportional to the share of the mining machine in total computing power used for mining.

Therefore, effective miners need to constantly replace their ASICs with new chips that are efficient enough for profitable mining. Machines that can perform more calculations per unit of energy are considered more profitable.

According to the Bitcoin Power Consumption Index at the University of Cambridge, Bitcoin mining consumes about 100 terawatt hours per year, and consumption increases as the value of Bitcoin increases.

According to a recent report by BloombergThe total power consumed by this year’s Bitcoin network has already exceeded the 2020 consumption level of about 67 terawatt hours (TWh). It is expected to consume 91 TWh of energy by the end of the year. This is the same as Pakistan.

The mining process definitely has a negative impact on the environment.

In 2018, Jon Truby, an assistant professor at the Center for Law Development, Qatar University, reported that failure to reduce the energy use of such technologies could prevent some countries from meeting their climate change obligations. That is. Paris Agreement.

The report is new to reduce demand by pollution technology users, miners, and mining chip makers, and to provide incentives to encourage developers to create less energy-intensive or carbon-neutral blockchains. Recommended taxes, fees, or restrictions.

Bitcoin network produces as much e-waste as the Netherlands

Source link Bitcoin network produces as much e-waste as the Netherlands

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