Bitcoin transactions and pollution charges

According to digiconomist, a site cited by various newspapers, a single transaction in Bitcoin consumes as much as 1,122,196 payments with a Visa card, equivalent to 36 days of electricity consumption

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Bitcoin transactions and pollution charges

According to digiconomist, a site cited by various newspapers, a single transaction in Bitcoin consumes as much as 1,122,196 payments with a Visa card, equivalent to 36 days of electricity consumption in the home of an average American family and equal to watching youtube for 84,388 hours.

According to various independent newspapers, including CBS, it is estimated that only 40% of the energy consumed by cryptocurrencies comes from renewable sources, and the remaining 60% comes from fossil fuels, an estimate confirmed in September 2022 also by the University of Cambridge.

If the price of cryptocurrencies rose, electricity consumption would also rise, currently equal to that of Argentina for Bitcoin alone. An academic study published in 2018 in Nature, a leading scientific journal, stated that it took more than twice as much energy to mine $1 worth of bitcoin as it did for a dollar worth of gold, silver, or platinum.

Another academic study stated that in 2019 the electricity consumption of bitcoin quadrupled compared to the previous year. Michel Khazzaka in a scientific study disputed the previous calculations stating that in reality a bitcoin transaction can also merge a thousand or more transactions from layer 2 of Bitcoin such as the Lightening Network, although in 2022, 5 years after its creation, the Lightening Network continues to be experimental and little used, in fact in the year 2022 there is an estimate of its use of 240 million dollars of transactions against 11.5 billion of use of Bitcoin onchain, equal to 0.0021%.

Elon Musk said in May 2021 that Tesla would no longer accept bitcoin payments due to the high carbon pollution produced by the transaction, adding that coal, among all, is the most environmentally harmful energy source, even the The European Central Bank has defined, in its official statement, that the carbon pollution that bitcoin causes is exorbitant.

In an academic study published in 2018 in Nature it was estimated that the carbon dioxide produced by Bitcoin alone will cause a global temperature increase of more than 2 degrees Celsius in less than 3 decades. According to moneysupermarket.com, a consumer site cited by Fortune, a single bitcoin transaction consumes $173 of electricity.

A 2022 study published in Scientific Reports by Nature highlighted how the environmental damage, understood as carbon dioxide emissions, of Bitcoin is lower than the production of gas and petrol but higher than that of intensive beef farming, causing environmental damage, in the five-year period 2016-2021, equal to 12 billion dollars, a period in which there was no evidence of transition to renewable energy sources.

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