Thursday, November 8, 2018

Cryptomining Consumes More Energy Than Gold Mining

Krause and Tolaymat (2018), estimate that "mining" of the four commonly used cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Monero), from 1 January 2016 to 30 June 2018, produced between 3 and 15 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. They also estimate this is more energy intensive, in terms of value produced, than conventional mining of copper, gold, platinum or rare earth oxides.  Only production of aluminum was more energy demanding than cryptocurrency. One worrying trend is that as the cryptocurrencies drop in value the energy needed to mine them increases. The good news is there are alternatives, such as Ripple, which does not use mining.

ps: Last semester I asked my ICT Sustainability graduate students at the Australian National University: "Are Bitcoin and Blockchain Bad for the Environment?". 


Krause, M. J., & Tolaymat, T. (2018). Quantification of energy and carbon costs for mining cryptocurrencies. Nature Sustainability, 1. url

No comments:

Post a Comment