As expensive as it is, cryptocurrency mining possesses serious environmental impacts too. It is one of the most energy-consuming processes that require terra watts of electricity to function in highly efficient computers to solve the highly problematic math solution to mine the Cryptos. The cost of production required for crypto mining is also very high in every parameter of it. Mining is the process used in the production of the two types of crypto coins called bitcoin and Ethereum. They are two of the most popular cryptocurrencies in the world. The process of mining is a very tough procedure that involves serious impacts on the environment. The following article discusses the various impacts caused by it and how to reduce its effects on the environment.

The drawbacks of the cryptocurrency mining

  1. High energy consumption: The high risk associated with mining is the energy required for it. It takes terra watts of energy to mine the Cryptos.
  2. An average of 38 kilotons of electronic waste is produced as the byproduct of bitcoin mining activities.
  3. United States of America is the largest bitcoin mining country in the world.
  4. Not all cryptocurrencies need to be mined. But currencies like bitcoin and Ethereum, the two most popular Cryptos in the world need to be mined and there is no other way to synthesize them other than mining.
  5. High cost of production adds to the problems of the mining of the Cryptos.

The process of bitcoin mining

The basic and the most complicated procedure in crypto mining is to solve highly problematic math equations which needed highly efficient supercomputers. Only when the miners got the correct answer or a number close to the answer, the mining can be started. Terawatt hours of electricity are needed for this process. This energy consumption is a feature and not a bug. The decentralized system of mining avoids the involvement of third-party institutions like banks and other financial systems. It is a transaction validation process which requires high amounts of energy.

Environmental impacts in the mining

Fossil fuels are the main source of energy production for cryptocurrency mining in many countries. The carbon footprint of the mining process is very much larger which consequently reflects in the environment. According to studies, each year an average of 74 million tons of carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere from the mining process. In 2022, Ethereum alone produced 34 million tons of carbon dioxide and emitted it into the atmosphere. All these affect the earth’s temperature which again contributes to the phenomenon of global warming.

As a result of crypto mining, tons of electronic waste are produced each year. Without any proper way to recycle it, this electronic waste creates great environmental impacts. The hard wares used in crypto mining become functionless in no time. So single hardware cannot be used for a long time. This in turn results in the massive use of electronic parts and its consequent production of electronic waste.

The energy sources of the Crypto mining

Grid: By grid, it means that the mining process absorbs energy from whatever energy source is available near. For this to work, the existing fossil generators should maximize their output to produce the considerable amount of energy required for mining. Mining also consumes energy from wind and solar power plants. Burning gas at oil and gas wells is another way to produce energy for mining. Power plants are another important supplier of energy required for Crypto mining. Borrowing from local utility facilities also constitutes one of the important energy sources.

How to decrease the impacts of the Crypto Mining

Entering a mining pool along with other miners rather than mining alone is an efficient way to reduce the impact of the mining. Sharing the resources helps in many ways to lower energy consumption. A mining pool may not be that much profitable for the miners compared to mining alone. But it can easily make available all the resources needed for the mining and in certain ways, it is cost efficient too.

The efforts from the government also can help in reducing the impacts of mining. The regulations and policies must be taken and must be executed efficiently to reduce the impact of crypto mining.

This massive energy consumption is a threat both to humanity and nature. It is consuming energy in a single process which is required for humanity for tens of years. It is affecting future generations. It seriously damages all the climate goals and adds to the destruction of the environment. Serious and efficient measures must be taken to save energy for the future. Because living matters most than profit making.


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