According to Brad Garlinghouse, extracting Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) consumes a lot of energy, leaving too much of a carbon footprint, and this should worry climate change activists. Do you share the opinion of CEO Ripple?
BTC mining consumes a lot of electricity and generates piles of e-waste, according to research
Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, criticised Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), or rather their mining process, for absorbing too much electricity. This is a response to a study carried out by PwC’s blockchain expert and founder of Digiconomist, Alex de Vries.
De Vries calculated that BTC’s digging/extraction currently consumes more electricity than Chile. Another shocking statistic, according to the expert, is that the leading cryptocurrency currently generates more e-waste than Luxembourg. Furthermore, Bitcoin’s carbon footprint is now equivalent to that of New Zealand. One BTC transaction also releases more carbon dioxide than over 780,000 Visa transactions.
As the expert points out, as hashrate and mining difficulty continues to grow, the industry is becoming increasingly competitive. After halving in about ten weeks, older mining platforms will become obsolete.
De Vries writes that obsolete mining equipment, up to 98 per cent of the existing crypto digging equipment, will become useless and will go straight to landfill within a year and a half after the first use, given that they only have one use. As a result, they will create another huge stack of e-waste.
Garlinghouse is critical about digging BTC and ETH
All this was enough for Brad Garlinghouse to say that BTC and ETH mining is a huge waste and nobody wants to take responsibility for the carbon footprint. CEO Ripple is also surprised that cryptic mining is not higher up in global climate change policy.
Energy consumption for BTC and ETH mining is a massive waste and there’s no incentive to take responsibility for the carbon footprint. Absolutely 🤯 that this isn’t high on the agenda for the growing climate crisis… https://t.co/psR77m78Ua
— Brad Garlinghouse (@bgarlinghouse) March 4, 2020
Although Bitcoin mining is a profitable industry, Garlinghouse believes that its negative impact on the environment should not be underestimated.
Although Bitcoin mining actually consumes a lot of electricity, last year’s CoinShares research shows that more than 74 percent of BTC’s output is based on renewable energy (such as solar or hydroelectric power), which significantly reduces environmental damage. The report also notes that digging operations are concentrated where there are large amounts of renewable energy. The correlation between Bitcoin mining and renewable energy makes BTC mining “more driven by renewable energy sources than almost any other large-scale industry in the world. – summarized by the CoinShares researchers.