Bitcoin Mining Operations in China Are Threatening The Climate

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Mining any cryptocurrency takes a lot of juice out of your PC. But it isn’t just the energy consumption, which is huge when you put together a mining build, it also the carbon emissions that happen along with it. Mining bitcoin requires a hefty rig with a number of graphics cards attached, meaning a lot of power consumption and also a lot of cooling required to keep the rig performing efficiently, hence the increased carbon emission.

In China, the situation is pretty bad. The energy consumption for bitcoin mining is projected to peak in 2024 at around 294 terawatts-hours and generating 130 million metric tons of carbon emissions. These numbers are according to a study from researchers at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Cornell University, Tsinghua University, and the University of Surrey.

What this means is that China is now failing to reach its climate goals. China has been putting effort to clean its climate and minimize carbon emissions. However, the country accounts for more than 75% of Bitcoin blockchain operations globally as of April 2020. This means that all its effort are being threatened.

The study also details some comparisons like in 2024, the total energy consumption of China will exceed that of Italy and Saudi Arabia. The carbon emissions exceed the annual greenhouse gas emission outputs of countries like the Netherlands, Czech Republic, and Spain.

China needs to place more strict regulations because currently, it is a goldmine for crypto-mining. Because China has cheaper power costs and less tax to go along with it. Meaning miners can cut some of their losses that could have been because of the electricity bill.

It is good to hear that all this cryptocurrency mining stuff is not just affecting gamers but countries as well. China’s goal for becoming carbon neutral by 2060 now seems further away.

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