Bitcoin Has a Huge Waste Production Problem

Crypto, and in particular Bitcoin, is often looked at as the future of finance by some sectors of society because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up allowing people to conduct transactions with relative privacy without having to rely on centralized banks that are owned by countries. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that while Bitcoin is definitely revolutionary from a financial perspective, it also has a serious problem with all things having been considered and taken into account.

This problem has to do with the immense amount of waste that is produced through Bitcoin mining. Most people try to mine Bitcoin rather than buy it, but this produces a lot of waste. What’s more is that each transaction that is conducted using Bitcoin ends up generating waste that is equivalent to the weight of 1.5 iPhones which is a pretty large number if you think about it. However, where is this waste actually coming from and is it a problem that can be solved? Is it even something that people should be worried about?

A lot of this waste comes from mining devices. These devices don’t last very long, usually just over a year. When they are used up, the miners usually dump them thereby turning them into waste that has no actual use in the world. In total, the amount of waste that Bitcoin generates every single year amounts to well over 30,000 tonnes. That’s equivalent to the total amount of IT related waste produced by a country as large as the Netherlands on an annual basis.
Another aspect of the waste that is generated has to do with the electricity that is required to mine and maintain Bitcoin. Since mining Bitcoin can use lots of electricity, miners often use highly specialized components to make the mining process somewhat more energy efficient. That’s actually not a good thing due to the reason that these components also go obsolete rather quickly and they are so specialized that they can’t really be used for anything else at all which is why they often end up in waste dumps.

This indicates that the waste production from Bitcoin is actually a genuine issue, one that should be addressed as soon as possible before the matter starts to get out of hand.

Illustration: fullvector / freepik

Sources: Cbeci / SD.

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