It might sound a bit weird, but cryptocurrencies – digital currencies that don’t have a physical form like notes or coins – have a carbon footprint.
This is because crypto requires a huge number of computers and energy to power its existence.
And Bitcoin is the biggest energy sucker – raising concerns on just how carbon is being emitted into the atmosphere.
“In terms of how much power there are some estimates for this. And I want to emphasis these are just estimates, they’re not confirmed numbers,” Cosmos Magazine journalist Petra Stock begun on The Science Briefing.
“They come from a guy called Alex de Vries. Alex is a Dutch researcher and also founder of Digiconomist which is an online platform that looks at the unintended consequences of digital trends, usually from an economic perspective.
“Alex has estimated Bitcoins global electricity is now equivalent to that of the entire country of the Netherlands with an annual greenhouse gas pollution of around 63 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.”
Now that’s a lot!
Petra joins Dr Sophie Calabretto on The Science Briefing to discuss how the world’s most famous cryptocurrency could be spewing out huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere.
Introducing The Science Briefing: a podcast about the science of everything and your new go-to podcast for your snapshot of science news. Hosted by Dr Sophie Calabretto and featuring journalists from Cosmos Magazine. Hear is on the LiSTNR app now.