Bitcoin’s Environmental Toll Could Be Even Higher This Year Than Last.
At this point, for most of us, cryptocurrency seems like nothing more than a fad. After the FTX bankruptcy and broader crypto crash last year, basically all of the celebrities who were promoting crypto have gone silent. “MiamiCoin,” hyped by Miami Mayor Francis Suarez as a new source of income for the city, is now worthless. The Wild West days of the industry may be over.
Recently, the head of the SEC warned crypto firms that they need to register with the agency if they want to offer their products to U.S. investors. This is a sign that the regulators are starting to take this industry more seriously. While some people may see this as a negative development, I see it as a sign that the industry is maturing.
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Cryptocurrencies are still shockingly high in greenhouse-gas emissions, according to an industry tracker run by the University of Cambridge.
The tracker focuses on bitcoin, the cryptocurrency with by far the largest market share, and estimates that at its current rate of “mining” new coins, bitcoin will release about 62 megatons of “carbon-dioxide equivalent” each year—about as much as the entire country of Serbia emitted in 2019.
That’s up from about 43 megatons a year in December, and just slighty below the 63 megatons emitted by the global airline industry.