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Bitcoin Study Says Climate Toll of Mining Is as Vast as Beef’s

Sept. 29, 2022, 3:00 PM

Bitcoin mining’s climate impact is comparable to farming cattle or burning gasoline when taken as a proportion of market value, according to researchers at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

Cryptocurrency mining is energy intensive because it requires highly specialized computers — and most of the electricity it consumes is generated by burning planet-warming fossil fuels. The climate-related economic damage caused by mining the popular digital token, Bitcoin, exceeded its market value on 6.4% of the days it traded between 2016 and 2021, the paper published in Scientific Reports on Thursday found.

The study calculated the climate cost of mining Bitcoin against its average market price, ...