Bitcoin mining generates massive e-waste: report

Bitcoin mining generates significant electronic waste which “represents a growing threat to the environment”, according to a recent study.

A co-author of the report told AFP on Friday that the average life cycle of the powerful computers used to dig up the units of the world’s first cryptocurrency was only 1.3 years.

Alex de Vries noted that it was “extremely short compared to any” other electronic device such as iPhones.

At 30,700 tonnes, the amount of e-waste generated from bitcoin mining in the 12 months leading up to May was “comparable to the amount of small waste IT and telecommunications equipment produced by a country like the Netherlands.” , according to the report.

The race for new bitcoin – one unit was worth more than $ 47,000 on Friday after soaring this year – means the processing power of mining computers is soon becoming obsolete.

And the more bitcoin is worth, the greater the amount of electronic waste, according to the study published by the scientific journal Elsevier.

Alex de Vries works as an economist at the Dutch central bank, while the report’s co-author, Christian Stoll, is from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Despite the high amount of waste, only a fraction of the world’s total electronic devices discarded, which stood at 53.6 million tonnes last year, remains.

This story was posted from a feed with no text editing. Only the title has been changed.

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