October 20, 2021
Technology

Bitcoin Mining Electronic Waste ‘Growing Threat to Environment’, Says Study

Mining for bitcoin generates substantial electronic waste that “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 unearth the units of the world’s leading cryptocurrency was only 1.3 years.

Alex de Vries noted that this was “extremely short compared to any” other electronic devices such as iPhones. At 30,700 tonnes, the amount of electronic waste generated by bitcoin mining in the 12 months to May was “comparable to the amount of small IT and telecommunication equipment waste produced by a country like the Netherlands”, the report said.

The race to find new bitcoins — on Friday, one unit was worth more than $47,000 following a stellar rise this year — means the mining computers’ processing power soon becomes obsolete.

And the more bitcoin is worth, the…

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