The flagship cryptocurrency has gained over 36,050 points since the beginning of the year and recently made a new all-time high of nearly $65,000. Still, haters gonna hate.
According to Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse, Bitcoin mining has a severe impact on the environment, and its carbon footprint is too significant to be disregarded. Garlinghouse maintains that one BTC transaction is equivalent to “75 gallons of gasoline being burned.”
When I first heard Garlinghouse’s claims, I thought he was just throwing some shade at Bitcoin. However, after digging a little bit on the internet, I found a research piece by Nature Communications stating that the “annual carbon emission of the Bitcoin industry is expected to reach its maximum in 2024, at 130.50 million metric tons.”
That is equivalent to the same energy consumed by medium-sized countries such as Colombia, Argentina, or Bangladesh!
If we consider Bitcoin’s potential to become a global reserve asset, its carbon footprint may not be as concerning. At least not for me, I don’t know about you.
Nonetheless, the fact that China accounts for more than 75% of the Bitcoin network’s hashing power represents a significant problem for every single one of us token holders. The Asian giant recently revealed a five-year plan to reduce by 18% its “CO2 intensity” and by 13.5% its “energy intensity.” Bitcoin miners in the nation may undermine such climate policies.
The last time many Bitcoin miners were forced to shut down in China was on Apr. 17, 2021, due to a power outage in Xinjiang. The incident resulted in a 16% flash crash that saw BTC shed over $10,000 in market value within a few hours.
Now, imagine what would happen if President Xi Jinping decided to foreclose all Bitcoin mining operations in the country. I’m not trying to generate FUD here, but don’t you think this is something to worry about?