Over the past few months, crypto has really taken precedence with traders and American politicians. For example, New York City’s mayor-elect Eric Adams wants to be paid in BTC. He also wants to see crypto taught in schools. Miami’s mayor Francis Suarez also wouldn’t mind bitcoin-based pay.
Crypto Isn’t Loved By Everyone
The point is that crypto is witnessing heavy growth in its popularity. Unfortunately, many environmentalists still don’t see the space as worthwhile. They claim crypto is doing heavy damage to the environment, and they want to see all transactions and related activity die down permanently.
Per one source, a single bitcoin transaction uses more electricity than an entire household uses in a month. In addition, bitcoin mining uses more energy than the United Arab Emirates. Benjamin A. Jones – an economist at the University of New Mexico – stated in an interview that people need to start getting scared. He mentions:
These pollution emissions are harmful to human health outcomes, and the carbon emissions [will] lead to climate damages.
Jones recently authored a paper claiming that for every dollar created in BTC-based value, roughly 49 cents-worth of health and climate damage occurred in just the United States alone. Thus, the damage is nearly half of every established dollar. He says:
This is a tremendous negative externality of bitcoin mining that is imposing significant societal costs on all of us. Even on those who do not use bitcoin or cryptocurrencies… For bitcoin, one cannot embrace the coin without also acknowledging its impacts on the environment.
Erika Thi Patterson of the Action Center on Race and the Economy stated in a written letter:
Cryptocurrency’s destructive impact on the environment is just another example of how corporations in a financialized economy will stop at nothing to create profits for investors, and how communities of color will ultimately pay the price. Cryptocurrencies and their miners rely on harmful fuels like coal that produce toxic emissions linked to asthma, cancer, acid rain, and climate change. In doing so, cryptocurrency is exacerbating decades of environmental racism and fueling climate chaos.
Something Must Be Done… Now!
Patrick Drupp – the deputy legislative director of the Sierra Club – also threw his two cents in, explaining:
It is beyond absurd that, as we speak and as the climate crisis only deepens, fossil fuel power plants are having their lives extended and even reopened to virtually ‘mine’ cryptocurrency. At a time when financial regulators ought to be doing everything possible to help tackle the climate crisis, it’s clear that the status quo of letting bitcoin and other cryptocurrency miners pollute our climate and communities at an exponential rate is unsustainable, unwise and in need of urgent action.
In the past, other industry experts – such as Elon Musk and Kevin O’Leary – have also criticized bitcoin mining’s emissions.