Bitcoin Mining Data Centers computers are provided energy from natural gas at Renegade Oil & Gas Company site in Elizabeth, Colorado on July 15th, 2022. | Photo by Hyoung Chang / The Denver Post
The environmental and social damage Bitcoin inflicts on the world is comparable to notoriously polluting industries such as beef production and crude oil burned as gasoline, according to new a new study published today in the journal Scientific Reports. The research found that every $1 in Bitcoin market value generated an average of 35 cents in global climate damages between 2016 and 2021.
For comparison, gasoline generated 41 cents, and beef production was responsible for 33 cents in damages. When it comes to both their economic value and environmental impact, Bitcoin is sometimes compared (albeit contentiously) to gold. This new study finds that the climate damages from Bitcoin were actually 8.75 times greater than gold.