If Bitcoin Bulls Are Right, Environmental Damage Would Be Disastrous: Report

If Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) bulls are right and the coin's price reaches a price of $500,000, there could be dire consequences for the environment.

What Happened: According to a Tuesday Fortune report, Bitcoin's “notorious carbon footprint” may inexorably increase if its price were to grow as many proponents expect it to do. Bitcoin miners now purportedly create as much CO2 as “the nation of Greece will spew multiple times more, matching the emissions of far larger industrial nations.”

Admittedly, numerous efforts are being made to make Bitcoin greener — arguably spurred by Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) dropping its support for the coin over environmental impact concerns.

Still, per the report, “unless Bitcoin goes green in the biggest of big ways, its built-in economics guarantee that as its price soars, the tonnage of carbon dioxide it gushes will rocket, too.”

If Bitcoin's price were to rise to $100,000 by Christmas of 2024 — on the year when Bitcoin's production will be cut in half to reduce inflation — the size of the mining industry would expand by around 8% and generate around 8% more CO2 than today.

If it were to hit $500,000 by 2024, or even a couple of years later, the industry would grow from today’s $16 billion to $86 billion.

Read also: Elon Musk Sets The Record Straight On When Tesla Will Accept Bitcoin Again

Such growth would result in miners spending a total of $52 billion for power in three or more years with an estimated average cost of $40 a megawatt-hour.

Consequently, the Bitcoin mining industry would be pumping 1.3 billion MW of electricity a year — and the network is currently estimated to emit 475 grams of CO2 for each megawatt of power deployed.

If that were to hold true, Bitcoin at $500,000 would be emitting 617 million metric tons of carbon a year.

Such a carbon footprint would be beyond enormous. It would be larger than Australia's by 56%, Brazil's by 40%, South Africa's by 40%, and Mexico's by 33%.

The Bitcoin network would be emitting 70% more carbon than the United Kindom and approach Germany's emissions of 696 million tons.

Lastly, Bitcoin would be producing an astonishing 12% of the CO2 that the United States produces.

Read next: What is Bitcoin mining?

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