The price of Bitcoin (BTC) traded sharply lower on Monday morning, dropping over 2% to $6,250 after a report in Nature Climate Change claimed that Bitcoin mining could have a significant impact on global temperatures in the next three decades.
In the report titled, “Bitcoin emissions alone could push global warming above 2°C,” researchers from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa claim that Bitcoin alone could push global temperatures over the 2ºC catastrophic threshold by 2034.
“Bitcoin is a power-hungry cryptocurrency that is increasingly used as an investment and payment system. Here we show that projected Bitcoin usage, should it follow the rate of adoption of other broadly adopted technologies, could alone produce enough CO2 emissions to push warming above 2 °C within less than three decades,” reads the abstract of the study.
As a point of reference for their analysis, the researchers cited the 2015 Paris Agreement, which set the goal to limit global warming to 2 °C. They then proceed to use significant assertions to fit their data to pre-existing climate change models for CO2 emissions.
For instance, the researchers assume that Bitcoin will reach 314 billion on-chain transactions, or 860 million daily transactions, which would mean that Bitcoin’s blocks would have to be roughly 3.0 GB. As it stands today, there are around 250,000 daily transactions at an average 0.92 MB block size. Talk about scaling.
Then by assuming that the energy sources are 100% correlated to the country in which a mining pool exists, the reachers build out a CO2 emissions model that extends to the year 3,000. A good thread further breaking down the fallacies of this argument can be found here.
As is so common in scientific research, the mainstream media outlets received a press release attached to the study to run wild with articles stating the outcomes as near-certain proof of Bitcoin’s deleterious effect on our world, despite this being nothing more than a Communications report and not a full study.
As a result of the hoopla (and I don’t say that lightly), the AltDex 100 Index (ALT100), a benchmark index for large-cap cryptocurrencies and tokens, is currently down more than 3.1%. The entire event raises questions regarding the implications of academic publications targeting a specific asset class or industry and the lack of disclosures regarding potential conflicts of interest.
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Disclaimer: This article’s author has cryptocurrency holdings that can be tracked here. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice. Always conduct your own due diligence before making investments.