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The Scientific Journal of Natural Sustainability published a study this week mentioning their main findings – cryptocurrency mining consumes more energy than mineral mining. The study included evaluating how much energy is used by mining cryptocurrencies while comparing other raw material such as aluminum, copper, and gold.
The main finding showed that Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Monero mining consumed an average of 17, 7, 7, and 14 megajoules (MJ) to generate only one US dollar, respectively.
However, mining aluminum, copper, gold consumed 122, 4 and 7 MJ to generate the same value – one US dollar. With the exception of mining aluminum, the study has shown that the amount of energy used to mine Ethereum, Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Monero consumes more energy than copper and gold.
Also, the data collected in the study mentioned that the energy consumption for BTC, ETH and LTC tends to grow every year. For example, Bitcoin needed 17 MJ to generate one US dollar. However, Bitcoin today will consume about 19 megajoules. The report has also stated that the energy requirements will continue to increase every year. Also, mining cryptocurrencies has contributed to generating 3-15 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
It is also expected that in Iceland, cryptocurrencies will end up consuming more energy than households by the end of 2018. A well-known economist, Alex de Vries, published an article about Bitcoin’s growing energy problem. In this article, he has claimed that Bitcoin mining will use over 0.5% of the world’s energy by the year 2018.
Despite those claims and studies, Bitcoin popularity has been increasing every day. A lot of crypto traders and investors will debate the claims. For example, the US energy expert Katrina Kelly challenged those predictions from the reports and studies. She mentioned that the debate was “oversimplified”. Also, Kelly noted that Iceland mostly relies on renewable energy meaning that Bitcoin was mined using energy that does not generate CO2 emissions.