As crypto goes mainstream, its carbon footprint can’t be ignored

For advocates of cryptocurrency, the promise of an economic future that is managed by a blockchain (a decentralized database that is shared among the nodes of a computer network, as opposed to being held in a single location, such as a central bank) is compelling.

For anyone paying attention, the rapid expansion of cryptocurrency has been stunning. In 2019, the global cryptocurrency market was approximately US$793 million. It’s now expected to reach nearly $5.2 billion by 2026, according to a report by the market research organization Facts and Factors. In just one year – between July 2020 and June 2021 – the global adoption of cryptocurrency surged by more than 880%.

But the increasing popularity of cryptocurrency has environmentalists on edge, as the digital “mining” of it creates a massive carbon footprint due to the staggering amount of energy it requires.


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