The network compared which asset of energy is spent on mining more: gold or bitcoins. According to calculations, it takes up to 17 megajoules (MJ) of energy to create a cryptocurrency worth a dollar, while mining gold equivalent to the same amount requires only 5 MJ, which is 3.4 times less.
Since 2020, due to unfavorable market volatility, there has been an increase in the number of investors who buy gold or mine cryptocurrency, which greatly affects the environment. Mining 1 BTC releases about 191 tons of carbon dioxide, while mining bitcoin worth gold only releases about 13 tons. This difference is due to the huge consumption of electricity when mining cryptocurrency. Here’s another comparison: the CO2 damage from one bitcoin is comparable to more than 1.6 million VISA transactions.
Attempts to make mining more environmentally neutral have so far been unsuccessful. China’s recent ban on cryptocurrencies last August only made things worse, as the vast majority of cryptominers worked there, and electricity was drawn from hydropanels and dams, harmless renewable energy sources.