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China’s vast bitcoin mining empire risks derailing its climate targets, says study

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April 07, 2021 at 02:54AM

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China powers nearly 80% of the global cryptocurrencies trade, but the energy required could jeopardise its pledge to peak carbon emissions by 2030

China’s electricity-hungry bitcoin mines that power nearly 80% of the global trade in cryptocurrencies risk undercutting the country’s climate goals, a study in the journal Nature has said.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies rely on “blockchain” technology, which is a shared database of transactions, with entries that must be confirmed and encrypted. The network is secured by individuals called “miners” who use high-powered computers to verify transactions, with bitcoins offered as a reward. Those computers consume enormous amounts of electricity.

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