Science & Technology

You Should Plant 430 Million Trees to Offset Yearly Crypto Mining: Research

A new study from Forex Suggest reveals 431.6 million trees would need to be planted to amend bitcoin mining pollution over the last year only, not to mention the impact of other crypto activities

crypto mining

Image: Forex Suggest

A new research from Forex Suggest analyses how the environmental impact of the top crypto coins has increased/decreased since 2021.

The study found that Bitcoin is the most polluting crypto of all. In 2020, it produced as much as 59.9 million tons of CO2 in twelve months. By rough estimations, it is now using 707 kWh per transaction, which equals about half a ton of CO2.

To understand these numbers better, Forex Suggest provides the number of trees that need to be planted to offset the negative impact of crypto mining and transactions. In order to offset the 2020 CO2 emissions from Bitcoin mining, 299.6 million trees would’ve needed to be planted.

Moreover, with projected 86.3 million tons of CO2 emissions for 2022, one would need to plant a huge number of 431.6 million trees in order to level up bitcoin’s negative annual impact.

However, Bitcoin itself is not the fastest-growing crypto in terms of CO2 emissions. Bitcoin Cash has increased its emissions by 748% from 2020 to 2022. The crypto is on track to release 1,303,278 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere this year.

Cardano and Stellar are also quickly increasing their CO2 emission levels. They are also ranked high at the top list of the most polluting crypto.

Previous research suggests that the energy required for a single bitcoin transaction could power a household for over 70 days.

On the positive side, Ethereum managed to decrease its annual CO2 emissions by about 100% as it moved to a proof-of-stake blockchain. After the transition, ETH gas fees have also declined significantly and its network has been able to process transactions a lot faster.

While in 2021, Ethereum transactions emitted a huge 21.95 million tons of CO2, the amount decreased to just 8,824 tons in 2022. However, there would still need to be 44,121 trees planted in order to offset its annual emissions.

The most eco-friendly cryptocurrency on the market today is Stellar, which requires just 0.0003 kWh per transaction. Stellar also costs less than a cent per transaction.


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Nina Bobro

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Nina is passionate about financial technologies and environmental issues, reporting on the industry news and the most exciting projects that build their offerings around the intersection of fintech and sustainability.