China’s bitcoin mining is threatening its climate change targets, study says

SectorFinancial Markets
CountryMiddle east

China could end up exceeding its emissions reduction targets as a result of carbon-intensive bitcoin mining, according to a study published this week.Some 75% of the world's bitcoin mining is done in China, where there is cheap electricity and relatively easy access to manufacturers who make specialized hardware, according to the study. As a result, the nation's bitcoin carbon footprint is as big as one of its ten largest cities, the paper claims.Unlike most forms of currency — issued by a single entity like a central bank — bitcoin is based on a decentralized network and needs to be "mined."This takes place when bitcoin transactions, recorded on a public ledger called the blockchain, are "verified" by miners. These miners run purpose-built computers to solve complex mathematical puzzles that effectively allow a bitcoin transaction to happen; the miners then receive bitcoin as a reward.This mining on computers uses vast amounts of electricity, especially when conducted on a large scale.The research more...