One bitcoin transaction produces on average the same amount of electronic waste than two iPhones 12 minis thrown in the trash.
This is the suggestion of Alex de Vries, a Dutch economist who spoke to ELN regarding the new research he coauthored on the carbon footprint associated with cryptocurrency mining.
“You must realize that the machines used for this type of mining are extremely specialized machines. They use application-specific integrated circuit chip chips. This means that bitcoin mining machines can only perform one task.
He said that people continue to develop new versions of these machines over time and that they are encouraged to do so because electricity is their largest cost component. ‘Because new generations of these machine are continually coming out, it also means that all generations become obsolete very quickly.
The study was published in the journal Resources, Conservation and Recycling. It suggests that bitcoin mining devices have a limited lifespan of just 1.29 years.
According to the findings, bitcoin transactions processed 112.5 million transactions in 2020. That’s approximately 272 grams of ewaste per transaction.
According to Mr de Vries, “You have this rate-race of miners continually trying to create new and better equipment at the expense all the generations that end in the trash.”