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If bitcoin wins, climate loses out: Will a cryptocurrency kill Paris goals?

A report tries to think through the side effects of the dramatic success of bitcoin


Photo: Reuters

Eric Roston and Olga Kharif | Bloomberg
If bitcoin were to become a true global transactional currency, the electricity needed to mine it alone would generate enough carbon dioxide to push the planet beyond 2 degrees Celsius of warming within a quarter-century.

The creation of new bitcoin requires immense computational effort, and therefore enormous amounts of energy.  “If this takes off it will be something that we will not be able to control” said Camilo Mora, associate professor at the University of Hawaii and lead author of the analysis published this week in Nature Climate Change.

Mora’s research often uses large data sets to tackle far-off problems. He’s previously

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First Published: Oct 30 2018 | 1:02 PM IST

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