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Cryptocurrency and specifically the hugely mined Bitcoin have long received floggings for their so-called environmental costs. Mentions of Bitcoin energy consumption stir up images of huge mining warehouses in smoggy Chinese capitals guzzling through city-sized amounts of energy.
It all sounds a little dramatic, but According to coincentral.com Bitcoin mining costs around 4.3 Billion annually- fair’s fair. The question then is how does it compare to our current system?
Crypto Outperforms Fiat in Yearly Upkeep Costs
Many cryptocurrencies have a healthy, small amount of built in yearly inflation. With fiat currencies more money is printed to increase supply until its in line with monetary policy objectives. It’s an altogether expensive process with a large carbon footprint. There’s a tremendous amount of resources wasted and converted to greenhouse gases in the production and transport of fiat annually.
Waste residues are another issue, and with many fiat currencies swapping over to polymer to avoid resource wastage the consumption gets way worse. Water usage increases exponentially when polymer is used. Contributing to water shortage solely for the sake of greed is pretty shitty.
The biodegradability of the polymer becomes an issue too. New machinery and labour costs to print the new, differently manufactured currencies. Often this fiat is printed in foreign nations- China is printing all the USA’s money today for example. It saves costs, and nations are happy to deal with niggling losses to corruption.
Fiat currency is in most cases more costly to create than the currency itself is worth. The current cost for the US to produce a 1 cent coin is 1.83 cents. This paradoxical mechanism is costing economies everywhere a lot of cash.
Fiat Currency Damages the Earth from Inception to Landfill. Don’t buy the FUD, buy Crypto!
A lot of fiat currencies use coins, which must be physically mined, to huge environmental detriment. Most of these coins are set to be slowly withdrawn next 20-40 years. For example a study in 2009 showed that Western copper mines produced on average 2.45 tons of carbon dioxide per ton of copper produced.
Digital currencies don’t have set lifetimes like fiat currency either. At certain points notes and eventually even coins must come out of circulation and be recycled/buried deep, deep underground. This further increases the carbon footprint of fiat cash. It is evident that crypto currency may not be perfectly green. It’s glaringly obvious too that it’s a great deal better than fiat.
It is clear that the idea of crypto currency being somehow detrimental to the environment is more FUD than it is traceably logical. Crypto currency has once again cut out the middle men- the global securities printing market- and saved a bunch of resources in the process. Don’t buy into the FUD, join the Crypto-club!
If you feel inspired to invest now you know that digital currency is greener than the dollar, check out our guide on investing safely