Gold and crypto mining; power and emissions

clock • 4 min read
Gold and crypto mining; power and emissions

There has recently been a lot of discussion and debate around the possible similarities and differences of gold and Bitcoin (and, by implication, other cryptocurrencies), and this has often included consideration of their relative environmental impacts and, specifically, their carbon footprints.

Gold and cryptocurrencies are simply very different as assets. Similarly, the social and environmental impacts of gold and cryptos are very different, although not without some superficial similarities. At one level, a comparison of the relative carbon footprints of gold and cryptocurrencies appears justified because the emissions of both are primarily related to the electricity used in their production.  Indeed, if we compare large-scale, industrialised gold mining and the major cryptocurrency networks, there does currently appear to be a close similarity in the scale of their electr...

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