Carbon emissions from bitcoin mining could undermine China’s ambitious climate targets.
That’s according to new research, which estimates without implemented restrictions, the annual energy consumption of the bitcoin blockchain in China will peak in 2024 at 296.59TwH.
That exceeds the total energy consumption level of Italy and Saudi Arabia, the study finds.
Published by the journal Nature Communications, the report also suggests Chinese cryptocurrency mining could generate 130.50 million metric tonnes of carbon emissions by 2024.
Analysts from the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Tsinghua University, Cornell University and the University of Surrey note this carbon footprint would exceed the total annual greenhouse gas emission output of the Czech Republic and Qatar.
The research suggests as of April last year, China accounted for more than 75% of global Bitcoin blockchain operations.
Bitcoin miners tend to choose rural areas in China to set up operations due to the cheaper electricity prices and undeveloped land needed to build the servers.