Bitcoin (BTC) mining rigs generate as much e-waste as the Netherlands

The amount of electronic waste generated by the Bitcoin network is comparable to the amount of discarded electronic equipment in a small country like the Netherlands, a study published by the academic journal Resource, Conservation and Recycling states.

  • According to the paper, a Bitcoin mining machine can lose 35% of its profit potential after three months, less than one-third of the average lifespan; the machine can lose about 80% of its profit potential after a year.
  • Bitcoin’s annual e-waste generation adds up to 30.7 metric kilotons annually. That’s a comparable amount to the small IT and telecommunications equipment waste produced by a country like the Netherlands each year, the study said.
  • The study assumes that Bitcoin mining equipment will become e-waste when it can no longer be profitable. The authors calculated the number of miners eliminated in the entire network based on the computing power, Bitcoin prices and energy costs.

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