The global warming, unprecedented phenomenon which characterizes our time, it is expected to have catastrophic effects like, for example, the rise of sea level, the increase in heat waves and periods of intense drought, the increase of floods, the increase of storms and hurricanes in number and intensity. Despite the fact that these are all events that belong to the natural world, global warming is a climatic change caused by man. The increase of the temperature of our planet, infact, is determined not only by the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases produced by the extraction and use of fossil fuels, but also by the extraction and the release of something else which puts in danger our ecosystem, something more intangible than greenhouse gases: bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.
A research published on Nature/Sustainability, infact, alerts us in front of the enormous consumption of energy necessary for “extracting” and putting on the market these virtual currencies. Nowdays, if bitcoin was a nation, it would be the fortieth nation in the world for energy consumption: it would be placed between Australia and Cile. Italy consumes still four times more than the Bitcoin nation, but it’s losing ground. The result of a second study published on Nature/Climate Change shows that the Bitcoin alone will cause enough carbon dioxide emissions by themselves to cause the planet’s temperature to rise by 2 degrees Celsius within 11 to 22 years. This will happen if cryptocurrencies will be adopted as a monetary exchange system as quickly as other innovations have been adopted in the past, such as electricity, refrigerators, the Internet and credit cards.
The only way not to throw away in the sea in one shot the Paris agreements and the efforts that every nation is doing to limit as much as possible the waste of energy and the use of fossil resources, it seems to let go of the crazy idea of the cryptocurrencies and to use the blockchain mechanism, the base of cryptocurrency generation algorithms, for other more noble and less disastrous purposes for planet Earth.