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# Bitcoin's growing e-waste problem

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## Abstract

Bitcoin’s increasing energy consumption has triggered a passionate debate about the sustainability of the digital currency. And yet, most studies have thus far ignored that Bitcoin miners cycle through a growing amount of short-lived hardware that could exacerbate the growth in global electronic waste. E-waste represents a growing threat to our environment, from toxic chemicals and heavy metals leaching into soils, to air and water pollutions caused by improper recycling. Here we present a methodology to estimate Bitcoin’s e-waste and find that it adds up to 30.7 metric kilotons per annum, per May 2021. This number is comparable to the amount of small IT and telecommunication equipment waste produced by a country like the Netherlands. At peak Bitcoin price levels seen early in 2021, the annual amount of e-waste may grow beyond 64.4 metric kilotons in the midterm, which highlights the dynamic trend if the Bitcoin price rises further. Moreover, the demand for mining hardware already today disrupts the global semiconductor supply chain. The strategies we present may help to mitigate Bitcoin’s growing e-waste problem.

## Supplementary resource (1)

... The removal of the intermediary of miners or validators promises to solve (or at least mitigate) several problems associated with them, e.g. mining races [4], centralisation [5], miner extractable value [6], and negative externalities [7] and allows for a fee-less architecture. However, the parallelism involved in adding new transactions to the ledger means that consensus must be found on a "wider" subgraph than just the longest chain or the heaviest sub-tree. ...
... In this section, we introduce our protocol's data structure concepts. To replicate a certain content over the distributed network, a node must wrap this content in a block 4 However, when the content is simply transactions, we require a block to contain only one transaction in its payload. This assumption is made for sake of a better presentation and can be relaxed, such that blocks contain more than one transaction. ...
... wherex is a transaction and nodeID(x) identifies the issuing node. 4. In prior works, we refer to this object as a message. ...
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We introduce the theoretical foundations of the Tangle 2.0, a probabilistic leaderless consensus protocol based on a directed acyclic graph (DAG) called the Tangle. The Tangle naturally succeeds the blockchain as its next evolutionary step as it offers features suited to establish more efficient and scalable distributed ledger solutions. Consensus is no longer found in the longest chain but on the heaviest DAG, where PoW is replaced by a stake- or reputation-based weight function. The DAG structure and the underlying Reality-based UTXO Ledger allow parallel validation of transactions without the need for total ordering. Moreover, it enables the removal of the intermediary of miners and validators, allowing a pure two-step process that follows the \emph{propose-vote} paradigm at the node level and not at the validator level. We propose a framework to analyse liveness and safety under different communication and adversary models. This allows providing impossibility results in some edge cases and in the asynchronous communication model. We provide formal proof of the security of the protocol assuming a common random coin.
... The exodus is also impacting opportunities for sustainable livelihoods, for example in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where local people are outcompeted by bitcoin miners for access to cheap renewable energy [21]. As mining operations use vast amounts of highly specialised and short-lived hardware, obsolete equipment is likely to cause additional damage to the environment and human health, especially in developing areas where much of this hazardous electronic waste (e-waste) is disposed [22]. ...
... Bitcoin's global network of tailored ASIC units, more powerful than all the world's super-computers put together many times over, cannot be repurposed to do anything else, besides running the SHA-256 g hash function used to mine a cryptocurrency that few will ever use, beyond short term speculation. Redundant units created around 30.7 kilotons of e-waste in 2021 [22], much of which was disposed of in developing countries [27,28,22]. Identifying redundant ASIC units as waste is difficult, which causes enforcement challenges with regards to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal (1992). ...
... Bitcoin's global network of tailored ASIC units, more powerful than all the world's super-computers put together many times over, cannot be repurposed to do anything else, besides running the SHA-256 g hash function used to mine a cryptocurrency that few will ever use, beyond short term speculation. Redundant units created around 30.7 kilotons of e-waste in 2021 [22], much of which was disposed of in developing countries [27,28,22]. Identifying redundant ASIC units as waste is difficult, which causes enforcement challenges with regards to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal (1992). ...
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The rate of adoption of some cryptocurrencies is triggering alarm from energy researchers and social scientists concerned about the industry's growing environmental and social impacts. In this paper we argue that the unsustainable trajectory of some cryptocurrencies disproportionately impacts poor and vulnerable communities where cryptocurrency producers and other actors take advantage of economic instabilities, weak regulations, and access to cheap energy and other resources. Globally, over 100 million people hold cryptocurrency, mostly as a speculative asset. The digital infrastructure behind the most popular cryptocurrency, bitcoin, currently requires as much energy as the whole of Thailand, with a carbon footprint exceeding the gold mining industry. Should bitcoin's mass adoption continue, an escalating climate crisis is inevitable, disproportionately exacerbating social and environmental challenges for communities already experiencing multiple dimensions of deprivation. In mitigating these impacts, the paper considers 4 potential regulatory pathways, including: 1) promoting voluntary private-sector commitments to using only renewable energy, 2) encouraging a system of voluntary carbon offsetting, 3) using existing financial regulations and tax frameworks, and 4) imposing national and/or international bans on cryptocurrency 'mining'. The paper argues that effective environmental regulation of cryptocurrencies is urgently required, both to reduce the threat of catastrophic climate change, and to help the world's poorest towards sustainable development. However, regulating cryptocurrency mining in any context is likely to require a combination of efforts and is unlikely to result in win-win outcomes for all.
... The exodus is also impacting opportunities for sustainable livelihoods, for example in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where local people are outcompeted by bitcoin miners for access to cheap renewable energy [21]. As mining operations use vast amounts of highly specialised and short-lived hardware, obsolete equipment is likely to cause additional damage to the environment and human health, especially in developing areas where much of this hazardous electronic waste (e-waste) is disposed [22]. ...
... Bitcoin's global network of tailored ASIC units, more powerful than all the world's super-computers put together many times over, cannot be repurposed to do anything else, besides running the SHA-256 5 hash function used to mine a cryptocurrency that few will ever use, beyond short term speculation. Redundant units created around 30.7 kilotons of e-waste in 2021 [22], much of which was disposed of in developing countries [27,28,22]. Identifying redundant ASIC units as waste is difficult, which causes enforcement challenges with regards to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal (1992). ...
... Bitcoin's global network of tailored ASIC units, more powerful than all the world's super-computers put together many times over, cannot be repurposed to do anything else, besides running the SHA-256 5 hash function used to mine a cryptocurrency that few will ever use, beyond short term speculation. Redundant units created around 30.7 kilotons of e-waste in 2021 [22], much of which was disposed of in developing countries [27,28,22]. Identifying redundant ASIC units as waste is difficult, which causes enforcement challenges with regards to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal (1992). ...
Article
The rate of adoption of some cryptocurrencies is triggering alarm from energy researchers and social scientists concerned about the industry’s growing environmental and social impacts. In this paper we argue that the unsustainable trajectory of some cryptocurrencies disproportionately impacts poor and vulnerable communities where cryptocurrency producers and other actors take advantage of economic instabilities, weak regulations, and access to cheap energy and other resources. Globally, over 100 million people hold cryptocurrency, mostly as a speculative asset. The digital infrastructure behind the most popular cryptocurrency, bitcoin, currently requires as much energy as the whole of Thailand, with a carbon footprint exceeding the gold mining industry. Should bitcoin’s mass adoption continue, an escalating climate crisis is inevitable, disproportionately exacerbating social and environmental challenges for communities already experiencing multiple dimensions of deprivation. In mitigating these impacts, the paper considers 4 potential regulatory pathways, including: 1) promoting voluntary private-sector commitments to using only renewable energy, 2) encouraging a system of voluntary carbon offsetting, 3) using existing financial regulations and tax frameworks, and 4) imposing national and/or international bans on cryptocurrency ‘mining’. The paper argues that effective environmental regulation of cryptocurrencies is urgently required, both to reduce the threat of catastrophic climate change, and to help the world’s poorest towards sustainable development. However, regulating cryptocurrency mining in any context is likely to require a combination of efforts and is unlikely to result in win-win outcomes for all.
... Renewable energy is a long term plan and not the only way to achieve sustainability, and it comes with its own set of challenges (Al Kez et al., 2022). There is a high potential to accelerate progress toward sustainability by eliminating resource waste and ensuring that investments in data storage infrastructure yield maximum value (Vries and Stoll, 2021). Minimizing dark data storage and employing modern tape systems, for example, can help to speed up progress toward sustainability by lowering energy use and CO 2 emissions (Cooke et al., 2021). ...
... The analysis is first performed assuming that all the data is stored on disk drives, considering power consumption determined in step II. In the second scenario, 80% of the data to be stored is designated as archival, with 43% of this data to be stored on business storage drives and 57% of replicate data to be migrated to tape storage (Vries and Stoll, 2021). Finally, the share of energy consumption due to dark, redundant, and crucial data storage is calculated from data available in (Veritas, 2015) and (Veritas, 2020), based on the premise that each data type represents 54%, 32%, and 14% of the current global data storage, respectively. ...
Article
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Internet data centers have received significant scientific, public, and media attention due to the challenges associated with their greenhouse gas, water, and land footprint. This resource greedy data services sector continues to rapidly grow driven by data storage, data mining, and file sharing activities by a wide range of end-users. A fundamentally important question then arises; what impact does data storage have on the environment and is it sustainable? Water is used extensively in data centers, both directly for liquid cooling and indirectly to generate electricity. Data centers house a huge number of servers, which consume a vast amount of energy to respond to information requests and store files and large amounts of resulting data. Here we examine the environmental footprint of global data storage utilizing extensive datasets from the latest global electricity generation mix to throw light on this data sustainability issue. The analysis also provides a broad perspective of carbon, water, and land footprints due to worldwide data storage to through some light on the real impact of data centers globally. The findings indicate that if not properly handled, the annual global carbon, water and land footprints resulting from storing dark data might approach 5.26 million tons, 41.65 Gigaliters, and 59.45 square kilometers, respectively.
... The letter from Congress of the United States to the EPA [9] claimed that people living near crypto mining facilities are suffering from the air, water, and noise pollution. They refer to the research [11], [12] by de Vries et al. They requested the EPA to evaluate the compatibility of cryptocurrency mining facilities with the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. ...
... The ASIC mining devices of Bitcoin have a service life of only about 1.5 years [58], and after that, they serve no practical purpose anymore because they can only calculate SHA256d hashes. Bitcoin mining generates 30.7 metric kilotons of e-waste annually, per May 2021 [11]. The numbers above give a strong incentive to develop environmentally friendly methods to achieve consensus in cryptoeconomies like Ethereum and Bitcoin. ...
Article
According to recent estimates, one bitcoin transaction consumes as much energy as 1.5 million Visa transactions. Why is bitcoin using so much energy? Most of the energy is used during the bitcoin mining process, which serves at least two significant purposes: a) distributing new cryptocurrency coins to the cryptoeconomy and b) securing the Bitcoin blockchain ledger. In reality, the comparison of bitcoin transactions to Visa transactions is not that simple. The amount of transactions in the Bitcoin network is not directly connected to the amount of bitcoin mining power nor the energy consumption of those mining devices; for example, it is possible to multiply the number of bitcoin transactions per second without increasing the mining power and the energy consumption. Bitcoin is not only “digital money for hackers”. It has very promising future potential as a global reserve currency and a method to make the World Wide Web (WWW) immune to cyberattacks such as the Distributed Denial-of-Service attacks. This survey approached cryptocurrencies’ various technological and environmental issues from many different perspectives. To make various cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH), greener and more justified, what technological solutions do we have? We found that cryptocurrency mining might be cleaner than is generally expected. There is also a plan to make a vast renewable energy source available by combining Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion and Bitcoin mining. There are plans to use unconventional computing methods (quantum computing, reversible computing, ternary computing, optical computing, analog computing) to solve some of the issues regarding the vast energy consumption of conventional computing (including cryptocurrency mining). We think using spare computing cycles for grid computing efforts is justified. For example, there are billions of smartphones in the world. Many smartphones are being recharged every day. If this daily recharging period of twenty to sixty minutes would be used for grid computing, for example, finding new cures to cancer, it would probably be a significant breakthrough for medical research simulations. We call cryptocurrency communities to research and develop grid computing and unconventional computing methods for the most significant cryptocurrencies: bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH).
... At the same time, the causality impact of the carbon credit market on bitcoin price was not confirmed. The study [78] empirically justified that cryptocurrency provoked an increase in the electricity waste, which polluted ground water and land. Thus, digital currency development requires the relevant mechanisms to overcome environmental issues through the development of alternative energy. ...
... Considering the findings and recommendations in the studies [69][70][71][72][73][74]78], crypto traders should implement innovative technology, hardware, and protocols for mining and storing cryptocurrency. It allowed eliminating the energy over-consumption and environmental degradation from crypto trading. ...
Article
Full-text available
The rapid growth of information technology and industrial revolutions provoked digital transformation of all sectors, from the government to households. Moreover, digital transformations led to the development of cryptocurrency. However, crypto trading provokes a dilemma loop. On the one hand, crypto trading led to economic development, which allowed attracting additional resources to extending smart and green technologies for de-carbonising the economic growth. On the other hand, crypto trading led to intensifying energy sources, which provoked an increase in greenhouse gas emissions and environmental degradation. The paper aims to analyse the connections between crypto trading, economic development of the country, renewable energy consumption, and environmental degradation. The data for analysis were obtained from: Our World in Data, World Data Bank, Eurostat, Ukrstat, Crystal Blockchain, and KOF Globalisation Index. To check the hypothesis, the paper applied the Pedroni and Kao panel cointegration tests, FMOLS and DOLS panel cointegration models, and Vector Error Correction Models. The findings concluded that the increasing crypto trading led to enhanced GDP, real gross fixed capital formation, and globalisation. However, in the long run, the relationship between crypto trading and the share of renewable energies in total energy consumption was not confirmed by the empirical results. For further directions, it is necessary to analyse the impact of crypto trading on land and water pollution.
... Apart from energy consumption, electronic waste (E-waste) produced by mining is another major environmental concern. Mining encourages the use of performance-specific hardware, such as ASICs, which becomes obsolete in approximately every 1.5 years and contributes to, as of early 2021, the average e-waste generated by Bitcoin estimated at 64.4 metric kilotons per year [12]. Similar to electricity consumption, the E-waste generated by other altcoins also needs to be considered. ...
Article
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Following the footprints of Bitcoins, many other cryptocurrencies were developed mostly adopting the same or similar Proof-of-Work (PoW) approach. Since completing the PoW puzzle requires extremely high computing power, consuming a vast amount of electricity, PoW has been strongly criticised for its antithetic stand against the notion of green computing. Use of application-specific hardware, particularly application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) has further fuelled the debate, as these devices are of no use once they become “legacy” and hence obsolete to compete in the mining race, thus contributing to electronics waste. Therefore, this paper surveys the currently available alternative approaches to PoW and evaluates their applicability - especially their appropriateness in terms of greenness.
... This new direction provides the groundwork for reversal of a global trend of energy waste. It is anticipated that this new direction can change the trend which is having a negative planetary wide impact [43], [45]. ...
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This work introduces a novel approach for the governance of a blockchain containing social constructs and technical viability for widescale applications for the next generation of distributed ledgers. Functional requirements for this new blockchain distributed ledger (BDL) were garnered from an analysis of the needs for large-scale applications. Applied research was employed as part of this endeavor to test the practicality and scalability of the solution outline. Novel features in this application draw together controls and enforcement for cybersecurity, digital content management, licensing, and configuration management. The Synchronous Trust Consensus Model applied research project named Project Philos was sponsored by the BlockChain Development Community (BCDC) with support from the University of Colorado. Research has followed both theorized conceptual and theory-to-practice models to prove the scientific soundness and the viability of incentive for community engagement. Results show that this new model proves the feasibility of an indefinitely expandable blockchain distributed ledger capability, while also providing a new participant incentive that is highly effective in engaging a community of practitioners.
... Information technology plays a key role in modern personal and business activities, facilitated by electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). The growing possession of EEE has several benefits for society, such as enabling virtual work during the pandemic, supporting Sustainable Development Goals #4, 8 and 9 (UN General Assembly, 2015), and enabling digital currency (de Vries and Stoll, 2021). There are also negative aspects such as the (inter-) personal aspects studied by Turkle (2017) and the environmental dimensions (Eerkens et al., 2009;Hischier et al., 2020;Jonkers et al., 2016;Osibanjo and Nnorom, 2007;Williams et al., 2008;Zhang et al., 2020). ...
Article
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Mexicali, a Mexican city located near the US-Mexico border, has faced several challenges related to adopting an integrated e-waste management system. Thus, the main objective of this work is to propose a new system to be implemented in phases. The current system is evaluated using several methodological approaches including field studies, surveys, interviews, and quantitative modeling via material flow analysis. We suggest the need to properly integrate both the formal and informal sectors to achieve the optimal system that mitigates environmental impacts while preserving the positive social and economic traits of the current system. Thus, without supplanting the current reuse, refurbishment, repair and maintenance practices, a hybrid system is proposed, based on a centralized facility that primarily handles those parts or materials that create environmental impacts and health hazards if mishandled. Furthermore, a decentralized transition phase toward the new system is recommended.
... We know from Stoll et al. [25] that bitcoin mining is using lots of energy and having a huge carbon footprint. de Vries et al. [27] found that bitcoin mining generates lots of hardware waste or e-waste. ...
... The syngas produced from the steam gasification of PCB can be a promising source to produce hydrogen [22]. Shittu et al. [23] estimated that the annual global quantity of e-waste production was 54 million tons and it is further expected to increase by 70% in the year 2050 [24]. The total plastic waste production in India is estimated as 34, 69,780 tons/year [25]. ...
Article
Chemical looping reforming (CLR) is an efficient technology to convert hydrocarbon fuels into CO2 and H2 using metal oxide based oxygen carriers. The novelty of the present study is to utilize electronic waste such as printed circuit board (PCB) to generate high quality syngas and metallic components for the CLR process. A portion of the syngas generated during e-waste pyrolysis is used with coal and polypropylene for effective combustion. A techno-economic analysis is performed for the production of hydrogen and electricity in the CLR method. The levelized costs for electricity (LCOE), hydrogen (LCOH), syngas (LCOS), and metal (LCOM) production using e-wastes are estimated as 92.28 $/MWh, 3.67$/kg, 0.0034 $/kWh, and 24.32$/ton, respectively. The LCOH is found to be the least of 2.90 $/kg under the co-feed conditions of PCB syngas-PP. The integration of the e-waste based CLR with a steam turbine system achieved a net efficiency of 50%. ... The increasing energy consumption of Bitcoin mining has triggered a passionate debate within academic literature and among the general public regarding the sustainability of the digital currencies [3][4][5]. Old data shows that the electricity consumption caused by Bitcoin calculation alone (138 TWh) exceeds the sum of lighting and television in the United States (60 & 60 TWh), and also exceeds the national electricity consumption of Ukraine and Norway [6]. In 2018, Masanet simulated the increase in electricity growth caused by Bitcoin mining and believed that the popularity of Bitcoin would lead to uncontrollable global temperature changes [7]. ... Article Full-text available The energy consumption and carbon footprint of cryptocurrencies have always been a popular topic. However, most of the existing studies only focus on one cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, and there is a lack of long-term monitoring studies that summarize all cryptocurrencies. By constructing a time series hash rate/power model, this research obtained the 10-year time series data on energy consumption dataset of global top-25 cryptocurrencies for the first time. Both the temporal coverage and the spatiotemporal resolution of the data exceed previous studies. The results show that Bitcoin’s power consumption only accounts for 58% of the top-25 cryptocurrencies. After China bans cryptocurrencies, the conservative change in global CO2 emissions from 2020 will be between −0.4% and 4.4%, and Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan are likely to become areas of rapid growth in carbon emissions from cryptocurrencies. ... Direction 6: Investigate alternative consensus mechanisms based on proof of useful work Given the perception of PoW being a waste of a DLT network's computational power (eg, references [70][71][72] ) alternate consensus mechanisms that build on PoUW seem like a promising approach to redirect and utilize the computational power of a DLT network for other, meaningful purposes. Despite first proposals for the use of PoUW in the genomics context, 12 there still remain many open questions regarding its specific advantages and disadvantages or suitable tasks for PoUW in this context. ... Article Full-text available Objective Rising interests in distributed ledger technology (DLT) and genomics have sparked various interdisciplinary research streams with a proliferating number of scattered publications investigating the application of DLT in genomics. This review aims to uncover the current state of research on DLT in genomics, in terms of focal research themes and directions for future research. Materials and Methods We conducted a scoping review and thematic analysis. To identify the 60 relevant papers, we queried Scopus, Web of Science, PubMed, ACM Digital Library, IEEE Xplore, arXiv, and BiorXiv. Results Our analysis resulted in 7 focal themes on DLT in genomics discussed in literature, namely: (1) Data economy and sharing; (2) Data management; (3) Data protection; (4) Data storage; (5) Decentralized data analysis; (6) Proof of useful work; and (7) Ethical, legal, and social implications. Discussion Based on the identified themes, we present 7 future research directions: (1) Investigate opportunities for the application of DLT concepts other than Blockchain; (2) Explore people’s attitudes and behaviors regarding the commodification of genetic data through DLT-based genetic data markets; (3) Examine opportunities for joint consent management via DLT; (4) Investigate and evaluate data storage models appropriate for DLT; (5) Research the regulation-compliant use of DLT in healthcare information systems; (6) Investigate alternative consensus mechanisms based on Proof of Useful Work; and (7) Explore DLT-enabled approaches for the protection of genetic data ensuring user privacy. Conclusion While research on DLT in genomics is currently growing, there are many unresolved problems. This literature review outlines extant research and provides future directions for researchers and practitioners. ... 25 In addition, non-functional and scrapped mining equipment added an annual 30.7 metric kilotons of e-waste as of May 2021. 26 Renewable-powered bitcoin mining farms can be interesting to investigate as they can provide tangible support to balance energy supply and demand and reduce carbon emissions to a great extent. However, due to the massive investments needed for renewable infrastructure, comprehensive analysis in terms of cost benefits and environmental sustainability is required. ... Article Bitcoin mining requires a significant amount of electricity to validate blocks, increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, major countries such as China, Iran, Russia, Turkey, and Vietnam are banning bitcoin mining to avoid grid imbalances, power failures, and environmental issues. To alleviate these concerns, we conducted a techno-economic analysis of 50 states and a federal district (Washington D.C.) in the US in terms of the feasibility of bitcoin mining using carbon capture and renewable energy. We analyzed the profitability of bitcoin mining in the US states using grid and renewable power resources along with high-temperature and low temperature direct air capture technologies for CO2 capture and storage and methanol as a product. From both economic and environmental perspectives, we evaluated the net CO2 emission for each state to determine its competitive advantages. Overall, this work offers a holistic overview of where bitcoin mining can be economically viable across US states. Additionally, it provides insights into achieving environmentally friendly cryptocurrency mining regulations based on carbon capture and renewable energy and gauging the costs of bitcoin mining powered by the grid and high renewable penetration across the US states while pursuing carbon neutrality. Chapter Greenhouse farmers around the world face multiple challenges imposed by manual tasks and must deal with complex relationships among growth environment variables. Usually, tasks are accomplished with low efficiency and high uncertainty, which becomes evident when evaluating the impact introduced by adjustments to these variables. These challenges have led to the appearance of the precision agriculture industry, as farmers attempt to automate the agricultural and commercialization processes using solutions based on the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cloud Computing. Although these novel technological solutions seem to tackle some of the challenges, several concerns about centralization and data silos throughout the supply chain have arisen. Thus, we propose the Interplanetary Precision Agriculture (IPA) project as an alternative to an increasing demand for better technological solutions in the sustainable food supply, required by the long-term presence of humans in any given environment. The current project aims to improve the cultivation process on and off Earth, by implementing solutions based on the IoT, AI, and Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT). Hence, a “system of systems” is laid out. First, Magrito, a holonomic autonomous rover, is introduced to capture crop performance parameters (output variables). Second, Precision Habitat PRO, the environment controlling device, is deployed to capture growing parameters (input variables). Third, a commercial Bluetooth scale is added. Last, a Farm Management System is utilized to correlate the data captured by IoT devices with business logic. The resulting information is sent to the IOTA Tangle network to render it immutable and interoperable, at zero network processing fees with minimal energy consumption. Article Full-text available We present an approach to evaluating the carbon-emitting energy provenance of Bitcoin transactions and transaction outputs. Our approach incorporates published global energy production data and existing state-of-the-art estimates of Bitcoin energy consumption into a scoring algorithm for individual mined blocks. We then present two proposals for deriving scores for transactions based on the coinbase origins of the Bitcoin currency values of the trans-actions' inputs. The first proposal is comparatively simple, and weights coinbase origin contributions to a transaction based on recency in transaction hops from its origin block. The second proposal adjusts the weights of coinbase contributions at each intermediary transaction based on the input and output values of those transactions. Using these methods we are able to associate individual transactions and unspent transaction outputs with specific quantities of atmospheric carbon. Finally, we offer an outline of an incentivization strategy in the form of a blockchain-based carbon-offsetting oracle that would track the creation and exchange of offsets based on the metrics proposed. CCS CONCEPTS • Applied computing → Digital cash; • Hardware → Enterprise level and data centers power issues; Impact on the environment ; Energy metering; • Security and privacy → Economics of security and privacy. Article Alex de Vries is a researcher at the School of Business and Economics at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In 2014 he founded digiconomist.net, which is best known for featuring the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index since late 2016 and has played a major role in the global discussion regarding the sustainability of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Ulrich Gallersdörfer is a research associate in the Department of Informatics at the Technical University of Munich. His research focuses on the intersection of blockchain technology and adjacent fields. He is a co-founder of CCRI, a company providing GHG emissions estimates for investments in cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and other technologies. Lena Klaaßen is a PhD student in the Climate Finance and Policy group at ETH Zurich. Her research focuses on energy finance for the low-carbon transition as well as the environmental impact of companies and technologies. She also co-founded CCRI, a company providing GHG emissions estimates for investments in cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and other technologies. Christian Stoll is a research affiliate at the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at the Center for Energy Markets of the Technical University of Munich. His research focuses on the implications of climate change from an economic point of view. Article Digital technology developments shape the behaviour, performances, standards of society, organizations and individuals imposing new ways of payments and new forms of money. In this environment in 2008 was developed a new type of currency, namely Bitcoin. Cryptocurrency, as this new form of money has been generically called, puts pressure on the traditional concept of money. Today, the economic value of cryptocurrencies is attested by their circulation and acceptance by user communities for trade. However, establishing this value raises debates in the literature. The research from this paper investigates and analyses if there is a strong enough connectedness between Bitcoin price evolution and energy consumption tendency (for mining), to influence Bitcoin value. Public data from January 2014 to July 2021 is used. An Artificial Neural Network (ANN) was used to study and predict the tendency of Bitcoin price and energy consumption. A comparison between the forecasting trend and the real trend (the evolution of energy consumption and Bitcoin price) was made. The conducted research starts with a quantitative one and ends with a qualitative one (trends). The obtained results show that qualitatively, there is a good correlation between monthly average values of BTC prices and electricity consumption for mining. Article Full-text available When bitcoin (BTC), the first pioneering cryptocurrency was released in 2009, it was considered an apolitical currency. Besides, the possible effect of BTC and other cryptocurrencies on either financial markets or transactions has been widely discussed. However, the environmental effects of cryptocurrency demand have been ignored. Here, this study examines the nexus between cryptocurrencies and environmental degradation by employing standard and asymmetric causality methods. The Toda-Yamamoto and bootstrap-augmented Toda-Yamamoto test results reveal Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH) excluding Ripple (XRP) have causal effects on environmental degradation. The Fourier-augmented Toda-Yamamoto test results show causal effects running from Bitcoin and Ripple to environmental degradation, whereas no causal effect runs from Ethereum to environmental degradation. The asymmetric causality shows causal effects from the positive shock of Bitcoin demand, negative shocks of Ripple and Ethereum demands to positive shocks of environmental degradation. Further discussions and policy implications are provided in the relevant sections of this study. Article Electronic waste, or e-waste, is the fastest growing category of waste in developed countries and a threat to the environment and human health. The extension of electronic products life cycles could reduce the use of finite resources, the emission of pollutants, and the amount of waste disposed of in the landfills, delaying the impacts of disposal and product replacement. Consumers’ decisions affect the environmental impact of a product since deliberate consumer effort is necessary to extend and fully explore the potential life cycle of a product. The objective of this article is to investigate current consumer practices in the repair of electronic products. To achieve this goal, we analyze recently published research presenting surveys and case studies about the repair of electronic products. The literature review identified a range of barriers and motivations that influence the decision to repair. We also examined how institutional initiatives to address product reparability, such as governmental directives, are responding to consumer practices. Our results emphasize the need for an environment that promotes and enables more sustainable behaviors. We discuss the necessity to consider not only technical aspects but also intangible aspects in public perception, such as the role of perceived obsolescence in the search for a more circular economy. Article Full-text available Energy production is a phenomenon that has always preserved its importance for the history of humanity, as well as where the energy is spent and its consumption are also important. This study examined the causality relationship between Bitcoin energy consumption and Apple, Dell Technologies, Lenova Group, HP, Quanta Computer, Compal Electronics, Canon, Wistron and Hewlett Packard Enterprise has been taken into account to represent technology companies’ stock market. In the analysis, daily price data for the period 12.02.2017-07.02.2021 were used. Toda-Yamamoto (1995) symmetric causality test and Hatemi-J (2012) asymmetric causality test were used for used to determine the relationship between Bitcoin energy consumption and technology companies’ stock values. According to the results of the Toda-Yamamoto (1995) causality test, it has been found that there is a causality from Bitcoin energy consumption to Apple's stock value; according to the Hatemi-J (2012) asymmetric causality test results, it has been determined that there is a causality from Bitcoin energy consumption positive shocks to Apple, Dell Technologies, Lenova Group, HP, Quanta Computer, Compal Electronics, Canon, Wistron and Hewlett Packard Enterprise stock values negative shocks and from Bitcoin energy expenditure negative shocks to Hewlett Packard Enterprise negative shocks. According to the results of the study in general, it is seen that the change in Bitcoin energy consumption has an effect on the firm returns of the companies that sell the necessary tools for bitcoin energy production. From this, it can be commented that bitcoin mining is also effective on the stock returns of technology companies as well as many financial factors. Article Full-text available As the price of Bitcoin rises, the negatively externalities associated with Bitcoin mining increase in kind. This article shows how a simple economic model may be used to estimate the potential environmental impact of Bitcoin mining for a given Bitcoin price. These estimates reveal that the record-breaking surge in Bitcoin price at the start of 2021 may result in the network consuming as much energy as all data centers globally, with an associated carbon footprint matching London’s footprint size. Technical Report Full-text available “The Dutch WEEE Flows 2020: What happened between 2010 and 2018?” quantifies the 2018 Dutch WEEE Flows in 2018 manner comparable to the Dutch WEEE Flows study of 2010. This report presents the EEE POM, WEEE Generated, the compliantly regulated WEEE Collection, and the WEEE Flows outside of the regulated WEEE management system in the Netherlands. Article Full-text available This report reviews the impact of significant changes in the industry since the publication of the 2nd Global Cryptoasset Benchmarking Study in 2018. It provides novel insights into the state of the cryptoasset industry, having gathered data from 280 companies in 59 countries and across four main market segments – exchanges, payments, custody and mining. Book Full-text available The Global E-waste Monitor 2020 provides the most comprehensive overview of the global e-waste challenge, explains how it fits into international efforts to reach the Sustainable Development Goals, and discusses how to create a sustainable society and circular economy. The report provides a national and regional analysis on e-waste quantities and legislative instruments, and makes predictions until 2030. It also encourages decision-makers to increase activities to measure and monitor e-waste using an internationally recognised methodological framework. Visit https://globalewaste.org/ for more information. Article Full-text available Bitcoin is a power-hungry cryptocurrency that is increasingly used as an investment and payment system. Here we show that projected Bitcoin usage, should it follow the rate of adoption of other broadly adopted technologies, could alone produce enough CO2 emissions to push warming above 2 °C within less than three decades. Article Full-text available Discover the world’s best science and medicine | Nature.com Article Full-text available The electrical efficiency of computation has doubled roughly every year and a half for more than six decades, a pace of change comparable to that for computer performance and electrical efficiency in the microprocessor era. These efficiency improvements enabled the creation of laptops, smart phones, wireless sensors, and other mobile computing devices, with many more such innovations yet to come. The Web Extra appendix outlines the data and methods used in this study. Article Full-text available In this paper the environmental problems related with the discarded electronic appliances, known as e-waste, are reviewed.Moreover, the current and the future production of e-waste, the potential environmental problems associated with theirdisposal and management practices are discussed whereas the existing e-waste management schemes in Greece and othercountries (Japan, Switzerland) are also quoted. Article The digital currency Bitcoin is known for its energy hunger and associated carbon footprint. Investors, how-ever, must not neglect further environmental, social, and governance issues related to digital currencies. Therefore, we urge the adoption of a more comprehensive view in assessing the externalities of investments in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Article Ulrich Gallersdörfer is a research associate in the Department of Informatics at the Technical University of Munich. His research focuses on identity management in blockchains. His interest extends to further aspects of the technology, ranging from environmental implications to data analytics applications. Lena Klaaßen is a graduate student at TUM School of Management at the Technical University of Munich. She is specialized in energy markets and accounting. Her research focuses on carbon accounting in the corporate and cryptocurrency space. She has previously analyzed blockchain-related firms for a venture capital fund. Christian Stoll conducts research at the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at the Center for Energy Markets of the Technical University of Munich. His research focuses on the implications of climate change from an economic point of view. Article As the resource intensity of running Bitcoin has increased over recent years, it has become a serious concern for its potential impact on health and climate. Within this context, there exists a growing need for accurate information. Various organizations need this for multiple purposes like properly assessing the urgency of the problem, implementing the right policy response in the right locations and for setting up mitigation programs. We propose a market dynamics approach to evaluate the current methods for obtaining information on Bitcoin's energy demand. This allows us to establish that, while historically the Bitcoin mining industry has been growing most of the time, this growth allows market participants to pursue strategies that don't necessarily involve the best devices, device settings, or locations. The bigger the profitability of mining, the more it allows market participants to make decisions that result in suboptimal power efficiency of the Bitcoin network. Specifically, while the profitability of mining peaked during 2019, we find that market participants primarily used older generations of devices with better availability and lower acquisition costs. Common estimation approaches don't only fail to capture this behavior, but also fail to properly capture the market circumstances, like seasonal and geographic variation in electricity prices, that help enable participants to do so in the first place. This combination leaves common approaches prone to providing optimistic estimates during growth cycles. We conservatively estimate the Bitcoin network to consume 87.1 TWh of electrical energy annually per September 30, 2019 (equaling a country like Belgium). Article Participation in the Bitcoin blockchain validation process requires specialized hardware and vast amounts of electricity, which translates into a significant carbon footprint. Here, we demonstrate a methodology for estimating the power consumption associated with Bitcoin’s blockchain based on IPO filings of major hardware manufacturers, insights on mining facility operations, and mining pool compositions. We then translate our power consumption estimate into carbon emissions, using the localization of IP addresses. We determine the annual electricity consumption of Bitcoin, as of November 2018, to be 45.8 TWh and estimate that annual carbon emissions range from 22.0 to 22.9 MtCO2. This means that the emissions produced by Bitcoin sit between the levels produced by the nations of Jordan and Sri Lanka, which is comparable to the level of Kansas City. With this article, we aim to gauge the external costs of Bitcoin and inform the broader debate on the costs and benefits of cryptocurrencies. Article In this paper we find that the Bitcoin network, with an electrical energy footprint of 491.4 to 765.4 kWh per transaction on average, is relatively much more energy-hungry than the traditional financial system. Even though it has been argued that renewable energy may help mitigating the environmental impact of this, we find that there exist fundamental challenges in uniting variable renewable energy production with the consistent demand of Bitcoin mining machines. Moreover, we find that the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining reaches beyond its energy use. Continuous increasing energy (cost) efficiency of newer iterations of mining devices ensures that older ones will inevitably be disposed on a regular basis. The resulting electronic waste generation could equal that of a small country like Luxembourg, with a staggering average footprint of four light bulbs worth of electronic waste per processed Bitcoin transaction. Bitcoin will therefore have to address its sustainability problem in another way. This may consist of replacing its mining mechanism with a greener alternative like Proof-of-Stake. Article Blockchain technology rapidly gained popularity based on its open and decentralized operation. Consensus protocol is the core mechanism of a blockchain network that securely maintains the distributed ledger from possible attacks from adversaries. Proof-of-Work (PoW) is a commonly used consensus protocol that requires a significant amount of computation to find a new valid block. As the application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) that are specially designed for PoW computation begin to dominate blockchain consensus operation, the decentralized nature of blockchain networks is being threatened. Many PoW mechanisms are being proposed to disincentivize the use of ASICs in the consensus operation. Employing multiple hash functions in the PoW computation (i.e., multi-hash PoW) is one of the commonly adopted approaches to achieve such ASIC-resistance. In this work, we experimentally evaluate the level of ASIC-resistance of the multi-hash PoW mechanisms. We assess the level of ASIC-resistance based on the performance gap between ASICs and general-purpose computing platforms. Contrary to the expectation of the multi-hash PoW mechanisms, our results reveal that ASIC-resistance of these PoW mechanisms is not strong enough to prevent ASIC-based mining. Most of them show similar levels of ASIC-resistance as those of PoW mechanisms that are already defeated by ASIC-based systems. Article Since its deployment in 2009, Bitcoin has achieved remarkable success and spawned hundreds of other cryptocurrencies. The author traces the evolution of the hardware underlying the system, from early GPU-based homebrew machines to today’s datacenters powered by application-specific integrated circuits. These ASIC clouds provide a glimpse into planet-scale computing’s future. Article GPU- and FPGA-based clouds have been deployed to accelerate computationally intensive workloads. ASIC-based clouds are a natural evolution as cloud services expand across the planet. ASIC Clouds are purpose-built datacenters comprising large arrays of ASIC accelerators that optimize the total cost of ownership (TCO) of large, high-volume scale-out computations. On the surface, ASIC Clouds may seem improbable due to high nonrecurring engineering (NRE) costs and ASIC inflexibility, but large-scale ASIC Clouds have been deployed for the Bitcoin cryptocurrency system. This article distills lessons from these Bitcoin ASIC Clouds and applies them to other large-scale workloads, including YouTube-style video-transcoding and Deep Learning, showing superior TCO versus CPU and GPU. It derives Pareto-optimal ASIC Cloud servers based on accelerator properties, by jointly optimizing ASIC architecture, DRAM, motherboard, power delivery, cooling, and operating voltage. Finally, the authors examine the impact of ASIC NRE and when it makes sense to build an ASIC Cloud. Article As bitcoin becomes more important as a worldwide financial phenomenon, it also becomes important to understand its sources of value formation. There are three ways to obtain bitcoins: buy them outright, accept them in exchange, or else produce them by 'mining'. Mining employs computational effort which requires electrical consumption for operation. The cost of electricity per kWh, the efficiency of mining as measured by watts per unit of mining effort, the market price of bitcoin, and the difficulty of mining all matter in making the decision to produce. Bitcoin production seems to resemble a competitive market, so in theory miners will produce until their marginal costs equal their marginal product. Break-even points are modeled for market price, energy cost, efficiency and difficulty to produce. The cost of production price may represent a theoretical value around which market prices tend to gravitate. As the average efficiency increases over time due to competition driving technological progress – as inefficient capital becomes obsolete it is removed while new capital replaces them – the break-even production cost of bitcoins denominated in dollars will fall. Increased efficiency, although necessary to maintain competitive advantage over other miners could serve to drive the value of bitcoin down, however adjustments in the mining difficulty and the regular halving of the block reward throughout time will tend to counteract a decreasing tendency in cost of production. Article Waste electrical and electronic equipment (or e-waste) is one of the fastest growing waste streams, which encompasses a wide and increasing spectrum of products. Accurate estimation of e-waste generation is difficult, mainly due to lack of high quality data referred to market and socio-economic dynamics. This paper addresses how to enhance e-waste estimates by providing techniques to increase data quality. An advanced, flexible and multivariate Input-Output Analysis (IOA) method is proposed. It links all three pillars in IOA (product sales, stock and lifespan profiles) to construct mathematical relationships between various data points. By applying this method, the data consolidation steps can generate more accurate time-series datasets from available data pool. This can consequently increase the reliability of e-waste estimates compared to the approach without data processing. A case study in the Netherlands is used to apply the advanced IOA model. As a result, for the first time ever, complete datasets of all three variables for estimating all types of e-waste have been obtained. The result of this study also demonstrates significant disparity between various estimation models, arising from the use of data under different conditions. It shows the importance of applying multivariate approach and multiple sources to improve data quality for modelling, specifically using appropriate time-varying lifespan parameters. Following the case study, a roadmap with a procedural guideline is provided to enhance e-waste estimation studies. Article A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution. Digital signatures provide part of the solution, but the main benefits are lost if a trusted third party is still required to prevent double-spending. We propose a solution to the double-spending problem using a peer-to-peer network. The network timestamps transactions by hashing them into an ongoing chain of hash-based proof-of-work, forming a record that cannot be changed without redoing the proof-of-work. The longest chain not only serves as proof of the sequence of events witnessed, but proof that it came from the largest pool of CPU power. As long as a majority of CPU power is controlled by nodes that are not cooperating to attack the network, they'll generate the longest chain and outpace attackers. The network itself requires minimal structure. Messages are broadcast on a best effort basis, and nodes can leave and rejoin the network at will, accepting the longest proof-of-work chain as proof of what happened while they were gone. What Is SHA-256 And How Is It Related to Bitcoin? Mycryptopedia • B Asolo Asolo, B., 2018. What Is SHA-256 And How Is It Related to Bitcoin? Mycryptopedia. URL https://www.mycryptopedia.com/sha-256-related-bitcoin/. A Chinese province powered 8% of all Bitcoin mining. Then the government gave miners 2 months to get out [WWW Document • E Barrett Barrett, E., 2021. A Chinese province powered 8% of all Bitcoin mining. 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URL https://cointelegraph.com/news/bit main-ceases-bitcoin-miner-sales-to-aid-second-hand-sellers-following-china-ban. Bitcoin energy consumption index • Digiconomist Digiconomist, 2021. Bitcoin energy consumption index. URL http://bitcoinene rgyconsumption.com/. Eurosystem launches digital euro project [WWW Document • European Central • Bank European Central Bank, 2021. Eurosystem launches digital euro project [WWW Document]. URL https://www.ecb.europa.eu/press/pr/date/2021/html/ecb.pr2 10714~d99198ea23.en.html. Intel has resolved its 7nm chip woes, 12th gen Alder lake on track for 2H 2021 ramp • B Hill Hill, B., 2021. Intel has resolved its 7nm chip woes, 12th gen Alder lake on track for 2H 2021 ramp. HotHardware. URL https://hothardware.com/news/intel-has-resolvedits-7nm-chip-woes-alder-lake-on-track-for-2h-2021-launch (accessed 3.14.21). Mastercard leads the payments industry forward to a more sustainable future • Mastercard Newsroom Mastercard Newsroom, 2020. 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