Bitcoin generates 30,700 tonnes of e-waste every year

The level of e-waste generated by bitcoin mining is comparable to the small IT equipment waste produced by a country like the Netherlands, according to new research.

As of May 2021, bitcoin’s annual e-waste production adds up to 30,700 tonnes.
On average, bitcoin creates 272g of e-waste per transaction processed on the blockchain.

The study, produced by Dutch central bank and MIT economists, found that bitcoin can generate up to 64,400 tonnes of e-waste at peak bitcoin price levels seen in early 2021.

The report also warned that increasing demand for mining hardware may disrupt global semiconductor supply chains.

“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,” wrote researchers Christian Stoll (MIT) and Alex de Vries (De Nederlandsche Bank.)

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