431.6 Million Trees Would Need to be Planted to Offset Bitcoin’s Pollution Last Year: Study

New research by forex education platform Forex Suggest has looked at how much the environmental impact of the top coins has increased or decreased since 2021 to reveal how crypto mining and trading impacted the environment in 2022.

Bitcoin ranks first on the list. With a projected 86.3 million tons of CO2 emissions for 2022, a huge 431.6 million trees would need to be planted in order for Bitcoin’s annual CO2 emissions to be removed from the atmosphere.

Litecoin finds itself second on the list. The cryptocurrency is now estimated to produce 525.4 thousand tons of CO2 emissions per year, meaning that 2.6 million trees would need to be planted in order to counteract the pollution.

Bitcoin Cash takes the third spot on the list. Despite a hugely significant drop since 2021, the cryptocurrency is still producing 141.4 thousand tons of CO2 emissions per year. This would require 707.3 thousand trees to be planted in order to offset the pollution.

The data also revealed the cryptocurrency that increased its emissions the most from 2021 to 2022 is Cardano, with an increase of 112.73%. Cardano is on track to release 11,249 tons of CO2 emissions this year, which is an increase of 5,961 tons since the previous year.

Methodology

On the positive side, Ethereum has managed to massively decrease its annual CO2 emissions by nearly 100%. It has moved to a proof-of-stake blockchain, meaning that its gas fees have been reduced significantly and its network has been able to process transactions a lot faster.

In 2021, Ethereum created a huge 21.95 million tons of CO2. This has now been decreased to just 8,824 tons. There would need to be 44,121 trees planted in order to offset its annual emissions.

The most eco-friendly cryptocurrency available is Stellar, with just 0.0003 kWh per transaction. Stellar also costs less than a cent per transaction.

To assess the world of crypto in terms of CO2 output and green credentials, Forex Suggest said data was gathered from BitInfo Charts and IntoTheBlock on the number of transactions in 2021 and 2022 for a range of prominent and leading cryptocurrencies. Data was then sourced on their energy consumption per transaction by using multiple sources, such as Laptop Mag, Crypto Vantage and Digiconomist.

Carbonify’s carbon dioxide emissions calculator was then used to work out how much CO2 each cryptocurrency generates for each transaction, as well as a monthly and yearly rate. This calculator also gave the number of trees that would need to be planted in order to counteract the pollution caused by each cryptocurrency.

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