The cryptocrash isn't just saving PC gamers - it's saving the planet

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The current cryptocurrency crash has had far reaching effects on the tech market and has even made a substantially positive impact on the environment.

According to data reported by Digiconomist, the crash has reduced carbon emissions by a signficant amount – 150,000 metric tonnes of CO2 per day are avoided due to the reduction of cryptomining. 

As stated by Digiconomist, "The total reductions over the past weeks already amount to a quarter of annual CO2 reductions by Tesla vehicles." We’ll see how much more emissions decline as the market continues to crash.

For context, this amount of carbon emission avoidance, according to Digiconomist's analysis, is more than the entire global net savings produced by deploying electronic vehicles, which the International Energy Agency put at about 50 Mt in 2020.

Of course, this is just carbon emission avoidance, meaning that this represents carbon emissions that we do not actively add to our total emission output, not existing emissions that we have somehow negated.

Analysis: The far-reaching effects of cryptomining 

Seeing how much carbon emissions decreased after the cryptocurrency crash is sobering to say the least. The cyptomining industry has left a lasting negative impact on the world.

The far-reaching damage of cryptomining on the environment is a well-documented fact, with various studies reporting the incredibly large amount of carbon emissions that it releases due to the high energy consumption of mining through electronic devices.

Mining devices based on ASIC technology also produce significant electronic waste, as their lifespans last between three to five years on average before needing to be replaced, and the expended equipment can’t be repurposed for other uses by their nature.

Another form of mining equipment comes in the form of GPUs, with the best graphics cards being highly sought after by miners, as we can see as Ethereum miners alone spent $15 billion on graphics cards the last two years. Even the best cheap graphics cards from a couple of generations ago have become almost impossible to purchase during the crypto boom.

Many of these cards are now flooding the used market as miners attempt to recoup their losses, and there is no way to know what their remaining useful life might be or the conditions under which they were operating. So there's really no way to tell whether these used cards are a wise purchase unless miners are literally giving them away for free.

Allisa James
Computing Staff Writer

Named by the CTA as a CES 2023 Media Trailblazer, Allisa is a Computing Staff Writer who covers breaking news and rumors in the computing industry, as well as reviews, hands-on previews, featured articles, and the latest deals and trends. In her spare time you can find her chatting it up on her two podcasts, Megaten Marathon and Combo Chain, as well as playing any JRPGs she can get her hands on.