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Bitcoin mining intensively comes with various drawbacks, affecting human resources and contributing to increased environmental contamination.
Bitcoin mining faces criticism not only for its substantial power usage but also for various concerns highlighted in a recent New York Times report. Beyond electricity consumption, issues span from heightened environmental impact to implications for human resources, making it essential to explore key challenges in the Bitcoin mining process.
Bitcoin Mining: Adverse Effects on Property Values and Wildlife Disruption
The research by The New York Times emphasized that the primary concern with Bitcoin mining stems from the significant noise it generates. The constant computer calculations, reaching trillions per second, disrupt regular life.
Despite stringent noise pollution laws in various countries, mining entities often exploit loopholes to circumvent regulations.Nevertheless, some argue that the collateral damage from such intensive tasks, like mining, should not be overlooked.
Researchers point out that the excessive noise produced by these large machines leads to issues such as reduced attention, palpitations among the elderly, and, in severe cases, lifelong hearing complications.
The NYT article also underscores that the negative impacts of a sizable Bitcoin mining operation extend to disrupting wildlife. Collectively, these factors contribute to the depreciation of property values near mining sites.
Rising Bitcoin Mining Coincides with Escalating E-waste Generation
The protracted and intensive nature of Bitcoin Mining is prone to yielding a substantial volume of electronic waste. As per Investopedia, Bitcoin mining results in the production of nearly 77 kilotons of electronic waste annually as a byproduct.
A recent study reveals that, for every $1 worth of Bitcoin generated in 2018, there were associated damages amounting to $0.49 to the US economy and $0.37 in losses to China’s economy.
In another study, the University of Mexico highlighted distinct pollutant emissions associated with each kilowatt-hour of energy generation in the US and China, two major hubs for Bitcoin mining. The research used this information to assess the health and environmental impacts, termed “crypto damages,” for each coin produced.
The study revealed that climate-related impacts, including carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation, exposure to sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and fine particulate matter, are consequences of crypto mining. These emissions pose significant health risks, as these substances are known to increase the likelihood of premature mortality.
In China, 89% of crypto damages are linked to human health consequences, while the remaining 11% are attributed to climate change. In the US, 40% of crypto damages are associated with health issues, and the remaining 60% are connected to climate change.
Human Resource Challenges in Bitcoin Mining: A Spectrum from Depression to Extended Working Hours
Engaging in the labor-intensive BTC mining process demands prolonged hours and continuous vigilance.
Princeton’s research challenges the notion held by some advocates that Bitcoin operates as a fixed, rule-driven, and incentive-compatible system.
Given the industry’s around-the-clock nature, individuals often endure extended and strenuous shifts, leading to fatigue, depression, and other psychological challenges.
Despite the significant human toll, there remains a considerable gap in addressing the negative impacts of crypto mining, with most researchers primarily focusing on its environmental consequences.
The implications of this arduous process on the well-being of industry workers have yet to be thoroughly explored, leaving room for future analysis and discoveries.
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