Financial regulators have often called out the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies and now a new study from Forex Suggest reveals 431.6 million trees would need to be planted to offset bitcoin’s pollution over the last year.
The research looked at how much the environmental impact of the top coins have increased or decreased since 2021 to reveal how crypto mining and trading are impacting the environment.
Bitcoin, the most popular coin for novice traders and institutions alike, 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.
Previous research has suggested that the energy required for a bitcoin transaction could power a household for more than 70 days.
Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash came second and third on the polluter list, with emissions from Cardono also climbing.
Ethereum, by contrast, has managed to massively decrease its annual CO2 emissions by nearly 100% after moving 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.