The Surging Water Footprint of Bitcoin Mining: Implications and Insights

Bitcoin’s yearly water usage is rapidly rising, consuming billions of gallons, says Alex de Vries, a researcher at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In a peer-reviewed article, he projected Bitcoin’s water footprint to reach 591 billion gallons this year, a staggering 278% surge from 2020. De Vries highlighted that this spike in water use coincides with growing water scarcity concerns, notably in regions like the western US and Kazakhstan, both major hubs for crypto mining.

The energy-intensive process of mining Bitcoin relies on computers that require cooling, leading to direct and indirect water consumption. Water cools the servers and air-conditioning systems, while power plants supplying electricity to miners also use water for cooling, indirectly adding pressure on groundwater supplies.

De Vries’ calculations, based on Cambridge data, suggested that the water footprint of US Bitcoin miners could equate to the yearly consumption of approximately 300,000 US households or a city like Washington, DC. He recommended miners to shift operations to regions using renewable energy sources to alleviate the water impact.

However, uncertainties persist, given that the Cambridge data only represents a fraction of global bitcoin mining. A separate UN study in October reported a significantly lower water footprint of 255 billion gallons in 2021, raising questions about the accuracy of estimates.


Disclaimer: Not Investment Advice

it’s crucial to understand that the information provided here is not to be construed as investment advice. The crypto market is dynamic and highly speculative, and decisions should be made based on thorough personal research and consideration of individual risk tolerance. Always consult with financial professionals and conduct your own due diligence before making any investment decisions. The intention of this exploration is to present insights and trends, not to provide specific investment recommendations.

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