Life cycle assessment of Bitcoin mining in the top ten miner countries

  • Rahim Zahedi Department of Renewable Energy and Environmental, Faculty of New Science and Technologies, University of Tehran
  • Alireza Aslani Department of Renewable Energy and Environmental, Faculty of New Science and Technologies, University of Tehran
  • Mohammad Ali Nasle Seraji Department of Energy Engineering, Science and Research Branch Islamic Azad University
Keywords: life cycle assessment, blockchain, environmental sustainability, Bitcoin


An unprecedented emergence has occurred for the cryptocurrencies among enterprises, customers, and investors as a result of the growing number of internet connections worldwide. The most popular cryptocurrency is Bitcoin representing the rise of digital payment systems. Though, harsh criticism has been also created for cryptocurrencies about their environmental sustainability and power consumption, decelerating the acceptance of bitcoin by consumer as a means of payment. The ecological impact or footprint of a process is determined mainly through life-cycle-assessment (LCA) quantifying all material flows’ inputs and outputs for a process or product and their effect on the environment. This study provides LCA-based framework to show the environmental impacts of Bitcoin mining from top ten miner countries (China, USA, Kazakhstan, Russia, Iran, Malaysia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Norway). The results show that with the share of 53.3% of the world’s mining, China has the most negative environmental impact specially in marine ecotoxicity with 26.8 kg 1,4-DCB and human health with 0.0043 DALY but with the equal mining ratio Germany and Kazakhstan have the most negative environmental impacts.


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