Bitcoin miners generate 30,700 tonnes of electronic waste every year, averaging 272g per transaction.
The enormous amount of electricity used is compunded by the large amount of e-waste generated by mining computers. Researchers estimate the average lifespan of Bitcoin mining systems to be about 1.29 years, after which they are obsolete.
This is because of the specialized processors known as application-specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) used in bitcoin mining, which, researchers explained, “cannot be “repurposed for another task or even another type of cryptocurrency mining algorithm.”
While other components of Bitcoin’s mining equipment consist largely of “metal casings and aluminum heat-sinks” that can be recycled, it is noteworthy that only 17% of electronic waste gets recycled, with its value depreciating in areas largely dominated by miners.
For more information, read the original story in BBC.