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Bitcoin emissions alone could push global warming above 2°C

Bitcoin is a power-hungry cryptocurrency that is increasingly used as an investment and payment system. Here we show that projected Bitcoin usage, should it follow the rate of adoption of other broadly adopted technologies, could alone produce enough CO2 emissions to push warming above 2 °C within less than three decades.

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Data availability

The authors declare that all data supporting the findings of this study are available within the article, its Supplementary Information files and at

Change history

  • 14 November 2018

    In the version of this Comment originally published, the last year on the axis of Fig. 1c read 3000; it should have read 2100. This has now been corrected.


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The authors wish to thank the numerous data providers named in the supplements of this paper for making their data freely available. We also thank SeaGrant Hawaii for providing funds to acquire the computers used in these analyses. This paper was developed as part of the graduate course on ‘Methods for Large-Scale Analyses’ in the Department of Geography and Environment at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa.

Author information

Correspondence to Camilo Mora.

Supplementary information

  1. Supplementary Information

    , Supplementary Figures 1-2, Supplementary Tables 1 – 4

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Fig. 1: Carbon emissions from projected Bitcoin usage.