Crypto Climate Crisis: 284 Million Trees Required To Offset Bitcoin’s CO2 Emissions This Year Alone

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Trading education platform, Forex Suggest, calculated how many trees will need to be planted to offset carbon emissions from crypto transactions this year.

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By analysing the energy required per transaction for eight popular cryptocurrencies against the projected total number of transactions in 2021 (based on historical data), the report reveals how many trees need to be planted to offset CO2 emissions from crypto transactions this year.

The Crypto Climate Outlook For 2021

Rank Currency Energy Used per Transaction (kWh) CO2 emitted per Transaction (tons) Projected 2021 Electricity Usage Projected Annual Emissions (tons CO2) No. Trees to Offset Emissions
1 Bitcoin 707 0.5302500000 75,766,894,371 56,825,171 284,125,854
2 Ethereum 62.56 0.0469200000 29,267,017,296 21,950,263 109,751,315
3 Bitcoin Cash 18.957 0.0142177500 1,970,044,710 1,477,534 7,387,668
4 Litecoin 18.522 0.0138915000 693,681,721 520,261 2,601,306
5 Cardano 0.5479 0.0004109250 7,051,032 5,288 26,441
6 Ripple 0.0079 0.0000059250 4,243,705 3,183 15,914
7 Dogecoin 0.12 0.0000900000 1,897,998 1,423 7,117
8 Stellar 0.00003 0.0000000225 48,851 37 183
  • Bitcoin is the leading coin with the most energy intensive mining process, and is on course to be the most polluting cryptocurrency of 2021, projected to emit 56.8 million tons of CO2.
  • This would require 284.1 million trees in order to offset the transactions and become carbon neutral.
  • While much less energy demanding, Ethereum will require the second most trees as it is projected to emit 21.9 million tons of CO2 by the end of 2021.
  • It will take planting nearly 110 million trees to offset Ethereum’s contribution to carbon emissions this year.
  • As the popularity of NFTs also begins to flourish, this will only increase its carbon output.
  • Bitcoin Cash is on track to produce 1.5 million tons of CO2 in 2021, and would require as many as 7.4 million trees to counteract its pollution.


Transaction data was sourced from Statista.

Projected total transaction figures for 2021 were based on data transaction trends during January to August 2021.

Energy consumption per transaction was sourced from multiple sources including Laptop Mag, Business Insider India, and CryptoVantage.

CO2 emissions per transaction were calculated with Carbonify’s carbon dioxide emission calculator which also calculated the number of trees required to counteract each cryptocurrency’s CO2 emissions.

Tree offset calculation is based on a tree planted in the humid tropics absorbing on average 50 pounds (22 kg) of carbon dioxide annually over 40 years2  - each tree will absorb 1 ton of CO2 over its lifetime, but as trees grow, they compete for resources and some may die or be destroyed - not all will achieve their full carbon sequestration potential. This calculator assumes that 5 trees should be planted to ensure that at least one lives to 40 years or that their combined sequestration equals 1 ton.

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