Giving Compass' Take:

• Tom Jacobs reports that the carbon footprint of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies surpasses the footprint of some small countries. 

• How can this waste be reduced or avoided? 

• Learn how cryptocurrency is being used for social change

You can probably guess which human activities emit the most carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; they include transportation and agriculture, of course, plus all the energy we use to power our homes and offices.

New research points to another, less-obvious contributor to climate change: cryptocurrency.

A new study reports that the annual carbon emissions associated with the creation of Bitcoins are equivalent to those of Kansas City, Missouri—or a small nation. Add in the other cryptocurrencies, and the emissions level more than doubles.

"Participation in the Bitcoin blockchain validation process requires specialized hardware and vast amounts of electricity, which translates into a significant carbon footprint," writes a research team led by Christian Stoll of the Technical University of Munich and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.

"Regulating this largely gambling-driven source of carbon emissions attempts to be a simple means to contribute to decarbonizing the economy," the team writes.

Read the full article about the carbon footprint of cryptocurrency by Tom Jacobs at Pacific Standard.