Final Digital Artefact Submission: Impacts of E-Waste and Cryptocurrency

Computers have become a part of peoples everyday lives along with other electronics such as smartphones and even smart-assistants. Because of this I recently decided to build my own PC since I was relying too much on my laptop, but while researching different parts and builds along with where I could buy them I started to wonder what actually happens to, specifically computers, but also any electronic device after it has reached the end of its life cycle? The answer was, I had no idea.

Computers are something we use in our everyday life, whether it be for work, school, entertainment or even just learning in general by looking up new things. Cryptocurrency mining is one activity that uses parts of a PC to earn somebody a source of income by quite literally sitting there doing nothing (well after you have gotten everything set up that is).

Armed with these two topics and an interest which, surprisingly, only grew as I did more and more research I started work on my Digital artefact or DA which is about an 8 minute video (+4 unmarked minutes at the end because I got a little carried away while looking stuff up) which can be found at the bottom of this post. I started off by looking into E-Waste with the intention of finding out how exactly it is recycled but quickly changed my topic to look at what actually happens to e-waste after it has been recycled. I focused on the sheer amount of e-waste and how it is a growing issue, the lack of general knowledge about recycling of e-waste in Australia and how most of this e-waste ends up in other countries where the process of melting down these toxic parts is not done in proper facilities or with the wellbeing of the workers doing it or the environment in mind. For the cryptocurrency component I focused on how the mining of cryptocurrency, which is currently going through a major boom in popularity, has effected the prices of components used to build a PC, specifically the graphics card. I go over how mining of crypto uses a graphics card, the ridiculous increase in cost to graphics cards because of the lack of supple and high demand and finally the possible causes of bringing back down the price of these graphics cards by looking at potential reasons the mining boom may be coming to an end (Reason 1Reason 2).

For the extra part I wanted to look at how cryptocurrencies are being put under regulatory scrutiny in both the US and Australia as the US debates whether these digital currencies should be treated as commodities or securities while in Australia, ASIC, an Australian government organisation, is moving a spotlight onto organisations who deal with ICO’s and are bringing the hammer down on misleading or deceptive conduct which I learnt about through an article released by Clayton Utz, a major law firm in the Country. There were two main reasons why I couldn’t put this last section as part of the actually marked assessment with the first being that I simply didn’t have enough time to talk about it but mainly because it didn’t really have anything to do with the process of building a PC which was the reason I started looking into these topics to begin with.


References (2013). 4602.0.55.005 – Waste Account, Australia, Experimental Estimates, 2013. [online] Available at: (2018). Initial coin offerings and crypto-currency | ASIC – Australian Securities and Investments Commission. [online] Available at: (2018). ASIC spotlight on marketing and sale of initial coin offerings – Knowledge – Clayton Utz. [online] Available at:

CryptoCurrency Facts. (n.d.). ASIC Mining Basics – CryptoCurrency Facts. [online] Available at:

Gilbert, B. (2018). Cryptocurrency miners are making it impossible for people to find a crucial component of PC gaming. [online] Business Insider Australia. Available at: (2010). NPR Choice page. [online] Available at:

reddit. (2018). Video card prices and cryptocurrency mining v.2: electric boogaloo • r/buildapc. [online] Available at:

Rooney, K. (2018). Ethereum falls on report that the second-biggest cryptocurrency is under regulatory scrutiny. [online] CNBC. Available at:

TechCollect. (2017). New research shows Australians holding onto broken devices to the detriment of the environment. [online] Available at:

The Verge. (2018). Bitcoin mania is hurting PC gamers by pushing up GPU prices. [online] Available at:

The Verge. (2018). Bitcoin mania is hurting PC gamers by pushing up GPU prices. [online] Available at:


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