Bitcoin Mining

Bitcoin Mining Takes a Greener Turn, 50% Renewable According to Bloomberg

New research shows a significant transition toward sustainable energy in Bitcoin mining. After China's mining ban, the sector's carbon emissions have substantially decreased, making the cryptocurrency more environmentally friendly than previously thought.
By
Colin Aulds
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Colin Aulds is a founder at 10NetZero, a off-grid Bitcoin mining company. He is also the former VP and founder at Billfodl, a Bitcoin wallet backup company, as well as PrivacyPros.io, a blog dedicated to helping every day people increase their privacy online. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from Belmont University in 2011.

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      September 18, 2023

Bitcoin Mining Takes a Greener Turn, 50% Renewable According to Bloomberg

Recent reports suggest a significant shift toward sustainability in Bitcoin mining, with more than half of the energy used now coming from renewable sources.

Research led by Bloomberg’s Jamie Coutts reveals that the portion of sustainable energy sources in Bitcoin mining has crossed the 50% mark.

This pivot towards cleaner energy is in stark contrast to prevalent criticisms about the cryptocurrency’s adverse environmental impact.

Key Takeaways

  • More than 50% of the energy used in Bitcoin mining now comes from sustainable sources.
  • Following China's mining ban in mid-2021, carbon emissions from Bitcoin mining have decreased by 37.5%.
  • Bitcoin mining incentivizes countries to move toward renewables since they can easily monetize any excess energy.

Accurate Energy Consumption Models

Daniel Batten of Coinmetrics, along with Jaran Mellerud, has conducted supplementary research that refines the data on Bitcoin’s energy consumption.

Their revised estimate for 2022 places Bitcoin’s electricity usage at 95.5 terawatt-hours (TWh), a noticeable reduction from a previous calculation of 105.3 TWh.

This downward revision is primarily due to enhanced accuracy in assessing the energy efficiency of Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) machines commonly used in Bitcoin mining.

Emission Levels on the Decline

China’s decision to ban Bitcoin mining in mid-2021 has yielded a surprise environmental benefit.

Carbon emissions from Bitcoin mining operations have plummeted by 37.5% since the ban took effect. Even as the Bitcoin network’s computational power, or hashrate, has quadrupled since 2019, the rise in associated carbon emissions has been a modest 6.9%.

This data suggests that worries surrounding Bitcoin’s environmental footprint may have been overstated.

The Financial and Environmental Synergy

The transition to greener energy sources could profoundly impact global energy dynamics, as energy expenditures make up nearly half of the operational costs for Bitcoin miners.

Mining operations have begun to serve as a financial incentive for countries to harness and monetize surplus energy from sustainable sources like wind, solar, and nuclear power.

This trend aids the global transition away from fossil fuels and contributes to the modernization and stabilization of energy grids worldwide.

With the continued improvement in energy efficiency and a substantial shift toward sustainable power sources, Bitcoin mining is gradually shedding its reputation as an environmental malefactor.

This transformation not only alleviates previous criticisms but also opens up new avenues for the industry’s integration into a greener global economy.

Article Sources

BuyBitcoinWorldWide writers are subject-matter experts and base their articles on firsthand information, like interviews with experts, white papers or original studies and experience. We also use trusted research and studies from other well-known sources. You can learn more about our editorial guidelines.

  1. Jamie Coutts (Bloomberg) On Twitter - Bitcoin Energy Narrative Flipping, https://twitter.com/Jamie1Coutts/status/1702232759866163351
  2. University of Cambridge - Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, https://ccaf.io/cbnsi/cbeci
  3. Glassnode - Mean Bitcoin Hashrate, https://studio.glassnode.com/metrics?a=BTC&clid=00Q1I00000LtQY8UAN&m=mining.HashRateMean&mScl=lin&pScl=lin&resolution=1w&s=1230508800&u=1640995200

About the Author

colin aulds

Colin Aulds is a founder at 10NetZero, an off-grid Bitcoin mining company. He is the former VP and founder at Billfodl, a Bitcoin wallet backup company, as well as PrivacyPros, a blog dedicated to helping every day people improve their privacy. He also runs the popular Unhashed Podcast. Colin holds a bachelors degree from Belmont University (BBA).


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