Bitcoin’s inexperienced potential: not all vitality consumption is the same as CO2 emissions

Advertisements

Bitcoin mining has long been recognized for its contribution to increasing global CO2 emissions. Fortunately for the groundbreaking cryptocurrency, many of these reviews are based on false assumptions and predictions, divorced from an understanding of Bitcoin’s built-in energy-seeking incentives, and underscore the positive impact it could have now and in the future for billions of global citizens. While it is true that the global Bitcoin network consumes a significant amount of energy, this consumption must be put in context and weighed against its benefits if we are to have a consistent debate. We don’t often hear criticism of Netflix or Google’s data and energy consumption costs, so why Bitcoin?

Some estimates put the Bitcoin network using around 120 terawatt hours of electricity annually, which is more than some small nations and 0.55% of total global electricity production. Despite the high energy consumption by mining, the Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index of the University of Cambridge comes to the conclusion that “the ecological footprint of Bitcoin currently remains marginal at best”. How can both things be true?

First, Bitcoin requires less energy to use than both the traditional financial sector and the gold mining industry. A recent study finds that Bitcoin’s energy consumption is less than half the energy consumption of these two legacy systems. This doesn’t even take into account the continuation of the planet-warming fossil fuel projects through the banking system.

In addition, many critics fail to recognize that energy consumption is not synonymous with CO2 emissions. A unit of wind power doesn’t have the same environmental impact as a unit of coal, and luckily the Bitcoin network has an incentive to look for renewable energy in particular. The University of Cambridge states that renewable energy sources make up about 40% of Bitcoin’s energy consumption worldwide and 66% in North America. With mining moving further west in response to China’s recent mining ban, we should expect the trend of increasing use of renewable energy in Bitcoin to continue.

In fact, numerous initiatives are underway to make Bitcoin more energy efficient. Under the direction of the CEOs of the leading North American crypto mining companies, the Bitcoin Mining Council was established to promote energy transparency and improve efficiency. The Crypto Climate Accord is another notable initiative that aims for the entire crypto industry to achieve net zero emissions by 2040.

However, determining Bitcoin’s energy consumption and the best ways to reduce its CO2 emissions by using renewable energy is only part of the discussion. The network’s energy consumption is easy to criticize for two main reasons: first, it is easy to quantify due to the openness of the network, and second, the scope of the benefits of Bitcoin is not yet widely recognized. In fact, many services that society implicitly or explicitly deems worthy of their high energy consumption, such as modern air travel, big-tech data centers, and same-day shipping, are not nearly as heavily criticized as using Bitcoin.

By segregating Bitcoin from other industries with particularly high emissions, the critics of Bitcoin are exposing a simple fact: They don’t believe that the promise and potential of this technology is worth all energy consumption. This is a failure of the imagination and possibly a failure of Bitcoin’s supporters to prove Bitcoin’s potential over the long term. Rather than spending the majority of our time disproving Bitcoin’s climate skeptics, we should advocate that the network’s emissions are worth the undeniable benefit of this technology. We made this decision for other services and industries and thus made peace, albeit reluctantly, with the emissions trade-off. We as a society should do the same for Bitcoin.

Lindsey Kelleher is a Senior Policy Manager at the Blockchain Association.

This is a guest post by Lindsey Kelleher. The opinions expressed are solely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.


Share post on

Sonic BTC is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Bitcoin: The Ignition Of A Scientific Revolution Bitcoin

Bitcoin: The Ignition Of A Scientific Revolution

It is a rare event for humanity to experience a change in worldview. You...

By wpadminsonic164
Veteran dealer Peter Brandt shares “Sacred Buying and selling Rule” when Bitcoin falls and warns in opposition to shopping for the dip Bitcoin

Veteran dealer Peter Brandt shares “Sacred Buying and selling Rule” when Bitcoin falls and warns in opposition to shopping for the dip

Veteran trader Peter Brandt shared "a sacred trading rule" that he uses in response...

By wpadminsonic164
Ukraine Legalizes Bitcoin Bitcoin

Ukraine Legalizes Bitcoin

Bitcoin is now legal in Ukraine as its parliament approved in final reading a...

By wpadminsonic164
‘Save Your Pores and skin’ From Inflation With BTC, The Nice Financial Shift, and SHIB Burns — Bitcoin.com Information Week in Overview Bitcoin

‘Save Your Pores and skin’ From Inflation With BTC, The Nice Financial Shift, and SHIB Burns — Bitcoin.com Information Week in Overview

Another spicy week of crypto news heads into the weekend, with Mexico's third-richest billionaire...

By wpadminsonic164
Bitcoin-Backed Mortgages And Pristine Collateral Mentioned At Bitcoin 2022 Bitcoin

Bitcoin-Backed Mortgages And Pristine Collateral Mentioned At Bitcoin 2022

Bitcoin 2022 hosted a panel at the Enterprise Stage on the use of bitcoin...

By wpadminsonic164
Doge Day Then and Now: Lackluster Buzz as Dogecoin’s Worth Is 65% Decrease Than Final Yr Bitcoin

Doge Day Then and Now: Lackluster Buzz as Dogecoin’s Worth Is 65% Decrease Than Final Yr

While April 20 or 420 is synonymous with cannabis culture, the day is also...

By wpadminsonic164
European Commission Has ‘Genuine Doubts’ About Markets in Crypto Assets Draft, Report Reveals Bitcoin

European Commission Has ‘Genuine Doubts’ About Markets in Crypto Assets Draft, Report Reveals

The European Commission disagrees with some provisions in the crypto regulatory proposal approved recently...

By wpadminsonic164
Africa now has the most important quantity of Bitcoin peer-to-peer buying and selling on the planet Bitcoin

Africa now has the most important quantity of Bitcoin peer-to-peer buying and selling on the planet

According to data from the analysis platform UsefulTulips, Africa has developed into the continent...

By wpadminsonic164

Latest Posts

These 3 Will Make You Wealthy After the Bear Market: Zompot Token, Cardano, and TRON – Cardano Feed Cardano

These 3 Will Make You Wealthy After the Bear Market: Zompot Token, Cardano, and TRON – Cardano Feed

The cryptocurrency market is in shambles. The top 20 cryptocurrencies have been down by...

By wpadminsonic164
Bitcoin drops as China intensifies crypto mining crackdown Videos

Bitcoin drops as China intensifies crypto mining crackdown

Trader Brian Kelly on what will happen to bitcoin after China's mining crackdown. With...

By wpadminsonic164
January Jones reveals off her curves in polka dot bikini – wow – HELLO! Polkadot

January Jones reveals off her curves in polka dot bikini – wow – HELLO!

August 14, 2022 - 11:11 AM BST Georgia Brown Mad Men actress January Jones...

By wpadminsonic164
Carlsen and Firouzja set for FTX Crypto Cup conflict in Miami – ChessBase Stellar

Carlsen and Firouzja set for FTX Crypto Cup conflict in Miami – ChessBase

Summer of chess Press release by the Play Magnus Group The hottest esports chess...

By wpadminsonic164
Binance Govt Says Retail Buyers Flocking to Bitcoin (BTC) and Crypto Amid Rampant Inflation: Report – The Every day Hodl Binance

Binance Govt Says Retail Buyers Flocking to Bitcoin (BTC) and Crypto Amid Rampant Inflation: Report – The Every day Hodl

A top executive of the world's largest crypto exchange platform by trading volume is...

By wpadminsonic164
Can Metamortals Outpace Dogecoin And ApeCoin When It Hits The Market?  – The Coin Republic Dogecoin

Can Metamortals Outpace Dogecoin And ApeCoin When It Hits The Market? – The Coin Republic

As a new coin in the crypto world, it's never easy to make a...

By wpadminsonic164
What number of cardano cash are there?  ADA circulation evaluation – Capital.com Cardano

What number of cardano cash are there? ADA circulation evaluation – Capital.com

ADA circulation analysis, Source: Shutterstock, Dennis Diatel Cardano (ADA) is a blockchain platform that...

By wpadminsonic164
WHERE BITCOIN COULD BOTTOM (realistically) | Bitcoin Information In the present day, Bitcoin Worth Prediction, BTC Crash Videos

WHERE BITCOIN COULD BOTTOM (realistically) | Bitcoin Information In the present day, Bitcoin Worth Prediction, BTC Crash

WHERE BITCOIN COULD BOTTOM (realistically) | Bitcoin News Today, Bitcoin Price Prediction, BTC Crash...

By wpadminsonic164