A new report that looks into the claims made about the environmental impact of Bitcoin has found that almost 80% of Bitcoin mining involves renewable energy. The bi-annual report, carried out by CoinShares Research and Three Body Capital, found that renewable energy is far more prevalent in Bitcoin mining than was previously assumed and that mainstream media reports of climate change caused by Bitcoin mining are grossly over exaggerated.
In dissecting the Bitcoin mining network, the report doesn’t pull any punches in regard to the information being put about by mainstream media:
One reputable publication even made the groundless claim that the eventual impact of increasing carbon dioxide emissions from Bitcoin mining alone could lead to a two degree increase in global temperatures.
The report in question was published by the journal Nature Climate Change in November, it claimed that Bitcoin could be responsible for “catastrophic climate change” if its adoption continued in line with past technologies.
CoinShares and Three Body Capital believe that this assertion came about due to an “inadequate understanding of the Bitcoin protocol and mining network”. They claim instead that Bitcoin mining is doing “…little meaningful harm as far as the environment is concerned, and is also unlikely to do so in the foreseeable future.” Bitcoin mining, they say, is largely located in areas of cheap, renewable energy, citing the case of Sichuan in China which is home to huge Bitcoin mining farms, yet has a renewable energy penetration rate of 90%, and that miners are constantly moving operations to areas where renewables are more prevalent and conditions more favourable.
Vays Weighs In
Bitcoin maximalist Tone Vays also spoke on the subject of Bitcoin and the environment recently, stating that emerging technologies on the mining equipment front would do much to counter the suggestions that Bitcoin was a key factor in climate change:
I think Bitcoin mining is going to revolutionize the way we gather renewable energy. I think it’ll revolutionize the way energy is being processed. I think the chip manufacturers are going to revolutionize the way we process information in computers.
In November, mining giant Bitmain announced their new Antminer S15 and T15 models, both of which had the lowest mining capacity to energy consumption rate ever. At the same time it released code for older miners that improved their efficiency and lowered their power requirements, showing that progress is already being made in the battle to reduce Bitcoin’s carbon footprint.