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Mining is more sustainable than the vast majority of industries

29 Jun, 2023
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A widely used assessment of Bitcoin mining's sustainability claims that 37.1% of the energy it uses is zero-emission. The Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC) made a more accurate calculation that arrived at 52.6%. After a joint discussion of the methodology, the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF), which is responsible for the first analysis, agreed with the BMC's estimate.

Image source: batcoinz.com

If mining were to rely 100% on the public grid, CCAF's estimate of 37.1% zero-emission energy would be correct, as humanity gets most of its energy from burning minerals. Of those sources, coal continues to lead, with a share of 36.7%.

Image source: batcoinz.com

Mining companies strive to optimise processes as much as possible and to obtain the cheapest energy. This is only achievable with zero-emission energy sources. These include solar, wind, geothermal, nuclear, hydropower and flaring associated gasses (which would otherwise be burnt with no additional benefit).

14.3% of the Bitcoin network's hashrate is provided by mining companies powered by near-zero-emission energy sources. We have already covered the lowest electricity rate in the US, $0.02 per kWh, which TeraWulf achieved through a direct connection to a nuclear power plant. Northern Data is leading in Europe with a rate of $0.03 from renewable energy sources.

Image source: batcoinz.com

The trend towards green energy sources is gaining momentum. For example, one of the largest miners, Marathon, recently moved its 100 MW data centre from a coal-fired power plant to a wind farm in Texas in January.

BMC calculates that, on average, the Bitcoin network becomes 2% greener each year.

Image source: batcoinz.com

The green agenda is crucial for mining, as a number of conservative politicians are pushing bills to restrict or further tax the industry in the name of environmental concern.

Image source: StormGain cryptocurrency exchange

High sustainability increases Bitcoin's investment appeal and removes a key advantage among altcoins on PoS blockchains.


StormGain Analytical Group 
(platform for trading, exchanging and storing cryptocurrency)

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