Bitcoin’s Carbon Footprint Overblown Or Misrepresented?
Most here are probably aware of this but we have a host of villains trying to paint Bitcoin as this smog spewing monster which couldn’t be further from the truth:
Opinion: Bitcoin is greener than many — including Elon Musk — think it is
Today I’m joined by Alexander Benfield, a cryptocurrency analyst at Weiss Ratings. Instead of focusing on overall market dynamics, we’ll talk about bitcoin and issues surrounding its energy consumption during the mining process.
The cryptocurrency’s network relies on computers solving puzzles, which uses electricity. Annual power consumption of bitcoin mining is about 130 terawatt-hours, according to the University of Cambridge. To put that in perspective, the U.S. uses almost 4,000 terawatt-hours of electricity a year.
MarketWatch: A claim that bitcoin is an energy hog has been around for a while. How much merit is there to such a claim?
Benfield: That is a question with a multi-faceted answer. Yes, bitcoin does consume a lot of energy, but that does not necessarily translate into carbon emissions. Much of bitcoin mining uses renewable energy; depending on the source, that number ranges between 39%-73%, which is far higher than the percentage of renewable energy in the U.S. power grid. So even going by the low estimates, bitcoin is far more energy-conscious than the average industry. Additionally, a considerable amount of bitcoin mining actually uses excess energy that would otherwise be wasted in areas where it can’t be exported to a nearby city infrastructure. For example, bitcoin miners in rural China use hydro-electric energy that would otherwise be wasted due to low local energy demand and the inability to transport that excess energy to an urban power grid.