Is Bitcoin Eco-Friendly?

Arvid Börje Ramberg

Although many are optimistic about the future of cryptocurrency, critics are concerned about the energy-intensive process of cryptocurrency mining. Mining is the primary method employed by crypto giant Bitcoin to verify cryptocurrency transactions and create new digital coins.

The validation process utilizes large amounts of energy, as it relies on the computational power of several mining machines to ensure the security of the cryptocurrency blockchains that rely on proof-of-work consensus. The energy required by Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to conduct the work associated with crypto mining exceeds that used by entire countries. The US is the largest country for Bitcoin mining, accounting for 37.84% of mining activities, with nearly 38 kilotons of electronic waste produced annually.


Water, wind and solar the biggest energy sources

However, new research by Daniel Batten, ESG investor and analyst, reveals that the majority of power used in Bitcoin mining now originates from renewable energy sources. Batten reports that hydroelectric power, which accounts for 23% of all power, is Bitcoin’s primary power source. Additionally, wind energy accounts for 13.98% of Bitcoin mining, nuclear for 7.94%, and solar generates 4.98% of the power. Some other sources of renewable energy account for 2.40% of Bitcoin mining. “Fossil fuel sources have been decreasing at a combined 6.2% per year since Jan 2020,” Batten tweeted.

As a whole, renewable sources of energy power about 52.4% of all Bitcoin mining. This pattern is projected to increase in the future as the cost of non-renewable energy sources rises.

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