New study shows: 77 percent of all bitcoin mining uses renewable energy

New study shows: 77 percent of all bitcoin mining uses renewable energy.

Image source: Shutterstock / Trijo News / Wikimedia Commons

Tim Haldorsson

tim.haldorsson@trijo.co

A common argument against bitcoin is that the management of the cryptocurrency is unsustainable in the long run because it requires a lot of energy. Now, however, a new study shows that bitcoin does little meaningful harm to the environment.

When making a transaction with bitcoin, it is secured by so-called “miners” that use computer power to verify the bitcoin network. This is a process that requires a lot of energy, something that many have used as an argument that bitcoin will not work long-term.

Now, a new study by the British crypto company Coinshares shows that more than 77.6 percent of all bitcoin mining is done with renewable energy such as wind, water and solar energy. In the study, the crypto company says that bitcoin mining uses “greener energy than almost every other large-scale industry in the world”.

The study: Bitcoin is not an environmental disaster

Several people have previously argued that bitcoin will never work because the cryptocurrency requires so much energy. But the new study goes against the claim that bitcoin mining is unsustainable and an environmental disaster.

The study shows, instead, that a large proportion of all mining uses energy that would otherwise have been completely wasted, such as surplus energy from heavy industries.

“Is doing little meaningful harm to the environment”

Bitcoin mining is an industry where companies are very dependent on reducing their energy costs. This means that a large part of the bitcoin mining takes place in northern China where the climate is cold, which makes it possible to cool down the equipment. In addition, China’s government invests billions of dollars each year in developing new renewable energy sources.

Overall, it is a conclusion from the study that bitcoin mining has a small negative impact on the environment at the present time and probably will not have a major negative effect in the near future.

“Our view is that cryptocurrency mining – while costly – is doing little meaningful harm as far as the environment is concerned, and is also unlikely to do so in the foreseeable future”, Coinshares writes in the study.

Read more about another study that has received tough criticism: Bitcoin could take global warming over two degrees.

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