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Projected environmental impacts of Bitcoin mining have long been used as an argument against cryptocurrencies. Reports like the one published by Nature Climate Change last year further fueled such fears. There has been a significant increase in the energy consumption of Bitcoin mining since that report came out.
However, recent findings by the International Energy Agency (IEA) show that Bitcoin mining will not cause our glaciers to melt and our planet to die – not on its own at least.
In their 2018 report, Nature Climate Change claimed that the amount of power used to mine Bitcoin can alone cause the temperature of the planet to rise by 2 degrees Celsius. The report went into great detail about how mining Bitcoin can lead to a huge amount of CO2 emissions.
The report by the Nature Climate Change should be taken with a pinch of salt though. It has a lot of irregularities and has been called “misleading” around the cryptocurrency community. The IEA’s report claims that a lot of energy used when mining cryptocurrency (almost 74%) is generated through renewable energy. This actually makes Bitcoin(BTC)trade mining greener than most other industries.
According to the IEA, cryptocurrency is only responsible for 0.03% to 0.06% of the total CO2 emissions globally. To keep the cost of energy consumption as low as possible, the mining locations are selected by keeping multiple factors in mind. Some of them include colder climate, low electricity rates, and fast internet connection.
Bitcoin Mining Farms Are Located Mostly Near Renewable Energy Resources
China is the hub of Bitcoin mining right now, with 60% to 70% of mining taking place there. The areas within China where mining is taking place are usually located near renewable energy resources such as hydropower. Same is the case with mining farms in other countries. Most of the crypto mining companies are on the lookout to reduce the cost as much as possible and renewable energy favors this goal.
With apocalyptic claims like the Bitcoin industry was consuming more electricity than the whole of Ireland, there was an air of concern. However, according to the IEA, Bitcoin’s yearly energy consumption ranges from 20 TWh to 80 TWh, with an average of 45 TWH. This energy consumption is less than the energy consumed by an electric car.
Crypto is a volatile industry. The prices of many major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH)trade, and Ripple (XRP)trade can take a nosedive and rise to new heights on the same day. Hyperbole such as “a 2-degree Celsius increase in the Earth’s temperature,” can lead to even more instability and uncertainty. Only through accountability and vigilant strive for truth can we counter against such efforts.