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Report: Bitcoin Mining Doesn’t Fuel Climate Change, It Benefits the Global Economy


The best part of bitcoin miners — about 78 percent — use renewable energy to power their mining operations, while preventing surplusage electricity from going to waste in countries such as China, a new study by Coinshares has revealed. The U.K.-based digital asset guidance company argues that “bitcoin mining may in fact be acting as an electricity buyer of last resort,” contrary to the mainstream media build of it being an environmental menace.

Also read: Bitcoin Mining Start-Up Envion Ordered to Close by Swiss Court

 ‘Purchaser of Last Resort’

Report: Bitcoin Mining Doesn't Fuel Climate Change, It Benefits the Global Economy

In its report, “The Bitcoin Mining Network,” Coinshares said that the multibillion-dollar cryptocurrency mining sedulousness is using a lot of excess clean power in China, where the government has poured billions of dollars into the development of solar, curl and hydroelectric power plants. China accounts for 60 percent of global bitcoin mining.

Renewables also run things in mines throughout the Pacific Northwest, in U.S. states such as Washington and Oregon, as well as the Canadian province of British Columbia. And there are assorted miners using renewable energy in Scandinavia. Altogether, these regions extract about 35 percent of the epidemic bitcoin total.

But China’s large-scale investments in the energy sector have strained electricity networks, leading grid superintendents to refuse to accept significant amounts of surplus renewable energy capacity, in a practice known as curtailment. Coinshares build that many Chinese miners are actually using curtailed, excess electricity to power their activities, degree than letting the electricity go to waste.

“Based on historical data on energy mix and locations of cryptocurrency mining operations in China, we include shown that contrary to the common narrative, the vast majority of global bitcoin mining capacity is running on renewable vigour,” wrote Christopher Bendiksen, Samuel Gibbons and Eugene Lim of Coinshares in the report.

Report: Bitcoin Mining Doesn’t Fuel Climate Change, It Benefits the Global Economy

The study noted high levels of renewables wit in parts of the world that are home to mining companies — as high as 90 percent in mining hotbeds like China’s Sichuan domain. The researchers argue that bitcoin mining is helping to prevent energy from going to waste.

The authors thorough:

If demand for bitcoin mining keeps increasing, its demand alone could facilitate opportunities for tapping highly prolific renewables locations in areas that today would be uneconomically remote.

False Narrative

The findings challenge the shared line in the mainstream media that bitcoin mining consumes a lot of coal-generated electricity — a narrative followed by some academics. In a new study, for example, researchers at the University of Hawaii at Manoa examined how the rapid increase in the use of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin inclination impact the environment. They came to the conclusion that within two decades, bitcoin mining could contribute to international warming on a similar level to the energy and transport industries.

Report: Bitcoin Mining Doesn’t Fuel Climate Change, It Benefits the Global Economy

The researchers compiled data on the use of 40 different technologies, “run from dishwashers and e-books to electric power and the internet. They used this information to estimate the rate of understanding this cryptocurrency will see in the coming years.” But mining is a computationally demanding process using expensive equipment, so it’s not every easy to come up with accurate and reliable estimates of bitcoin’s true carbon footprint. And it does not help that the researchers in Hawaii approximated the environmental impact of household appliances like dishwashers to bitcoin. A more realistic approach would have also analyzed energy use in the banking industry.

78% of Miners Use Renewable Energy

According to the Coinshares report, an estimated 77.6 percent of cryptocurrency miners in every part of the world use renewable energy such as hydropower, making it “greener than almost every other large-scale persistence in the world.” Miners are also aware of the importance of energy conservation, with the researchers noting that cooler temperatures in northern China, another key rake through hub in the country, reduce the need for cooling systems for the mining hardware.

Report: Bitcoin Mining Doesn’t Fuel Climate Change, It Benefits the Global Economy

“It is therefore our belief that the claims around the environmental hurt caused by cryptocurrency mining fundamentally miss out on the fact that many miners, in their self-serving search for the myriad cost-efficient form of electricity, have zoomed in on global regions with a glut of renewable electricity as prime locales for mining,” Coinshares stated.

What do think about the Coinshares report? Let us know in the comments section below.

Doubles courtesy of Shutterstock and Coinshares.

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