BTC Mining Report Draws Criticism

The New York Times’ recent report on Bitcoin mining, “The Real-World Costs of the Digital Race for Bitcoin,” has been met with criticism from BTC proponents. The article claims that Bitcoin mining has a “voracious” appetite and uses as much energy as all residences in New York City. However, some analysts have pointed out that the article cherry-picks data and neglects the increasing use of renewable energy in the mining sector.

Bitcoin environmental, social, and governance (ESG) analyst, Daniel Batten, said that the article exaggerates the fossil fuel use of BTC miners and uses incomplete datasets to support its thesis. He also noted that some Bitcoin miners in the United States and Canada use 90% sustainable energy to fuel their mining activities, but the NYT article focuses on the sites least backed by renewable energy.

Bitcoin proponent, Troy Cross, criticized the article for using “marginal emissions accounting” and selectively applying it only for carbon emissions, not generation. Dennis Porter, CEO of the Satoshi Act Fund, also noted an error in the article’s initial reporting, where the wrong town was named for a BTC mining facility in Texas.

BTC mining firm Riot’s vice president of research, Pierre Rochard, accused the NYT of using “fictitious fractional-reserve carbon accounting” and “cooking the books to fabricate emissions.” Meanwhile, another Twitter user believed that the article was fear-mongering.

Despite the debate on Bitcoin mining’s energy consumption, it remains significant for the blockchain. Mining is used to verify transactions, make it decentralized, and add a layer of security. According to the Bitcoin Mining Council’s Q4 2022 report, the Bitcoin network is already a leader in sustainable energy use, with 58.9% of its energy coming from renewable sources.

While some mainstream outlets criticize Bitcoin mining for its environmental impact, many BTC proponents see these reports as hit pieces and offer opposing perspectives. Some are even campaigning to change Bitcoin’s mining consensus to the more environmentally friendly proof-of-stake. Despite the criticism, Bitcoin mining’s importance to the blockchain makes it an essential area for continued development and research into sustainable energy solutions.


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Crypto Mining May be Sacrificed as EU Continues to Battle Energy Crisis

The European Commission is preparing the minds of leaders in its member states as they may need to halt cryptocurrency mining on their shores should the strain on the energy industry in the region demand it. 


According to a Press Release, detailing an action plan to digitalize the energy sector, the commission reiterated the onus may soon lie on its member states to completely ban Proof-of-Work (PoW) mining systems used by such crypto assets as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum Classic (ETC), and Dogecoin (DOGE).

The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has put additional strain on the region’s energy capabilities and the sanctions being placed on the Russian government also include the cap on the oil coming from the Putin-led country.

With winter coming, the energy demands of households and industries will increase. While it may be difficult to forecast the state of things between the EU and Russia in the most critical times, the European Commission has chosen to take a proactive approach towards preparing its member countries on what it might cost to free up the electricity grid with the load coming from crypto miners.

In the longer term, the European Commission plans to introduce a rating system that will categorize crypto miners based on their estimated environmental impact. The introduction of this rating system is a compromise attained when there was pushback earlier this year when the ban of PoW from the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation was vehemently opposed by members of the European Parliament.

According to the commission, the transition from PoW to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) system by the Ethereum Network is more or less the nature of transformations it hopes to see in the near future. With the proposals for the crypto miner rating already underway, its implementation, if approved will be slated for 2025.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Report: Bitcoin mining network accounts for 0.08% of world’s CO2 production

In a new report published by CoinShares on Monday, the firm estimated that the Bitcoin (BTC) mining network emitted 42 megatons, or Mt, (1Mt = 1 million tons) of carbon dioxide, or CO2, in 2021. In context, the number amounts to less than 0.08% of the world’s total emissions of 49,360 Mts of CO2 in the same year. CoinShares came to such figures using a variety of estimates regarding the efficiency of the Bitcoin network, its energy use, hardware, etc., on a global scale. As a result, it may not reflect the actual CO2 emission of the network. But the report’s estimate of worldwide CO2 emission is mainly in-line with industry figures.

In addition, the report estimates the total electricity consumption of the Bitcoin network at 89 terawatt-hours (TWh), which is far lower than that of estimates put forth by an institution such as the University of Cambridge. It is especially the case, given that the Bitcoin network’s hash rate has reached new all-time highs. That said, electricity consumption alone is not a true contextual measure of the Bitcoin network’s environmental impact. This is because global CO2 emissions come from many aspects, such as private automobiles, for starters.

The report sheds light on a growing debate regarding the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining. For example, influencers such as Elon Musk have rescinded their adoption of Bitcoin for business use in the past due to energy use concerns. The CoinShares report suggests that approximately 60% of Bitcoin’s mining activity comes from fossil fuels, which is on the far lower bound of industry’s estimate, as some have put the metric at a mere 25%. However, if the report’s claims are accurate, it shows Bitcoin’s overall environmental impact to be negligible from a worldwide standpoint.