- Bitcoin mining carbon emission has already peaked a couple of months back
- Bitcoin carbon emissions are coming down
- Bitcoin mining carbon emissions will become zero in a decade
Figures obtained from University of Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance and the International Energy Agency, or IEA reveals that Bitcoin mining carbon emission peaked a couple of months back. In other words, the worst is over, and forecasts predict that Bitcoin mining activities-related carbon emissions will be down by two-thirds in the coming five years.
For some time now, a debate has been raging about the carbon footprints of Bitcoin mining. Bitcoin Mining entails gigantic power consumption. Bitcoin mining hubs are often located in locations that have cheap power. The cheapest energy source happens to be produced from coal-based power plants and thus the latest debate about the carbon footprints of Bitcoin mining.
Bitcoin mining carbon emissions have already peaked
The ecological costs of bitcoin mining have become the favorite talking point of skeptics of the cryptocurrencies trade. However, Data available for the public reveals that bitcoin carbon intensity peaked last year. Hass McCook, a retired chartered engineer, feels that Bitcoin mining carbon emissions have peaked, and it is now in the declining stage.
McCook added that with the recent banning of bitcoin mining in China, the march towards Zero carbon emissions has already started. A lot of mining hubs had opened up in China, lured by the cheap power and labor. However, of late, the Communist-ruled nation has been coming down heavily upon cryptocurrency. Among the various measures, the ban on crypto mining was the most debilitating for the number one cryptocurrency in the world. The impact of the ban was seen in the massive tanking of values of Bitcoin.
Miners are moving towards eco-friendly sources of power
The ban on crypto mining in China, along with the growing concern of carbon imprints of bitcoin mining, has forced miners to migrate to other locations where cheap and eco-friendly energy is available in abundance. One such location is El Salvador which has even adopted Bitcoin as an official tender. El Salvador has rolled out the red carpet for the Bitcoin miners and invited them to use abundant power from geothermal sources in the country. It is possible that El Salvador can become the next Bitcoin Mining hub.
Bitcoin’s march towards zero carbon emission has already started, and in five years, the emission will be less than a third of its emissions today. In a decade, Bitcoin will emit nothing at all, and all its mining activity will be conducted with power obtained from renewable resources.
The data from Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index also negates a myth that Bitcoin mining is environmentally bad. Grid intensity, in other words, the carbon emissions per unit of electricity consumed, is better than the world average. The world average is 463 grams of CO2 emitted per kilowatt-hour. In comparison, the Bitcoin mining average is 418 grams.
Interestingly, the world grid intensity peaked last year if the energy consumption stays on track with forecasts for 2021.
The P-O-W or proof of work mechanism makes cheating the network rules impossible. The tool allows the nodes to become a part of the network by forcing miners to venture into electricity costs and risk losing their operating costs for no profit if their computer attempts to cheat the network’s rules.
Skeptics of cryptocurrency often deride cryptocurrency mining as environmentally devastating. However, often the charges are trumped up without any substance. The biggest example is Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who first blew the Bitcoin values through the roof when Tesla invested a huge sum in the cryptocurrency and started accepting payments in Bitcoin for its electric cars. Later Elon did a U-Turn, and Tesla stopped accepting Bitcoin as payments, citing environmental concerns. However, Elon conveniently forgot that Tesla uses the same sources of electricity to make its electric cars.