In light of an ongoing debate over the impact that Bitcoin (BTC) mining has on the environment, the Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC) has presented new facts that assert how negligible this effect is.
Indeed, one of the conclusions of the BMC’s ‘Global Bitcoin Mining Data Review’ for Q3 2022 is that global BTC mining consumes only 0.16% of the world’s energy production, as presented in a video streamed on October 18.
According to the BMC founder and former MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor:
“Bitcoin uses an inconsequential amount of global energy. The number this quarter is 16 basis points (bps) of the world’s energy or 0.16%.”
Specifically, the total amount of energy utilized worldwide is 165,317 TWh, whereas BTC mining only uses 266 TWh of that energy. In Saylor’s words, one-third of the total global energy use is actually wasted energy, it is not possible to utilize it, with Bitcoin accounting for “just a small fraction” of this.
Bitcoin mining energy use vs. total global energy use. Source: Bitcoin Mining Council
Comparing this energy use with that of other industries, the report also concluded that Bitcoin mining utilizes less energy than residential and non-residential buildings, construction, aviation, household appliances in the United States, as well as gold mining.
That said, some of the other cryptocurrency projects have claimed to use a fraction of Bitcoin’s energy consumption themselves, including Chia (XCH) whose ‘green paper’ states that it utilizes only 0.16% of Bitcoin’s annual energy consumption.
Leader in sustainability?
Furthermore, the report compares the sustainable power mix of the global Bitcoin mining industry with that of major countries in the world, with BMC members and BTC mining all being “dramatically higher in the sustainable power mix than Germany or the EU.”
Saylor explained that, for six quarters in a row, Bitcoin has been the industry leader in sustainability, running on a 59.4% sustainable energy mix. As he stressed:
“It’s hard to find any other industry that runs such a high percentage of sustainable energy as Bitcoin.”
Bitcoin mining vs. countries’ sustainable power mix. Source:
CO2 production still on the low end
Finally, the study also found that global Bitcoin mining accounts for only 0.1% of the world’s CO2 production. As Saylor commented:
“It also generates negligible carbon emissions – 10bps. So 99.9% of the carbon in the world that we can track comes from something other than Bitcoin. (…) In fact, every industry generates more CO2.”
BTC mining vs. total global carbon emissions. Source: Bitcoin Mining Council
Interestingly, this is slightly higher than CoinShares’ report from January which put the figure at 0.08%, as Finbold