The debate about the energy consumption of Bitcoin mining enters the next round with unsubstantiated news from Greenpeace.
The environmental organization criticized the Bitcoin network and the crypto industry based on an article published last year.
On October 17, 2022, Greenpeace tweeted:
“Bitcoin Mining Leads to Millions of Tons of New Pollutant Gases in US and Fuels Global Warming.”
One of the main criticisms of the crypto industry is the use of energy for Bitcoin mining, which comes from the so-called “gas flaring”. Oil drilling produces gas as a by-product or waste, which in turn can be used as an energy source for mining. But according to Greenpeace, burning this gas does nothing to reduce fossil fuel consumption and even keeps old plants alive.
Unsubstantiated Bitcoin Tales?
The fact is that gas flaring is happening anyway, which is why carbon is entering the atmosphere anyway. Bitcoin miners convert this otherwise wasted energy into a productive process instead of just letting the energy go to waste.
Also cited Greenpeace to claim Bitcoin causes in US Millions of tons of polluting gases, no source yet.
Commenting on the Greenpeace article, popular cryptanalyst Willy Woo said:
“It would be nice if you supported your point with hard data and science instead of following a narrative that has become the norm these days”
According to the Cambridge University Electricity Consumption Index, the entire BTC network currently uses an estimated 106 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year. Bitcoin’s energy needs have actually decreased this year due to the crypto bear market and more efficient mining hardware.
By comparison, the energy consumption of the BTC network in the United States is equivalent to about half of all transmission and distribution losses in the country, which is estimated at 206 TWH. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), between 2016 and 2020, these losses represented about 5% of the electricity distributed in the United States.
In addition, solar and wind installations in China lose about 105 TWH per year due to excess energy not reaching the grid, according to Cambridge University.
Both examples are examples of wasted energy. Together, these waste three times more energy than the Bitcoin network consumes worldwide.
Crypto: Powering a New Global Financial System
Back to gas flaring: Cambridge University estimates that around 688 TWH can be saved worldwide by using this energy generation technique. Again: This is an energy source produced as waste from the extraction of fossil raw materials. This is even capable of powering the entire Bitcoin network six and a half times (6!).
In addition, a comparison between the energy consumption of the BTC network and other industries shows how low it actually is:
Bitcoin accounts for only 0.48% of global electricity consumption. However, this energy is being used to power a new, censorship-resistant crypto-ecosystem. More importantly, bitcoin has never been hacked and is available to anyone anywhere in the world at any time. Is it really unethical to use waste energy for crypto?
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