Cambridge and IEA data show bitcoin’s carbon intensity peaked last year
According to publicly available data from the Center for Alternative Finance at the University of Cambridge and the International Energy Agency, or IEA, the carbon emissions intensity of bitcoin (BTC) may have already peaked .
The environmental impact of using Bitcoin’s electricity is a favorite topic of discussion for its critics and journalists on the crypto rhythm. But taking into account the available data, Hass McCook, a retired licensed professional engineer, believes that bitcoin’s carbon emissions “already peaked a few months ago.”
McCook unwrapped the data and defended this conclusion in a guest post on Bitcoin Magazine’s website on Friday:
“From the above, it would appear that Bitcoin emissions peaked a few months ago, and luckily, with the ban on Bitcoin mining in China, its aggressive march towards zero emissions has begun. . Bitcoin in five years will be less than a third of its issuance today, and in 10 years Bitcoin will be emitting nothing at all. “
BitAll’s bitcoin mining infrastructure has been built over the past 12 years, providing miners with the “second engine advantage” to take advantage of their operations with the latest and most sustainable green technology for them. electricity in order to extract bitcoin.
Data from the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index suggests that global bitcoin mining has a ‘grid intensity’ (carbon emissions per unit of electricity consumed) that is cleaner than the average for the year. the entire global electricity grid. The global average is 463 grams of CO2 emitted per kilowatt hour. Bitcoin miners weigh an average of 418 grams.
Meanwhile, the intensity of the global grid peaked last year, if the energy economy remains on track with projections for 2021 and beyond, according to IEA data.
By design, computers running Bitcoin Core to validate and place new blocks on the bitcoin blockchain must use electricity to correctly guess the input of an encrypted SHA-256 hash.
SHA-256 (short for Secure Hashing Algorithm) is a one-way hash function released by the United States National Security Agency in 2001, and is an integral part of the Bitcoin design architecture. Computers test the guess by entering it into the algorithm and seeing if it matches the hash of the previous block. The first node to correctly guess the hash places the next block of transactions and assigns the bitcoin miner a newly created bitcoin.
This Proof of Work, or PoW, mechanism qualifies nodes to participate in the network by forcing miners to venture into electricity costs and risk losing their operating costs without profit if their computer tries to cheat them. network rules.
Some critics of Bitcoin, and even its supporters, claim that its energy consumption poses environmental risks and may contribute to man-made global warming. Tesla CEO Elon Musk rocked the price of bitcoin this year by announcing that the electric car maker would accept BTC for Teslas and then backtrack.
Musk said Tesla would resume accepting bitcoin when it was reasonably confirmed that 50% or more of miners’ energy use came from “clean energy” sources.
McCook says most of the bitcoin issuance allegations are exaggerated:
“One of the most refuted, but still widely referenced, claims from ‘academia’ is that Bitcoin on its own will raise the temperature of the planet by 2 degrees Celsius.”
A Bitcoin Mining Council survey report released this week estimates a sustainable energy mix of 56% for the second quarter of 2021 in bitcoin mining operations around the world based on respondent responses.