Sustainable Bitcoin mining grew 60% in the past year
Bitcoin mining is moving toward greener energy with a 59 percent YoY increase in its sustainable energy mix
By Shashank Bhardwaj
The recent Blockchain Mining Council (BMC) report posits that Bitcoin mining has rapidly moved away from non-renewable resources in the past years. The crypto mining industry has adopted a greener and more sustainable energy source and recorded a 59 percent increase on a year-on-year basis of its use to mine bitcoins and secure the largest cryptocurrency blockchain.
BMC is a group of 44 Bitcoin mining companies. It claims to represent half of the existing mining facilities of the global Bitcoin network. The group is led by the well-known Bitcoin Maximalist and Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor.
The BMC released a report of its survey on Monday, where the companies were asked questions around the hash rate of the operations of each company, the amount of energy consumed by each company, and the percentage of energy generated from renewable sources such as hydro, solar, wind, nuclear, or geothermal.
The survey results revealed the green energy mix for the global Bitcoin mining industry stands at 58.4 percent in Q1 of 2022, a marginal fall of 0.1 percent from the previous quarter. The growth is considered significant compared to the estimated figure of 36.8 percent in Q1 of 2021. The report also shows an increase in the energy efficiency of these mining operations. While electricity consumption has declined by 25 percent in the last year, the hash rate has increased by 23 percent–from 164.9 to 202.1. This shows an increase in efficiency by 63 percent from the last year and by 5,814 percent than eight years ago.
Notably, BMC was constituted in June 2021, and it is unknown how it came to the 36.8 percent estimate for Q1 of 2021. Data for the new report was self-reported by the BMC members. The members reported to be using a 64.6 percent sustainable energy mix. The global figures were arrived at from the data collected from BMC members.
The BMC report contradicts another report published in February by the scientific journal Joules. The report had claimed that crypto mining contributed to a 17 percent increase in the carbon emissions produced by operations carried on to sustain the Bitcoin network. The journal report presented an industry-wise breakdown of the energy consumption stating that Bitcoin mining operations consumed 247 terawatt-hours (TWh) of energy globally. This figure is less than half of the energy consumed by gold mining operations and 0.16 percent of the total energy consumption in the world.
Bitcoin has received a lot of flak for being energy-intensive and having a high carbon footprint. To combat this criticism, the mining industry has been keen on displaying its progression toward greener and more sustainable energy sources.
The writer is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash