The rhetoric that Bitcoin mining is harmful to the environment cannot be further from the truth according to Jason Deane and in fact, the opposite might be the truth. In a blog titled “Why Bitcoin Mining Is Great for The Planet” this week, the analyst at Quantum Economics noted that ‘Bitcoin has no apologies to make for the power it consumes’.
According to him, not only does bitcoin have the opportunity to radically and completely change the entire global financial system as we know it for the better, but it also has the potential to deliver substantial benefits to the environment.
Whereas critics pivot their assertions on dubious and outrageous reports about the environmental hazards caused by bitcoin from mainstream media and individuals like Elon Musk and Ripple’s Chris Larsen, while curiously promoting other coins, recent statistics on Bitcoin’s carbon footprint only seem to support the analogy that miners are “non-rival” consumers of energy.
Coinshares has recently reported that Bitcoin only consumes only 0.05% of global power while the entire crypto ecosystem consumes 0.08% of global CO2 emissions. The conclusion here thus means that ceasing to mine Bitcoin simultaneously on the planet would make a difference no more than a rounding error.
A recent report by Knoema, a New York-based research company also showed that about 400 million metric tons of CO2 are released into the environment each year when maintaining modern money systems including banking deposits and paper money. This figure exceeds that of Bitcoin by over four times which further puts claims of Bitcoin harming the environment by traditional actors to question.
That said, Deane sees Bitcoin miners as being the “dung beetles” of the energy world, for the vast advantages that they bring to the table. First, the ability of miners to set up farms in “places where other industries can’t (or won’t) go” and set up shop in small spaces.
Miners have also been finding pockets of wasted power deep in the crevices of oversupplied substations and local networks, such as in Russia and Kazakhstan thereby cutting down on the loss of power production.
One of the most notable developments has been the use of flared gas to generate energy for bitcoin mining. With pressure on nations to cut down on the CO2 emissions to net-zero mounting, Bitcoin miners are tapping into waste gas which is often flared/burned, causing extraordinary damage to the planet’s ozone layer. Flaring has been seen to be more dangerous than CO2 and within, say a period of 20 years, it’s believed to be 80 times more potent in terms of potential damage.
“If we want to get to net-zero carbon emissions, we should be encouraging bitcoin mining and not be scared of doing so,” Dean says.