Bitcoin Mining And Green Energy: How Sustainable Is BTC Network Today?
The Bitcoin mining network has been gradually transitioning towards green energy. Here’s how much percentage of the network is sustainable today.
52.6% Of The Bitcoin Mining Network Is Now Using Sustainable Energy
One of the most talked about controversies around cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin has been their potential negative impact on the environment. BTC uses a “proof-of-work” (PoW) consensus system to validate transactions on the blockchain. This means that chain validators called miners compete against each other using vast amounts of computing power to be the first to solve a mathematical puzzle and get to set transfers in the next block.
Miners require specialized computing units for this purpose which can be power-hungry. As the Bitcoin network has only grown larger over the years, the chain’s energy consumption has only increased.
Because of this reason, a study about how the BTC network is advancing in terms of shifting towards green energy sources is important. An analyst on Twitter, Daniel Batten, has teamed up with analyst Willy Woo to create charts that showcase the relevant data about Bitcoin’s sustainability.
Here is the first of the graphs, which shows how the percentage of the network using sustainable energy has changed over the past few years:
Looks like the metric has sharply grown recently | Source: Daniel Batten on Twitter
As displayed in the above chart, the Bitcoin network has made some large progress in shifting towards greener during the last few years. Sustainable energy sources now power more than 50% of the network.
Interestingly, the total emissions of the network have been trending down for quite a while now, even though the miners’ electricity consumption has only gone up.
From the chart, it’s apparent that the emissions were on the rise during the first half of 2021, but following the mining ban in China, the emissions sharply plunged. As a result of this ban, a widescale migration of miners took place to other countries.
Since then, emissions have stayed down, despite the network still growing. It seems probable that these miners shifted to sustainable energy sources wherever they set up their new facilities.
The Bitcoin mining emissions per dollar have also been going down during the last few years, as the below chart depicts.
“This chart shows that, unlike the current global financial system where GDP growth is tethered to rising emissions, Bitcoin’s market cap can grow while emissions do not,” notes the analyst.
And lastly, a major sign of the progress that the mining network has made can be seen in the fact that it’s also becoming emission-efficient, meaning that it’s producing fewer emissions relative to its total energy consumption.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading around $22,300, down 5% in the last week.