UN Report: Bitcoin & Mining Energy Connection

Bitcoin & Mining Energy

United Nations released a study that examines the relationship between the price of bitcoin and the energy consumption associated with bitcoin mining.


A summary

is provided below:

– United Nations Study: The United Nations conducted a study analysing the energy consumption of the global bitcoin mining network. The study focused on the period between 2020 and 2021, during which time bitcoin experienced a significant increase in price, reaching an all-time high of $69,000.

– Increased energy consumption: The UN study found a direct correlation between the price of bitcoin and the energy consumption of the bitcoin mining network. It found that a 400 per cent increase in the price of bitcoin from 2021 to 2022 was associated with a 140 per cent increase in energy consumption by bitcoin miners around the world.

– Energy sources: Fossil energy sources accounted for a significant portion (67%) of the electricity used for bitcoin mining during the study period. However, the cryptocurrency community is working to transition to more sustainable energy sources. Hydropower accounted for 16% of electricity demand, while nuclear, solar and wind power contributed 9%, 2% and 5% respectively.


Margot Paez’s Criticism

Climate change physicist Margot Paez criticized about UN Report.

One of the crazy things about the UN paper is that the authors did read the rebuttals to the Mora et al paper because they cite the Houy 2019 paper, but only to note that BTC price is a factor in determining BTC mining profitability. The UN authors completely ignored the opening paragraph of Houy’s comment:

“The Bitcoin network is criticized for its energy consumption[1]. Mora et al.[2] estimated that the 2017 carbon footprint of Bitcoin was 69 Mt of CO2-equivalent (MtCO2e). We criticize the inclusion of unprofitable mining rigs in their analysis—as a consequence, they highly overestimate emissions.”

Also Nic Carter criticized the UN report for citing “it posits a model of bitcoin that bears no resemblance to reality, and it is the source of the “bitcoin will warm the earth 2º” lie.”

– Top bitcoin mining countries: The study identified the top 10 bitcoin mining countries, including China, the United States, Kazakhstan, Russia, Malaysia, Canada, Germany, Iran, Ireland and Singapore. These countries are responsible for a significant portion of the global carbon, water and land footprint associated with bitcoin mining.

– Green alternatives: The report suggests that the adoption of green energy sources for bitcoin mining could help reduce the carbon footprint of bitcoin and the wider cryptocurrency ecosystem. In summary, the UN study highlights the relationship between the price of bitcoin and the energy consumed in mining operations, and the need for a shift to more sustainable energy sources within the cryptocurrency community.


Greening BTC mining

In a report published on 15 September, Bloomberg crypto analyst Jamie Coutts reported that

“bitcoin mining has become much greener in recent years than it used to be”.

Coutts relied on data from the University of Cambridge and cryptocurrency research firm Coinmetric. According to Coutts, there are three main reasons for the change in the bitcoin mining environment. First, a shift in mining energy sources; second, the introduction of energy-efficient bitcoin mining machines; and third, the use of surplus power.

“Some mines have turned to green energy sources such as wind and solar as their primary energy source, including large mines that use surplus city electricity for bitcoin mining, and the share of green energy used in bitcoin mining has exceeded 50% for the first time,” Coutts wrote.

Recently, Genesis Digital Assets Limited, a mining and data centre company with over 400MW of power generation worldwide, opened a new data centre in Sweden to power 1,900 bitcoin mining machines, thanks to the country’s burgeoning renewable energy surplus.

At the same time, bitcoin mining equipment manufacturers continue to offer energy-efficient hardware. At the World Digital Mining Summit on 22 September, bitcoin miners shared plans to help decarbonise the cryptocurrency ecosystem.


Regarding Article: Pennsylvania Crypto Mining Ban has Removed: Examining Environmental Impact and Industry Initiatives

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