While the Bitcoin network has continued to expand over the years, the Bitcoin (BTC) mining industry has yet to see a comparable increase in carbon footprint — an achievement that a Bloomberg analyst argues “few industries can claim.”
This, in turn, could drive the next wave of institutional investment.
On Sept. 20, Bloomberg crypto market analyst Jamie Coutts cited data showing that the sustainable energy mix for Bitcoin has continued to rise since 2021 and is now over 50%. This has led to the growth of emissions slowing relative to the network’s continued expansion.
“Bitcoin as a global monetary network is scaling while its carbon impact declines. Few industries can claim this achievement.”
He said that the evolving relationship between Bitcoin network growth and the global push to transition from fossil fuels could “catalyze a wave of institutional and even sovereign investment capital.”
The analyst added that as energy constitutes well over 50% of mining’s operational costs:
“The incentive to acquire the cheapest energy sources is contributing to the network’s rising hash rate while simultaneously reducing the industry’s emissions or carbon intensity.”
Bottom Line: If the network scales to hundreds of millions of users, the impact on global carbon emissions will be minimal, and the technology itself is likely to play a pivotal role in the transition away from fossil fuels
— Jamie Coutts CMT (@Jamie1Coutts) September 20, 2023
Energy emissions refer to the greenhouse gases and air pollutants emitted as byproducts from different energy sources and activities, whereas carbon intensity measures how clean the electricity is.
On Sept. 18, Cointelegraph reported that the next generation of Bitcoin miners was focusing on alternative energy sources for efficiency.
However, the percentage of sustainable energy used in Bitcoin mining has been a point of debate, as Cambridge University’s model (which hasn’t been updated since January 2022) stated that mining from sustainable energy sources is just 37.6%.
Climate technology venture investor and activist Daniel Batten, however, argues that this is actually above 50%.
Google is learning pic.twitter.com/xt8flWKN63
— Daniel Batten (@DSBatten) September 19, 2023
He said in anX post that the Cambridge figures were out because off-grid mining and methane mitigation are currently not included in its calculations.
Earlier this year, Batten reported that the intensity of Bitcoin mining emissions had fallen to its lowest-ever level.
Moreover, he predicts that the Bitcoin network will become carbon neutral by December 2024.
“By 2030, the Bitcoin network is projected to mitigate 10x more emissions from the atmosphere than it produces, an astonishing achievement,” claimed Batten.