KPMG has released a report on Bitcoin and ESG (environment, social and governance) issues. The Big Four professional services firm found that Bitcoin “appears to provide a number of benefits across an ESG framework.”
Looking at each component of ESG separately, the report noted that emissions is a more significant indicator of environmental damage than energy usage. It contextualized Bitcoin (BTC) emissions in relation to those of other sources that ranged from tobacco to tourism and found it was the second smallest contributor behind “Video (US).” It concluded:
“Bitcoin’s emissions may be lower than often discussed.”
The report repeated common strategies for improving Bitcoin’s carbon footprint, such as using more renewable energy and energy produced from methane for mining.
— Dennis Porter (@Dennis_Porter_) August 1, 2023
Bitcoin’s contribution to money laundering is tiny compared to the total amount of money laundering worldwide, the report said. Money laundering accounts for 2-5% of global gross domestic product, according to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime statistics cited in the report, but accounts for just 0.24% of Bitcoin transactions, per Elliptic. It also noted that laundered money was received in Bitcoin far less than in Ether (ETH), stablecoins or altcoins, and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) measures could be applied at the point of off-ramping the coin, even though there are no AML/KYC requirements for transacting with it.
Bitcoin’s governance is robust, the report said, as its rules cannot be changed without forking:
“This results in a system that cannot be abused or misused by those in power or even individuals with ulterior motives due to its decentralization.”
The 12-page report uses all secondary sources and familiar use cases. It points out, however, that Bitcoin remains misunderstood. The firm offers a number of crypto-related advisory services.