Much better than expected! Bitcoin is really that bad for the environment

Much better than expected!  Bitcoin is really that bad for the environment

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A recent study has shown that Bitcoin is less harmful to the environment than is often assumed.

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Bitcoin less corrupt than claimed

​​​​​​A recent study by bitcoin research firm Batcoinz found: The zero emissions impact of the bitcoin network has increased by 41% since March of last year and is as high as 62%. On the other hand, the use of negative carbon sources has a -4.2% impact on the carbon emission of the Bitcoin network.


The term “carbon positive” means that an energy source emits carbon while providing electricity. Being carbon neutral or carbon free, the energy would be produced in ways that do not emit any carbon at all. On the other hand, carbon negative energy sources favor overall carbon emissions. The reason: They remove carbon from the atmosphere while generating energy.

Global Bitcoin Network Emissions

As of March 2021, 59% of the global bitcoin network was carbon positive and only 41% was carbon neutral. Since then, the numbers have changed significantly.

In June 2022, the carbon production of the global bitcoin network has fallen to 38%, and the use of carbon-free energy has reached 58%. In addition, 1.57% of the network started using negative carbon sources. This had a negative impact of 4.2% on the carbon intensity of the network.

Bitcoin in comparison

Various studies have compared Bitcoin’s energy consumption and carbon emissions with other prominent sectors. Bitcoin turned out to be much less harmful in all studies.


A study published by DePaul University in Chicago compares the gold industry to Bitcoin. The results show that the gold industry consumes about 265 terawatts per hour (TW/h) and emits 145 million tonnes per year.

In comparison, Bitcoin consumes 113 TW/h of energy every year and releases about 70 tons of carbon into the atmosphere.


Data from the banking sector was also included in the same study. The figures show that the annual energy consumption of the banking sector is around 700 TW/h and releasing a whopping 400 million tonnes of carbon each year.


Another study by Arcane Research compares the energy consumption of bitcoin mining to the energy consumption of cement production. The results show that the energy consumption for cement production in 2022 is 894 TW/h, while Bitcoin mining consumes only 88 TW/h.

These numbers are expected to increase to 6,053 TW/h for cement production and 4,238 TW/h for bitcoin mining in 2040.

Greener Bitcoin

Arcane Research’s study also shows that the energy requirements for bitcoin mining will decrease by every half. The report explains: The price of Bitcoin will likely increase at a slower pace than the block subsidy will expand, reducing demand for energy.

In addition to the naturally decreasing demand for energy, the bitcoin community is becoming more sensitive to carbon emissions. Studies have shown that renewable energy sources also offer advantages to miners as they are much more affordable. According to figures, 90% of hydropower, 40% of solar power and 75% of wind power worldwide are cheaper than the cheapest fuel source.

What does the future hold?

There is also a growing number of companies choosing carbon neutral and carbon negative energy sources. The latest initiative in this area came from Block, Blockstream and Tesla. They came together and built a carbon-free mining farm in May 2022. A month earlier, Marathon Digital announced that it would replace its energy sources with carbon-free.

In addition, Paraguay is trying to attract miners to its territory by supporting the zero-carbon mining movement. The country has advanced a bill for presidential approval that would allow crypto miners to tap into the excess energy the country generates through its hydroelectric dams.

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Text credit: Cryptoslate

Last updated on August 31, 2022

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