Bitcoin, mining contributes 0.08% of global CO2 emissions

CoinShares shared a new report in which it is estimated that Bitcoin’s mining activities emitted 42 million tons of carbon dioxide in the course of 2021. With global emissions of 49.36 billion tons of CO2, Bitcoin would therefore represent the source of 0.08% of total emissions. The CoinShares report comes at a time when the debate over Bitcoin’s energy consumption has heated up.

CoinShares data was collected using various estimates regarding the efficiency of the Bitcoin network, energy consumption, characteristics of the hardware used, all on a global scale. It is therefore possible that there is some discrepancy with the actual volume of CO2 emissions, but in any case the CoinShares estimate seems to coincide quite well with the sector data.

The report prepared by CoinShares also estimated the total electricity consumption at 89TWh, a value significantly lower than the Cambridge University estimates which are the most taken into consideration and which speak of an annual consumption exceeding 130TWh. In this case it would be 0.05% of the electricity consumed worldwide. According to data collected by CoinShares, 60% of Bitcoin’s mining business is powered by fossil fuels.

“Carbon emissions from the electricity suppliers that power the Bitcoin mining network are irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. With 0.08% of global CO2 emissions, remove the entire mining network from global demand,” and depriving hundreds of millions of people of their only hope for a fair and accessible form of money would amount to nothing more than a rounding error, ”CoinShares comments.

Just in recent days, a group of eight members of the US Congress coordinated by Senator Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to the six largest Bitcoin mining companies in the world with a request to disclose detailed data on their energy consumption. This is a move that underlines the growing regulatory pressure on mining activities in the United States in a context where miners themselves are trying to commit themselves more and more to using ever greater proportions of energy from renewable sources.

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