Bitcoin (BTC), despite significant improvements in energy efficiency, a more diverse energy mix and sustainable energy sources, has seen an increase of 41% in energy consumption Year on Year (YoY). However there are concerns that regulators could clamp down mining.
This data is based on a Q3 2022 report from the Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC), which represents 51 of world’s most important Bitcoin mining companies.
According to the BMC, Bitcoin mining consumed 0.16% of global energy. This is slightly less than what was used by computer games. It also found that Bitcoin mining consumes a small amount of global energy.
The BMC also found that Bitcoin mining emitted 0.1% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, which they deemed “negligible.”
The rise in Bitcoin energy consumption is due to the network’s hashrate increasing 8.34% in Q3 2022, and 73% YoY. This despite less blocks being produced and lower price pressure.
#Bitcoin’s mining efficiency grew 23% YoY in Q3 2022. The sustainable power mix was 59.4% which is above 50% for the sixth quarter. The network was 73% more secure YoY, only using 41% more energy, and is now 99% of all crypto hashing power.https://t.co/B0jlkWHYgg
Michael Saylor (@saylor), October 18, 2022
Glassnode, a blockchain data analytics company, believes that the “hashrate increase” is due to better mining hardware and/or more miners with stronger balance sheets having a greater share of the hashpower network.
The report claimed that Bitcoin mining efficiency has increased by 23% YOY, and 5,814% in the past eight years. However, regulators may be irritated at further energy consumption increases.
Environmentalists are putting pressure on Bitcoin miners, claiming that their power consumption is causing harm to the environment. Greenpeace currently runs the “change code not climate” campaign to encourage Bitcoin miners to adopt proof of stake. However, the official account has only 1100 followers.
FACT: #Bitcoin mining is driving millions of tons of new global warming pollution in the US MYTH: Burning “waste” methane can green bitcoin REALITY: Burning waste gas does nothing to reduce fossil fuel consumption and is even keeping old gas wells open https://t.co/o4Er21GVoo
— Greenpeace USA (@greenpeaceusa) October 17, 2022
The European Union (EU), on Oct. 18, released documents outlining an action plan for implementing the European Green Deal, and the REPowerEU Plan. Both plans will keep a close watch on crypto mining activities and their effects on the environment.
European Blockchain Observatory and Forum (EUBOG), also recommended that the EU take mitigation measures to reduce the negative impacts of the digital asset sector on the climate.
The EU has requested that its member countries “implement targeted and proportionate steps to reduce the electricity consumption by crypto-asset miners”, in an effort to counter the drastic reduction in energy supply from Russia.
Related: Researchers claim that Bitcoin’s climate impacts are closer to digital crude than gold.
Despite the fact that the EU rejected a March proposal that would have imposed a complete ban on crypto mining, the EU is pushing for tighter regulation.
The United States appears to be one step behind its EU counterpart in regulatory movements.
The White House Science Office published a 46 page document in September that examined the climate and energy implications crypto-assets. However, mixed conclusions were reached, and no plan is currently in place.