Bitcoin Mining Council Says Mining Is 56% Sustainable

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Key Takeaways

  • The Bitcoin Mining Council has published a report on sustainable energy usage in the Bitcoin mining industry.
  • The BMC report indicates that the mining industry’s sustainable electricity mix grew to 56% during 2021.
  • Some have questioned whether BMC’s statistics are accurate.

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The Bitcoin Mining Council, an open forum of companies in the crypto mining industry, has published a report stating that more than half of Bitcoin mining is based on renewable energy.

More Than Half of Mining Is Sustainable

The Bitcoin Mining Council surveyed one-third of the global Bitcoin mining industry. Firms that participated in the survey were found to use energy with a 67% sustainable power mix.

Based on this, BMC estimates that the industry-wide sustainable electricity mix has grown to 56% in 2021.

The report is the first publication from the Bitcoin Mining Council, which was founded in May. Participating members include Bitfury, Galaxy Digital, Marathon, Hive, Riot, Hut8, and others.

Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor, who organized BMC, wrote today that he is “pleased to see” the Bitcoin mining industry unite and provide useful information to policymakers and correct misconceptions about Bitcoin mining’s energy usage.

Saylor added that he hopes this will be the “the first quarterly release of many.” He concluded: “Just because the Bitcoin network is decentralized doesn’t mean it needs to be disorganized.”

How Will the Crypto Industry Respond?

The 56% renewable energy milestone is notable because Tesla CEO Elon Musk has stated that he would reintroduce Bitcoin payments at Tesla when there is “confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by miners with positive future trend.”

It is likely that Musk is aware of today’s report, as he acknowledged that he had spoken with the group in May.

Others have questioned the accuracy of BMC’s data. Nic Carter of Coin Metrics noted that critics “would attack BMC over its extrapolation” that the global mining industry is 56% sustainable even though it gathered data largely from Western companies. However, he acknowledged that BMC has succeeded in collecting bottom-up data on the industry for the first time.

Earlier findings from Cambridge’s CCAF in 2020 provided widely-cited statistics on mining. Those numbers suggest that 39% of the energy used in the total Bitcoin hashrate is from renewable energy, and that 76% of miners use renewables in their energy mix.

Disclaimer: At the time of writing this author held less than $75 of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and altcoins.

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