International Energy Agency claims that Bitcoin (BTC) mining is purportedly responsible for 10-20 Megatonne (Mt) of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, i.e. 0.03-0.06% of global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, as per a report released on July 23.
Bitcoin Electricity Consumption
The report states that the recent increase in the price and hash rate of the Bitcoin network has lead to an increase in its energy consumption. Notably, during the first six months of 2019, the energy consumtion had already reached an estimated 29 TWh, more than the annual energy consumption of Ireland (26 TWh).
BTC’s annual energy consumption is estimated between 20 TWh to 80 TWh and the agency’s own estimate being 45 TWh. Though even with allegedly consuming more energy than Ireland, Bitcoin still consumes less than electric vehicles (58 TWh in 2018).
Use of renewable energy
The author went on to point out that Bitcoin mining hotspots usually place themselves in places that offer rich, cheap and renewable energy. The paper cites a research claiming that roughly 76% of the energy consumed by Bitcoin is renewable, this data led them to estimates of CO2 emissions.
CoinShares, cryptocurrency investment products and research firm pointed a similar hypothisis, estimating that that 74.1% of bitcoin mining is powered by renewable energy in its biannual mining report released in June.
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