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Bitcoin’s greenhouse emissions drop 52% in last five years

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Bitcoin’s Emissions Intensity was at its lowest level as of this writing.

Bitcoin mining emissions intensity drops

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  • Bitcoin’s Emissions Intensity was lower than many sectors, including Gold.
  • Bitcoin used more than 50% sustainable energy for mining activities over the years.

Bitcoin’s [BTC] stupendous network growth has come hand-in-hand with the criticism around its significantly increased power consumption and greenhouse emissions.

This very issue has snowballed into a major sticking point between climate activists and Bitcoin maximalists.

Bitcoin improves green credentials

However, things have vastly improved over the last few years.

According to the analysis by Daniel Batten, a well-known Bitcoin environmental impact analyst, Bitcoin’s Emissions Intensity was at its lowest level as of this writing, dropping 52% over the last four years.

Bitcoin mining greenhouse emissions drop

Source: Daniel Batten

The Emissions Intensity refers to the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted per unit of energy produced.

It is common knowledge that Bitcoin miners need electricity to power their machines to create more Bitcoins and secure the blockchain.

With a sharp reduction in greenhouse emissions, Bitcoin became more environmentally efficient than many other sectors.

In fact, the report highlighted that the carbon footprint of the entire banking sector was 464 g/KWH.

This was not only significantly higher than that of Bitcoin but also showed a much lower rate of improvement in the last four years.

Bitcoin less polluting than Gold

AMBCrypto also analyzed data from Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index to gain a broader idea of the topic.

It was discovered that Bitcoin’s estimated yearly emissions were 87.77 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (MtCO2e), lower than Gold’s 100.4 MtCO2e.

The king coin ranked 63rd in the global list of greenhouse emissions, with many other industry sectors emitting much more.

Sustainable push driving the change

The drop in emissions could be the result of miners’ preference for cheaper and cleaner sources of energy.

As per another report published by Daniel Batten last year, it was revealed that Bitcoin uses more than 50% sustainable energy, making it the world’s leading industry user of sustainable power.

Bitcoin uses over 50% sustainable energy

Source: Daniel Batten

The economic benefits of renewables are well-known. Hence, there was a strong incentive for miners to acquire the cheapest energy sources to power their rigs.

Read Bitcoin’s [BTC] Price Prediction 2024-25

This, in turn, has helped in boosting the hash rate and making the network more secure.

According to on-chain analytics firm Glassnode, the network’s hashrate has grown astronomically over the last five years, mirroring the ascent in BTC’s value.

Bitcoin hash rate's exponential growth

Source: Glassnode


Aniket Verma works as a journalist at AMBCrypto. Contrary to most who are primarily interested in merely tracking price movements of cryptos, his focus is on examining the niche intersection between cryptocurrencies and traditional finance. A so-so Bitcoin maximalist, Aniket has a strong disdain for memecoins and the unfounded frenzy they seem to generate every market season. Coming from a strong engineering background, Aniket previously worked as a Content Manager for TV9 Network. Before his stint over there, he was an Associate Multimedia News Producer at Reuters.
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