Bitcoin (BTC) has seen a 41% increase in energy consumption year over year, despite huge improvements in energy efficiency and a more diverse and sustainable energy mix.but there are concerns that the surge could prompt regulators to crack down on cryptocurrency mining.
The data comes from a report for the third quarter of 2022 prepared by the Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC)which represents 51 of the largest bitcoin mining companies in the world.
The report found that bitcoin mining consumes 0.16% of global energy production.slightly less than the energy consumed by computer games, according to the BMC, an amount it considered “an inconsequential amount of global energy.”
Bitcoin mining also emitted 0.10% of the world’s carbon emissions, which the BMC deemed “negligible.”.
Increase in bitcoin power consumption comes as network hashrate increased 8.34% in Q3 2022 and 73% year-on-yeardespite fewer blocks being produced and downward price pressure.
In Q3 2022, #bitcoin mining efficiency increased 23% YoY, and sustainable power mix was 59.4%, above 50% for the 6th quarter in a row. 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
In Q3 2022, bitcoin mining efficiency increased 23% YoY, and sustainable energy mix was 59.4%, up from 50% for the sixth consecutive quarter. The network was 73% more secure YoY, only using 41% more power, and is now 99% of all cryptocurrency hashing power. https://t.co/B0jlkWHYgg
The blockchain data analytics firm Glassnode believes that the “increased hashrate is due to more efficient mining hardware coming online and/or miners with higher balances having a higher share of the network”.
Although the report also states that the efficiency of bitcoin mining has increased by 23% year-on-year and 5,814% in the last eight years, a further rise in overall power consumption could anger regulators looking into the matter.
Pressure on bitcoin miners is mounting from environmentalists who claim their energy consumption is bad for the environment. Greenpeace is running the “change the code, not the climate” campaign to encourage the Bitcoin network to go Proof-of-Stake. However, the official account has only amassed 1,100 followers so far.
FACTS: #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
FACT: Bitcoin mining is driving millions of tons of new global warming pollution in the United States
MYTH: Burning “waste” methane can green bitcoin
FACT: Burning waste gas does nothing to reduce fossil fuel consumption and is even keeping old gas wells open. https://t.co/o4Er21GVoo
On October 18, the European Union published a document outlining an action plan to implement the European Green Deal and the REPowerEU Plan, in which both plan to closely monitor cryptocurrency mining activities and their environmental effects.
The European Blockchain Observatory and Forum (EUBOG) also suggested that the EU could adopt mitigation measures to lessen the adverse impacts on the climate. caused by the digital assets sector.
This suggestion has already been implemented to some extent, as The EU has called on its member states “to implement specific and proportionate measures to reduce the electricity consumption of cryptocurrency miners” to combat severe power cut supplied from Russia.
The push for stricter regulation comes despite the EU rejected in March a proposal that would have applied a total ban on cryptocurrency mining.
As for the US, regulatory moves appear to be a step behind their EU counterpart.
In September, the White House Office of Science published a 46-page document that analyzed the climate and energy implications of cryptocurrencies.. However, contradictory conclusions were reached and no significant plan is yet in place.
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