To achieve the goal of a green Bitcoin network, crypto mining companies should push for production with less use of fossil fuels.
While writing the world’s most famous white paper, Satoshi Nakamoto defined the Bitcoin (BTC) mining process. It was established that the minting of new coins would take place through proof-of-work. To carry out this verification and to be able to mine the cryptocurrency, computers would need to solve complex mathematical calculations.
In the beginning, there were not many miners. Mining competition skyrocketed, causing a sharp increase in the cost of machines capable of competing. Even more importantly, energy demand exploded with the new machines — which needed energy mainly for processing and cooling.
After eight years, the energy demand for mining Bitcoin has grown — and today has reached 116.71 terawatt-hours per year, according to data from the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, or CBECI. At first glance, this seems like a lot, right? But let’s take a closer look at the data to gain a better understanding of the real impact that Bitcoin mining has on the environment.
The use of energy in Bitcoin mining
Some influencers have recently appeared on social media and are associating Bitcoin with an alleged increase in the use of fossil fuel energy, especially coal. In fact, some countries — such as China — use coal as an important source of energy. But is that the main fuel for the energy used?