Last year, Bitcoin mining consumed more electricity than Sweden, but alternatives are developing in the mining mix.
It discovered that each of the approximately 93 million transactions on the Bitcoin network last year consumed an average of 1,738 kWh of electrical energy. According to Digiconomist, a single one of them could power an average US family for two months. Even though the number of transactions has decreased since 2021, Bitcoin’s percentage of global electricity consumption has risen to 0.64%.
Meanwhile, according to Digiconomist, a single Bitcoin transaction last year released 969 kg of CO2. According to reports, this is the carbon footprint of a one-way travel from New York to Sydney. According to Digiconomist, the annual CO2 emissions total of 90 megatons virtually nullified any worldwide net savings from electric automobiles.
Figures for cryptocurrency mining
While Digiconomist criticizes cryptocurrency mining’s global impact on sustainability, renewable resources are becoming a larger part of the energy mix. The Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index presents some of the most widely-accepted figures. Renewable energy sources account for over 40% of Bitcoin’s energy consumption, according to the most recent data from January 2022.
The Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC), a global Bitcoin mining forum, published more recent data on the matter as well. According to the survey results, 66.8% of BMC members presently use a sustainable power mix. They assessed that the worldwide bitcoin mining industry’s sustainable electricity mix was around 59.5% based on this data. This represents an increase of about 6% year on year from Q2 2021 to Q2 2022.
According to the Cambridge data, a pair of resources are beginning to increase their share of the energy mix. Natural gas and nuclear energy have played an increasing role in Bitcoin mining during the last two years. Gas’s part of the BTC electricity mix increased from around 13% in 2020 to 23% in 2021. Nuclear energy, on the other hand, climbed from 4% in 2021 to over 9% in 2022.
Over the last year, there has been some interest in these alternate approaches. In addition to geothermal energy, El Salvador intends to use natural gas from volcanoes to power Bitcoin mining. Meanwhile, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has encouraged miners to come to the region to take use of the region’s resources.