The Chicago Journal

Bitcoin mining effects on environment claims gets pushback

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Bitcoin — Bitcoin mining has significant environmental consequences due to its energy-intensive nature. The technique requires the solution of complex mathematical problems, which takes vast amounts of computing power and, as a result, massive amounts of electricity. Miners from all over the globe compete to validate transactions and safeguard the network, which usually entails the use of fossil-fuel-based power sources, which increases greenhouse gas emissions.

Furthermore, mining equipment needs a substantial quantity of resources, including rare metals and electrical components, both of which are ecologically hazardous to extract and create. These factors add up to a significant carbon footprint, increasing concerns about climate change. Alternative energy sources must be researched, energy efficiency must be increased, and mining facilities must be converted to more sustainable mining procedures in order to lessen the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining.

Such claims, however, have stirred controversy, with one expert saying that Bitcoin mining will actually help clean up the environment.

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Urge to denounce

GreenpeaceUSA’s claims that Bitcoin mining is a major cause of pollution and harm to society were recently refuted by an ESG-focused fund manager.

GreenpeaceUSA produced a study on Tuesday encouraging Bitcoin-friendly financial institutions (including BlackRock, Fidelity, and JPMorgan) to denounce Bitcoin’s environmental consequences. Instead, they urged them to use a “cleaner protocol” code that eliminates the mining industry.

“All of these companies have connections to Bitcoin and have failed to take meaningful action to solve the problem despite making climate and sustainability pledges,” wrote GreenpeaceUSA.

Defending Bitcoin mining

Daniel Batten, co-founder of CH4 Capital, concurred. He says that Bitcoin helps, not inhibits, environmental restoration.

“There is a growing weight of evidence from those most qualified to make the assessment to suggest that Bitcoin mining helps build out the renewable grid,” Batten wrote in a formal rebuttal.

Former interim CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas Brad Jones has also commented on Bitcoin’s ability to make renewable energy sources more viable, fundable, and dependable. GreenpeaceUSA’s calculations and figures used to demonstrate Bitcoin’s environmental effect, according to the co-founder of CH4 Capital, are equally inaccurate and dishonest.

GreenpeaceUSA, according to Batten, is predicated on irrational fears about the future rather than evidence. He slammed the research, accusing it of using inflammatory rhetoric. According to GreenpeaceUSA, coal is the primary motor of the mining sector. There are 41 recognized sustainably powered mining operations, according to Batten, with only one manufacturing coal-related commodities.

The fears

Bitcoin’s environmental impact is becoming a major concern because of its resource-intensive mining process. Bitcoin mining requires a significant amount of energy, resulting in a high power consumption. Unfortunately, this typically means a greater reliance on fossil fuels, which increases carbon emissions and exacerbates climate change issues. Mining technology also includes the extraction of rare metals and other resources, which puts further strain on the ecology.

Because of the combination of these traits, bitcoin mining has a large environmental impact. It is critical to study alternative energy sources, enhance energy efficiency in mining operations, and implement more ecologically friendly practices to mitigate the environmental consequences of Bitcoin’s popularity.

Mining today

Despite the fact that the co-founder of CH4 Capital provided statistics demonstrating how Bitcoin emissions have reduced over time, GreenpeaceUSA just stated that allowing Bitcoin to run its course will increase its environmental impact.

“Emissions are falling despite rising hashrate due to decimation of mining in Kazakhstan and other coal-based grids,” Batten explained.

He highlighted how, for example, miners in Texas had moved to more ecologically friendly networks. Furthermore, according to Batten, some companies have switched from coal-based standards to wind-based standards, as well as flare-gas mining, decreasing the overall net emissions of the Bitcoin network.

CH4 Capital invests in companies that plan to mine Bitcoin with pure landfill gas that would otherwise be burned and release methane into the atmosphere. As a result, their strategy supports both the environment and the bottom line.

“Our $400 million fund will have sufficient dry powder to finance the Bitcoin network, abating more emissions than it’s creating, which can end ESG FUD, the major remaining barrier for both retail and institutional adoption,” said Batten.

Reception to GreenpeaceUSA

After receiving a $5 million grant to increase awareness of the mining industry’s concerns, GreenpeaceUSA launched its campaign in 2022.

As a result, the Bitcoin community has turned against the company. Batten and Ripple backer Chris Larsen both declined to comment on their campaign.

“I’ll let people make up their own mind about the intentions of a chair of another altcoin giving a large sum of money to help an NGO attack a rival form of cryptocurrency in Bitcoin,” said Batten.