The environmental impact of bitcoin mining has long been a topic of great debate in the community. Due to the amount of energy consumed by the high-powered computers that are required to solve complex mathematical equations to confirm transactions, mining activities have been banned in some regions in a bid to protect a nation’s energy supply. However, a new form of proposed bitcoin mining shows more promise in reducing emissions compared to wind and solar combined.
Reducing Emissions With Bitcoin Mining
One of the most active avenues for environmental pollution has been oil drilling. During the process, natural gas is produced, and since it has been cost ineffective to harness natural gas for use, manufacturers often have to burn off the natural gas produced on-site.
Through a process called flaring, the natural gas is burned in the air. However, what this does is that it releases tons of C02 into the atmosphere, leading to more emissions. There have been various solutions put forward, such as wind and solar energy, to try to reduce the emissions produced by the process of flaring, but none have been as effective as using the natural gas from bitcoin mining.
A study from Cross Energy put forward that actually using natural gas for bitcoin mining was more cost-effective and reduced emissions by more than 500% compared to wind and even higher for solar.
BTC mining beats solar and wind in reducing emissions | Source: Arcane Research
How this works is that the bitcoin mining activity takes place at the site where the natural gas is being produced. It is able to directly take the gas to use as energy for the mining activity, providing more returns and lesser emissions overall.
The Roscoe study found that for every $1,000 investment in a bitcoin mining system using natural gas, emissions were reduced by 6.32 tons of CO2 equivalents. Now, to put this in perspective, wind and solar both reduce emissions by 1.3 and 0.98 CO2 equivalents for the same $1,000 investment. This shows that bitcoin mining using natural gas is not only a better alternative cost-wise, but it is also much better for the environment.
BTC price falls below | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com
If the natural gas produced from oil drilling can be directed to bitcoin mining, the process of flaring can be eliminated. Since the gases are burned inside an electrical generator with a controlled environment, the impact on the environment is greatly reduced. Add in the fact that bitcoin mining is location-agnostic and can be set up anywhere, it brings up a recipe for success.
Featured image from Bloomberg, charts from Arcane Research and TradingView.com
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