Bitcoin’s many detractors all refer to the power consumption of the protocol proof of work of the latter, which, according to them, has destroyed the planet more than it brings value to it. The consequence is that China, for example, has banned the mining on its territory. In the United States, the State of New York is about to ban the mining over the next two years. Voices are also being heard asking that bitcoin change protocol and adopt Proof-of-Stake.
It is all the more difficult to defend bitcoin since the data clearly shows that the mining bitcoin consumes as much energy as entire countries.
What is said less, on the other hand, is all the contribution of this blockchain in the same field of energy and the reduction of the carbon impact. In this article, we take stock of it.
Critics of bitcoin and its mining often omit to say that the most developed part of the mining is one that is part of a logic of recovering wasted energy sources. The most common example is natural gas leaking and burning in extractive areas. Until recently, this gas was allowed to burn and thus be lost, a practice known as flaring. Now that bitcoin has risen in value, miners set up their devices at oil extraction sites and, recovering the doomed energy, make their mining. It is true that even this process also has its carbon impact, but a financial incentive is levied on the income generated to support energy efficiency and sustainable energy production.
Better still, today there are companies that plan to recover more flaring gas in an institutional way to put it at the service of the mining of bitcoin. This is notably the case of the company Crusoe Energy, which is committed to helping countries in the Middle East to make flaring profitable. Why the Middle East? Because this region accounts for more than 38% of global flaring. The Crusoe Energy project, which goes in this direction, should start by the end of the year in Oman.
Similarly, in March 2022, Exxon Mobil would be associated to the same company Crusoe Energy to carry out a similar project in North Dakota in the United States, more precisely in the Bakken shale basin.
The choice of renewable energy for the mining
Blockchains support energy production companies in optimizing energy infrastructure by focusing more on renewable energy sources.
More and more companies mining are powered today by renewable energy, with a low carbon impact.
A case in point is Marathon Digital Holdings, which moved its facilities from mining of Montana to switch to a more sustainable source of energy. The ambition of this company to mining of bitcoins is indeed to be able to achieve carbon neutrality before December 2022. For its CEO, Fred Thiel, this decision is driven by the will of “sensuring that our miners are fed as sustainably as possible. »
Finally, it should be remembered that if the energy consumption of the miningof bitcoins is often decried, nothing is generally said about the carbon impact of more traditional investments, such as cash and corporate investments. Or, precisely, according to the Carbon Bankroll report published on May 17, the carbon impact of some companies far exceeds that of the Bitcoin network. Thus, the monthly electricity consumption of bitcoin is currently at 10.67 TWh. This figure, although high, remains below what PayPal and Alphabet have consumed, for example. Indeed, these companies have multiplied their carbon emissions by 55 and 38 respectively.
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Luc Jose Adjinacou
Far from having dampened my enthusiasm, an unsuccessful investment in a cryptocurrency in 2017 only increased my enthusiasm. I therefore resolved to study and understand the blockchain and its many uses and to relay with my pen information relating to this ecosystem.