Statistics showed that Bitcoin (BTC) mining exhausts nearly 0.25 percent of the world’s electricity supply. Despite the huge electricity consumption the emissions due to BTC mining are almost negligible.
Bitcoin Mining and its effect on global climate
Bitcoin’s network is secured by a proof-of-work protocol in which participants use powerful computing machines to solve complex math equations. These mining machines – also known as mining rigs – require a great amount of electricity to function. These participants are called miners and are awarded for their effort and utility costs for mining. Currently mining a single Bitcoin block rewards a miner with 12.5 Bitcoins.
As more blocks are mined the mining difficulty also increases. As the number of blocks mined gets nearer to the total supply the block reward is halved through an event called halving. At each halving Bitcoin mining difficulty increases as well as mining rewards.
The increase in difficulty means that the machine would require greater electricity to function. Due to this, Bitcoin mining became a cause for concern as it might harm the climate.
However, a study showed that BTC mining’s effect on the global climate was far smaller than it was perceived to be.
The study was conducted by two individuals from Aalborg University in Denmark. Susanne Köhler and Massimo Pizzol researched Bitcoin emissions by locations. The study found out that the total emission due to BTC mining was 17 megatonnes of CO2. Previously, a study claimed that Bitcoin mining released over 63 megatonnes of CO2.