In recent times, the impact of bitcoin mining on the environment has been the subject of hot debate, as climate change activists believe that proof-of-work (PoW) mining is too energy intensive. However, a recent report by ESG analyst Daniel Batten explains that bitcoin mining could eliminate global carbon emissions by 5.32%. Batten’s study notes that if bitcoin mining entities were to “aggressively” target methane leaks, bitcoin mining has the potential to avoid 0.15% of warming by 2045.
ESG Analyst Says Bitcoin Mining Is Currently the Only ‘Technologically Feasible’ Way to Reduce Methane Emissions
On May 23, 2022, Geneious CEO and ESG analyst, Daniel Batten, released a report that shows bitcoin mining could help the environment. Batten tweeted about his study and said the results suggest “using [bitcoin] mining to burn leaking methane can eliminate 5.32% of all global CO2 equivalent emissions. In fact, Batten’s study indicates that bitcoin mining is one of the only ways to eliminate carbon emissions in a sustainable way. “Reducing methane emissions is the fastest way to reduce global warming and complements CO2 reduction strategies,” Batten’s report details. The abstract of the study adds:
Bitcoin mining is currently the only way to reduce these methane emissions that is both technologically feasible and does not require significant behavioral change to work.
Bitcoin mining, and specifically PoW mining, has been criticized a lot for its power consumption. However, many believe that some detractors have an agenda and most people do not question the amount of carbon and state-enforced violence needed to keep fiat currencies afloat. Additionally, crypto-asset industry players have introduced ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) friendly concepts into the digital currency mining ecosystem. Additionally, a mining report that covers Bitcoin electricity usage data shows that consumption levels fell by 25% in the first quarter of 2022.
Batten’s research goes further and notes how bitcoin mining is more efficient than mining carbon credits or government systems. “Bitcoin mining is also currently the only way to burn leaking methane, which is both economically and logistically feasible without carbon credits or without the governments of major industrialized countries needing to issue tax incentives. and funding in unison,” says Batten’s report. “Bitcoin mining has shown early evidence of its ability to scale with an exponential growth rate.”
Report Says “Bitcoin Mining’s Energy Consumption Is Obvious, But Its Environmental Benefit Is Not Immediately Obvious”
In fact, bitcoin (BTC) or PoW mining, in general, can be used to combat methane leaks from different sources. For example, the report notes that mining could help in areas where flared or vented gas is expelled by the oil and gas industry. Bitcoin mining could help with landfill gas and areas that have orphan oil wells. The researcher’s findings point out that bitcoin mining could also alleviate waste gas issues from biogas sources like manure, agricultural and waste land, and waste from the food industry. “In future papers, we will quantify the CO2 equivalent reduction possible using bitcoin mining with biogas or wastewater,” the report states.
“Unlike solar, whose environmental benefit is obvious but whose carbon consumption (via the coal-fired furnaces used to melt the silicon) is less obvious, the energy consumption of bitcoin mining is obvious, but its environmental benefit is not immediately obvious,” the study on quantifying the potential impact of Bitcoin mining claims. “Perhaps for this reason, it is easy to make a premature and superficial assessment based solely on energy consumption that Bitcoin has a net negative environmental impact. Such reasoning is flawed, as the net impact cannot be established. taking into account both environmental costs and benefits.
In addition to the flawed reasoning, Batten outlines a number of misconceptions about bitcoin mining using methane as energy. Misconceptions include:
- “Burning methane releases CO2, which will increase our carbon emissions.”
- “We should be focusing on renewable energy, not burning methane.”
- “When oil [and] the gas companies flare the methane, that removes the methane anyway.
- (Closely related to 3) “The benefits of generating electricity from gas flaring are marginal.”
- “We should be using this flared gas for something more useful” – hospitals, home heating, whatever.
- “The oil companies will just use that money to do more oil exploration.”
- Agriculture is the biggest polluter of methane: eating less meat would solve the problem.
Batten explains how each of the above reasons is a miscalculation and he believes bitcoin mining can reduce global methane emissions even faster than the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) carbon reduction targets. .
“Bitcoin mining can remove 0.94 + 4.38 = 5.32% of all global emissions. This represents 23% of all global methane emissions: more than half of the methane reduction target from UNEP,” Batten’s study infers. The ESG analyst adds:
This means Bitcoin mining has the potential to meet half of our methane reduction goal. It also means that Bitcoin mining has the realistic potential to help humanity avoid almost 0.15% of warming by 2045. To our knowledge, this cannot be legitimately claimed by any other technology.
Batten’s report “Quantifying the Potential Impact of Bitcoin Mining on Global Methane Emissions” can be read in full here.
What do you think of Daniel Batten’s report on how bitcoin mining could benefit the environment contrary to the current narrative? Let us know what you think about this topic in the comments section below.
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