The Investor’s Guide to the Environmental Impact of Bitcoin Mining
The top articles on bitcoin and the environment curated by our managing editor
Blockworks has curated a collection of the latest articles and research on bitcoin and the environment. Read on and scroll to the bottom for a complete list of our Investor’s Guides.
Lyn Alden, August 2021
Bitcoin’s energy usage has been in the news for years. It’s often criticized for using too much energy, or not making efficient use of its energy, or in extreme cases, being an outright climate/energy disaster.
Brett Winton, Director of Research, ARK Investment Management, April 22, 2021
Bitcoin critics often assert that bitcoin mining consumes more resources, specifically energy, than the benefits it creates. What critics deem computationally inefficient and unscalable, however, advocates consider not only an intended tradeoff but a fundamental feature. Critics also assert that the computation required to secure Bitcoin, even if necessary, is environmentally damaging and ruining the planet.
We believe that the opposite is true: a world with bitcoin is a world that, at equilibrium, generates more electricity from renewable carbon-free sources.
Square, April 21, 2021
In this memo, we aim to explain how the Bitcoin network functions as a unique energy buyer that could enable society to deploy substantially more solar and wind generation capacity. This deployment, along with energy storage, aims to facilitate the transition to a cleaner and more resilient electricity grid. We believe that the energy asset owners of today can become the essential bitcoin miners of tomorrow.
Andreas Antonopolis, YouTube, @aantonop, April 21, 2021
Bitcoin and climate change. Many people say they’re concerned about climate change and the energy consumption of bitcoin mining. Watch this video to learn some counter arguments to the claims that bitcoin harms the environment.
Christopher Bendiksen, CoinShares, March 30, 2021
In what is by now the worst kept secret of the industry, Bitcoin mining actually offers an incredible opportunity to optimize renewable-heavy grids. Miners, being supremely mobile and flexible, can act as demand response systems. They can sit right near the renewable resource (even moving with the seasons) in question — avoiding the need to excessively beef up grids — and dynamically consume excess energy whenever more is being produced than the non-mining market needs (meaning prices are low). This allows for immediate monetization of energy that would otherwise be wasted, driving down overall electricity costs. In other words it can act as a monetary battery.
Nic Carter, March 29, 2021
The Bloomberg columnist Noah Smith has a lot of thoughts on Bitcoin. Some of them are really solid and engage with the reality of the protocol itself, which is rare for a member of the mainstream media circuit. He also discloses that he owns Bitcoin, which is impressive for an economist and a member of the establishment. So I’m pretty happy with him overall. I don’t want this piece to be interpreted as a blanket critique of Noah’s stance on Bitcoin. However, Noah’s recent column in Bloomberg, Bitcoin Miners are on a Path to Self-Destruction, makes a few claims that warrant a response.
Domonik Stroukal, SatoshiLabs, Medium, October 27, 2020
You’ve heard it before, “Bitcoin burns as much energy as Switzerland, so much that it will accelerate global warming by a few degrees Celsius over the next few years”. Is that true? No, those are both myths. But, like any good myth, they are rooted in reality, and are then twisted into a fantastic tale, featuring giants and unicorns but no heroes; the end of the world will surely come soon. Doomsayers profit off spreading misinformation, so let’s take apart some of the myths related to Bitcoin and energy and take a look at what the reality is.
What Bitcoin Did, June 2021
In this interview, Peter McCormack talks to Harry Sudock, the Vice President of Strategy at Griid. They discuss the energy consumption of Bitcoin mining, energy generation & the power grid and the case for renewable energy.
Get educated. Check out The Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin, The Investor’s Guide to NFTs and The Investor’s Guide to DeFi.
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