Report: Crypto Mining Isn't as Damaging as We Think

Report: Crypto Mining Isn't as Damaging as We Think

September 24, 2021

Well, here’s something that’s likely to anger a few environmentalists in the coming weeks. A new report issued by the New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) says that bitcoin and crypto mining are only likely to contribute to about 0.9 percent of global carbon emissions in the coming future.

Crypto Mining Isn’t That Bad, According to New Report

The topic of crypto mining has been a controversial one. Over the past several months, many high-ranking individuals with prominent positions in the world of trading and digital currencies have emerged to say that miners are irresponsible, and that they need to use more green energy. They say that in allowing for so many emissions, they are contributing to the death of the planet.

Many additional reports have also come out in recent years claiming that crypto mining now requires more energy than countries such as Iceland and Argentina, and that the carbon footprint of bitcoin and crypto mining is somehow equal to that of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Perhaps the biggest clincher comes in the form of Elon Musk, the South African entrepreneur behind billion-dollar companies such as SpaceX and Tesla. Earlier in the year, Musk announced that customers could buy his electric vehicles with bitcoin, a big first for the industry. However, this decision was later rescinded after Musk decided that the emissions caused by crypto mining were too damaging, and that he wasn’t about to push the mining agenda by accepting crypto payments.

Furthermore, major investors such as Kevin O’Leary from “Shark Tank” came out to say that they would no longer be purchasing any more bitcoin mined in China, given that the country was not known for its renewable energy use. From there, China began a major crackdown on all crypto mining operations within its borders as a means of becoming more carbon neutral. Many operators have had to shut down their projects and relocate to places like Kazakhstan, Florida, and Texas over the past few months.

Was Everyone Wrong?

But could it be, after all this time and worry, that people like O’Leary and Musk are wrong, and that China just purged itself of major mining revenue for nothing? According to the NYDIG, even if the currency were to hit a major price such as $10 trillion by the year 2030, the emissions wouldn’t be that bad. The report states:

Bitcoin’s absolute electricity consumption and carbon emissions are not significant in global terms… Over the longer term, the intensity of bitcoin’s carbon emissions (and with it, bitcoin’s absolute carbon emissions) will decline, as the development of renewables continues, and countries strive to decarbonize their electricity grids.

As the document states, bitcoin mining only accounts for about 0.1 percent of global carbon emissions at the time of writing. That’s less than what both aviation and air conditioners contribute.

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