Report: Bitcoin mining network accounts for 0.08% of world’s CO2 production

CoinShares published a new report Monday that estimated that Bitcoin’s (BTC), mining network produced 42 megatons or Mt of carbon dioxide or CO2 in 2021. This is less than 0.8% of the total global emissions of 49.360 Mts CO2 that year. CoinShares used a range of estimates to determine the efficiency of Bitcoin’s network and its energy consumption on a global basis. It may not accurately reflect the actual CO2 emissions of the network. However, the estimate of global CO2 emissions is mostly in line with industry data.

The report also estimates that the Bitcoin network’s total electricity consumption is 89 terawatt hours (TWh). This is significantly lower than the estimates of an institution like the University of Cambridge. This is particularly true given the Bitcoin network’s unprecedented hash rate. However, electricity consumption is not an accurate measure of the Bitcoin network’s environmental impact. Global CO2 emissions are a result of many factors, including private automobiles.

This report highlights a growing debate about the environmental impacts of Bitcoin mining. Influencers like Elon Musk, for example, have stopped using Bitcoin to run their businesses in the past because of concerns about energy consumption. According to CoinShares’ report, approximately 60% of Bitcoin’s mining activity is from fossil fuels. This is lower than industry estimates, where some estimate that it’s only 25%. If the claims of CoinShares are true, however, they show that Bitcoin’s global environmental impact is negligible.