One of the main criticisms of BTC is that the cryptocurrency consumes a large amount of energy, contributing to the increase in carbon emissions, due to its mining process that demands a large amount of electricity.
However, a recent study conducted by BTC research firm Batcoinz revealed that this is not the case. According to the data presented by the study, 62% of the BTC network has zero carbon emissions. That’s because the percentage of mining operators using carbon-negative energy sources is growing.
Being a carbon negative source means it goes beyond carbon neutrality. That is, the source removes more carbon from the atmosphere than it emits, compensating in addition to the total amount emitted.
As the company highlighted, the purpose of its survey was to quantify the impact that the increasing number of miners using carbon-negative energy sources is having on the BTC network in general.
“The amount of carbon-negative energy sources is something really important to measure. This is because it helps us predict when the entire BTC network will become a zero-emission network,” the company said.
Carbon negative sources
According to data collected by BTC Batcoinz, currently 1.74% of the BTC network is powered by negative carbon sources. One of the sources of greatest impact is biogas, a biofuel that is produced from the decomposition of organic materials (of plant or animal origin).
According to the company, the biogas-based BTC mining industry removes 20 tons of carbon emissions for every ton of carbon emitted.
“This means that 1.74% of the BTC network using carbon-negative sources has a 4.2% less impact on the carbon intensity of the BTC network,” the company said.
As a diagram prepared by the company shows, the BTC network has been rapidly migrating from carbon-positive energy sources to carbon-neutral and carbon-negative sources. As of March 2021, 59% of the global BTC network is carbon positive. On the other hand, only 41% were carbon neutral.
About a year later, in June 2022, the percentage of positive carbon dropped to over 20% for a total of 38%. Meanwhile, the use of carbon-free energy reached 58%. The negative carbon was 4%.
Diagram of global BTC network emissions in March 2021 and June 2022. Source: Batcoinz
“Combining the carbon-neutral and carbon-negative portions means that the BTC network today uses 62% zero-emission energy,” the company concluded.