Bitcoin mining turns into extra sustainable: Mining Council’s This fall survey


The percentage of the global bitcoin mining industry powered by renewable energy rose 1% to 58.5% in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to new data.

The Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC) announced the results of its fourth-quarter survey on Jan. 18.

The survey focused on three metrics: sustainable electricity mix, technological efficiency and electricity consumption.

#Bitcoin Mining Council Q4 survey confirms improvements in sustainable power mix and technological efficiency Estimated sustainable energy mix was 58.5%. Join us today at 5pm ET for a full briefing.

— Michael Saylor⚡️ (@saylor) January 18, 2022

Founded in May 2021, the BMC is a voluntary global forum of bitcoin mining companies such as Bit Digital, BitFury, Bitfarms and Atlas Mining, among other industry organizations.

Michael Saylor, the founder and CEO of MicroStrategy and a key member of the BMC, noted:

“This quarter we have seen the trend reverse with dramatic improvements in the energy efficiency and sustainability of bitcoin mining due to advances in semiconductor technology, the rapid expansion of North American mining, the exodus from China, and the global shift to sustainable energy and modern mining techniques continues.”

The voluntary survey has compiled sustainable energy information from miners who make up more than 46% of the global Bitcoin network. According to the survey, the members of the Mining Council themselves purchase electricity with a sustainable energy mix of 66.1%.

The self-reported data was then used to estimate that the sustainable energy mix of the global bitcoin mining industry was approximately 58.5% in the fourth quarter, up one percentage point from the third quarter figure. The estimated technological efficiency of the industry also increased by 9% to 19.3 petahash per MW.

Darin Feinstein, co-founder of Core Scientific and BMC, noted that participating BMC members’ hashrate increased 77% in the fourth quarter.

Related: Georgian citizens had to swear an oath to stop crypto mining

The environmental impact of bitcoin mining has been a hot topic for some time, and the US Congress is now preparing to thoroughly examine the energetic impact of proof-of-work blockchains. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce just announced key witnesses to testify at a Jan. 20 hearing on the energy and environmental impacts of crypto mining.

Notable witnesses include BitFury CEO Brian Brooks, Cornell Tech Professor Ari Juels and Soluna Computing CEO John Belizaire.

Bitcoin miners are increasingly looking for sustainable energy sources as pressure from the public, shareholders and governments mounts. Investors like Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary, aka Mr. Wonderful, say they want to buy shares in miners that use sustainable energy.

One avenue that could be further explored is nuclear energy. At the Bitcoin & Beyond Virtual Summit in early November, Griid Vice President Harry Sudock said nuclear power could provide an opportunity to introduce large amounts of clean, carbon-free energy.

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