As concerns over the ecological impact of Proof of Work (PoW) cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) mount, the latest data shows that the largest crypto blockchain might not be so damaging to the environment after all.
In fact, a report released by the Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC) on April 25 has uncovered that the electricity usage of the Bitcoin network has reduced by as much as 25% in the first quarter of 2022, compared to the same period one year before.
The BMC is a group gathering 44 Bitcoin mining companies reportedly accounting for 50% of the worldwide Bitcoin network or 100.0 exahash (EH). Its latest report is the result of a survey across its member companies, in terms of electricity consumption, energy sources, and hashrate.
According to Michael Saylor, the group’s leading figure and MicroStrategy CEO:
“In the first quarter of 2022, the hashrate and related security of the Bitcoin Network improved by 23% year-on-year while energy usage decreased 25%. We observed a 63% year-on-year increase in efficiency due to advances in semiconductor technology, the rapid expansion of North American mining, the China Exodus, and the worldwide adoption of sustainable energy and modern bitcoin mining techniques.”
Put simply, the Bitcoin mining hashrate is up 23% year-over-year (YoY) and energy usage is down 25% YoY due to an increase in efficiency of 63%. Meanwhile, the report has also shown that Bitcoin “uses an inconsequential amount of global energy (16bps) and generates negligible carbon emissions (8bps), as well as being “the industry leader in sustainability with a 58% sustainable energy mix.”
Environmental concerns over energy consumption
Interestingly, these results have arrived after a group of United States legislators has asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to analyze whether crypto mining firms in the country were adhering to its environmental protection laws.
In the letter addressed to the agency, they have voiced “serious concerns” over “the inherently energy inefficient Proof of Work mining technology to validate transactions,” as Finbold earlier reported.
In March, the crypto community in New York created a petition to prevent the adoption of a controversial bill by the New York Assembly that would place a moratorium on specific PoW crypto mining operations in the state.
At the same time, some cities in the U.S., like Fort Worth in Texas, are actively working on becoming more ‘crypto-friendly’.