The Real Carbon Footprint of Cryptocurrency

Maggie Kimberl |

It appears there is a lot of misinformation on the internet when it comes to cryptocurrencies and the associated electricity usage. More specifically, most sources claim Bitcoin mining uses a lot of energy, which is absolutely correct. However, it seems the situation is being blown out of proportion completely.


According to the infographic from The Merkle below, there are a lot of things regarding cryptocurrency mining which people need to take into account. It is true that Bitcoin mining requires a lot of electricity in general, but it is pretty much impossible for this industry to use more electricity than any other sector in the near future. As of right now, Bitcoin mining uses around 0.14% of all global electricity, which makes it a non-factor in the grand scheme of things.

It seems most of the present misinformation comes from a recent Digiconomist report which discussed cryptocurrency mining. It claimed that Bitcoin mining requires as much energy as does the country of Singapore. That amount was said to be sufficient to power over 4 million households, which seems a bit exaggerated. Since there is insufficient data to determine how much electricity is actually being used, a lot of assumptions are being made.

Moreover, a British website claims that Bitcoin mining energy consumption will surpass that of the entire United States in 2019. Considering that the former’s current electricity usage is on par with the country of Singapore, it would take a lot of effort to use as much energy as the United States. With most of these assumptions being based on the information provided by Digiconomist, it is evident there is a lot of bias against Bitcoin mining as of right now.

Unfortunately, it will be rather difficult to get rid of this factually incorrect information. It is impossible to make any accurate estimates until more information is shared with the public. Since no one manages Bitcoin or its mining, misinformation will always reign supreme.

Other factors influencing the electricity usage of Bitcoin mining are often overlooked as well. More specifically, there is the price volatility, which will likely dissuade a lot of people from mining Bitcoin in the future. Secondly, more and more Bitcoin mining firms are flocking to renewable energysolutions, which will alleviate a lot of the problems associated with the energy usage. Furthermore, the Chinese government will limit the amount of electricity supplied to Bitcoin miners, which will have some interesting consequences as well.

For the time being, we will have to wait and see how things evolve in the Bitcoin mining industry. There is an active effort in place to reduce the carbon footprint of this particular industry, although it will take a while for any of these efforts to pay off. Developments in the Bitcoin world will also help alleviate most concerns, ranging from scaling solutions to renewable energy solutions and so much more.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to:


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