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One of the main criticisms of cryptocurrencies is the amount of electronic waste produced by mining them. The large amount of energy needed to sustain Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Cardano, among many others, has led many environmentalists to demonize the practice. However, Daniel Batten published a hopeful report looking ahead to 2024.
According to investor and environmentalist, this pollution trend can be reversed in as little as two years. According to a report he recently published, only 187.1 megawatts (MW) of energy from carbon-negative sources is needed to make the bitcoin network carbon neutral.
The plan to make bitcoin mining pollution-free
“To put into context how feasible this is: if Bitcoin mining companies focused on using pre-vented methane emissions sources (such as vented landfill gas), it would only take 124 1.5 MW modules (about 50 medium-to-large sized landfills in the US fully flaring their methane for Bitcoin mining) to make the entire Bitcoin network carbon negative,” Batten said.
“132.5 MW of methane mitigation from gas flared using Bitcoin mining has been brought online over a 16-month period. This represents a growth of 8.3 MW/month,” he added in his study.
To produce energy with the gas proposed by the environmentalist, a technology is needed to first burn the methane, then harness that heat, process it in a generator, and turn that thermal energy into electricity.
According to the report’s author, mining could be responsible for more than half of the United Nations Environment Programme’s methane reduction target.
“We anticipate that Bitcoin mining using vented methane as energy will initially grow at only 83% of the growth rate of flared gas mining (6.9 MW/month). Based on this more modest growth rate, we forecast that the Bitcoin network will become completely carbon neutral by the fourth quarter of 2024,” Batten concluded.
Joaquín Núñez es hincha de Racing Club de Avellaneda y licenciado en comunicación periodística por la Universidad Católica Argentina. Se especializa en el escenario internacional y en la política norteamericana // Joaquín Núñez is a fan of Avellaneda's Racing Club and has a degree in journalistic communication from the Universidad Católica Argentina. He specializes in the international scene and American politics.