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Bitcoin Mining Council Says Sustainable Power Mix on the Rise

The council's survey focused on the crypto mining industry's electricity consumption and sustainable power mix.

Jul 2, 2021 at 6:26 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:20 p.m. UTC

The Blockchain Mining Council (BMC) says the crypto mining industry is relying more on a sustainable energy mix than it was before.

BMC, which describes itself as a voluntary global forum of bitcoin mining companies and others in the industry, said in a press statement on Friday that the global industry's sustainable electricity mix had grown to 56% during the second quarter, based on its "first-ever voluntary survey."

That made cryptocurrency mining "one of the most sustainable industries globally," the council said in its statement.

The council – which was established in May with support from U.S. crypto mining companies, MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor and Tesla CEO Elon Musk – seeks to "shape the narrative" around bitcoin's energy use.

The survey focused on the mining industry's electricity consumption and sustainable power mix.

"Results ... show that the members of the BMC and participants in the survey are currently utilizing electricity with a 67% sustainable power mix," the council members said in the statement.

Data collected by the council was based on sustainable energy use from over 32% of the current global Bitcoin network, according to the statement.

Asked by Castle Island Ventures' Nic Carter how the BMC arrived at its figures for ascertaining its carbon emissions factor, Saylor said the council took an estimate of off-grid and unsustainable power.

"Then we allocated another portion that we applied to our BMC sample to in order to get a blend," Saylor said during a live virtual briefing. "The blend ended up being slightly more than the electricity grid."

Saylor continued:

"I think if you back into it and take the 56% and then look at the 67% or 68% that we don't have that's the out-of-sample and then you know that number is ... 50% sustainable ... so ... generally it works out that the out-of-sample mix is ... assumed to be about 50% sustainable power and we tested that with a variety of analysts."

Some, however, are not convinced.

While the figures are debatable, the efforts by the mining council show a more concerted drive to reduce the impact the industry has on global greenhouse gas emissions – a major gripe and cause for Musk ending his love affair with bitcoin earlier this year.

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