Until the present, Bitcoin (BTC) miners largely resided in China. Operations of mining flourished across the country for a considerable period, though the country’s authorities had prohibited all kinds of crypto-related operations like trading since 2017.
Nevertheless, a significant change was witnessed in the previous year when the Chinese government released another outright prohibition over the industry and pushed many exchanges of cryptocurrency as well as the mining companies to terminate their activities and migrate to other places.
Chinese State Council’s decision to execute a crackdown over the industry of cryptocurrency was a result of the pledge taken by Xi Jinping (the President of the country) to acquire carbon neutrality during the coming four decades. Nonetheless, the latest research – which is published by Joule journal – regarding crypto mining has disclosed that the respective prohibition did not remain successful in minimizing the carbon emissions linked to the process of mining.
As per the researchers who carried out the study, the crackdown of China over the industry of Bitcoin mining has enhanced the carbon emissions of the primary crypto asset as the miners additionally left behind the eco-friendly hydropower. As a result, they are presently depending on fossil fuel-based energy to a large extent. In particular, it is signified by the sturdy that the renewable energy amount that is utilized to run mining activities has plummeted from nearly 42% to approximately 25% after the previous August.
In addition to this, the study also revealed that carbon dioxide’s 65 megatons are produced by Bitcoin on annual basis. The respective emission amount has crossed that of Greece – the country having registered almost 57 megatons during 2019. Alex de Vries – one of the research’s authors – explained that the mining firms’ relocation to the countries such as Kazakhstan and the United States has minimized the utilization of sources of renewable energy.
For instance, in Kazakhstan, miners rely largely on power station-based electricity which is produced through burning hard coal. Relatively more pollution is generated in this way as compared with the sources to which the miners had access earlier in China. That is how BTC mining has turned into less environment friendly nowadays as the carbon intensity thereof has spiked by around 17%.
The respective report clashes with the rest of the pro-crypto reports in the case of Bitcoin mining. According to the report published by the Bitcoin Mining council, more than 58% of the renewable energy is utilized by the industry to mine the crypto asset.