Bitcoin (BTC) continues to face criticism for its carbon footprint as the asset gains popularity in various regions. However, the situation may be changing, especially as mining companies increasingly use renewable energy to cut carbon emissions.
According to the study, the Bitcoin network presently has 62.4% zero emissions when carbon-negative mining is considered. Based on freshly announced carbon-negative initiatives, the activity is estimated to have 72.7% zero emissions by March 2023.
The researchers used the methodology to calculate the amount of Bitcoin energy emitted by positive carbon sources and then computed the positive carbon quantity. Furthermore, the researchers reverse-engineered to determine how much methane would need to be removed from the air by combustion to offset the negative carbon quantity.
The study’s conclusion is based on the usage of flared gas to power BTC mining, which has increased by 8.3 MW per month since May 2021.
“We anticipate that Bitcoin mining using vented methane as power 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 carbon neutral in Q4, 2024 fully,” the study said.
Furthermore, the report noted that as Bitcoin grows, the hash rate will increase along with energy usage. The report did note, however, that renewable network utilization and miner efficiency are both increasing and will provide a counter-balance to the hash rate.
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