The Bitcoin Mining Council claims that 56 percent of mining energy comes from sustainable sources. Research shows other figures

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The Bitcoin Mining Council, established earlier this year in response to concerns about bitcoin’s impact on the environment, shared a presentation claiming that 56 percent of the electricity behind bitcoin comes from sustainable sources.

The Council cites its own ‘analysis, assumptions and extrapolation’ as the only source, leaving the word ‘sustainable’ open for interpretation.

There are reasons for skepticism. Council members have ‘skin in the game’, and headlines about bitcoin and the environment are bad for business. A press release accompanying the council’s new data comes with a celebratory headline ‘Bitcoin Mining Council research confirms energy sustainable combination‘.

The council also claims to have collected data on surveys of mining companies that make up 32 percent of the global computing power (hash rate) of the bitcoin network.

Recent government repression of Chinese bitcoin miners may also distort percentages. The mass exodus of miners from coal-fired power plants in provinces such as Qinghai and Inner Mongolia has led to a significant reduction in grid energy consumption in the last two months. 

A September 2020 study from the Center for Alternative Finance at the University of Cambridge found that only 39 percent of the energy behind crypto mining comes from renewable sources. 

By: Amber V. – Gossip Whispers