New data from Cambridge University shows that the geography of Bitcoin mining has changed dramatically in the past six months in the wake of China’s massive crackdown.
CNBC sought opinions from industry experts to understand their views on the migration of miners and how they can change the industry’s environmental impact. They have reached a consensus that crypto mining is more environmentally friendly now than it was when China dominated the global hashing power.
The report said that within a few days, up to half of Bitcoin miners worldwide had power outages. This is confirmed by the 65% drop in hash rate between May 13th and June 28th.
Greener Bitcoin Mining
Beijing’s rigorous measures have forced miners to move, and many of them have found friendlier jurisdictions like Texas with lower running costs for renewable energy.
Mike Colyer, CEO of digital currency company Foundry, confirmed that this is a huge benefit for Bitcoin.
“Miners around the world are looking for stranded power that is renewable. That will always be your lowest cost. Net-net this will be a big win for bitcoin’s carbon footprint.”
According to Cambridge data, nearly 17% of BTC mining is now in North America, and at least 50% of that is using renewable energy. According to data released in April, China’s previous share of hash rate has fallen from more than 65% to 46%, and the decline has been even greater since then.
The outflow from China has also affected many old and inefficient mining machines that are now permanently closed. Alex Bramer of the Luxor Mining Company said, “It took off, likely forever, a large amount of the most energy inefficient rigs,”
With the phasing out of fossil fuel burning, renewable alternative energy sources such as hydropower, sun, wind, nuclear energy, and even natural gas burner energy are now being sought.
In connection with this, Viridi recently launched the first Green Mining Exchange Traded Fund (EFT) on the New York Stock Exchange. This investment product is designed to appeal to mainstream and institutional investors dealing with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues.