How BTC Mining Could Affect China’s Goal of Achieving Carbon Neutrality

Photo by Chris LeBoutillier on Unsplash

There has been growing interest in Bitcoin globally. As interest in the leading crypto has grown, so has the process of mining crypto. Today, numerous people and firms are making serious investments in BTC mining. A good chunk of those people and firms are located in China.

Study Links BTC Mining to Climate Change

China is a leader in crypto mining globally. Consequently, there has been fear that BTC mining in China could have adverse climate change effects. Recently, Chinese researchers published a study, which serves as a warning of the link between BTC mining and the nation’s goal of carbon neutrality. While BTC mining is not banned in China, some local authorities in the nation have taken measures to curb the practice, which consumes huge amounts of power.

Bitcoin mining has become quite popular as BTC prices have more than double in the past few months. Many investors have speculated that the price of BTC could hit $100K by the end of 2021. According to the Chinese researchers, China currently accounts for about 75% of all BTC mining.

The Future of BTC Mining in China

The researchers projected that the energy consumption by BTC mining in China would peak in 2024. At that time, they estimate the practice will consume 296.59 TWh of power. It will also generate around 130.50 million metric tons of carbon emissions. China projects that it will reach peak carbon emission in 2035. From that point, it will work towards carbon neutrality, which it expects to achieve by 2060. The researchers found that the projected emissions from BTC would outpace the total emissions by some small nations such as Qatar and the Czech Republic.

The study has received attention in international media outlets and it has been widely quoted. When asked to comment on the paper, the researchers said that the goal of the study was to raise awareness on the potential of the new BTC mining sector to impact the environment. However, they added that they had faith in China’s ability to achieve its carbon emissions targets.

BTC Mining Regulation in China

Crypto mining in China is a legal grey area. The industry is mostly unregulated. Thus far, there have been no major announcements regarding BTC mining by the central government. However, some local governments within China have been cracking down on the practice. For instance, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China has decided to stop all BTC mining firms by May 2021. The region had been a popular destination for BTC mining due to the cheap power available in the region. The miners will likely move to other regions of China where they can access cheap power.

A major region why the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region decided to shut down BTC mining was that it was contributing little to the local economy. For instance, some mining facilities applied for energy discounts and subsidies by taking advantage of incentive programs.

However, BTC mining is still a young industry. There is still potential for better technology and the use of alternative sources of clean energy.

ORTA Mine Fund, the full name of OMF issued by the United States foundation of ORTA Mine Foundation, is a blockchain fund for bitcoin mines around the world.