New data from Cambridge University shows that the geography of Bitcoin mining has drastically changed over the last six months in the wake of China’s massive crackdown.
CNBC has been gathering the opinions of industry experts to get their take on the great miner migration and how it has altered the environmental impact of the industry. They have come to the consensus that crypto mining is now environmentally friendlier than it was when China dominated global hash power.
The report noted that as many as half the world’s Bitcoin miners went dark in a matter of days. This was confirmed by the 65% slump in hash rate between May 13 and June 28.
Greener Bitcoin Mining
Beijing’s heavy-handed approach has forced miners to relocate and many of them have found friendlier jurisdictions such as Texas that have lower-cost renewable energy sources.
CEO of digital currency company Foundry, Mike Colyer, confirmed that it has been a big plus 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 the Cambridge data, almost 17% of all BTC mining is now conducted in North America and at least 50% of that uses renewable energy. China’s previously 65%+ share of the hash pie had dwindled to 46% according to the data released in April, and it has fallen a lot more since then.
The exodus from China also had an effect on a lot of older and less energy-efficient mining equipment that has now been shut down for good. Alex Brammer of Luxor Mining said “It took off, likely forever, a large amount of the most energy inefficient rigs,”
Renewable alternative energy sources such as hydropower, solar, wind, nuclear, and even gas flare energy are now being sought as burning fossil fuels gets phased out.
In a related development, the first-ever green mining exchange-traded fund (EFT) was launched on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday by Viridi. The investment product aims to attract mainstream and institutional investors with a focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues.
BTC Price Outlook
At the time of writing, Bitcoin had regained its psychological support zone at $30K and was trading up 3.2% on the day at $30,700 according to CoinGecko.
The world’s leading crypto asset has lost 10% over the past week and is now down 52% from its mid-April all-time high.