BTC energy consumption jumps 41% over 12 months, increasing regulatory risk

Although Bitcoin ( BTC), has experienced a 41% increase year-on-year in energy consumption (YoY), despite significant improvements in energy efficiency — there are concerns that the rise could lead to regulators clamping down on cryptocurrency mining.

This data is based on a Q3 2022 report from the Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC). 51 are the largest Bitcoin mining companies in the world.

According to the BMC, Bitcoin mining consumed 0.16% of global energy. This is slightly less than what was used by computer games. It also found that Bitcoin mining consumes a small amount of global energy, which it considers “inconsequential.”

The BMC also found that Bitcoin mining emitted 0.1% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, which they deemed “negligible.”

The rise in Bitcoin energy consumption is due to the network’s hashrate increasing 8.34% in Q3 2022, and 73% YoY. This despite less blocks being produced and lower price pressure.

Glassnode , a blockchain data analytics firm believes that the “hashrate increase” is due to more efficient mining hardware and/or better balance sheets having a greater share of the hashpower network.

The report claimed that Bitcoin mining efficiency has increased by 23% YOY, and 5,814% in the past eight years. However, regulators may be irritated at further energy consumption increases.

Environmentalists are putting pressure on Bitcoin miners, claiming that their power consumption is causing harm to the environment. Greenpeace currently runs the “change code not climate” campaign to urge the Bitcoin network to adopt proof-of-stake. The official account has 1100 followers, however.

The European Union published documentation on Oct. 18 that outlined an action plan for implementing the European Green Deal (and the REPowerEU Plan) — both of which are planning to closely monitor crypto mining activities and their impact on the environment.

European Blockchain Observatory and Forum (EUBOG), also recommended that the EU take mitigation measures to reduce the negative impacts of the digital asset sector on the climate.

The EU has requested that its member countries “implement targeted and proportionate steps to reduce the electricity consumption by crypto-asset miners” in order to combat severe cuts in Russian energy.

Related: Researchers claim that Bitcoin’s climate impacts are closer to digital crude than gold.

Despite the rejection by the EU of a March proposal that would have imposed a complete ban on cryptomining, the push for tighter regulation is.

The United States appears to be one step behind its EU counterpart in regulatory movements.

The White House Science Office published a 46 page document in September that examined the energy and climate implications of crypto-assets. However, there were mixed results and no plan was in place.

Opinion writer on 7trade7