Bitcoin’s Environmental Dilemma: The Alarming Carbon Footprint Comparable to Austria’s Annual Consumption
While the rapid evolution and maturation of Bitcoin have been met with resounding applause from stakeholders, its carbon footprint has become a cause for concern. Environmentalists, led by prominent advocacy heavyweight Greenpeace, have labelled Bitcoin’s environmental impact “catastrophic”. On that note, the core issue under scrutiny remains the energy use involved with Bitcoin mining. According to estimates, Bitcoin’s energy drain is approximately 73 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year, akin to the annual electricity consumption of a country like Austria. With that in perspective, it’s no stretch to understand the mounting concerns about Bitcoin pushing climate change (‘Graceful Perceptions’).
Bitcoin vs. Climate: Greenpeace’s Fight for a Sustainable Future
Greenpeace has always pushed the environment agenda in the tech space, and leading the charge in calling out Bitcoin’s carbon footprint isn’t any different from their usual modus operandi. They have been vocal in imploring banks and asset managers – who, notably, both hold a big stake in Bitcoin – to take steps to reduce this scourge of environmental degradation. Through their advocacy, they are raising the global consciousness about Bitcoin’s high energy use and the urgent need to reign it in (‘The Environmental Case Against Bitcoin’).
Banks Retracting their Bitcoin Operations
In a bid to alleviate their carbon liability, many banks have started distancing themselves from Bitcoin. Citigroup, for example, has declared a cessation of banking services to cryptocurrency miners. Similarly, J.P. Morgan Chase also made a noteworthy move by deciding to stop processing payments for cryptocurrency exchanges. This move by these financial titans indicates a clear shift in consensus about the environmental implications of Bitcoin (‘The Banking Sector’s Bitcoin Backstep’).
A Paradigm Shift: Banks and Crypto’s Proactive Stance
On the flip side, some banks and asset managers have been proactive about dealing with Bitcoin’s environmental impact. Taking a step beyond merely distancing themselves from the crypto, they have begun actively addressing this environmental conundrum. Among such forward-thinkers, Goldman Sachs stands out, having aligned with a group of investors to birth a new cryptocurrency. This novel crypto, christened as the “Green Coin”, is inspired by renewable energy sources and aims to significantly cut down on the overall energy consumption typically associated with Bitcoin (‘Green Coin: A New Dawn for Crypto’).
The potential of blockchain applications in promoting sustainable development is rapidly unraveling. Bitcoin, the poster child of the crypto world, might have drawn flak for its contribution to climate change, but it’s essential to remember that this is one aspect of the large, multifaceted world of blockchain technology. The “Green Coin” concept is a testament to this potential. Thus, the pertinent role banks play in steering the blockchain ship in the right direction further reiterates the importance of their positive influence in the crypto world (‘The Blockchain Potential for Sustainability’).
Can banks push Bitcoin to clean up its act? (2023, July 11). Retrieved from https://www.theverge.com/2023/7/11/23778688/bitcoin-energy-emissions-climate-change-banks-asset-managers-greenpeace