After Kazakhstan forced out Bitcoin mining operations, the majority of global hash rate is now produced with clean energy.

Kazakhstan was, at its height, the second-largest Bitcoin mining nation on earth. Then, within a year, it capitulated.

While mainstream news commentators were quick to pick through the reasons for why Kazakh authorities turned against Bitcoin mining operations, the consequence this had on the greening of the network went unreported.

But because Kazakhstan is fuelled 87.6% by fossil fuel, less mining there means a higher clean energy mix for the Bitcoin network.

How much higher?

That’s what I asked myself. And the answer I found was surprising.Source

So, what does this mean for Bitcoin’s clean energy mix?

It makes a pretty significant difference, as you can see. The exodus from Kazakhstan flipped the network to become a majority clean-energy user.

I ran a simulation on my energy source model with Kazakhstan still at 18.3% of global hash rate. Here’s what that would have looked like: majority fossil fuel use. 

Because Kazakhstan uses so much coal (a much heavier greenhouse-gas emitter than natural gas) the difference to emissions is even more significant.

At 18.3% of total hash rate, Bitcoin emissions would’ve been 36 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent C(MTCO2e). But at current levels, emissions are only 32.4 MtCO2e. That’s a 10% reduction in emissions.

Ten percent emission reduction is significant. There are few industries in the world that have achieved this within a year. And if there were, you would likely have heard all about it.

An important sidenote: Have you ever seen a Bitcoin mining unit with its own internal combustion engine? Neither have I. Bitcoin mining, like electric vehicles (EVs), uses electricity as its power source.

As such, if an EV can claim to be zero emissions, then so can Bitcoin mining. So, when we talk about emission, we are talking about the indirect emissions caused by the component of electricity that was generated using fossil fuels.

In summary: The Bitcoin network keeps tracking in the right direction, but you have to dig to find this out.

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