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Here’s The Truth About Bitcoin’s Environmental Impact

Tesla CEO Elon Musk set off a Bitcoin rally earlier this year when he announced his electric car company would deploy some of its cash to buy Bitcoin and accept BTC payments. This week, in a statement posted on Twitter, Musk said his team was concerned about Bitcoin’s environmental impact.

“Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we believe it has a promising future,” he said in the statement. “..but this cannot come at a great cost to the environment.”

In light of this, it may be a good idea for developers and investors to take a closer look at the true cost of Bitcoin mining, the sources of energy used to power each transaction and the greener-than-expected future of this nascent industry.


Bitcoin’s true cost

At the heart of the issue is the energy consumption of the Bitcoin network. Miners operate server farms to solve mathematical problems that secure the network and reward them with newly minted BTC. As more miners join the network, driven by the rising value of BTC, the more competitive the process becomes. This consumes more energy.

However, experts such as CoinDesk columnist and Castle Island Venture partner Nic Carter offer some nuance. Carter argues that Bitcoin miners have a vested interest in lowering their costs, which leads to cheaper sources of energy and more efficient equipment. This argument is reflected in the steadiness of the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index over much of the network’s history.

Source: Digiconomist


Carter also argues that the number of BTC mined is in structural decay, which means the network’s energy consumption will eventually be saturated. “Unless you believe that the price of bitcoin is going to literally double in real terms every four years until 2140, that expenditure (and hence energy usage) is going to decline,” he says.

This debate focuses on Bitcoin’s underlying structure and its energy consumption. Argo Blockchain, however, is focused on an aspect that is often overlooked: the source of the energy.

A greener future

Bitcoin’s environmental impact has always been a key consideration of Argo’s mining strategy.

We recently joined the Crypto Climate Accord (CCA), an organization working to promote a lowering of carbon emissions within the industry. Our partnership with DMG helped us launch Terra Pool, a mining pool that only accepts participants who mine Bitcoin with clean energy.

Renewable energy is a top priority for future Argo projects. The upcoming facility in West Texas will be primarily powered by renewable energy, while the data centres we’ve acquired in Quebec this week are entirely fueled by hydro. These actions, we believe, represent Bitcoin’s inevitable green future.

Bottom line

Elon Musk may have reignited the debate about Bitcoin’s energy consumption, but miners like Argo Blockchain are already making significant strides in cleaning up the network.



Stay on the bleeding edge of Bitcoin mining and the digital assets sector by following Argo Blockchain on Twitter.

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