Climate tech VC argues Bitcoin’s ESG positives outweigh its negatives 31:1

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A climate tech investor has painted a bright view of the Bitcoin network, suggesting its environmental positives outweigh its negatives by a whopping 31:1 ratio.

On Jan. 12, self-proclaimed philanthropist and environmentalist Daniel Batten claimed in a Twitter thread that “Bitcoin is probably the most important ESG technology of our time.”

According to Batten, the 31:1 positive impact ratio was calculated by researching and interviewing grid engineers, climate scientists, Bitcoin mining engineers, methane abatement experts and solar and wind installers.

The findings discovered 21 ways Bitcoin (BTC) could be environmentally positive and just five ways it could be environmentally negative.

Batten said that the findings were “uncannily similar” to those for the solar industry.

Many of the positives involved renewable energy grids and benefits from mining, such as being the leading technology for responding to grid power demand from over and undersupply. Depending on power demand constraints, Bitcoin mining farms can switch on or off.

Additionally, BTC mining can be a solution for geographic curtailment. Power curtailment is a deliberate reduction in the output below what could be produced to balance energy supply and demand, or due to transmission constraints.

There are also benefits in innovation and methane reduction, according to Batten’s findings.

BTC mining can be used to reduce vented landfill gas and flare gas emissions by using this otherwise wasted energy to power rigs.

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The handful of negatives included network emission levels, e-waste production and the opening up of previous fossil fuel sites. However, the environmental positives far outweighed these negatives, according to Batten, who opined:

“Bitcoin mining’s rapid renewable adoption can inspire other industry sectors to follow.”

“We see Bitcoin mining can play a real part in global methane mitigation,” he concluded.

Related: Bitcoin could become a zero-emission network: Report

On Jan. 13, the South China Morning Post opposed the notion that Bitcoin was good for the environment, by reporting that BTC accounted for 86.3 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2022.

However, it did acknowledge that Ethereum saw its CO2 emissions drop from 21.95 million tons in 2021 to 8,824 tons last year, according to the data from Forex Suggest. Ethereum’s switch to proof-of-stake in September 2022 reduced network power consumption by 99.98%.