The Bitcoin Mining Council Q2 Report

The Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC) released its first report titled “Bitcoin Mining Council Q2 2021 Briefing” and estimated that the global Bitcoin mining industry now uses 56% sustainable energy.

What is the BMC?

The council was created as a result of Elon Musk raising concerns over the environmental impact of bitcoin mining. Because of these concerns, Tesla stopped accepting Bitcoin as a means of payment. To bring more transparency into the energy usage of Bitcoin, the North American BMC, was created by MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor but Elon Musk was excluded from the council.

The BMC aims to provide transparent and verifiable data on renewable energy usage in the Bitcoin mining industry. The BMC has emphasized that they are not operating to tell anyone what to do in Bitcoin mining. Rather, the Council advises that its members should strive and share their “energy mix.” Also, the Council emphasized that miners should utilize their power consumption data mainly for research and educational purposes. The BMC believes that doing this will help change people’s mindset of Bitcoin’s environmental impact which they believe to be grossly exaggerated.

What You Should Know

The BMC just conducted its first-ever voluntary survey on the energy mix used for Bitcoin mining. The BMC collected energy usage information of 32% of the current global Bitcoin network.

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The results of this survey show that the members of the BMC and participants in the survey are currently utilizing electricity with a 67% sustainable power mix.

Based on this data it is estimated that the global mining industry’s sustainable electricity mix had grown to approximately 56%, in Q2 2021, making it one of the most sustainable industries globally.

The BMC defines sustainable electricity as “hydro, wind, solar, nuclear, geothermal and carbon-based generation with net carbon credits,” which are based on principles from the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Net Zero by 2050 report.

The estimate was based on a three-question survey which are:

  • How much electricity does your total fleet consume today?
  • What is the total % of sustainable electricity within your fleet’s power generation mix today?
  • What is the total aggregate hashrate of your fleet today?

The validity of the data and estimates resulting from BMC’s survey is unclear, as it relies heavily on voluntary and self-reported responses from just a subset of the network. The BMC vaguely notes that its estimated Global Bitcoin network annualized power is based on its own “analysis, assumptions and exploration.”

What they are saying

Michael Saylor was “pleased” with the report, however, noting that the Bitcoin mining industry has “voluntarily” worked together to provide “critical information to the general public and policymakers.” He said it would help “clarifying common misconceptions about the nature and scale of Bitcoin energy usage.”

What this means

This new BMC study seems unlikely to sway Elon Musk just yet, who stated last month that Tesla would resume allowing Bitcoin transactions when the global Bitcoin mining network was verifiably backed by at least 50% renewables.

The study comes at a pivotal moment in Bitcoin mining history, as Chinese-based miners are either shutting down shop or flocking overseas to energy-cheap hubs such as Quebec in Canada and Kazakhstan in Central Asia. It remains to be seen how the Chinese ban on mining will affect the use of renewable energy, though there are hopes it will have a positive effect.


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