Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Massachusetts Institute of Technology or MIT) admit that bitcoin mining useful, but they emphasized the need for closer monitoring.
As Bitcoin is well known mining is a controversial topic in debate due to its significant energy consumption.
Proponents argue that Bitcoin mining offers multiple benefits for the climate and can contribute to grid stability, reduce methane emissions, and expand renewable energy sources.
According to Bitcoinitsthe supporting arguments are then to be tested by MIT researchers.
“In a recent study conducted by Christian Stoll, Lena Klaaßen, Ulrich Gallersdörfer, and Alexander Neumülle, researchers validate the arguments of both sides and provide a picture of the extent and energy sources of Bitcoin mining in the United States,” wrote the media. crypto in the press, recently.
“MIT researchers acknowledge the network-balancing, methane-mitigating benefits of Bitcoin mining in a new paper,” Satoshi Act founder and CEO, Dennis Porter, wrote via Twitter.
In the study of the researchers, Bitcoin mining can contribute to the stability and resilience of the network, as demonstrated during the Elliott snowstorm in December 2022.
“Bitcoin miners limit is 100 Exahashes per second (EH/s) – equivalent to 38 percent of the Bitcoin network’s total hashrate for that day,” the MIT researchers note.
This incident supports the argument that Bitcoin mining can provide network operators with a resource that can quickly adjust power usage, offering stability during periods of high demand or network stress.
This study also discusses the potential of Bitcoin mining to reduce methane emissions, especially from combustion.
Bitcoin proponents such as Dennis Porter argue that by harnessing the wasted combustion gases in electricity generators, emissions can be reduced significantly.
The researchers cited industry estimates indicating a potential reduction in carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions of 25 percent compared to open burning and up to 63 percent when burning suppression is taken into account.
The MIT researchers also highlighted findings indicating a lower combustion efficiency than assumed, resulting in a smaller reduction in methane emissions than expected.
Additionally, Bitcoin mining offers a potential solution to the problem of abandoned and unsealed oil and gas wells.
“By 2020, according to EPA research, the United States had 3,700,000 abandoned wells, of which 59 percent were unsealed, emitting 6.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) annually,” they wrote.
In a review of researchers, Bitcoin mining with its independent location and minimal local resource requirements, it can help overcome this problem.
By operating near abandoned wells, miners can convert wasted energy into electricity, generate revenue, and fund well sealing efforts while reducing climate impact.
A fourth benefit of Bitcoin mining is the potential to facilitate the expansion of renewable energy sources.
The researchers acknowledge that mining in remote locations can overcome the challenges associated with integrating intermittent renewable energy sources into the power grid.
Need Further Research Regarding Bitcoin Mining
Further study results from MIT researchers, found that Bitcoin’s energy demand mining very large.
“Bitcoin miner power demand reached 15.4 gigawatts (GW) on March 25, 2023,” they wrote.
This data points to concerns around the environmental impact of mining and its energy-intensive nature. The researchers investigated the carbon intensity of the electricity consumed by miners in the United States.
In contrast to industry claims of a significant dependence on sustainable energy, this study claims that the carbon intensity is nearly equivalent to that of the average United States power grid.
“The carbon intensity of the electricity consumed… is 397 gCO2/kWh, nearly equivalent to the US grid average of 387 gCO2/kWh.”
This finding challenges the notion that the vast majority of BTC mining (58.9 percent) uses renewable energy sources.
In addition, this study reveals the magnitude of carbon emissions caused by a group of publicly listed mining companies in the United States.
“The 7.2 MtCO2 annual emissions attributable to the 13 mining companies analyzed in the United States alone exceed the carbon emissions of the State of Vermont,” their report was quoted as saying.
Basically, the study of MIT researchers provides a comprehensive analysis of the benefits and drawbacks associated with BTC mining. Although the study found potential climate benefits such as grid stability, reduced methane emissions, well sealing and renewable energy expansion, the researchers emphasized the need for further research. [ab]