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Bitcoin: How Mining and Energy Use Correlate to Price

Bitcoin (BTC), the world’s leading cryptocurrency, faces environmental debate due to its energy-intensive mining process. Critics argue it contributes to carbon emissions and global warming, while proponents emphasize the industry’s transition to greener energy sources. This article explores the correlation between mining, energy consumption, and Bitcoin’s price to understand its market dynamics.

The UN Report: Bitcoin Mining and Energy Consumption

Recently, the United Nations conducted a study that examined the energy requirements of Bitcoin mining operations across 76 nations during the 2020–2021 period. The report revealed that the global BTC mining network consumed a staggering 173.42 terawatt-hours of electricity during this timeframe. Notably, the study found a direct correlation between the price of Bitcoin and the energy consumption of the mining network. A 400% increase in BTC’s price triggered a 140% surge in energy consumption within the network.

The UN report also shed light on the sources of energy used for BTC mining. At the time, fossil fuel sources accounted for 67% of the electricity generated for mining operations. However, the cryptocurrency community has been actively seeking ways to reduce its carbon footprint. Hydropower accounted for over 16% of the total electricity demand, while nuclear, solar, and wind energy sources contributed 9%, 2%, and 5%, respectively.

Criticisms of the UN Report

Despite the UN report’s findings, some members of the crypto community raised concerns about its accuracy. The report referenced the Mora et al. 2018 paper, which overestimated the carbon emission levels of BTC mining rigs by including unprofitable mining operations in their analysis. Critics argue that this inclusion skewed the results and painted an inaccurate picture of the industry’s environmental impact.

Prominent figures within the cryptocurrency space, such as Nic Carter and Magot Paez, criticized the UN report for citing “completely fake academia.” They highlighted the authors’ failure to consider opposing viewpoints and rebuttals to the Mora et al. paper. While the UN report acknowledged the role of BTC’s price in determining mining profitability, it failed to address the broader implications of including unprofitable mining rigs in the analysis.

The Top Bitcoin Mining Nations and Their Carbon Footprint

The UN report shows that the top 10 Bitcoin mining nations, including China, the US, Kazakhstan, Russia, Malaysia, Canada, Germany, Iran, Ireland, and Singapore, contribute significantly to the cryptocurrency’s carbon, water, and land footprint, highlighting the need for global cooperation in implementing sustainable practices to reduce Bitcoin’s carbon footprint and the wider crypto ecosystem.

The Impact on Bitcoin’s Market Dynamics

Bitcoin mining and energy consumption play a significant role in shaping the cryptocurrency’s market dynamics. The correlation between Bitcoin’s price and the energy consumed by mining operations suggests that increased demand for digital assets drives up energy consumption.

However, the growing emphasis on sustainable mining practices and the transition to greener energy sources could have a positive impact on Bitcoin’s market dynamics. As the industry reduces its carbon footprint and becomes more environmentally friendly, it may attract a broader investor base and enhance market stability.


The correlation between Bitcoin mining, energy consumption, and the cryptocurrency’s price is a topic of great interest and debate. The UN report shed light on the significant energy requirements of Bitcoin mining operations and the industry’s carbon footprint. While criticisms regarding the accuracy of the report have been raised, the push for sustainability and the adoption of renewable energy sources within the mining industry are promising signs.



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