The latest report on Bitcoin mining by The New York Times, titled “The Real-World Costs of the Digital Race for Bitcoin,” has angered many BTC proponents, some of whom have taken to Twitter to criticize certain aspects of the report, including its “cherry-picking” of data.
According to the New York Times article, Bitcoin mining has a “voracious appetite” and consumes as much energy as all the homes in New York City.
Daniel Batten, an environmental, social, and governance (ESG) analyst for Bitcoin, responded by highlighting what he deemed to be two significant instances of cherry-picking data and ignoring the increased use of renewable energy in the mining sector.
Batten stated that the NYT article grossly exaggerates the actual fossil fuel consumption of BTC miners by an average of 81.7%. He added that the report was “supported by disproportionately incomplete datasets.”
Batten also noted that 26 bitcoin miners in the United States and Canada use 90% renewable energy to fuel their mining operations, but the New York Times article selected only two and focused on the sites least supported by renewable energy.
Another BTC advocate, Troy Cross, stated that the NYT article used “marginal emissions accounting” to establish its narrative, applying it selectively only to carbon emissions and not generation.
Dennis Porter, chief executive officer of the Satoshi Act Fund, remarked that the New York Times initially misidentified the location of a bitcoin-generating facility in Texas. Later, the publication corrected the error.
Pierre Rochard, vice president of research for the BTC mining company Riot, accused the New York Times of employing “fictitious fractional-reserve carbon accounting” and “heating the books to fabricate emissions.” Hakan, another Twitter user, identified passages he believed to be fear-inducing.
Even though the high energy consumption required for Bitcoin mining is unquestionably a topic of debate, mining is crucial to the blockchain. In addition to verifying transactions, it decentralizes the system and adds a layer of security.
According to the BTC Mining Council’s report for the fourth quarter of 2022, 58.9% of the Bitcoin network’s energy is derived from renewable sources.
Bitcoin mining has always been a contentious subject, frequently exacerbated by critical articles published by mainstream media outlets alleging it has a net negative impact on the environment.
However, many Bitcoin advocates view these types of articles as attacks and are quick to offer rebuttals. In the meantime, some are campaigning vigorously to alter Bitcoin’s mining consensus to the more environmentally favorable proof-of-stake