For Daniel Batten, Founder of Exponential Founders Fund, bitcoin could reduce methane emissions into the atmosphere by 23%.
Methane is a gas whose volume represents only 0.00018% of the atmosphere. The latter consists of 80% nitrogen and a little less than 20% oxygen. The rest is mainly water vapor (0.3% clouds) and CO2 (0.04%).
However, these gaseous minorities have a powerful impact on the greenhouse effect. A bit like a few drops of dye that are enough to make water opaque.
Since 1850, humans have added small drops of opacifier to the atmosphere, increasing the amount of CO2 by 40%. This carbon dioxide has the effect of trapping the infrared emitted by the earth when it reflects the energy of the sun towards space.
Methane is no exception. It alone is responsible for nearly 30% of the greenhouse effect. The reason being that its “opacifying” action is 80 times greater than that of carbon dioxide. That said, methane only stays in the atmosphere for about ten years.
Conversely, if most of the CO2 released into the air dissolves in the ocean over a period of 20 to 200 years (which acidifies the oceans, etc.), it will be necessary to wait a few thousand years for all of the Excess CO2 is eliminated from the atmosphere…
However, it turns out that unburned methane emissions are actually 3.5 times worse than expected. This is what emerges from studies carried out by Daniel Batten thanks to NASA satellites which have been used to scrutinize the gases burned by the oil and gas industry.
So what to do since it is out of the question to do without oil? A beginning of the solution is to extract it in the most environmentally friendly way possible. Mitigating methane leaks from flare stacks is the easiest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the UN, reducing man-made methane by 45% this decade would prevent global warming of 0.3 degrees Celsius.
Bitcoin to “extinguish” flares
Here’s the problem with methane escaping from flares:
“When an oil company extracts oil, it’s not just extracting oil. There is also methane that comes with it. Unfortunately, it is often uneconomical to bring this gas to civilization due to the remoteness of pipelines. So, what do we do ? It is burned because it cannot be stored. However, flaring does not entirely solve the problem of methane emissions. According to the International Energy Agency, some of the methane is always released into the atmosphere due to the wind, which prevents complete combustion of the methane into CO2. About 8% remains. »
Luckily, there is an industry capable of consuming energy wherever it is: bitcoin mining.
Crusoe Energy, a company specializing in the recovery of flare gas from the oil and gas industry, recently survey $505 million to deploy machines for mining of BTC on oil sites in the United States.
The French Big Block was also very close to starting operations in Russia before war broke out in Ukraine.
“In addition to being highly cost effective and ticking the ESG box, Crusoe Energy is helping to solve one of the most important environmental issues of our time”welcomed Daniel Batten during the Surfin’Bitcoin conference (from 47 minutes HERE).
“Crusoe Energy burns methane in a generator to generate electricity to mine Bitcoin. The amount of methane escaping drops from 8% to 0.1%. Or a division by 80 of the emissions. »
Methane emissions from the oil and gas industry and landfills account for 41% of all man-made methane emissions. So much so that Mr. Batten believes that “Bitcoin mining could reduce methane emissions by 23%”. “This would reduce global warming by 0.15°C”.
Even the White House agrees:
To go further, do not miss our two previous articles on the subject:
- Bitcoin (BTC) subsidizes the energy transition!
- Arcane sweeps away attacks on Bitcoin’s energy consumption
Thus, in addition to consuming 60% renewable energy, the mining of bitcoin helps tackle the problem of global warming. Even better, this purchased energy acts as a subsidy that the fossil fuel industry will need to achieve the energy transition.
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