Building a Greener Bitcoin: How to Reduce Carbon Emissions

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Part One projected exactly how much carbon dioxide each bitcoin produces, while Part Two put this figure in context with the broader financial sector.

What can we do to try and reduce the carbon footprint of the bitcoin network? Here are a few options, along with their strengths and weaknesses.

Is there a way to change bitcoin at the source, by tampering with the software behind the bitcoin network itself?

A certain amount of mining power is necessary on a decentralized network like bitcoin to stop people taking control of the block chain.

"The difference between bitcoin and the dollar is, of course, that misallocation in the latter is structural and infinite, whereas bitcoin is due to phase it out after a while."

The core developers are unlikely to try and impose some kind of environmental tax on bitcoin mining directly in the software.

Then there are always traditional fiat-based carbon offset schemes, which you could pay into by converting some of your bitcoin to conventional currency.

The bitcoin mining system is well-suited to renewables.

The average residential bitcoin user may not be willing to build a rig in the middle of a desert with a solar array, but institutional miners running their own data centres may grab an increasing share of the pie.

Bitcoin difficulty will rise, and so will the carbon emissions that we use to create our cryptocurrency.