Bitcoin environmental impact

Bitcoin and ESG: A Report by KPMG

by | Aug 14, 2023

There has been a lot of misinformation and fear mongering on this topic, Bitcoiners know its ESG credentials are very sound, but mainstream has predominately stuck with the tired biased narrative to the contrary. This KPMG report starts to set the record straight and is a must read for anyone interested in ESG investing and digital assets. 
Environmental – “Between Bitcoin’s flexible demand load, ability to co-located next to renewable energy sources, use of under-utilised energy supply and its ability to assist in reducing emissions, Bitcoin miners can be a useful ally in the transition to more renewable energy sources and reduce emissions” 

Bitcoin consumes 110 terawatt hours of energy per year, roughly 0.55% of global electricity use, which is roughly equivalent to the amount of energy required to run tumble dryers.  One would have expected much more electricity use given the years of criticism Bitcoin has received for energy consumption.   

Bitcoin mining companies are partnering with gas companies like Exxon to convert otherwise stranded energy like flared gas into electricity to mine bitcoin, this has a dual benefit of actually reducing emissions and monetising the otherwise wasted energy.  Likewise methane, which is around 80 times more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2  

Social – Illegal and illicit use accounts for 0.24% of crypto transitions (vs 2-5% of global GDP in TradFi); free instant cross border payments for individuals in developing nations; access to electricity in rural Africa; financial inclusion, providing financial services for the world’s most disadvantaged, the 1.4 billion people who are unbanked. 

Far from being a tool used by criminals the Department of Justice has acknowledged several time ‘crypto provides law enforcement with ample information about how when and how much crypto is being transferred… no subpoenas or warrants rewuired.’ 

Roya Mahboob, an Afghan entrepreneur and women’s rights activist started Citadel Software to become the first female tech CEO in Afghanistan, she had to pay many of her female employees in Bitcoin because they didn’t have and couldn’t get a bank account. 
Governance – “Bitcoin’s governance is built into the system by design through rules that are coded into the protocol. This results in a system that cannot be abused or misused by those in power or even individuals with ulterior motives due to its decentralisation” 

Transaction data that resides within the ledger is immutable i.e. it cannot be changed once written, and is secured by cryptography, and is open source such that anyone can cross check and verify transactions across the network ensuring the fidelity of the data.  

Full report is available at