Asian led CSO network calls on Elon Musk to engage in the decarbonization of Bitcoin


Last week, news reports stated that Elon Musk FRS has bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoins and that his companies will begin accepting bitcoin as a form of payment shortly [2]. Asian-led CSO NGO Forum on ADB said that they hope Musk will be mindful of Bitcoin's impact on the environment.


The Bitcoin system's current design requires more electricity than is needed to power Denmark[3], it is energy-intensive, and given its expanding condition, the rise of Bitcoin mining may directly lead to fossil fuel dependency and rising GHG emissions, unless a radical shift is taken towards decarbonizing computing power,” says Rayyan Hassan, executive director of NGO Forum on ADB

As the Bitcoin industry grows, the overall electricity consumption caused by every individual transaction will increase steeply. In China, for example, coal is the most significant source of electricity, which means more emissions; Digiconomist puts Bitcoin's annualized emissions at 37 million tons of carbon dioxide.


The Bitcoin system's current design requires more electricity than is needed to power Denmark, it is energy-intensive, and given its expanding condition, the rise of Bitcoin mining may directly lead to fossil fuel dependency and rising GHG emissions, unless a radical shift is taken towards decarbonizing computing power.

Gerry Arances, executive director of Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED) Philippines, firmly pointed out that “A person leading the innovations on clean energy and cars, it shouldn’t be the case.”


Even the verification process needed to trade Bitcoin is also a polluting endeavor.


Social Activist Vidya Dinker of Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF) and Growthwatch, India explained that “Bitcoin mining and trading may hinder attempts to conserve energy and combat the climate crisis. By failing to regulate and overlooking these costs to the environment, nations are in fact subsidizing the polluters at the expense of the public”.


The Forum network encourages Musk to engage in the decarbonization of Bitcoin mining and trading strongly and promote environmentally sustainable applications of Blockchain without damaging this growing sector’s value. NGO Forum on ADB also hopes that there will be a switch to pollution-free power sources that are already available and likely to accelerate.


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NGO Forum on ADB

The NGO Forum on ADB is a network of civil society organizations (CSOs) that has been monitoring the projects, programs, and policies of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). 

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