Is bitcoin damaging to the environment?

Bitcoin uses electricity to establish an objective source of truth via its mining process. Globally, most electricity generation is bad for the environment in one way or another, meaning that Bitcoin mining does some damage to the environment. However, Bitcoin is unique in that it is a completely mobile source of electricity demand, which sets it apart from almost all other industries. In order to stay competitive, miners are drawn to the cheapest sources of electricity. But unlike most other industries, their product is digital and can be produced anywhere and transported more or less for free. This makes miners able to take advantage of otherwise stranded energy sources, the majority of which are renewables projects located too far from demand centers to be competitive with co-located fossil fuel generators. As the world moves towards a fully renewable energy future, due to their location flexibility, miners will be among the first major industries to take advantage of a fully renewable electricity mix.

The ability of miners to rapidly ramp up or down their demand also makes them an ideal candidate for acting as a demand response system in renewables-heavy grids. This in turn enables a much higher share of intermittent renewables such as solar and wind in electricity grids than would otherwise be economically feasible.