My understanding is that bitcoin, as a result of it makes use of the proof of labor (POW) consensus algorithm, emits a substantial quantity of greenhouse gasoline. In distinction, ethereum now makes use of proof of stake (POS) and emits significantly much less.
Nevertheless, in response to Daniel Batten, bitcoin is nice for the atmosphere as a result of it mitigates landfill methane. In line with this argument, landfills launch methane that are considerably worse for the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Bitcoin offers landfill firms a revenue incentive to make use of the methane from landfills to mine bitcoin. This causes combustion of the methane, which converts it into carbon dioxide, which is a much less potent greenhouse gasoline. Bitcoin then acts like a carbon offset. Should you purchase carbon offsets, you might be successfully paying somebody to scale back their greenhouse gasoline emissions. By shopping for bitcoin you might be giving landfills a revenue motive to transform methane into carbon dioxide, which decelerates local weather change.
If that is true, it signifies that ethereum’s transition from POW to POS is dangerous for the atmosphere as a result of extra crypto market cap has now moved from POW crypto to POS crypto, so there may be much less incentive for landfills to transform methane into carbon dioxide.
There are some arguments in opposition to this e.g. why would not a landfill merely harvest methane emissions and as an alternative direct the electrical energy into the grid slightly than into bitcoin miners? The counterargument to that is that the payoff from feeding this electrical energy into the grid will not be higher than the payoff from mining bitcoin, which explains why at the moment most landfills don’t do that and as an alternative launch methane into the environment or attempt to flare the methane.