Galaxy Digital's mining lead breaks down China and bitcoin's energy footprint

Episode 34 of Season 3 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block’s Frank Chaparro and Galaxy Digital’s Head of Mining Amanda Fabiano.

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Bitcoin mining continues to make headlines this week as China ramps up its clampdown on the long-running — and once-dominant — sector.

In the latest episode of The Scoop podcast, Amanda Fabiano — who leads Galaxy Digital’s mining business — explained exactly what is happening in China, noting that authorities there recently ordered bitcoin mining projects to close in the southwest province of Sichuan.

However, this could provide a bull case for North American mining, as miners are pushed out of China in search of areas with cheaper sources of energy like Kazhakstan.

“A lot of people have built lives there on Bitcoin mining. They were the first people who dove into how to set up these large mining facilities. They have been holding the Bitcoin network up and running it forever. So I genuinely feel for the groups that have been working on that... On the other side, I think it's really bullish for North American mining. And I also think it's a testament to how the Bitcoin network is so resilient. An entire country just banned Bitcoin mining that is supposedly accounting for the largest hash distribution in the world. And yet the Bitcoin network continues on.”

Rising concerns about curbing the energy consumption in bitcoin mining in China have also lead to ESG initiatives in the hopes of producing sustainable mining solutions.

But the promise of a sustainable coin seems like one too good to be true. Fabiano dispels some of the misconceptions around bitcoin mining and what it really looks like for a coin to be mined with renewable energy.

“So when we think about the amounts of electricity, for example, that's lost in energy end transmission and distribution it's 19 times that of the Bitcoin network. And the energy footprint of always-on electrical devices in America is 12.1 times that of the Bitcoin network," Fabiano said, adding:

"But what we always hear is how Bitcoin is ruining the world. We don't care about how your toaster being left on is ruining the world because people don't care that much about it. I think it's really easy to pick on bitcoin’s energy consumption because it is so transparent."

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