Bitcoin live CO2 counter

Franck Leroy
Crypto Lucid
Published in
2 min readAug 7, 2021

We release here a live counter (updated daily) of the annualized estimated carbon footprint of Bitcoin mining :

After all time highs in February 2021 (90 millions tons CO2-eq / year), China’s ban was very efficient by cutting the hashrate and footprint of Bitcoin by half, showing in the process that this extra power was a total waste and useless for the functioning of bitcoin. Since July 2021, miners are starting to move and settle again, causing a sharp raise of hashrate & footprint.


In the graph below, we compare the annualized footprint of bitcoin (both current and ATH) to some countries (Belgium, Sweden), IT activity (Google, Netflix) and Tesla’s fleet annual “CO2 savings”.

After reaching the footprint of whole Belgium in february 2021, Bitcoin still compares to the footprint of Sweden, is several times higher than the whole footprint of Google company (not only servers), and cancels 10 times the annual CO2 savings of the global Tesla’s fleet. Let’s remind that, by still supporting Bitcoin, Elon Musk completely cancels the environmental benefits of his company.


This live graph combines the estimates of power consumption of CBECI (Universisty of Cambridge), the evolution of the mining map and the assessment of carbon footprint of regional electricity mixes, processed with the database Ecoinvent 3.7. We assume most miners are connected to the local grids, sharing their footprint. This is a reasonable assumption : there is no documentation of large mining equipment running off-grid.

Evolution of the mining shares per region

The timeline data of mining shares, provided by the University of Cambridge stops in april 2021, prior to China’s ban of cryptocurrency mining. We extend this data assuming all mining activities in china have stopped and that the share of remaining activities stay stable :

Mining share per region, extended after April 2021 by cutting China’s shares

The graph below shows the average footprint of bitcoin mining per kWh :

Prior to China’s ban, we can see clearly the seasonal variation of the mix due to usage of hydro power during the rainy season.

Uncertainty on new location of miners

After a huge drop of hashrate / consumption in may 2021, the hashrate started to raise again in july 2021 : showing that miners have moved and start to settle in new places. This brings uncertainty to the data.

They are looking for cheap energy, may it be subsided fossil power or hydro :

At this stage, it is still unclear where most miners are settling. Let’s hope Cambridge provide updated data soon.