As the great of the earth gather in Glasgow, Scotland, to discuss climate change and policies for environmental sustainability, the BitMEX exchange has announced that it has become carbon neutral.
How BitMEX became carbon neutral
At the beginning of the year, the company announced that it was committed to achieving this goal as soon as possible, which came after only ten months.
Commenting on this achievement, BitMEX CEO Alexander Höptner said:
“Sustainability is the challenge of our time. Bitcoin—and cryptocurrency in general—is the transformative technology of our time. Especially around COP26, it’s only natural that crypto faces tough questions about the environmental impact of the technology that enables our work”.
The result was achieved by using 0.0026 cents for every dollar of fees paid by its users for carbon offsetting. Among the ways of offsetting carbon is the planting of trees.
Environmental groups criticize this process of buying green certificates, considering it to be nothing more than greenwashing, with no real positive effect on the environment.
A spokeswoman for the company told Decrypt:
“We definitely understand the critics’ point of view on carbon offsetting, and debated internally about to what extent we should focus our strategy on offsetting”.
“Ultimately, we decided that even imperfect solutions to existential problems like climate change are worth pursuing”.
Cryptocurrencies and environmental sustainability
The topic of environmental sustainability has always been in the spotlight when it comes to cryptocurrencies. It is well known that mining is very energy- and environmentally-intensive.
According to recent figures, the cryptocurrency industry consumes around 150 TWh of electricity per year, which is more than the amount of energy consumed in one year by countries such as Poland, Norway, Argentina, Egypt or Sweden.
In the past, attempts have been made to find a solution to this problem in the use of renewable energy, but the results are not yet entirely satisfactory.
In April, a group of 150 crypto companies, financial firms and non-profit organizations signed an agreement, the Crypto Climate Accord, to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.
One of the goals of the agreement is to have 100% of the energy used by the renewable sector by that date.