Disclaimer: This report is prepared based on published information that SAI believes to be reliable, but SAI does not guarantee the accuracy and completeness of the information contained. The information or opinions expressed in this report do not constitute investment advice to anyone.
Recently, the debate about redefining Bitcoin’s energy waste and causing huge environmental damage has once again aroused people’s attention. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Wednesday on Twitter that Tesla has “suspended vehicle purchases using bitcoin,” out of concern over “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for bitcoin mining. How is the climate problem proportional to Bitcoin?
More than eleven years after its creation, Bitcoin is gradually gaining wider institutional and market recognition. Although constructive criticism is beneficial, we believe that some influential financial research institutions are refuting Bitcoin based on outdated information, incoherent arguments, and flawed analysis.
In this article, we collected publicly available data from multiple channels including investment institution research reports and academic paper. This memo is made by analyzing those data and information.
Bitcoin mining produces less carbon emissions while being more efficient comparing with gold mining, financial system and traditional calculations.
The debate about Bitcoin’s massive carbon emissions and environmental degradation has not reached its goal. According to the analysis below, the result shows that the consumption of Bitcoin mining is less than the goldmining, financial and computer industries.
Ark Investment Management criticized the stereotypes of common Bitcoin myths. Bitcoin’s energy footprint is easily criticized. From the perspective of electricity costs alone, Bitcoin is much more efficient than traditional banks and gold mining on a global scale.According to a recent research, traditional banking consumes 2.34 billion GJ per year, gold mining consumes 500 million GJ per year, while Bitcoin consumes 184 million GJ, which is less than 10% and 40% of traditional banking and gold mining respectively. In addition, the estimated efficiency of the dollar cost per GJ expenditure of Bitcoin mining is 40 times that of traditional banking and 10 times that of gold mining.
CoinShares asserts that, given the amount of energy used, Bitcoin mining is more driven by renewable energy than almost every other large industry in the world. A more useful comparison is the way the industry has developed compared to gold and traditional finance (see below).
For gold, the researchers assumed that the energy consumption per kilogram of gold mined was 175 gigajoules. Approximately 3,100 metric tons of gold are mined each year, bringing the total energy demand for gold mining to close to 150 terawatt hours each year.
According to this chart, it can be determined that gold mining requires more energy than Bitcoin mining.
There is an important difference between how much energy a system consumes and how much carbon it emits. Although determining energy consumption is relatively simple, you cannot infer the relevant carbon emissions without knowing the exact energy mix, that is, the composition of the different energy sources used by the computers that mine Bitcoin. For example, a unit of hydropower will have a much smaller impact on the environment than the same unit of coal-fired energy.
As a result, estimates of the percentage of renewable energy used in Bitcoin mining vary widely. According to a CoinShare report, published in December 2019, it showed that 73% of Bitcoin’s energy consumption was carbon neutral, mainly due to the abundance of hydropower in major mining centers such as Southwest China and Scandinavia.
According to the International Energy Association (IEA), in stark contrast to all other fuels, the renewable energy used for power generation will grow by nearly 7% by 2020. Global energy demand will fall by 5%, but priority access to the power grid and continuous installation of new power plants have laid the foundation for the strong growth of renewable energy.
IEA also stated that it is expected that the decline in economic activity due to the pandemic will harm the heat consumption of renewable energy sources. Quote from Bill Gates, electricity and heating produce big amount of carbon emission, It is difficult for clean energy to solve the peak shaving and consumption problems. SAI(www.sai.tech) team innovatively reuse the heat from computing and provide heating services, which can solve the energy consumption and carbon emission problems at the same time. We could use bitcoin mining as a “profitable battery” to consume the idle electricity.
Bitcoin uses the highest proportion of clean energy in both financial and technology industry
Another key factor that makes Bitcoin’s energy consumption different from most other industries is that Bitcoin can be mined anywhere. Almost all energy used in the world must be relatively close to its end-user production, but Bitcoin does not have this restriction, which allows miners to utilize power that is not available to most other applications.
Hydro is the most well-known example of this. In the wet season in Sichuan and Yunnan in China, enormous quantities of renewable hydro energy are wasted every year. In these areas, production capacity greatly exceeds local demand, and battery technology is far from advanced, so there is no way to store and transport energy from these rural areas to urban centers that need it. These regions are likely to represent the largest single stranded energy resources on the planet. Therefore, it is no coincidence that these provinces are the heartland of China’s mining industry, responsible for almost 10% of global Bitcoin mining in the dry season and 50% in the rainy season.
As mentioned earlier, bitcoin miners, on the other hand, are an ideal complementary technology for renewables and storage. Combining generation with both storage and miners presents a better overall value proposition than building generation and storage alone. In BCEI White Paper, by combining miners with renewables + storage projects, we believe it could provide the grid with readily available “excess” energy for increasingly common black swan events like excessively hot or cold days when demand spikes (e.g. the early 2021 outages in Texas).
In other terms, the electricity consumed by Bitcoin mining is some energy that is “destined to be wasted”, and to some extent it has increased the income of clean energy power generation.
Only by increasing the benefits of using renewable energy and reducing its costs, the market will spontaneously choose to use clean energy, and the transformation of energy use will be truly accelerated. At this point, Bitcoin mining has played a certain “facilitation” role.
Bitcoin mining is more in line with ESG and is conducive to carbon neutrality
Many journalists and academics talk about Bitcoin’s high “per-transaction energy cost,” but this metric is misleading. Most of Bitcoin’s energy consumption occurs during the mining process. After the coin is issued, the energy required to verify the transaction is very small. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to just look at the total energy consumption of Bitcoin to date, and then divide it by the number of transactions. Most of the energy is used to mine Bitcoin, not to support transactions. This led to our final serious misunderstanding: the energy costs associated with mining Bitcoin will continue to increase exponentially.
Bitcoin mining is an energy intensive industry. Correspondingly, miners exude large quantities of heat as a by-product of the hashing process, which conventionally has been vented into the atmosphere. Represented by SAI (www.sai.tech), companies are exploring different ways to recover and reuse waste heat in order to create additional sources of income and offset electricity costs.
SAI was founded in 2019, and is a horizontally integrated clean energy technology company. As the vice chairman unit of the Clean Heating Industry Committee (CHIC), SAI has four core technology sectors: SAIHEAT (chip waste heat utilization), SAIWATT(clean power consumption), SAIBYTE (computing cloud network system), and SAICHIP (new computing chip).
The SAIHEAT Energy & Computing Center, which has obtained AAA-level certification for clean heating services, uses the “chip water cooling + chip waste heat utilization” technical system to realize waste heat recovery and energy secondary utilization, and open up the computing power, electricity, and heating links to reduce costs and improve Energy efficiency. The traditional heating system can be applied in civil and commercial buildings after adding a SAIHEAT series chip waste heat heating cabinet. In an ecological park of SAI in central Asia, the greenhouse can be maintained at a suitable temperature of more than 40 degrees by recycling the waste heat generated by computing when the outdoor temperature is minus 7 degrees. SAI can reduce the computing power cost of about 35% for customers, together with the heating cost of the heat demand side and the corresponding power investment.
For example, in a project of SAI Heat Technology located in Central Asia, the SAIHEAT Energy & Computing Center can use technical means to recover the waste heat generated by computing, and then use the heat for greenhouse heating. The greenhouse can be maintained at 43.4 degrees (the outdoor environment is minus 7 degrees). The average heat recovery rate of the whole process exceeds 80%. This allows customers to reduce the cost of computing power and heating power by about 35% while effectively reducing the power supporting investment, realizing a clean computing power solution.
Use the renewable energies to power the mining chips, reuse the heat the chips self-produced, it is a carbon neutral closed loop.
Prospects for the future
Arthur Lee, founder of SAI, said that SAI ’s mission is to enable everyone to use more clean and affordable computing power, electricity and heating resources. In the future, the company will adhere to “energy empower computing, computing empower future” corporate vision, continue to explore in the direction of providing high-performance computing based on clean energy, accumulate experience for the industry to achieve a comprehensive clean computing power. At the same time, SAI has also made a good circle of leadership and demonstration effect “carbon neutral” goal.
In conclusion, Bitcoin has been dealing with scepticism since its inception. Some theories are wilder than others, but arguably one of the most latched-onto debates has been around Bitcoin’s energy consumption and its alleged harmful level of emissions. The traditional banking system, according to a recent research, total consumption for banks during a year only on three metrics, is around 26 TWh on servers, 87 TWh on branches and 26TWh on ATMs for a total of close to a 140 TWh a year. Bitcoin consumes 1/4 the power of banks. But, this is just the start for bitcoins. As we move towards making every transaction using cryptocurrency, the power consumption decreases.
As the clean computing industry develops more mature, Bitcoin mining is more conducive to reducing the total carbon emissions of human society, and then achieving the goal of carbon neutrality.
This year, Chinese researchers announced a study. According to their estimates, if the existing energy sources and use efficiency are maintained, the energy consumption generated by blockchain operations will reach a peak in 2024, generating more than Italy’s annual greenhouse gas emissions. Square recently released a memo by quoting ARK’s research model, stating that Bitcoin mining is supplying a larger proportion of grid baseload energy at a lower cost. Thus, the use of renewable energy systems has been enhanced.
Recently, the global computing operator SAI joined the UNFCCC Climate Neutral Now (UNFCCC Climate Neutral Now, hereinafter referred to as the “Neutral Initiative”) launched by the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This global computing energy operator empowered by clean energy for high-performance chips has become the world’s first digital asset company to join the UNFCCC, and also the first in the industry to sign a commitment to the United Nations to reduce the cost by providing clean computing power. SAI is committed to reducing carbon emissions and achieving carbon neutrality by providing clean computing power.
The “Neutral Initiative” plan was initiated and implemented by the UNFCCC in 2015 to encourage the whole society to take actions to protect the climate. The initiative is promoted and implemented by the secretariat of the UNFCCC, which provides scientific methods to reduce corporate carbon footprints and help achieve carbon neutrality. As of the end of 2020, there have been a number of contracted members including various enterprises, organizations, international and intergovernmental agencies, United Nations agencies, individuals, etc., covering multiple industries such as finance, technology, and engineering. The addition of SAI has also filled the gap in the high-performance computing industry related to blockchain.
SAI was founded in 2019 and is a clean computing technology enterprise. As the vice chairman unit of the Clean Heating Industry Committee (CHIC), SAI has four core technology sectors: SAIHEAT (chip waste heat utilization), SAIWATT (clean poåwer consumption), SAIBYTE (computing cloud network system), and SAICHIP (new computing chip).
The SAIHEAT Energy&Computing Center, which has obtained AAA-level certification for clean heating services, uses the “chip water cooling + chip waste heat utilization” technical system to realize waste heat recovery and energy secondary utilization, and open up the computing power, electricity, and heating links to reduce costs and improve energy efficiency. The traditional heating system can be applied in civil and commercial buildings after adding a SAIHEAT series chip waste heat heating cabinet. In an ecological park of SAI in central Asia, the greenhouse can be maintained at a suitable temperature of more than 40 degrees by recycling the waste heat generated by computing while the outdoor temperature is minus 7 degrees. SAI can reduce the computing power cost of about 35% for customers, together with the heating cost of the heat demand side and the corresponding power investment.
In addition, SAI has also developed its own EMS (environment management system) system according to the ISO14000 standard, trying its best to minimize the negative impact of business processes on the environment.
In a project of SAI, the recovery of the waste heat generated by computing is used for heating, and the greenhouse is maintained at 43.4 degrees (the outdoor environment is minus 7 degrees)
When talking about the next step of development, the founder Arthur Lee said that SAI ’s mission is to enable everyone to use more clean and affordable computing power, electricity and heating resources. In the future, the company will adhere to “energy empower computing, computing empower future” corporate vision, continue to explore in the direction of providing high-performance computing based on clean energy, accumulate experience for the industry to achieve a comprehensive clean computing power. At the same time, SAI has also put every effort to achieve the “carbon neutral” goal.
On April 17, the “Supercomputing · Fusion, 2021 Global Blockchain Computing Power Conference” officially opened in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. This conference is co-sponsored by Babbitt, ChainNode, and Poolin. Wu Said Blockchain is co-organized and 360Power is the general title sponsor.
In 2021, “carbon neutrality” will become a national plan, and China is facing the urgent need to transform from traditional energy to clean energy. On the other hand, enterprises and countries are carrying out digital transformation, and the demand for computing power in modern society is increasing. Increasing computing power means consuming more energy. Under such a background, how can computing power be “cleaned and energized”? Can clean computing power and energy-efficient computing power be obtained at the same time?
In the afternoon, Arthur Lee, the founder of SAI, was invited to give a speech at the conference, “A Century of “Carbon Neutral” Plan, How Can Sustainable Clean Energy be Applied in the Mining Field?” I believe it can bring some enlightenment.
The following is the full text of the speech compiled by Babbitt:
Hello everyone, I’m Arthur Lee, the founder of SAI. First of all, thank the organizer for the invitation and let me have this opportunity to share my views on the impact of carbon neutrality on the field of computing power that the public has been paying more attention to recently.
First of all, I would like to introduce SAI to you. We were established in 2019 and have been committed to solving the problem of energy costs of computing since our establishment. Today, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce our next development plan, and to discuss with all of you about energy cost, efficiency and sustainability issues in the current carbon-neutral environment and the future development of the computing industry
How to become the Coinbase of the computing power industry?
A few days ago, when Coinbase went public, it caused a lot of waves. As a compliant exchange, Coinbase’s IPO means that traditional capital recognizes emerging industries. The entire blockchain industry can be divided into two main tracks, one is trading and the other is computing power. The main concern on the trading track is the exchange, and the key word is compliance. Therefore, the successful IPO of Coinbase as a compliant exchange is of extraordinary significance to our industry. We think about how to become the Coinbase of the computing power industry?
The most important and arguably the biggest cost in the computing industry is energy. I believe that many miners and people in the mining industry face the problem of energy costs. Our company has been dedicated to solving the energy cost problem of computing with technology since the beginning of our company. After continuous exploration, we have accumulated more experience. In terms of the company, we have received investment from Bitmain and some domestic headquarter institutions. Our customers are mainly domestic and overseas large funds, and our business is mainly to help B-side customers to carry out computing power asset allocation and computing power hosting services.
How can clean energy be applied in the field of mining under the current carbon-neutral market demand?
Let’s start with the positioning of our company. I’m a great admirer of Elon Musk, who is a great entrepreneur. When he defined Tesla, he used a very simple structure, which is clean energy + cars. He has always insisted on this concept. He believes that Tesla is the world’s first company to vertically integrate renewable energy, from electricity production to storage to consumption. Tesla is currently ranked in the top 10 in terms of market capitalization and is the only company in the top 10 market capitalization list that has clean energy as its core concept. I believe it will have the same significance as the Coinbase’s IPO a few days ago, bringing us into a new era.
We learned from Tesla’s philosophy and combined our knowledge of the industry to establish SAI’s positioning. Our core structure is clean energy + chips, dedicated to solving the problem of computational energy costs. SAI is positioned to become the world’s first horizontally integrated clean energy technology company, serving customers around the world from computing power to electricity to heat.
Why did we choose to enter the energy track of the computing industry? Looking back at the development history of several industrial revolutions, we will find a rule. From the first industrial revolution, heat was first used on a large scale instead of manual work, to the discovery and application of electricity in the second industrial revolution, which could drive industrial production more efficiently, and then in the third scientific and technological revolution, the computing industry has greatly shortened the time and space barriers of the physical world through computing power. The whole society is getting higher and higher from the perspective of energy efficiency. In other words, the value created by each kilowatt-hour of electricity is getting higher and higher. In this process, we discovered that the energy efficiency improvement process in the carbon-based world (that is, the physical world of human real life) can be understood as the improvement of atomic energy efficiency. For example, sending our paper letters from one city to another requires energy to move atoms, and the cost may be very high. But in the silicon-based world, it is possible to complete the fast and efficient way of transmitting information by sending WeChat through the movement of electrons. Similarly, the transfer of value in the silicon-based world can also become more efficient through the global network of digital finance and crypto assets. In the silicon-based world, the efficiency of value and information transmission is mainly improved by continuously improving electronic energy efficiency. With the development of human society and the advancement of science and technology, this trend will further accelerate. From the evolution of the carbon-based world to the silicon-based world, and the evolution from atomic energy efficiency to electronic energy efficiency, it can be said that the essence of human social progress is the continuous evolution of energy efficiency.
We believe that all developments in the silicon-based world must be based on computing. So what is the core cost of computing? Miners are very familiar with these, one part is the chip cost, the other part is the energy cost. If you stretch the timeline, you will find that energy costs will account for a greater proportion.
In essence, computing can be understood as an activity of entropy reduction from a physical point of view, that is, to turn disordered data into order, and there must be an input of energy. In other words, as many computing requirements as there are, as many chips are needed and how much energy is consumed. So we will see that whether it is traditional computing, such as Alibaba Cloud, Amazon or Bitcoin mining, all computing is based on energy and requires a lot of energy. Thus, solving energy costs becomes more and more important to the computing industry. Here we also have a deep understanding of the characteristics of each computing industry, and combined our accumulation in the energy industry and our knowledge of this market, we have summarized our own development strategy.
SAI Development Strategy
The first overview of the current state of the market is divided into two dimensions: the value chain and the industry chain.
In terms of value chain, we divide computing into two categories: traditional computing and advanced computing. According to publicly available data, the market size of traditional computing is larger. Last year, the market size was about 3 trillion, and it is expected to grow to almost 10 trillion by 2025. Advanced computing includes high-performance computing such as artificial intelligence, crypto supercomputing, and edge computing. In 2020, its scale was about two trillion. However, data predicts that the advanced computing market may grow to 20 trillion or even 30 trillion by 2025.
According to incomplete statistics, the scale of IDC (Internet Data Center) in traditional computing, China’s stock load was 23 million kilowatts in 2019. The current load of the mining industry is about 10 million kilowatts. In terms of electricity bill contribution, IDC contributes about 70 billion electricity bills every year. Bitcoin mining and crypto supercomputing contribute nearly 40 billion in electricity bills every year. From the data point of view, Bitcoin and crypto supercomputing took a short period of about ten years, reaching one-half of the scale of traditional computing, and the growth rate may accelerate further. Therefore, from the perspective of the value chain, we believe that advanced computing has a faster development speed and more space for development.
From the perspective of the industrial chain, the industrial chain is divided into many links. The first link is the energy link, which is also the focus of our speech today.
The focus on energy of computing had been relatively low before, or the society had not widely recognized its importance. According to incomplete global statistics in 2020, about 5% of the total global power generation was used for computing. However, according to official forecasts, 15% to 25% of global power generation will be used for computing by 2030 . In other words, among all the global power generation, the computing industrial power consumption will rank in the top two in the proportion of the entire power industry.
Because of the common mission of carbon neutrality, traditional industries are now paying attention to the replacement of fossil energy and the promotion and use of clean energy. In the computing industry, more and more people will also focus on whether the computing power uses clean energy, and whether the process of generating computing power meets the requirements of environmental friendliness and sustainability. Therefore, we will see that in the energy link of the computing industry chain, on the production side, wind power, hydropower, and photovoltaics power will gradually replace thermal power. On the consumer side, liquid cooling, energy storage, power consumption and power adjustment are getting more and more attention.
The second link in the industry chain is infrastructure, that is, data centers. According to incomplete statistics, the traditional domestic computing is about 23 million kilowatts. According to the backward projection of crypto power, the advanced computing load is about 10 million kilowatts. The demographic dividend of traditional computing has gradually disappeared, and advanced computing is constantly increasing, which shows an exponential growth trend.
In the chip sector, the ASIC field has a significant lead. The mining machines of companies such as Bitmain use the most advanced chip manufacturing process. For CPU and GPU, due to the influence of factors such as the international situation and production capacity, development will have some limitations. In the algorithm link, advanced computing still has the leading advantage of continuous iteration based on the scale of data. In addition, in the user link, advanced computing still has a large space for growth at the user level, after all, there is a huge demographic dividend. In general, traditional computing and advanced computing have great opportunities from a strategic point of view. Among them, traditional computing mainly focuses on domestic large cycles, and advanced computing requires domestic and international double cycles.
In from the perspective of clean energy business, SAI has four main business segments: SAIHEAT(chip waste heat utilization), SAIWATT(clean power consumption), SAIBYTE (computing cloud network system), and SAICHIP (new computing chip). SAIHEAT, by providing the server with liquid cooling + waste heat utilization, collects the waste heat generated by computing and reuses it, which can greatly reduce the electricity cost, and replace the traditional heat source to provide clean heat services at the same time. SAIWATT(clean power consumption) is to use idle energy such as hydropower, wind power, and waste gas power to do consumption and peaking through the electricity consumed by computing, so as to reduce costs and increase efficiency for energy owners and reduce the cost of computing power for us. In addition, computing power cloud services and new chip materials are our main directions to jointly reduce the cost of the computing industry.
Speaking of specific business, we currently mainly provide customers with clean energy-based computing power custody services. Also, at an appropriate time in the future, self-built clean and sustainable computing power will also be launched.
Through our clean energy-based SAI computing and energy center, combined with waste heat utilization technology and power consumption technology, we can reduce the computing power cost of customers by about 30%, while reducing the cost of heating power, and saving power supporting investment. This enables SAI to greatly increase our profit margin while reducing the cost of our three-party partners in computing power, electricity, and heat. In the future, we will establish SAI computing and energy centers around the world to provide services to more customers.
Finally, I would like to introduce the original intention of SAI.
The prosperity and development of every industry must break through many difficulties. In such a fast-developing industry, we believe that even if everyone and every company buys BTC, ETH, Filecoin, etc., it will not necessarily make the world a better place. However, we hope that through our own efforts, we can use technology to reduce the core costs of computing power, electricity and heat, which are the core costs of the silicon-based world, and provide sustainable computing, electricity, and heat services based on clean energy, so as to form a green circular economy, which can realize the vision of Mᴱake World ₿etter.
Thank you for your attention. If you have the right opportunity or have any business needs, you can also actively contact us.
Clean energy is the key for the development of energy transition. China aims to see carbon dioxide emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality，that is, the realization of net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2060, which are goals that the country announced in September at the General Debate of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. And clean heating will account for 70 percent of all heating in northern China.
The “Carbon neutral Target” puts forward higher requirements for the country’s social and economic low-carbon and green development. Not only China, the transition of the global energy structure to renewable energy is an inevitable trend. So the technology of clean energy is crucial in this process
Recently, SAI got the AAA Clean Heating Service Certification for its excellent electric heating equipment and SAIHEAT technology.
SAIHEAT, Integrated hosting service of “liquid cooling + waste heat utilization“. Not only can meet the computing needs but also archive the Energy Depuration and Grid Intellectualization.
SAI, a global computing & energy operator who drives chips with clean energy, through the use of SAIHEAT (Integrated hosting service of “liquid cooling + waste heat utilization”), SAIWATT (Take hydro, waste gas, photovoltaic power as the energy supply), SAIBYTE (Boost economic growth through cloud computing+ internet of energy), SAICHIP (Develop high-performance chips made of new material and technology) to connect the power grid, the heating network and the computing power network. The three-network power supply reduces the overall energy cost and improves the energy profit efficiency.
With the help of a SAIHEAT cabinet, the traditional heating system can solve many problems such as the replacement of traditional heating system heat sources, high heating energy costs for heating enterprises, poor heating effects, and equipment depreciation.
Whether it is residential business or agriculture, the SAIHEAT cabinet independently researched and developed by SAI can meet the heat demand and effectively reduce the heating cost. At present, the SAIHEAT computing and energy cabinet has been put into operation in many places, with a total functional area of more than 100,000 square meters.
There is no way to achieve Energy industry transformation and upgrading by single company. SAI is actively seeking more cooperation venues in China and abroad, aiming to establish a comprehensive clean heating industry Internet. SAI, the world’s first company who horizontally integrates clean energy, hopes that through technology, people can use cleaner and more affordable computing power, electricity and heat resources, and create more value for the society.