Recovery is the name of the game, and after a strong showing on yesterday’s bounce, Bitcoin looks to have survived yet another fall below USD 7,000, bouncing back up again almost instantly and on its way to recording a weekly high now near USD 7,345 on the brink of North American trading (CoinDesk).

Altcoins are happy to follow in the wake of this, with major coins Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple all posting similar 2.5% gains on the day.

Today’s “bad news” happened when crypto exchange Upbit admitted that it had seemingly lost some USD 50 million in Ether to a hack. That was went the fall below USD 7,000 happened, but even that kind of news doesn’t seem to be able to dampen spirits. Twitter analyst Joseph Young believes this is because all losses have been covered by the platform.

Sentiment does seem to be returning, at least for the short term, with our own BitcoinNews.com technical analysis also pointing at the failure of sellers to capitalize on the momentum. CoinDesk’s Sebastian Sinclair is also of the opinion that we should “zoom out the lens a bit and take a macro perspective“, pointing at increasing institutional demand from platforms like Bakkt and Fidelity going hand in hand with rising popularity of retail Bitcoin purchases via B2C apps like Square.

Venture capitalist and Kenetic co-founder Jehan Chu chimes in with bullish opinions of strong underlying fundamentals for Bitcoin such as adoption:

“While the latest drop in price is a short-term cause for concern, the fundamentals around BTC and increasing institutional adoption continue up and to the right.”

Educational blockchain platform Blockroots analyst Josh Rager agrees: “It’s actually good that it’s going to take longer for Bitcoin to hit the next all-time high because it shows how the market is maturing and with more institutions jumping in.”

And if that kind of positive fundamental is powering today’s ascent, we now have news about one of Bitcoin’s most criticized aspect: its energy hungry mining process. While Bitcoin’s security as a network virtually rendering the whole network attack-proof (to take over Bitcoin would require an inordinate amount of economic and technological capacity, and would result in the malicious attack to be immediately identified), it has often been said to cause an unnecessary carbon footprint.

This myth can now be safely debunked, according to new research from The New Scientist, which says that past claims of Bitcoin contributing to the climate crisis have been made under “blanket” assumptions.

Researchers from Denmark’s Aalborg University, Susanne Köhler and Massimo Pizzol, took direct aim at the claim that Bitcoin’s energy consumption may be as high as 63 megatons of CO2 per year. Some researchers in a report published in Nature have even gone as far to say that the Bitcoin mining industry alone exceeds the entire limits of global climate change goals. According to them, the main assumption used is that electricity generation is generally the same across China, where the majority of computing power contributing to Bitcoin mining is found.

The new research shows that when broken down to regional levels, the carbon footprint in china shows a much lower level than previously thought: 17.29 megatons in 2018. Inner Mongolia, the biggest portion and which mostly uses coal generators, accounted for only 12.3% of Bitcoin mining and 25% of total emissions. The complete opposite is witnessed in Sichuan province, which mainly relies on much cleaner, renewable hydroelectric power.

Köhler maintains that Bitcoin mining is important and studies should still be wary of the industry, but that it should be taken objectively and within context. She explains:

“On the one hand we have these alarmist voices saying we won’t hit the Paris agreement because of Bitcoin only. But on the other hand there are a lot of voices from the Bitcoin community saying that most of the mining is done with green energy and that it’s not high impact.”

The researchers concede that data will always be difficult to validate since Bitcoin mining is still secretive and even locations are not public knowledge. University of Hawaii’s Camilo Mora says the industry needs to provide more transparency on the location and equipment used in crypto mining to better understand the impacts on the environment, which he doesn’t believe are trivial, given the heightened state attentions to the sector from the likes of China and Iran.

 

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