Crypto stakeholders criticize New York Times for ‘hit piece’ on Bitcoin mining
New York Times identified 34 Bitcoin mining facilities in the US and estimated they use more than 3,900 megawatts of electricity combined.
Several crypto stakeholders have criticized the New York Times April 10 report on Bitcoin (BTC) mining, arguing that it does not reflect happenings in the industry.
What NYT wrote
According to the report, Bitcoin mining consumes as much electricity as a small city. The report added that the activities do not generate economic value, and taxpayers must pay miners to shut down during periods of energy crisis.
New York Times notably identified the Bitdeer mining operations saying the company made over $18 million for shutting down its miners for four days during a winter storm in Texas.
Overall, New York Times identified 34 Bitcoin mining facilities in the U.S. and estimated they use more than 3,900 megawatts of electricity combined. It added that they cause 16.4 million tons of carbon emissions annually.
The traditional media outlet noted, “each of the 34 operations it identified uses at least 30,000 times as much power as the average U.S. home.”
Crypto community critique report; questions NYT data
The report has drawn severe criticism from crypto stakeholders, with most questioning New York’s data on emissions and how it was obtained.
New York Times said it relied on “both public and confidential records as well as the results of studies it commissioned.”
Pierre Rochard, the V.P. of Research at Riot Platforms, said:
“[There are] lots of fictitious fractional-reserve carbon accounting. Cooking the books to fabricate emissions.”
Riot is one of the BTC miners mentioned in the NYT piece. According to the report, the miner has the most power-intensive operation in the country.
The Chief Strategy Officer at Human Rights Foundation, Alex Gladstein, also said the piece was packed with misinformation.
According to Gladstein, NYT deliberately chose not to explain what Bitcoin does, so readers won’t see its value and consider its energy consumption waste.
Additionally, ClimateTech investor Daniel Batten noted that the NYT article deliberately overstated fossil fuel use by the top six miners on its list by an average of 81.7%. It did this by “using special accounting rules reserved only for Bitcoin miners.” The particular method used is called “marginal emissions accounting.”
“We have evidence of significantly overstated real percentages of fossil fuel emissions, and using overwhelmingly incomplete datasets to support a thesis.”
Batten added that the report also cherry-picked its data, selecting only 2 of the 26 U.S. and Canadian miners using 90% sustainable energy. Furthermore, even in the case of miners mainly using renewable energy, the report focused on their least renewable energy-backed sites.
Meanwhile, this is not the first time NYT has drawn heavy criticism from the crypto industry. For example, the media outlet was heavily criticized for covering Sam Bankman-Fried and his fallen crypto empire.