Making crypto clean with hydrogen

May 2023


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Kate Creighton-Selvay, Annabel Griffin, Anna MacFarlane and Vanessa Sporne take a quick look at the law as it applies to the rapidly evolving space sector. As the industry grows worldwide, regulation at a national level tries to keep pace. But what law is relevant to...

Scott Gardiner delivers his latest fun fact on hydrogen, for anyone who shares his insatiable interest in this clean fuel of the future. In this post, KWM’s Co-Global Head of Projects Energy and Resources marvels at efforts to ‘green’ the power behind Bitcoin.

Do you know how much energy a single Bitcoin transaction consumes? Is it the same as cooking a meal or playing a round of video games? The answer is… as much as an average American household over 23 days (that’s more than 3 weeks).

What about the annual electricity consumption of the Bitcoin network? According to the University of Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, it is more than the annual consumption of an entire country like Belgium and Finland.

Source: Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance as at May 15, 2023

That’s a lot of energy consumption. Inevitably, people are turning to alternative solutions to make Bitcoin clean.

Supported by the US Department of Energy initiative H2@Scale, Microsoft and Ballard Power Systems collaborated with Caterpillar to launch a 3-year project to produce reliable power for data centres.

In Europe, Dutch data centre firm NorthC plans to replace its current backup power generators with a 500 kW fuel cell that will run on green hydrogen, the first of the kind in the continent.

Where next? Is there a hydrogen data centre coming to you?

Stay tuned for the next part of this series. Meanwhile, feel free to visit Scott’s LinkedIn page and share your favourite hydrogen fun fact or see his previous posts in the series:

You can also read more insights from our lawyers on KWM’s Hydrogen page.


Scott is a projects and project finance specialist with over 25 years’ experience. He built the firm's 'New Energy Future' team, bringing together expertise in climate change, data and energy to explore the myriad of disruptive changes transforming the energy industry.

Most recently, Scott has spent 2 years on secondment to the AIIB, working on energy and infrastructure projects in Cambodia, Indonesia (satellite PPP), Egypt, Turkey, Thailand, the Philippines and India.

Scott has a particular passion for hydrogen - watch this space!

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