The renowned Big Four professional services platform, KPMG, has released its latest publication, a comprehensive report explaining the intricate relationship between Bitcoin and its impact on ESG (environment, social, and governance) matters.
The study delves into the various dimensions in which the world’s leading cryptocurrency is highly beneficial to multiple aspects of ESG.
Bitcoin And ESG Concerns
The KPMG report detailed how Bitcoin contributes to ESG concerns in various ways. Per the report, the cryptocurrency’s solution to environmental issues is to pave the way for a greener, more sustainable mining solution.
The report further notes that Bitcoin has positively affected the social environment by ensuring financial inclusion and empowering unbanked communities worldwide. In addition, KPMG’s analysis also explained how Bitcoin’s decentralized nature and blockchain technology have improved the transparency and accountability of operations across multiple sectors.
These novel characteristics make a compelling case for Bitcoin’s suitability with ESG principles, contributing to the ongoing discussion about responsible and ethical investments in the financial space. The report also discussed a holistic view of Bitcoin’s impact on the three aspects of ESG – environment, social, and governance.
It uncovered fascinating insights into how the leading digital asset has been beneficial to each aspect. Moreover, the study’s most notable finding was that emissions are a critical indicator of ecological damage compared to energy consumption.
The report expertly described Bitcoin’s ecological footprint via emissions by comparing various sources such as tobacco and tourism. Surprisingly, the report revealed that Bitcoin’s contribution to emissions ranks second lowest among other emission sources, with only “Video (US)” ranking as the lowest.
Thus, KPMG’s study has demystified the notion that Bitcoin has a negative impact on the environment. Moreover, the report’s comprehensive analysis of Bitcoin’s carbon footprint reiterated well-known strategies suggested by analysts to improve its environmental impact.
Among these suggested approaches are promoting renewable energy sources and methane-derived energy for mining operations.
Bitcoin And Money Laundering
According to the study, Bitcoin’s role in facilitating money laundering is low compared to the large-scale illicit financial activities occurring daily worldwide. Furthermore, KPMG cited statistics from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime that money laundering accounts for 2-5% of global GDP.
In contrast, data from the on-chain analytics platform, Elliptic, shows that Bitcoin transactions involving money laundering account for only 0.24% of all international transactions. Another interesting finding in the report was the lower incidence of laundered money received in Bitcoin compared to other digital assets like Ethereum and stablecoins.
The study also highlights the necessity of implementing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) measures for payment settlements using other cryptos. However, there are no such requirements for Bitcoin transactions.
The analysis further highlights that Bitcoin remains less popular for receiving laundered funds. However, other cryptocurrencies, such as Ether and stablecoins, are frequently used for illegal transactions.
The report recommends implementing AML/KYC measures at the off-ramp stage as a proactive approach to combating money laundering in cryptocurrency. The move can help financial institutions and authorities improve the digital asset industry’s transparency and accountability when users convert virtual tokens into fiat or other digital assets.
Meanwhile, clean environment advocacy groups have yet to comment on the KPMG report, suggesting they may agree with these findings.
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