The Ways The Industry is Going Green


Cryptocurrency mining and its huge energy demands have been a point of contention in the cryptocurrency industry for quite some time. However, the moves towards a green future are ahead!

Cryptographic mining is green

Greenpeace has launched a campaign to “clean up Bitcoin”. And mining companies have collected data on the type of electricity they use to protect the Bitcoin network. After all, there is a difference whether it comes from a coal-fired power plant or a hydroelectric power plant, as the latter reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 97.7%.

More efficient mining platforms will arrive in the near future. In addition, there is a wide range of green initiatives that will bring Bitcoin closer to the 100% green state.

The mining companies themselves launch such initiatives on a regular basis. For example, Bitmain joined the US Merkle standard for sustainable Bitcoin mining in February.

The Merkle standard has been launched to address North America’s negative carbon footprint when it comes to digital asset mining. While Merkle Standard uses hydroelectric power in eastern Washington, Bitmain has been tasked with developing a clean 500-megawatt mining infrastructure with its 150,000-mile mining rigs.

El Salvador relies on Bitcoin mining driven by volcanoes

Shortly after Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele made Bitcoin legal last September, he announced the next big move: Bitcoin-powered geothermal mining.

This energy source has a huge advantage over solar and wind, as it is available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Therefore, it does not create intermittent daily fluctuations that stress the power grid.

El Salvador is heading to build a Bitcoin city near geothermal springs, funded by volcano-backed bonds. The total financing package contains $ 1 billion in bonds, with an interest rate of 6.5% that is returned to the bondholders. That is, if everything goes as planned.

The architect of this ambitious project is Samson Mow, former director of strategy for Blockstream, a Canadian blockchain company. It intends to issue $ 1 billion in bonuses through the Liquid Network, a layer 2 scalability network specific to Bitcoin transactions.

At the end of the bond chain will be the Bitfinex exchange, using both the Lightning Network and the Bitcoin Liquid Network, while the bonds can be purchased as securities through BTC or USD. At the end of the line, half of the bond proceeds will go to the purchase of Bitcoin and the other half to fund energy and mining infrastructure for Bitcoin City.

Suffice it to say that the success of this project depends on the appreciation of Bitcoin. If successful, Bitcoin City will showcase the dominant cryptocurrency as the building block to revitalize an entire nation. Meanwhile, President Bukele has already spent $ 180 million to launch more than 200 Bitcoin ATMs. However, the anticipation itself is becoming profitable as El Salvador has increased its tourism by 30% since the adoption of Bitcoin.

Hydroelectric power plants to power Bitcoin mining

Along with geothermal, hydropower has been a staple of renewable energy due to its reliable stability. In addition, hydroelectric power plants are ideal for use in mining, as they often provide excess energy during snowmelt and rainy seasons. Without proper storage facilities, this energy is wasted.

For example, when China’s hydroelectric plants in southwestern Sichuan increase, authorities lower their electricity tariffs to low levels, to $ 0.03 per kWh. This pricing mechanism encourages excessive consumption of cheap energy.

As a container for this waste, Bitcoin mining farms are often harnessed in hydroelectric power. One such example is the 100-year-old Alta Novella hydroelectric plant in northern Italy. In its turbine room, it houses 40 ASIC miners.

Crypto Mining: Taking advantage of wasted gas

Continuing with the issue of energy use that would be wasted, ExxonMobil, the largest oil and gas producer in the United States, has been working on a pilot project to extract Bitcoin in North Dakota. In partnership with Crusoe Energy Systems, a Denver-based company that specializes in managing natural gas burning, Exxon is diverting natural gas to generators that then feed Bitcoin miners into shipping containers.

Without this funnel, the gas would be burned, that is, wasted. Exxon has been experimenting and expanding this project since January 2021.

According to the LinkedIn profile of Eric Obrock, who is a 10-year veteran of the NGL (Liquid Natural Gas) industry, the project was a huge success as it patched up a traditional waste of energy.

For those unfamiliar with gas burning, it usually happens when drills reach a natural gas formation. If that gas cannot be captured and transported safely and in a timely manner, it is burned in its place. This is why these facilities often have burning flames as part of their usual landscape.

With the burning converted into energy for Bitcoin mining platforms, such an environmental hazard is nullified and used for good use.

This is an extract of Be[In]Crypto’s new free downloadable ebook, called Sustainability and Cryptocurrencies: An Analysis. Stay tuned, it will be downloadable soon.

Do you have anything to say about cryptographic mining or anything else? Write to us or join the discussion on our Telegram channel. You can also see us on Tik Tok, Facebook or Twitter.

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