This unique way is how a mining firm is tackling Bitcoin’s greenhouse gas problem
Crusoe Energy, a Colorado-based mining and alternative energy company, is tackling bitcoin’s climate impact in an unprecedented way, according to an article published today by the publication TechCrunch. The company has raised $128 million from investors for its goal.
Bitcoin’s massive energy consumption is the result of a mining process that uses sophisticated computer systems to verify transactions on the network, which in turn rewards Bitcoin.
This process, called proof-of-work and applicable to all PoW coins such as Ethereum or Monero, has gained notoriety in recent years due to its high energy consumption and alleged polluting by-products.
But companies like Crusoe have chosen to repair this damage, despite what some say are exaggerated energy and climate concerns.
We’ve been amazed at the execution of @CrusoeEnergy over the past few years. They are setting up a manufacturing company to combat methane emissions through the use of new cryptocurrencies and cloud computing. https://t.co/4AForBN0oo.
– Zigg Capital (@ziggcap) April 26, 2021
According to the report, Crusoe uses excess natural gas from existing power companies to power its cryptocurrency mining operations.
This is how it works: The company installs its solutions on oil platforms subject to flaring, a safety feature used in refineries and petrochemical plants. Flares are used to burn excess hydrocarbon gases that cannot be recovered or recycled.
This means that all excess energy (reserved for brownfields) will be used by the company to mine cryptocurrencies, rather than using a dedicated energy source. This reduces the use of additional energy when by-products such as methane are used to mine bitcoins and instead power data centers.
In general, the wells Crusoe works with have already been flared and will continue to be flared unless Crusoe makes a decision, a spokesman for Valor Equity, one of Crusoe’s investors, said in a statement.
The mining industry is increasingly using renewable energy. The Crusoe approach to stranded or marginal energy can help improve the economic efficiency of the use of stranded or marginal energy, which should ultimately lead to an increased share of renewable energy in total generation.
Methane emissions are one of the main causes of the greenhouse effect, a natural process that warms the earth’s surface and contributes to global warming. Methane absorbs more heat and dissipates faster than carbon, meaning that reducing methane emissions could help mitigate and slow global warming.
To date, there are 40 modular data centers in the U.S., in North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado, that run on this type of wasted and flared natural gas. Next year, the company plans to introduce more than 100 units in new markets such as Texas (an emerging mining center) and New Mexico.
Meanwhile, the idea of green bitcoin is already starting to catch on. As we reported last month, Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary said he is considering investing in mining companies with a zero carbon footprint, adding that he has already invested 3% of his portfolio in these assets.
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