Is Bitcoin mining through ‘wasted energy’ part of the future?


Bitcoin [BTC] mining has been a major topic of discussion over the last year. Despite its rewards, the mining industry has garnered immense backlash. From government officials to environmental activists an array of people have raised their concerns against the BTC mining space.

Bitcoin’s energy consumption was a major issue for the majority. Therefore, BTC and other coins that use the proof-of-work [PoW] mechanism were denounced. However, adhering to the extensive criticism, the mining industry grew and decided to find more sustainable ways of mining the king coin. It looks like those against mining shouldn’t have a problem with it anymore. BTC can now be mined by excess energy that is curtailed/wasted every year.

A report from Arcane Research highlighted how there was an excess amount of wind and solar energy that was being wasted. It was noted that the amount of curtailed wind and solar in Texas surged from a low of 0.4 TWh in 2015 all the way to 7.4 TWh in 2021. With a 1,800% rise in six years. It was further revealed that this wasted energy was enough to power the state’s Bitcoin miners.

Taking a step back and zooming out, a whopping 256 billion cubic meters of natural gas were wasted every year globally. This, however, is limited to the oil and gas industry. Out of which only 25 billion cubic meters of natural would be required to aid Bitcoin and its existing hash rate.

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The aforementioned report clearly points out how Bitcoin could be mined without worrying about extensive energy usage. Several firms like Bengal Energy and ExxonMobil have already started to explore ways to employ excess energy to mine BTC. With sustainability in the picture, several others are expected to follow suit.

Is Bitcoin tackling this environmental issue?

It was brought to light that methane was about 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of trapping heat in the atmosphere. Therefore, it is considered to be far more damaging in the short term. As seen in the above chart, annual methane emissions accounted for about 125 billion cubic meters. While oil firms have been carrying out flaring, it does not address the whole issue.

Bitcoin mining is considered to be beneficial in this arena. Elaborating on the same, Sam Korus of ARK Invest tweeted,

Korus further went on to explain that there were multiple ways to harness vented methane. However, Bitcoin mining remains the ideal one. He added,

“it is highly scalable with modular hardware that can be transported to and shifted among operating well sites.”

Furthermore, there are numerous opinions, debates, and notions about Bitcoin mining. Amidst all of this, the industry continues to thrive. After quite a bit of slump due to the bear market, the miners’ Netflow volume had reached a 1-month high of $513,869.24.

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Meanwhile, Bitcoin continued trading for $21,287, at press time.