The call for a shift toward sustainable crypto mining

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Date Published

06/09/2021

There has been a lot of positive buzz surrounding cryptocurrency in the past year. Seemingly every digital coin has seen its price hit a record high. NFTs are catching like wildfire and selling for millions. Mainstream platforms and retailers are beginning to support crypto.

But with all this upside has also come an increasingly inevitable issue: crypto’s carbon footprint.

Cryptocurrency mining uses a lot of electricity. Global bitcoin mining consumes an estimated 128.84 terawatt-hours per year – more than the entirety of Argentina. As crypto has risen in popularity and demand, it has become more difficult and energy-intensive to mine. And a lot of mining centers are powered by coal, which has a much greater impact on the environment than more sustainable alternatives like water, wind, and solar.

This has put crypto in a position of dramatically undermining global sustainability efforts – and it all starts in China.

Bitcoin mining in China

As energy-intensive as bitcoin mining is, around 75% of it takes place in China – a country with cheap electricity and easy access to mining hardware.

It was recently revealed that China could end up exceeding its emissions reduction targets as a result of bitcoin mining. China has previously said it targets peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060. But now, bitcoin mining in its current state is putting those objectives in jeopardy.

Inner Mongolia – an autonomous region of northern China – has already exacted plans to ban new mining projects and to shut down existing activity in the area after failing a central government review of energy consumption in 2020.

As a result of China’s bitcoin-related emissions, some have even begun saying they will now only buy bitcoin mined sustainably in countries that use clean energy – such as hydroelectricity – instead of coal.

Countries everywhere are taking account. A proposed New York bill aims to prohibit crypto mining centers from operating until the state can fully assess their environmental impact.

This all amounts to something that has been years in the making: the need for an industry-wide shift toward sustainable mining.

Sustainability for the future of crypto

The essentially infinite potential of blockchain has always been among its most exciting and attractive qualities. And while its ceiling still remains unknown, we have already seen crypto create real-world benefits for both institutional and retail investors – primarily by empowering transactions that are faster, more reliable, less expensive, and more transparent.

But an industry-wide shift needs to take place today. Either find ways to mine cryptocurrency sustainably or risk greatly limiting the upside and future of innovation in the space.

One of the more promising results of the recent environmental wakeup call has been the Crypto Climate Accord – an initiative launched in April 2021 with support from leading industry names like Ripple and ConsenSys. The CAA has a goal of enabling all of the world’s blockchain to be powered entirely by renewables by 2025. Today, only 39% of hashing’s total energy consumption comes from renewables, so miners and hosting providers still have a lot of work to do to come together for the future of crypto.

Mine sustainably with Compute North

Compute North is the is the North American leader in TIER 0™ computing.

Our U.S.-based facilities are strategically chosen for environmental, regulatory, and geopolitical stability, enabling our customers to capitalize on low-cost, sustainable power sources. We deliver reliable power for maximum hardware performance at minimum cost per kilowatt, allowing you to mine more while spending less money and consuming less energy.

In addition to providing high-powered computing via cost-efficient energy, our managed services offering facilitates daily monitoring, troubleshooting, hardware upgrades, firmware management, and more, as we go the extra mile so you can mine better for longer.

Benefits of our ASIC and GPU miner hosting services include:

  • Cost-competitive infrastructure powered by renewable energy
  • Secure environment to keep your hardware and your data safe
  • Core infrastructure with power, space, ambient air cooling, internet access, physical racks, and security
  • And more

Contact us to learn more.

Date Published

06/09/2021

Author

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