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Eco-Friendly Mining: Bitcoin Miners Seek Savings Through Alternative Energy

Facing financial challenges and heightened scrutiny over the environmental implications of cryptocurrency mining, Bitcoin (BTC) miners are exploring inventive solutions to cut expenses and adopt eco-friendly practices.

The energy demands of Bitcoin mining make electricity its largest cost component.

To tackle this, miners are pivoting towards affordable energy alternatives, increasingly favoring renewables for their cost savings and reduced environmental footprint.

Steven Lubka, who helms Swan Bitcoin, a Bitcoin-centric financial firm, noted that the typical cost to mine one Bitcoin stands at about $26,000.

Yet, miners tapping into green energy sources are seeing costs between $5,000 and $15,000 per BTC.

Riot Blockchain, a US-based Bitcoin mining firm listed on the stock exchange, highlighted that their access to wind and solar power in Texas enables them to maintain some of the industry’s most competitive mining expenses.

Their Q2 presentation to investors revealed a cost of $8,389 to produce a single Bitcoin.

Kent Halliburton, who occupies the roles of president and COO at Sazmining, a Bitcoin mining service provider, reiterated that electricity has consistently been the prime cost for miners.

Halliburton elaborated that the quest for the most cost-effective power leads Bitcoin miners towards renewable energy, which often generates surplus electricity ideally suited for mining.

Data collated by the Bitcoin Mining Council shows that nearly 59% of all mining activities are carbon-neutral, and this percentage is seeing an annual increase of approximately 4.5%.

Furthermore, Halliburton pointed out that Sazmining’s mining endeavors in both Wisconsin and Paraguay are powered exclusively by surplus hydroelectric energy.

Shift Toward Alternative Energy is a Long-Term Trend

The move towards greener energy options is increasingly recognized as a sustained trajectory for miners who prioritize sustainable growth.

Phil Harvey, who leads Sabre56, a firm that offers infrastructure for crypto mining, revealed they are collaborating with numerous mining entities to install machines throughout their establishments in Wyoming and Ohio.

Their Gillette, Wyoming facility, aptly named “Bonepile,” is home to almost 2,200 mining machines. These machines are driven by diverse energy options, with renewables playing a significant role.

This facility’s distinctive forced-air configuration ensures efficient cooling by allowing hot air to naturally dissipate due to overpressure.

On another front, OceanBit, which focuses on harnessing renewable energy from oceanic thermal sources, is innovatively merging Bitcoin mining into its design for an ocean thermal energy power plant.

Michael Bennett, one of the minds behind OceanBit, emphasized the vast and largely untapped potential of ocean thermal energy. This resource capitalizes on the temperature variations within ocean waters to produce electricity.

By integrating ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) with Bitcoin mining operations, Bennett is optimistic about scaling this energy solution worldwide. This fusion, he believes, can address commercial hurdles faced by both sectors.

Similarly, the crypto mining firm from Pennsylvania, Stronghold Digital Mining, is adopting an innovative approach by using coal refuse, a residual from coal mining, to fuel its mining activities.

In collaboration with local regulators, Stronghold is actively participating in efforts to rid the environment of accumulated waste coal, which has been detrimental, causing both water and air pollution due to unplanned combustion.

By transforming this coal refuse into energy within specialized plants, Stronghold either channels this power to the local electrical grid or dedicates it to Bitcoin mining. However, it’s worth noting that while this method aids in cleaning up the waste coal, the burning of hydrocarbons involved does present its own set of environmental concerns.

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I want to save money. Will cryptocurrency work?

Cryptocurrency is essentially virtual money that operates in a decentralized manner, not through a bank but directly on multiple independent computers.

Every cryptocurrency has two main components: the units of digital exchange called “coins” and the network within which the exchange takes place. These units can be transferred between wallets and exchanged on exchanges. The networks in which these coins exist are called blockchains, which translates to “chains of blocks.”

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