- A Cryptocurrency “mining” company has relocated its computers to a wind farm in Texas.
- Bitcoin miners need thousands of computers to operate around the clock to validate bitcoin transactions.
- Mining, according to many economists and environmentalists, is becoming increasingly energy-intensive and unsustainable.
- The sector is under increasing pressure to reduce the environmental impact of its vast energy use.
In rural Montana, a cryptocurrency “mining” company found the ideal place for thousands of power-hungry computers working round the clock to verify bitcoin transactions over the past year: the grounds of a coal-fired power station.
Marathon Digital Holdings chose to shift its computers, known as miners, to a wind farm in Texas. “It simply came down to the fact that we don’t want to be functioning on fossil fuels,” business CEO Fred Thiel remarked.
The mining process for bitcoin is becoming increasingly energy expensive and potentially unsustainable. Bitcoin was founded in 2009 as a new method of payment that was not subject to central banks or government regulation. In March 2020, one bitcoin was worth little more than $5,000.
As more computers join the attempt to answer the riddles in Bitcoin mining, the quantity of energy consumed by computers to solve the challenges climbs. Marathon Digital, for example, presently employs approximately 37,000 miners but expects to have 199,000 operational by next year. Every year, it consumes approximately 109 terrawatt hours of electricity.
Some people want the government to step in and regulate things. Governor Kathy Hochul of New York is under pressure to place a halt on the proof-of-work mining technology.
Mining companies provide renewable energy generators with guaranteed customers, which makes it easier for the projects to get financing and generate power. Miners are able to contract for lower-priced energy because they can be shut off and given back to the grid at a moment’s notice.