How does cryptocurrency mining affect the pollution of the human environment?

Will the resumption of the use of discarded thermal power plants further endanger the level of pollution on the planet?

Bitcoin mining is becoming more expensive for the simple reason that fewer and fewer coins are left to be mined. Of the total predefined amount of 21 million coins, another 2.3 million coins remain to be mined.

Mining comes down to calculating cryptographic hash functions and comparing the calculated value with a database of undiscovered coins.

The smaller the remaining amount of coins, the longer the job of calculating and comparing the values of calculating hash functions.

Since the calculation process is longer, the amount of energy required for the operation of computer equipment is higher, ie the costs of electricity used by digital miners increase.

The obstacle to big Bitcoin mining is finding enough cheap energy to run huge, powerful computer plants that create and trade cryptocurrencies.

A Bitcoin mining plant in downtown New York has implemented a solution that has upset environmental movements.

Namely, the plant uses its own thermal power plant! Greenidge Generation has restarted a power plant that was once closed and conserved due to excessive environmental pollution.

Now the power plant on the shores of Lake Seneca produces about 44MW to run 15,300 computer servers as well as additional electricity it sends to the state electricity grid.

The megawatts used for Bitcoin mining and trading could power more than 35,000 homes! Proponents of cryptocurrencies call this venture a competitive way of mining cryptocurrencies without using the existing electricity grid.

Environmentalists express fear of revived fossil fuel power plants that emit greenhouse gases primarily for the purpose of making a private profit and not for the sake of achieving the public good.

Considering Greenidge a “test balloon”, environmental movements are asking the state to disable the operation of such thermal power plants in order to protect air quality and prevent similar projects.

Warnings of excessive pollution of the Earth’s atmosphere are coming from various directions, while the effects of global warming are becoming more noticeable.

According to published data, Greenidge mined 729 Bitcoin coins in the last three months, using 58 percent of the produced electricity for mining.

It was also clearly emphasized that the power plant regularly supplied the state network for electricity transmission, which was highlighted as a contribution to the energy system of the state.

Additional pollution of the human environment by reusing already discarded technologies is justified by encouraging the development of the region by introducing new cryptocurrency technology.

Bitcoin consumes more electricity than Finland!

About 91 terawatt-hours of electricity are consumed to process Bitcoin transactions in one year, half a percent of the total consumption in the world, writes the New York Times.

That is more than electricity consumption in countries like Finland, where about 5.5 million people live.

If you want to pay something with Bitcoin, the first part of that transaction is simple and fast: you open an account on an exchange platform, like Coinbase.

It allows you to buy that cryptocurrency in dollars. After obtaining a digital wallet, Bitcoin needs to be transferred to the digital wallet of the person to whom something is being paid.

Then the transaction must be confirmed by the Bitcoin network, in order for the recipient to be convinced that what he is receiving is not fake. This explains the functioning of the giant online database where this data is stored.

In fact, much of the electricity is consumed there. Around the world, companies and individuals known as Bitcoin miners are competing to confirm this transaction and enter them in a public book in which all Bitcoin transactions are recorded.

They basically play guessing, using powerful computers that expend a lot of energy to try to beat others in that competition. Because if they are successful in that, they will be rewarded with valuable newly created Bitcoin. In fact, this competition for newly created Bitcoin is called “mining”.

For a long time, money was thought of as something that could be held in the hand. Traditional currencies are not completely free to use. Banks, credit card networks, and other intermediaries can control the use of their financial networks.

As a rule, this should prevent money laundering. For example, if you want to transfer a large amount of money to someone, the bank will report it to the state, even if the transfer is in progress. That is why a group of free thinkers figured out how to avoid such controls.

In 2008, an unknown person or several of them under the name Satoshi Nakamoto proposed the creation of an electronic payment system similar to cash, without intermediaries. This is how the currently most famous digital currency, managed by a decentralized network of users, was created.

Today, one Bitcoin is worth about $63,000, but its value often varies. However, the consumption of a large amount of electricity was the reason for the emergence of initiatives for the use of clean electricity in mining, as evidenced by a special certificate.

Bitcoin use has been shown to be accompanied by many illegal activities, such as money laundering. U.S. authorities arrested the alleged main operator of the cryptocurrency website Bitcoin Fog in April on three charges related to money laundering.

America Dominates Bitcoin Market: Bans in China drive all cryptocurrencies out of the country

In September 2019, miners in China accounted for 75% of the total Bitcoin coin mining activity, and after the measures introduced by the Chinese government, the USA now becomes dominant with more than a third of the total power of the Bitcoin network.

Following the introduction of initial restrictive measures against Bitcoin miners in China, it was rumored that large mining farms were looking for a new location, in order to continue mining in peace.

Texas and Kazakhstan were in the story, as the most serious options.

Liberal Texas for BTC mining

Texas is known for liberal regulations for working with cryptocurrencies, as well as low electricity prices, which are two very important items when it comes to choosing a location for a new crypto-farm.

On the other hand, Kazakhstan is the most logistically logical choice, because it is a direct neighbor of China, and it has a large number of thermal power plants that rely on coal, which means a low price of electricity.

According to the Cambridge Bitcoin Consumption Index(CBECI), Bitcoin miners in the U.S. make up 35.4% of the total global BTC hash rate distribution.

According to the same source, Kazakhstan is second with 18%, followed by Russia with 11%, as a new player, whose market share is growing.

In essence, these three nations have achieved the largest market share since China imposed serious restrictions.

Mass migrations of miners

In June, in the midst of restrictions, the fifth-largest crypto-community of miners(mining pool) left the territory of China and moved its business to Kazakhstan.

At that time, accounted for 10.4% of the total validation of Bitcoin blockchain blocks.

It is also interesting that the CBECI index shows that the percentage of Chinese miners has dropped to 0%, which is simply unbelievable.

Given such a large number of miners, we are pretty sure that there is a good percentage of those who still mine Bitcoin, but below the radar.

Of course, one should be careful, because China, and realistically, no other country in the world looks favorably on those who do not respect the law, so the Malaysian police have confiscated more than a $1.3 million cryptocurrency digging machine.

In addition to the large migration of crypto-miners from China to the United States, American miners such as Argo Blockchain, Riot Blockchain, Marathon, and many others took advantage of the situation and bought large quantities of mining rigs from Bitmain and MicroBT, which regularly supplied the Chinese market.

In 2021, the aforementioned Riot Blockchain tripled its capacity from 2,457 Bitcoin coins excavated in 10 months.

Ohio and Texas as main oases

In addition to Texas, another potential destination is the state of Ohio, also due to the popular price of electricity, as well as the fact that BIT Mining, a company specializing in Bitcoin mining, has entered into a joint project to build a huge plant for 85 megawatt Bitcoin companies, with Viking Data Centers, which are developing data centers focused on crypto miners and the necessary infrastructure.

In this way, not only will Ohio get a large Bitcoin mining facility, but it will also provide the necessary infrastructure for all those interested.