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Crypto Mining Gets a Pat on The Back From The World Bank

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Crypto Mining Gets a Pat on The Back From The World Bank
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Crypto mining is becoming a growing matter in the heaty environment debate. However, a study dubbed ‘Financing Solutions to Reduce Natural Gas Flaring and Methane Emissions,’ conducted by the World Bank, an international financial institution, surprisingly praised the activity in the context of climate change. The research praises it for being a “part of the solution.”

‘Drilling’ Through Oil to Reach Bitcoin Blocks

The study sheds light on potentially beneficial aspects arising out of Bitcoin (BTC) mining and the oil industry. Oil drilling usually involves the release of natural gas using a process namely flaring. Methane remains among the most potent greenhouse gasses (GHGs) that damage the atmosphere.

World Bank studied a crypto mining company dubbed Crusoe Energy. They capture methane released in the air to convert it into electricity. They are working with oil giant Exxon Mobil to leverage their drilling operations for Bitcoin mining. The World Economic Forum (WEF) featured the organization in a promo video in April. Last year, they raised $350 Million for flared gas Bitcoin mining according to American news website Axios.

Regulatory pressure becomes a barrier to allow oil drilling companies to release natural gas into the environment. However, no steps have been taken by anyone to mitigate the risks. Although natural gas emits 50 to 60 percent less GHGs, it is still harmful to the atmosphere.

A United Nations study recently revealed Bitcoin mining exploits land and water alongside air. A BTC transaction estimatedly consumes energy equivalent to 100,000 Visa transactions or 1,200 kWh, enough to power a United States household for nearly 50 days.

Putting this into money terms, according to the US-based website CNET, one kWh generates 12 cents for an electricity bill. A Bitcoin transaction would generate a bill totalling around $170. BTC mining consumed over 200 tWh during 2021 and 2022. 60 percent of energy sources are a mix of fossil fuels in the US. That makes the country heavily prone to carbon emissions.

Since China put a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies in 2021, a large chunk of crypto mining share shifted to the US. Riot Platforms currently serves as the biggest crypto miner in the nation with a capacity of 750 MW in its facilities. Apparently, the company is developing a Bitcoin mine in Navarro County, Texas.

Noise pollution is becoming a rising concern in different US states. A single Bitcoin mining rig produces around 70 to 90 decibels of sound. Research shows such sound frequency could lead to hearing loss.

A few believe the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies could enhance the crypto mining sector. However, with events like the Merge, which transitioned Ethereum (ETH) from using the energy-intensive consensus algorithm Proof-of-Work (PoW) to Proof-of-Stake (PoS), the number of solo miners is likely to see a decline.

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