China’s crackdown on cryptocurrency mining has wreaked havoc on the Bitcoin mining industry, but some are looking to turn the crisis into business opportunities by offering profitable and sustainable alternatives in more cryptocurrency-friendly locations.
The search for alternative sustainable Bitcoin mining solutions intensified after Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that his company would stop accepting Bitcoin payments due to its environmental implications, triggering Bitcoin’s sharpest crash in terms of gross price. Musk assured that should Bitcoin succeed in relying at least 51% on clean energy, he might reconsider his decision.
With this in mind, several U.S. players began pushing for a more influential role in the industry, and recently, power provider Energy Harbor Corp signed a 5-year agreement with Standard Power, a leading hosting provider for blockchain mining companies, to use nuclear power and provide clean energy to Bitcoin mining centers.
Nuclear Power for The Bitcoin Mining Industry
According to a PR shared by Energy Harbor, the company’s Bitcoin mining facility located in Coshocton, Ohio, will begin receiving sustainable Power later this year.
At this time, the parties involved have not disclosed the size of the operation or the amount of electricity Energy Harbor Corp. will use, however, the company assures that it has the ability to ensure that all of its operations rely on renewable energy.
Maxim Serezhin, Standard Power’s Chief Executive Officer, reiterated in the official PR the company’s commitment to clean energy and long-term sustainability:
“We selected Ohio because of its low electricity costs with availability of carbon-free sources of energy. By partnering with Energy Harbor, we have proactively structured our hosting capabilities to ensure that 100% of the power associated with this facility is carbon-free”.
Ohio is a state with a tradition of cryptocurrency-friendly policies and the use of blockchain technology. Back in August 2018, Governor John Kasich signed a bill that recognized blockchain transactions as legal evidence in state courts. Similarly, in November of the same year, Ohio began accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment for taxes.
The Quest For a Greener BTC
Arguments around the environmental impact of the Bitcoin mining industry have been one of the Achilles heels of BTC and other Proof of Work cryptocurrencies, especially those that require a lot of hashing power.
Recently, several politicians have taken a critical stance against Bitcoin as a highly damaging industry. The main exponent of this position is China, which recently banned cryptocurrency mining in several important provinces which took advantage of coal-fired electricity. China is trying to reduce its carbon emissions to meet a number of international agreements.
On the other hand, in the United States, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has also criticized Bitcoin mining. During an interview with CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin at a New York Times DealBook conference, she said:
It’s an extremely inefficient way to conduct transactions, and the amount of energy consumed in those transactions is staggering.”
In an attempt to combat this perception and ensure a more environmentally friendly industry, a group of North American miners came together to create the Bitcoin Mining Council. The organization, promoted by Michael Saylor, hopes to become a reference for the industry and has published some statistics that question the alarming data used by some politicians.
Energy Harbor Corp. does not appear as a member of such council, but it is sure helping with the cause.