Americans living near a mining center on the shores of Lake Seneca in upstate New York have reported an alarming rise in water temperatures. Last month, locals even staged a protest against Greenidge Generation’s crypto farms, which they claim are polluting the air and heating the lake through the use of fossil fuels.
However, the company itself, owned by the private investment group Atlas Holdings, denies all charges. According to its representatives, Greenidge’s activities are carried out within acceptable environmental standards.
Let’s start with an explanation. The topic of sustainability of Bitcoin mining is one of the main topics in 2021. It was launched by Elon Musk and his Tesla company, which refused to accept BTC as payment for their cars. The reason for the refusal was just the massive use of fossil fuels for the production of electricity necessary for the operation of the so-called ASIC miners.
A few weeks later, Musk announced that attitudes towards Bitcoin would change if at least 50 percent of clean electricity was used in its mining. And although the American community of miners announced on the eve of reaching and exceeding this parameter, so far there have been no changes in the situation with Tesla. In addition, the cryptocurrency community itself has questioned such data.
We have clarified the actual data: the Bitcoin network really consumes a lot of electricity. According to Digiconomist, the annual electricity consumption for maintaining the BTC blockchain is 135.12 TWh. This can be compared to consumption in Sweden.
And although miners are actively moving out of China and switching to clean energy, Bitcoin’s reputation has not yet recovered. Therefore, critics of the cryptocurrency take advantage of the situation.
What Bitcoin is criticized for
Local residents are sounding the alarm because of the rapid rise in water temperature – according to them, the lake itself is slowly turning into a “jacuzzi”. That said, the reasons for these changes are obvious: the water from the lake cools 8,000 devices for the extraction of BTC at a gas plant in the rural Finger Lakes area in New York, according to Decrypt.
Greenidge’s current permit allows the company to accept 139 million gallons of water and dispose of 135 million gallons daily at temperatures up to 42 degrees Celsius in summer and 30 degrees in winter, according to the documents . The permit is subject to renewal in September.
The company claims the average water temperature is half that level, but protesters disagree. Despite their efforts, a full thermal environmental study has not yet been carried out and will not take place until 2023 .
However, even among local opponents, Greenidge is not all: the company has made generous donations to local schools and fire services, and also provided jobs. Accordingly, its representatives have already taken care of the organization’s reputation.
Recall that in the near future the mining industry in the United States and other countries will experience a real boom: all due to the relocation of a huge number of Chinese miners outside the PRC. Now they are looking for new profitable regions for their activities and may well even squeeze local mining companies in the increased competition.
The main destinations for Bitcoin miners are the United States, Canada, Iran, Kazakhstan and Russia. And although for fans of cryptocurrency mining, parameters such as the cost of a kilowatt-hour and renting premises are primarily important, some of them will certainly opt for the first two companies due to a more reliable judicial system. If something happens, miners will be able to at least try to defend their innocence in the event of possible problems – and this is an important factor for business owners for millions of dollars.
Not only Bitcoin is popular among cryptocurrency miners, but also other coins. In particular, on the 2Miners mining pool, the most popular asset for mining is still the native token of the Ethereum network. ETH is mined by almost 39 thousand people. The second and third places are held by Ravencoin and Ethereum Classic, respectively.
At the same time, Ethereum remains one of the most profitable cryptocurrencies for mining, even despite the current decline in the ETH rate. According to the 2CryptoCalc calculator, the operation of eight Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards can provide a daily income of $ 27. Electricity costs are not included here, as they are different for everyone.
We believe that it is not only Bitcoin mining that leads to changes in local climate indicators. In this regard, it is at least unfair to see it as the cause of all evil – especially given the fact that many miners in the USA, Canada and other regions are beginning to actively use renewable energy sources. I would like to believe that in the future, the reputation of Bitcoin and the niche of its mining will improve significantly.