Bitcoin mining is often denounced as an environmental sin or an enormous waste of electricity. However, it is often overlooked that under the right circumstances and with the right provider it can actually do more good than harm to the environment. Critics see the high (and steadily increasing) power consumption required by the miners in Bitcoin mining. However, many other factors also play a role that can influence the ecological footprint and the green conscience in Bitcoin mining.
Bitcoin mining as an environmental sin
It is no secret that the mining of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin has now exceeded the electricity consumption of some states. In their study, the researchers Susanne Köhler and Massimo Pizzol took a closer look at the life cycle of Bitcoin mining and estimated the electricity consumption for 2018 at a value of 31.3 terawatt hours, which corresponds to a CO2 equivalent of 17.3 megatons (or more than 2 % of the CO2 emissions of the entire Federal Republic of Germany of 800 megatons in 2018). According to the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index, this value is now almost twice as high as it was two years ago, namely at around 60 terawatt hours and just under 28 megatons of CO2.
It should be clear to everyone that this involves enormous amounts of energy. However, it is the wrong approach to draw conclusions about environmental compatibility only on the basis of electricity consumption. Most of the damage to the environment in the form of CO2 occurs when the electricity is generated and not when it is consumed. As with the electric car, the ecological classification depends on the type of electricity used. In China, where most Bitcoin are mined worldwide, attempts are made to cover the majority of the energy through hydropower plants, but the seasonal fluctuations cause problems here.
BTC mining with coal, gas and nuclear energy
In Sichuan province, the heart of the Chinese mining industry, only a third of the energy is generated in the dry months than in the rain-intensive months. Due to the high fluctuations, the deficit has to be covered with other energy sources in the dry months. In China and most other countries in the world, this is mostly done using coal, gas, or nuclear energy. These are the cheapest alternative in most countries and usually only cost a fraction of the amount of electricity from renewable energies such as solar, wind or hydropower.
In one’s own household, too, it can be seen that the cheapest electricity tariff usually does not consist of renewable energy sources at all or only to a very small extent. Since with Bitcoin mining the ROI, and thus the lowest possible electricity costs, are in the foreground, it is currently not possible in many countries and with many providers to operate Bitcoin mining in an environmentally friendly and at the same time cost-efficient way.
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The right Bitcoin mining provider makes the difference
However, just because something seems impossible does not mean that there is no solution. The company MeaTec LLC has found a possibility through the optimal choice of location, in combination with the right partners, to offer the mining of cryptocurrencies not only environmentally friendly, but also extremely cheap. The perfect location is in the heart of Russia, more precisely in Siberia.
In Siberia, during the mining boom of the 1960s and 1970s, the largest hydropower plants in the former Soviet Union were built. These were mainly used to power the local aluminum industry. Russia’s largest aluminum producer, Rusal, still produces there today for the global market. However, Siberia’s low raw material base put an end to the boom just as quickly. The huge hydropower plants are still running today and continue to produce enormous amounts of climate-neutral electricity, some of which often remains unused.
MeaTec relies 100% on hydropower plants for mining
Choosing Siberia as the location for the mining farm not only supports the ailing economy of the region, but also offers many advantages for everyone involved. In addition to electricity from 100% hydropower, the otherwise wasted and unused energy is given a new use. This energy can be obtained on very favorable terms through cooperation with regional hydropower plants. Inexpensive electricity can also be found in other countries in this region