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The Efforts towards Making Bitcoin Greener


Wednesday’s announcement made by Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, on the company no longer accepting the cryptocurrency as payment for car purchases raised some investment concerns. Due to environmental reasons, some investors are already doubting whether to continue strengthening a highly energy-intensive platform.

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However, worldwide, there are growing attempts to turn bitcoin green. Accordingly, several companies are already developing strategies and solutions to mitigate the environmental harm of mining.

Some examples in of a greener bitcoin in Canada

For instance, some projects in Canada are looking to wean bitcoin mining away from fossil fuels. Thus, those projects harness the potentialities of hydroelectricity, solar, and wind.

One example is Neptune Digital Assets. Last month, this company teamed up with Link Global Technologies, a cryptocurrency mining company based in Vancouver, B.C.

According to the company’s CEO, “green power is getting cheaper and cheaper. But there has to be a push for more renewable energy sources for Bitcoin mining.”

As a result, Neptune’s new initiative, called “Pure Digital Power,” will be based in Alberta and use solar, wind, and some natural gas to mine the cryptocurrency.

On the user’s side, Bitfarms, one of Canada’s largest cryptocurrency mining firms, operates five of its warehouses in Quebec. However, compared to other bitcoin mining firms globally, it uses hydroelectricity.

In fact, Quebec has experienced a massive surge in cryptocurrency mining over the last two years, according to HydroQuebec’s spokesperson Jonathan Côté.

Notably, the province provides several benefits for miners using hydroelectricity in the province. However, “we can’t just have a limited supply for these mining companies. We have to be responsible,” said Côté.

Thus, in January, the province put through new rules for this industry. Because Hydro-Québec’s peak season for energy is in the winter, the province asked bitcoin miners to lower their energy consumption by 95 percent in the winter months for up to 300 hours.

Global Initiatives

Another green initiative example is a non-profit coalition launched in April called the Crypto Climate Accord. Accordingly, this global industry-backed initiative urges cryptocurrency enterprises to switch to using renewable energy.

“We want to help the crypto industry decarbonize,” Jesse Morris, chief commercial officer of the Energy Web Foundation, told Reuters.

Great examples of advancing green efforts to make bitcoin cleaner are Iceland, Sweden, and Norway. In fact, those countries have mining locations using geothermal, hydro, and wind power.

Indeed, Bitcoin’s energy consumption is vast since cryptocurrencies are mined by computers in warehouses as big as airport hangars. Moreover, the complex algorithms they use make electricity one of the critical inputs; thus, consuming as much power as thousands of households.

Major players in the bitcoin mining market are countries like China, Iran, and Kazakhstan. To operate, they mainly rely on fossil fuels like coal. Moreover, those countries host 70 to 80 percent of the entire bitcoin network.

However, even in the host countries, some efforts are underway. Currently, there is a large bitcoin mining operation in south China that uses hydropower in the summer months. Thus, the future for cryptocurrency is optimistic since renewable energy is becoming less costly each time.

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