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Renewables-Powered Cryptocurrency Mining

March 3, 2022 No Comments

Featured article by Mica Modesta

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Cryptocurrency mining has come under intense scrutiny as the push towards sustainable energy use intensifies. Few cryptocurrencies have faced backlash as heavy as bitcoin. Bitcoin mining energy consumption has been condemned by world governments, businesses, and critics.

As an illustration, in March 2021, Tesla CEO Elon Musk publicly announced that Tesla would accept bitcoin payments. However, two months later, the electric vehicle maker rescinded that decision citing BTC’s high energy use.

Musk tweeted that Tesla would consider cryptocurrency payments from bitcoin alternatives that utilized <1% of its energy per transaction. He also said that Tesla would resume its bitcoin payments initiative when its miners adopted sustainable energy.

Once known as the home of bitcoin mining, China also banned commercial crypto mining from its borders, an action that threw the mining industry off balance. Bitcoin mining is said to expend an annual 91 terawatt-hours of electric power. This quantity of electricity can run Finland’s power grid, meeting the needs of 5.5 million people.

So, how can the cryptocurrency sector redeem its image as the people’s financial system rather than a global warming instigator?

Green crypto mining is the future

Cryptocurrencies function without interference from governments, financial institutions, and other intermediaries that cause needless friction, inefficiencies, and high costs in the traditional financial system.

In the place of cost and time-wasting, third-party players are peer-to-peer networks of transaction validators, blockchain consensus protocols, and cryptography for ultimate data security.

One could argue that cryptocurrency mining is not as energy-sapping as the legacy financial system. This intermediary system burns through 263 terawatt-hours of electricity each year.

That said, the cryptocurrency industry is upending unfair systems and replacing them with strategies that benefit the ordinary person. To this end, all digital currencies have to adopt renewable energy-powered cryptocurrency mining processes.

Virtual currencies are the backbone of the rising metaverse ecosystem and will support the coming digital payments future. The metaverse is already taking form in MMORPGs such as Elder Scrolls Online.

As an illustration, Elder Scrolls Online players can purchase the game’s virtual currency Elder Scrolls Online Gold off websites such as Eldorado.gg to travel, make purchases, buy their way-out trouble and buy secrets in the vast metaverse.

Fortunately, the rising clean energy free market is giving crypto mining a much-needed facelift, and miners are now taking up the excess green energy that wind and solar power businesses generate. Acting as shock absorbers for renewable energy producers, crypto miners are buying up power in areas like West Texas, where they sign demand response contracts in exchange for rebates. These contracts stipulate that mining rigs should shut down at peak power demand times and turn them on during a ‘duck curve.’

As per the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), wind and solar energy production suffer a deficiency, such that, these renewable energy sources are more productive at off-peak hours. As an illustration, there is higher wind energy generation at night and more solar power generation during the day.

Household energy use, however, peaks in the early evening when appliances go online. Moreso, these energy sources have grid congestion because they are mostly built in rural areas, where there is little load. Utility-scale Lithium-Ion batteries are not a feasible technology as yet, but cryptocurrency miners can mop up this energy and encourage investment in green energy production.

 

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