Bitcoin’s Kryptonite Is Electricity, But Renewable Green Energy Innovation Is Happening


Bitcoin has almost a decade of performance, but one complaint keeps ringing through for both participants and spectators of the crypto world – energy usage. In fact, even if someone is not paying attention to the industry, there inevitably pops up a Google or MSN news story that talks about how Bitcoin exceeds the energy usage of this company or that country. Though Bitcoin’s usage is high, these news stories are doing the community an injustice by omitting the entire story.

Let us talk about the energy usage – Bitcoin uses a lot of it. They seem to use enough energy to equal the amount used by hundreds of thousands of homes in the United States alone, but their expenditure should not be a surprise. Every budding technology has to have some cost, and Bitcoin’s just happens to be electricity. However, the energy used is not just wasted; miners need it for keeping up the networks, maintaining data storage, and processing each transaction, which is part of the debate.

Proof-of-stake protocols tend to use less energy, but they do not do the same work. Proof-of-work protocols have better safety standards, but both of these options will still need to use electricity. With mining, it is basically a trade – electricity becomes currency. However, the majority of the energy used is actually green energy.

Bitcoin needs miners to be profitable, because it makes their platform profitable as well. By turning the discussion towards the type of energy, rather than the amount of energy, the conversation is much different. This is a good transition, considering that the source of energy is one of the most important components.

Fossil fuel is expensive, and the whole world is consuming energy at a rapid and substantial pace, but the political debates across the globe make this fact obvious. Renewable energy is so much less expensive and easily accessible, which has piqued Bitcoin’s interest. As Bitcoin gravitates to areas where renewable energy is abundant, like Iceland and Canada, producers are able to make a substantial profit too, leading to more energy creation.

In an article for Politico, Paul Roberts said,

“By the end of 2018, according to some estimates, miners here could account for anywhere from 15 to 30 percent of all bitcoin mining in the world.”

The abundant and renewable energy is challenging the energy storage industry to keep up with their technology, which means that there are many projects with green power that cannot operate. Furthermore, they do not have the means to store and distribute their energy, which means that the benefits of green energy will not matter if their projects shut down.

Andreas Antonopoulos has an idea, and it involves Bitcoin. If Bitcoin miners cover the cost of their energy usage from producers, they could save it. Miners use energy so quickly that the means for storage would not be as necessary.

That is why Antonopoulos said,

“By the end of 2018, according to some estimates, miners here could account for anywhere from 15 to 30 percent of all bitcoin mining in the world.”

As the market has suffered, so much of the attention has been on blockchain technology lately, but that industry could easily become a place of energy distribution and support for utilities. Basically, green energy products would use mining opportunities as a way to subsidize.

Bitcoin miners might have another opportunity to support eco-friendly efforts as well, by helping out the waste efforts. Most of the time, waste is burned, stored, or just dumped, and the entire process costs a lot to keep it going. With more scientists dedicating time to bio-fuel research and waste-to-energy technology, Bitcoin might be able to jump on board.

In an experiment in November last year, PRTI and Standard American Mining decided to see if they could convert trash to cryptocurrency, and it worked. Right now, they are the first and only platform to succeed with this type of concept, but others may join as they see the potential profit and the reduction of electricity usage.

Take a look at the industry for a moment – there are so many opportunities for innovation in green energy, and Bitcoin already thrives on its use. By making the most effort to preserve and support it, they are reducing their carbon footprint and even helping the rest of the world.

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