Bitcoin miners presented their arguments against the often-cited criticism that their operations are bad for the environment at an event hosted by Fidelity. The Fidelity Mining Summit, hosted by the Fidelity Center for Applied Technology at Fidelity’s HQ in Boston last Friday, gave Bitcoin miners the platform to address some of the concerns raised in the media about Bitcoin’s carbon footprint. They took the opportunity, detailing how the vast majority of miners are not just investing in renewable energy sources but are in fact leading the way in renewable energy research in many ways and how Bitcoin mining will be viewed very differently in the future.
Clean, Green Mining Machines
One of the speakers to address the issue was John Belizaire, CEO of Soluna, whose company is building a large wind farm in Morocco. Belizaire said that Soluna’s miners would be the primary consumers of the energy that the farm generates, but the excess will go to the country’s electricity grid, benefitting both the cryptocurrency ecosystem and the local community. Belizaire predicts that the image around Bitcoin will change over the years, stating “Bitcoin is at the center of the next great infrastructure that we’ve never seen before” and that within ten years we will be referring to Bitcoin completely differently, both in terms of its energy use and its viability as an investment vehicle. Hydroelectricity was another hot topic of discussion at the event, with this cited as being the brightest hope for carbon-friendly mining in the future.
“Dirty Chinese Coal” Does Not Power Bitcoin
The received wisdom that “bitcoin is mainly mined with dirty Chinese coal” is simply not true, according Chris Bendiksen, head of CoinShares research department, whose team put out a report in December that illustrated the penetration of renewables in the Bitcoin mining market. He presented research that showed how 48 percent of global Bitcoin mining happens in the Chinese province of Sichuan, where renewable energy makes up 90 percent of the overall energy mix. Another 35% is spread over various parts of the Western world including Quebec and British Columbia in Canada, Washington State in the U.S., and Iceland, the vast majority of which utilizes renewable energy as their main source. This research illustrates just how much misinformation is put out, either intentionally or otherwise, by mainstream media to influence opinion against Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Hopefully this will change over time, but it seems like it will be a long, drawn out process given the image currently embedded in me minds of many, thanks to the attitudes of the media towards Bitcoin at present.