Mining energy sustainability

Crypto mining as a victim of verbiage

Information technology development has changed the world not only in terms of the depth and speed of people’s interaction. It has to some extent expanded the list of ways to achieve wealth and glory, which for many is seen as a goal rather than a consequence of any creative activity. The flip side of the digital revolution is the rabid information noise that you can’t hide from. Exabytes of useless information is one of the main features of our time. While money used to be quiet, noise has now become a source of income or for monetized popularity. The number of subscribers today is more important than specialization in any subject. Now the expert is the one who has a wider audience.

As before, however, only a few reach wealth and glory, and those who have not been seen to be fortunate have no choice but to radiate their own significance. Popular questions, where intransigence can be taken, are best suited for this. If some discussion was initiated by someone well known and rich, then participation is the most fertile ground for demonstrating one’s significance. In part, therefore, many of the questions which could be answered by two or three real experts become endless “pro” and “contra” confrontations.

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1392602041025843203/

One of the most discussed and manipulative issues of 2021 was the discussion of Bitcoin in terms of the energy consumed in its mining and harmful carbon footprint of mining. It all started with Elon Musk’s tweet.

There is no doubt that Musk had his own reasons for making such a post and, for example, to justify his inability at this stage to accept bitcoins as payment without taking SEC’s opinion into account. However, the main interest is the fact of what enthusiasm this idea was taken up and how quickly it took on its own life. The evolution of the issue from a tweet to a global problem in a matter of months best demonstrates how many people today are willing to engage in a debate without any justification, especially if the opinion leader is Elon Musk. At the same time, there was nothing to prevent them from being just as scrupulous, a couple of years before the tweet, when the same question was just as relevant, but only experts dealt with it.

(Study on the renewable energy penetration in crypto mining in 2018)

Today, the media is flooded with quotes from new “experts”:

“Bitcoin alone consumes as much electricity as a medium-sized European country,” says Professor Brian Lucey at Trinity College Dublin. “This is a stunning amount of electricity. It’s a dirty business. It’s a dirty currency.” (https://www.ft.com/content/1aecb2db-8f61-427c-a413-3b929291c8ac)

In many articles and studies, bitcoin has become a frequent guest in the energy consumption ratings of various countries, surpassing, for example, the Netherlands and many other countries in this indicator.

University of Cambridge report

On the other hand, comparison with countries is not always correct, since it is necessary to compare global industries, which bitcoin undoubtedly is. Here, for example, is a comparison of the energy consumption of the entire banking sector of the world, the gold mining industry and cryptocurrency mining:

Galaxy Digital report

It is hard to imagine that anyone would fight gold mining also furiously, much less the banking sector, as well. No one really cares how much one or another industry contributes to global energy consumption. Everyone cares how to demonstrate significance and awareness in those issues where no one understands anything. At the same time, here is the result of the FT study:

https://www.ft.com/content/1aecb2db-8f61-427c-a413-3b929291c8ac

Approximately the same distribution is given by the IEA (International Energy Agency) study, but globally, and not exclusively for BTC mining. Up to 40% of the world’s capacity is accounted for by renewable energy sources.

https://www.iea.org/data-and-statistics/charts/share-of-low-carbon-sources-and-coal-in-world-electricity-generation-1971-2021

It is no secret that the use of particular sources of electricity both in bitcoin mining and in any other industry is primarily due to the proximity and availability of this source to the enterprise, but not the intent of the consumer. Therefore, the share of renewable energy in bitcoin mining will always be close in volume to its share in the global context. Thus, the carbon footprint of mining is not a problem of mining, but rather a problem of the state of the entire electricity generation industry as a whole. The closer the global energy sector is to nature, the closer all industries will be, including bitcoin, gold mining and even the banking sector.

However, each project is free to choose the energy sources that will make it most profitable. As it happens, there are many hydropower plants in the north of Russia that are not working at full capacity. In combination with the cold climate, this gives a great opportunity to organize bitcoin mining there. This is how the Minto project appeared, which is based on renewable energy. The environmental friendliness of Minto was the result of circumstances and a team-conscious choice based on the business case. Renewable energy has proven to be the best way to reduce costs and achieve one of the highest profitability indicators in the tokenized hashrate segment.

It’s nice to know that despite our world constantly changing, some things remain unchanged. In particular, it’s always better to do something while someone is talking. The discussion about bitcoin mining will continue, but regardless of its intensity, the Minto project already provides its customers with daily rewards in bitcoins that are mined using renewable energy sources.

Over time, dirty technologies will naturally be forced out of the energy sector, and discussions on this issue will subside, but there will be those ahead who act regardless of information noise, guided by knowledge and common sense. Minto made the right move long before Elon Musk’s tweet, which means he is not affected by the manipulation of public opinion. This is what most successful projects do, regardless of the segment. Success is a combination of expertise, hard work and luck. With these three project ingredients, its clients or shareholders will always be ahead of those who waste time on meaningless discussions.

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