- May 15, 2019 5:48 am GMT
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Here's an update on bitcoin mining's energy usage. Fidelity, which recently launched a custody solution for crypto-focused hedge funds, gathered miners at its Boston office to talk energy use in bitcoin mining. Not surprisingly, most of them claimed to run on renewable energy. Locations with plentiful hydropower and cold weather are favorites. One - John Belizaire from Saluna - said he was building a wind power farm in Morocco for this purpose. Stephen Barbour from Upstream Data suggested that associated gas, which is released during the oil drilling process, could be used to power bitcoin mining.
Last year, I talked to a bitcoin mining facility owner in Texas who planned to set up a solar farm near Austin to power his operations. But that was in the future and dependent, to a large degree, on incentives and regulatory climate for renewable energy in the state. Cryptocurrency mining was largely concentrated in China until last year but is now dispersing worldwide to locations that offer incentives and have the right weather conditions to reduce electric consumption. While the article only talks about Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies which use Proof of Work - the consensus system used to mine bitcoin - will only add to the overall electric bill of mining outfits. Utilities should look to them as a source of revenue and set rates accordingly.