Mining is a vital process for most cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. Miners validate crypto transactions, and in doing so they maintain the public, distributed ledger known as the blockchain.
Many detractors have pointed out that crypto mining uses a great deal of energy in computing power. No one is more aware of this than miners themselves.
In some regions, energy is cheap, and miners are well rewarded for their efforts. Consider the crypto mining profits in Venezuela, where the price of mining one Bitcoin equates to just a few hundred dollars.
But what’s a miner to do where the costs run in the thousands?
Miners’ Profits Wane
If the value of crypto dips too low for too long, miners stand to lose the benefits they’ve reaped for their investment in equipment, time and energy. And they’re backing out in droves.
Nvidia is a gaming business that dipped a toe into crypto mining, but falling profits and high energy costs have taken their toll. Nvidia is “projecting no cryptomining going forward” after making less than a fifth of its hoped-for quarterly $100 million selling chips to miners.
Some miners, mining cooperatives and startups believe the answer lies in hydroelectric energy. They’ve sought sources of renewable power to cut costs and make Bitcoin mining greener.
HoneyMiner makes crypto mining software with the idea that regular folks can earn a passive income—at least a dollar a day—tapping into the energy that any home computer uses. By its very nature this is a small-scale solution. And, given the inevitable extra burden on the computer’s fan, there’s probably not much efficiency gained.
So, what are the major investors doing?
Big Green Crypto Mining
Coinmint, located on 1,300 acres in Massena, New York, at the Canadian border, is a leader in Bitcoin mining with hydroelectricity. The company manages the largest cryptocurrency data operation currently in existence and partners with the Securitize.io token issuance platform.
Coinmint isn’t alone in the quest for efficient electricity and low temperatures to run better mining operations.
Meanwhile, in March 2018, US miner Bitfury began operating in Norway. Canaan Creative, a Chinese mining firm that’s a major producer of Bitcoin mining chips, entered Sweden in 2017. Also, Chinese mining powerhouse Bitmain may be eyeing Norway and Sweden for cheaper power, Reuters recently reported.
For miners taken to task over their carbon footprint, Scandinavian energy holds obvious appeal. In Norway, hydropower is 99% of the energy pie. And the country’s attractive new tax rules exempt mining operations from property taxes.
In Plano, Texas, TMGcore hopes to contribute to the mining infrastructure and the job market in the US and in Texas specifically. TMGcore means business, with a potential 100-megawatt live energy load.
How can a Texas company cool its machinery without placing a massive strain on the municipal energy supply? Fluorochemical cooling is the key. The company has integrated two-phase liquid immersion that lowers cooling costs as much as 90%.
Another company to watch is Burst. Its Burstcoin uses a proof-of-capacity consensus algorithm, focused on storage space instead of pure computing power. This aspect accounts for Burstcoin’s strong energy efficiency.
Also, cloud mining is an up-and-coming segment of the crypto sphere. It allows miners to work remotely from the source of heat and energy use, and that source can take advantage of low-carbon electricity.
Consider the mining cloud service Hashtoro.com. With sites in Finland and Norway, Hashtoro offers its services as a green option. Intriguingly, the miners’ excess heat is even recycled—to warm water local heating systems.
We look forward to reporting on—and advancing—more innovation, as cryptocurrency develops to suit a carbon-constrained global society.
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