As global regulatory pressure mounts on Bitcoin mining, companies are looking to alleviate concerns by making their operations carbon-neutral.
Concerns over the energy usage of proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining are at peak levels this year. Policymakers are fretting over the energy usage that Bitcoin mining operations consume, and are preparing legislation to limit activities in certain locations due to environmental concerns.
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Several Bitcoin mining companies have responded with pledges to become carbon-neutral by the end of this year. One such firm is Marathon Digital Holdings, one of North America’s largest BTC mining operations.
In an announcement on April 5, the firm revealed that it was moving from Montana, where power is sourced from coal to new locations with more “sustainable and non-carbon emitting sources of power.”
Bitcoin mining operations seeking greener power
Marathon added that its bitcoin mining operations would be “100% carbon-neutral” by the end of 2022. Marathon chairman and CEO, Fred Thiel, said that their primary goal for the year was to source sustainable energy for the operation.
“With the majority of our fleet already scheduled to be deployed at renewable power facilities and deployments currently underway, we believe it is an appropriate time to transition our legacy operations away from fossil fuel generation and towards more sustainable sources of power.”
There are a number of ways a Bitcoin mining firm can achieve carbon neutrality. One is to only use renewable energy such as wind, solar, or hydro-power and another is to invest in carbon offsets. These are incentives that require a firm to invest in projects that “offset” the amount of carbon they are producing themselves.
Marathon currently has an agreement with Beowulf Energy with a data center on a 20-acre plot adjacent to Beowulf’s Hardin Generating Station, a 105-megawatt power facility located in Hardin, Montana. According to the company website, the data center has a capacity for up to 30,000 S19 Pro Miners that can generate as much as 3.32 EH/s.
SEC climate disclosures welcomed
In a related development, rival mining company Stronghold Digital Mining has stated that it welcomed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s recent proposal that publicly traded companies should provide climate-related disclosures.
Co-chairman and CEO of Stronghold, Gregory Beard, said that the firm is already complying with the disclosures, adding that the firm is “looking at technologies and investments to reduce our carbon emissions and lower our carbon footprint.”
Stronghold has facilities in Pennsylvania that utilize coal waste to power its Bitcoin mining operations.
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