You’ve likely heard of the immense amount of energy that cryptocurrency mining consumes and the negative effects it has on the environment .
It should therefore be alarming to learn that Bitcoin miners have been buying whole power plants in an attempt to make a lot of the speculative asset.
Stronghold Digital Mining, a Pennsylvania-based holding company, is currently operating a Bitcoin mining operation. It uses the Scribgrass power plant, which it bought in Venango County in Pennsylvania this summer.
Stronghold will invest $105 million in a power plant to support its Bitcoin mining ventures. The power plant currently uses coal waste to generate enough energy to power 1 800 mining computers.
Stronghold Digital Mining claims that the company currently uses 600,000 tonnes of coal waste at Scrubgrass each year to power its Bitcoin mining operations. Stronghold Digital Mining has filed this information with the SEC. The company intends to make it public.
It gets worse. Stronghold plans to expand its coal-burning power station operations.
The company opened a second power station in Pennsylvania, known as the Panther Creek power facility, in August. It plans to add a third power plant.
Bitcoin mining requires powerful computer processors to solve complex mathematical equations. This is how the blockchain, or cryptocurrency’s digital ledger, is maintained. Bitcoin miners are rewarded with the cryptocurrency when these math problems have been solved.
The more computational power an individual has, the more equations can be solved and more Bitcoin they can earn. Because of the intense nature of the process, individuals can’t earn Bitcoin just by using the computing power they have. To mine Bitcoin, miners spend thousands to thousands of dollars on equipment. But only multi-million-dollar operations can mine enough Bitcoin to make it profitable.
According to The University of Cambridge’s electricity consumption index , Bitcoin miners will consume around 130 Terawatt-hours of power (TWh). TechCrunch has shown that Bitcoin’s carbon dioxide emissions is roughly equal to that of a country such as Jordan with 10 million inhabitants.
The cherry on top is that Stronghold Digital Mining’s Bitcoin power plants profits are funded by taxpayers.
Bloomberg states that Pennsylvania offers tax credits to burn coal waste. Stronghold estimates that each Bitcoin it mines costs the company less than $3,000.
Bitcoin traded at over $42,000 at the time of this article – a good profit for a taxpayer-subsidized cryptocurrency mine operation that is destroying the environment.