Can Bitcoin Go Green One Day?

Many people who love to live off-grid or practice being self sufficient love the premise of cryptocurrency. It is perfectly aligned with the ethos of those who wish to unplug from the mainstream and do things their own way. Since cryptocurrency is decentralized and has no governing authority it seems like it should be a perfect fit for these types of people.

Unfortunately there is one glaring area which makes bitcoin and other cryptocurrency an anathema to those off-grid lifestylers. The mining of cryptocurrency is a huge user of energy which relies mainly on fossil fuels. In fact, the output for Bitcoin alone is equal to the entire country of Switzerland.

The problem is the servers that do the computing whenever you buy Bitcoins that require a lot of electricity to operate. And since the currency has become more mainstream than ever, there are acres of servers in each site required to keep up with the demand.

bitcoin-renewable-energy

Can this ever change and bitcoin become green one day so those that care about the environment will be able to use cryptocurrency? In this article, I will go over some of the ways that bitcoin can become greener and less of a power hog.

1. Solar power

One of the most obvious ways for bitcoin to go green is to stop using fossil fuels and switch to solar to power the servers responsible for mining the cryptocurrency.

The problem with solar power is that it has to be very consistent and in the area where the servers are. Unfortunately, the places where these servers could work with solar are quite expensive. For instance, California would be ideal since they often have periods of negative priced power. This is when there is more power being created than there is demand.

Negative pricing would be the perfect scenario for those servers since it would be a dramatically lower cost than even the cheapest fossil fuels. The issue is that the solar farm would need to be really big and land in California is very expensive. As are the other operating costs.

What could make sense is to move some of the solar farms to areas in developing countries where there is plenty of sunlight. This would help their local economy and also make sure that bitcoin mining via solar is viable.

2. Geothermal Energy

Iceland has attracted many of these server mining operations since it is an area rich with geothermal energy capabilities. Its proximity to volcanic activities gives it free energy 24 hours per day 365 days per year.

Another benefit is the cool climate makes it cheap and easy to cool the servers which get very hot.

And Iceland isn’t the only place where this is available. There are volcanic areas all over the world that offer the same capabilities.

3. Hydropower

Hydroelectric generation is another power source that operates all day every day without pause. And luckily, there are many countries that offer cheap land that can be built upon to take advantage for mining operations.

With the high price of bitcoin right now, it is a good time to invest in these technologies since miners will still make money and move towards a green crytpocurrency.

About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the Founder of EcoMENA, and an international consultant, advisor, ecopreneur and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biomass energy, biogas, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. He has participated in numerous conferences and workshops as chairman, session chair, keynote speaker and panelist. Salman is the Editor-in-Chief of EcoMENA, and is a professional environmental writer with more than 300 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability in different parts of the world. Salman Zafar can be reached at salman@ecomena.org or salman@bioenergyconsult.com
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