Fracking Companies Pivot to Mining Bitcoin as Pandemic Woes Continue to Bite

Bitcoin is commonly slammed over its excessive electrical energy consumption. Critics argue that is wasteful and unsustainable in the long run. However, in an uncommon twist to the environmental debate, it seems that fracking firms are using waste gasoline to energy Bitcoin mining rigs.

Bitcoin Mops up Waste Gas

The shale business is in a state of decline. Not solely are political, monetary, and environmental points closing in, however the results of the pandemic have additionally taken their toll.

With that, turning to various income streams has grow to be all of the extra interesting in current occasions. Sergii Gerasymovych, the Founder of EZ Blockchain, noticed a possibility to carry Bitcoin and the fracking business collectively.

Fracking shale formations contain digging into the earth earlier than a high-pressure water combination is directed at rocks to launch the gasoline held inside. Waste gasoline, largely composed of methane, can be launched as a byproduct of this course of. This flare gasoline is usually burnt off because it’s unprofitable to promote.

“Gas flaring is responsible for at least 1% of global carbon emissions, and collectively wastes hundreds of millions of dollars worth of natural resources every year.”

However, Gerasymovych realized that Bitcoin miners and shale firms may each profit from using the flare gasoline. Instead of burning it, Gerasymovych proposed utilizing turbines to transform the flare emissions into electrical energy. In flip, that is then used to energy Bitcoin mining tools.

Previously, shale firms had been skeptical of this concept. But a mixture of things got here collectively this previous 12 months or so, making the thought rather more interesting. As the pandemic struck, the value of gasoline fell. At the identical time, the worth of Bitcoin has skyrocketed.

But what swayed issues was Gerasymovych’s enterprise mannequin, which fees for putting in and sustaining the Bitcoin infrastructure. This setup means the fracking agency is the Bitcoin miner utilizing its personal waste gasoline free of charge.

“The market conditions have changed. Now, every oil and gas company we reached out to in 2018 is calling us back because they see Bitcoin is making a lot of money.”

Energy FUD

Researchers estimate the Bitcoin community makes use of 121.26 terawatt-hours per 12 months, which is equal to the power consumption of a mid-sized nation akin to Argentina.

The critics argue that burning fossil fuels to energy the Bitcoin community accelerates local weather change. However, Bitcoin mining is a extremely aggressive business. Those with essentially the most environment friendly mining rigs powered by the most cost effective electrical energy will rise to the highest.

It simply so occurs that renewable hydropower is the most cost effective electrical energy supply accessible, at a median price of $0.05 per kilowatt-hour. For comparability, fossil fuels can price greater than 3 times as a lot at $0.17 per kilowatt-hour. Using waste gasoline that may in any other case be burned is even higher.

However, some preserve the view that it’s onerous to justify Bitcoin’s large power consumption whatever the power supply.

Source: BTCUSD on
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