Among cryptocurrency’s less well-known developments are its moves towards environmental friendliness and renewable energy. As the crypto industry has grown and becomes more complex, it has found several solutions to ease the financial burden of mining. In fact, there are now ICOs that dedicate their mission statement to renewable energy mining and environmentally friendly causes. But how likely is the trend to continue?
Is Renewable Energy in Mining Feasible?
It is in fact quite feasible, as green and renewable energy offers a solution to one of the biggest challenges facing mainstream cryptocurrencies; skyrocketing mining costs.
In December of 2017, cryptocurrency mining accounted for 0.16% of the world’s electricity consumption. The rising costs of mining are now presenting renewable energy as a profitable solution.
Take the example of Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, which is now extremely expensive to mine. High power costs have made mining it an endeavor that is out of reach to most. These high costs are now becoming a concern across the entire cryptocurrency industry. Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported that the rising costs of cryptocurrency mining are directing miners towards green energy, and recent developments are making this more apparent.
Recently, environmental cryptocurrencies have been making enormous strides towards moving into the forefront of the crypto space. Some newer ICOs such as Earth Token, BioCoin and ClimateCoin have dedicated much of their whitepapers to environmental friendliness. These developments also come at a time in which concerns over the carbon footprint of Bitcoin mining are continuing to grow.
The good news is that there are plenty of initiatives underway right now that seek to tackle this problem head-on.
Renewable Mining is Already Happening
In the Austrian Alps, a young start-up called HydroMiner hard at work. It runs its mining procedures around the clock, eating massive amounts of energy to mine new Bitcoins. However, their facilities are located inside two hydroelectricity mills. HydroMiner is using cheap, renewable hydroelectricity to efficiently mine Bitcoin, but with the added benefit of not harming the environment.
Another startup, Golden Fleece, created a makeshift mining facility using a cargo container placed inside an abandoned factory in Georgia, approximately 100 kilometers from the Black Sea. Like HydroMiner, they run their mining operations 24 hours a day with the help of cheap hydroelectricity generated by flowing water in the nearby mountains.
Hydroelectricity isn’t the only efficient and environmentally friendly method of mining. Since 2017, various individuals have garnered plenty of attention on YouTube and Reddit for their own little solar energy farms. One Reddit user in particular took the effort to document his experience mining in the desert, using solar panels for energy. He determined that it is quite profitable in the end… given the right circumstances.
Estonian Wind Farms
Earlier this very summer, Estonia opened a state owned wind farm to mine cryptocurrency. The farm was opened on an island that receives plenty of wind throughout the year, providing Estonia with a limitless source of green energy that is now being used to mine popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Will Renewable Energy Mining Become More Profitable?
Yes, as a matter of fact renewable energy in cryptocurrency mining may be the only way for mining to remain highly profitable after a certain point.
Because mining gets more difficult the closer a cryptocurrency gets to its limit, the more difficult it will become to mine it. This means the energy costs associated with mining it will skyrocket. This is also why solar energy is now seen as the potential future of cryptocurrency mining, it is the only way to have a nearly unlimited supply of energy without having to exhaust resources or pay the electricity bills that normally come with mining.
The Final Verdict
Due to its halving, Bitcoin is estimated to reach its limit of 21 million in approximately 2140. While this is a long time from now, it will still take a lot more computing power to mine the most popular coin in the time before the limit is reached.
This ultimately means that renewable energy will be the only way for mining Bitcoin to remain profitable.
As for all the altcoins, they will eventually go through the same process that Bitcoin will, making renewable energy the most profitable option in the end. On top of that, it will also save the environment from yet another challenge in the coming decades.