We have heard about the negative effects of cryptocurrency mining, especially bitcoin, quite often in recent months, and this topic has been widely opened not only by the current “supporter” of the largest cryptocurrency, Elon Musk, but also by many experts and digital name enthusiasts.
It is no surprise that the extraction of cryptocurrencies based on the Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm, which is also used to verify transactions in blockchain, consumes a huge amount of energy with a large involvement of miners, which is also one of the reasons tough measures against miners, led in particular by China.
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After the recent ban on mining in another of the provinces, more than 90% of Chinese cryptocurrency miners have stopped operating, and many companies plan to relocate their operations to countries such as the United States and Canada. However, even in the United States, not all cryptocurrencies are extracted only “ecologically”, ie using energy from renewable sources.
A “bitcoin mine” that warms the entire lake
As reported by the news station NBC, one of the bad examples is the gas plant in the Finger Lakes area of New York State, which is used by the private company Greenidge Generation as a bitcoin mining plant, he pointed out. Futurism.
The plant draws almost 380 million liters of water from a nearby lake every day, pumping back water at a temperature of up to 42 degrees Celsius. According to locals, it significantly warms the lake, which in some places is so warm that it resembles a whirlpool.
At the same time, critics point out that the factory not only endangers local ecosystems, but also emits tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Such practices are common for companies there, and many similar fossil fuel plants remain in operation for mining years after they should be phased out, as companies try to “squeeze out” as much as possible until regulation takes effect.
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CEO Greenidge Generation, Jeff Kirt, pre NBC statedthat the environmental impact of their natural gas power plant “has never been better”. It must also be said that the company in large invests also in renewable energy initiatives.
However, in addition to the high temperature of the lake, locals are also bothered by increased greenhouse gas emissions, which may even exceed New York’s targets for reducing them. Warmer water also creates an acceptable environment for harmful algae and creates great stress for the local fish population.