This controversial topic is a frequent one in the blockchain community. It concerns the impact Bitcoin (BTC), mining has on the environment. Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, posted last year that Tesla would cease accepting BTC. He cited the “rapidly increasing usage of fossil fuels to Bitcoin mining and transactions”. CoinShares recently published a report that found that the Bitcoin mining network is responsible for less than 0.8% of global CO2 production, despite its widespread use of oil, coal, and gas.
Kristian Csepcsar is the chief marketing officer of Slush Pool. He spoke exclusively to Cointelegraph about current misconceptions about Bitcoin mining’s impact on the environment. Csepcsar answered a question about the disadvantages of electricity from the oil and gas mine Bitcoin.
“We are literally burning the gas into atmosphere because it isn’t economically feasible to do so [Flaring]. Instead, we can use it to make electricity with a motor and mine Bitcoin.
Flaring refers to the burning of excess natural gas in oil extraction because there is not enough infrastructure to transport it to market. Bitcoin miners in Canada and the U.S. have discovered clever ways to channel the natural gas into electricity instead of burning it into the atmosphere. This solves a major environmental problem.
Csepcsar is still skeptical about certain sources of Bitcoin mining and calls them “marketing noise,” in particular, solar energy. According to Csepcsar, Cointelegraph was “marketing noise.”
“We published research on our blog that showed that we aren’t big advocates of solar mining. When you look at the profitability, it isn’t that great; it’s a very difficult business.”
Cespcsar explains that around 70% of solar panels are made in China, and that little research has been done on their environmental impacts during manufacturing.
They can produce a lot of toxic chemicals. Nobody talks about this. People think that solar panels are made from trees and the sun shines onto them. They are actually quite difficult to create.
Slush Pool doesn’t have metrics about the energy source used by its Bitcoin miners. Cespcsar was surprised to be asked this question, but it may have been true to his philosophy of privacy and decentralization.
“We don’t want to view that as a pool operator. To have these numbers, we would need KYC our miners and conduct audits of their operations. We could also filter transactions [for analytics]. This is not how we want to continue our ethos.”
Eileen Wilson –Technology and Energy
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