Pennsylvania-based cryptocurrency mining company – Stronghold Digital Mining – reportedly employs coal waste to power its hundreds of supercomputers. Thus, the company aims to use a byproduct instead of harming the US national energy network.
SDM Uses Coal Waste
Bitcoin mining is an energy-intensive process, and many critics claim it damages the environment and harms national electricity systems. In fact, some reports suggest that it employs more energy per year than the entire country of Finland.
According to a recent report by Reuters, Stronghold Digital Mining – an American crypto mining organization – found an alternative way to generate electricity for its operations. The company uses coal ash left behind by decades-old power plants.
Stronghold Digital Mining collects it from a nearby mine in the Pennsylvania area. After being processed, the byproduct goes to a boiler building, where it is burned to generate the electricity needed for mining bitcoin.
If not isolated, coal ash could leach into groundwater and pollute waterways. It contains heavy metals, which are considered carcinogenic. With that said, Stronghold’s initiative prevents certain amounts of coal ash from reaching the population of Pennsylvania.
Speaking on the matter was Greg Beard – Chief Executive Officer of the company:
“The bitcoin mining network itself is the largest decentralized computer network in the world, and it’s power-hungry, so co-locating bitcoin mining and a power plant makes a lot of sense.”
Separately, Bill Spence – Co-Chairman of the organization– opined that mining is the “perfect niche for crypto.”
The Alternative in Canada
In October 2021, the authorities of the Canadian city North Vancouver – with a population of over 50,000 people – announced they will allocate released energy from bitcoin mining into heating residential buildings.
The initiative became possible after a collaboration between Lonsdale Energy Corporation (LEC) and the BTC miner MintGreen.
The latter said its “Digital Boilers” could prevent 20,000 tonnes of GHGs from entering the atmosphere per MW compared to natural gas.
Karsten Veng – CEO at LEC – believes the partnership could be beneficial for the city’s greener future:
“Being partners with MintGreen on this project is very exciting for LEC, in that it’s an innovative and cost-competitive project, and it reinforces the journey LEC is on to support the City’s ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets.”