It was fairly early in the history of cryptoassets that folks realized the potential problems with Satoshi Nakamoto’s proof-of-work proposition. Because it was so early, though, and the prospects of getting bitcoin to the size where it takes the equivalent of an entire country to mine seemed like a far off issue, and as close to pie-in-the-sky impossible as could be imagined. The notion of a green crypto alternative wasn’t even floated.
Well. It’s a decade later and we’re there. Actually, we’ve been there for years and it’s only been getting worse as the price goes up, the hashrate advances and companies scale to meet it. The amount of electricity being used is only part of the issue. The rest is the environmental damage it inflicts on a daily basis, because 60% of the Bitcoin mining is done by burning coal in China, and there are a handful of companies in North America burning fossil fuels as well.
If companies would stick to hydroelectric—we wouldn’t have this problem. But that severely limits a company’s reach to a handful of geographic locations, and therein lies the need for a green crypto alternative.
CurrencyWorks (CWRK.C), a crypto-asset company involved in non-fungible tokens, digital currency, and in providing a payment platform, announced their zero cost energy crypto mining platform. It uses thermal treatment (rather than burning) of waste to generate energy, which they will use to power their Zer00 crypto mining platform.
“Crypto mining can be incredibly profitable if you can eliminate or minimize the energy costs in the mining process, while at the same time through these policies and best practices reduce the need for landfills and GHG, providing cleaner air and water, conservation of local biodiversity, sustainable energy development and green jobs,” said Cameron Chell, chairman of CurrencyWorks.
Yes. This is true.
But there’s also the prospect of competing with every other cryptoasset miner on the network, and the company most likely to close the block is the one spitting out the most power. The company has an agreement with Fogdog Energy Solutions, including a USD$400,000 loan to build them a thermal unit powered by municipal solid water (MSW), provided by a municipality in Canada.
How does that work?
The process of generating electricity in a mass-burn waste-to-energy plant has seven stages:
- Waste is dumped into a pit.
- It’s transferred into a combustion chamber.
- The waste is burned, releasing heat.
- The heat turns the runoff water into steam.
- The high-pressure steam turns the blades of a turbine generator to produce electricity.
- Pollutants are removed by an air pollution control system before its released in a smoke stack.
- Ash is collected from the boiler and the air pollution control system.
The initial plant will process MSW and generate enough power to run up to 200 mining rigs. That’s not going to be nearly enough to compete with any of the established bitcoin mining entities presently ruling the roost in the mining sector, but it’s a start.
The global cryptocurrency market was estimated to be worth $792.53 million in 2019, growing at an annual compound annual growth rate of 30% to potentially reach $5.1 billion by 2026, according to Facts and Figures.
It makes only good sense to want to know where and how your bitcoin was mined, and having that data on hand in the future as Bitcoin reaches more and more people can only be a positive.
CWRK shares rose 13% today, closing at $2.18.