Bitcoin (BTC) miners consume large amounts of energy to secure the network and process transactions. While the network offers many benefits, such as banking the unbanked, Bitcoin’s power consumption is a hot topic for critics. However, new solutions are emerging to reduce the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining.
The Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance estimates that the Bitcoin network currently consumes around 109.34 terawatt hours (TWh) per year. Bitcoin miners use this energy to generate hash keys. When they guess the correct key, they receive BTC as a reward for their contribution to protecting the network.
Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance
Current electricity demand is at record levels and there is a new influx of miners. However, many miners still rely on fossil fuels, contributing to the grid’s reliance on dirty energy sources.
Most of the world is seeking a green transition, moving away from fossil fuels as much as possible. With Bitcoin relying on its proof-of-work (PoW) protocol, the network is the target of critics such as Greenpeace as it does not align with the organization’s mission to make the world’s industries more sustainable. Furthermore, Bitcoin’s reputation is at stake, with governments reflecting on strict regulations for the mining industry and brands like Tesla abandoning BTC as a payment method.
In other words, this step towards sustainability is also relevant for the Bitcoin mining community. A shift to sustainable energy sources seems like a logical step to take, but it’s not the easiest one. In many countries, fossil fuels are simply the cheapest option, making them the first choice for miners.
Currently, many different initiatives are pushing Bitcoin in a greener direction. For example, miners can minimize methane’s environmental impact by converting combusted methane and gases released from landfills into electricity. What’s more, smaller miners can now also contribute to the green effort by joining mining pools like the PEGA Pool.
Accelerating Bitcoin’s Green Future
PEGA Pool, a UK-based platform, is one of the newest mining pools in the industry. Of course, network mining, joining forces with other miners and earning BTC together is nothing new. The PEGA Pool, however, offers miners a way to make their operations more sustainable.
There are several ways in which this mining pool makes the work of participating miners more sustainable. First, miners using sustainable energy resources get a 50% reduction in pool fees, giving clean energy sources an edge over other participants in the PEGA mining pool.
Second, miners using “dirtier” energy sources are also welcome. However, the PEGA Pool reserves a portion of the fees these miners pay to offset their environmental impact. More specifically, the project uses the fees to plant new trees, which capture the carbon these miners emit when mining Bitcoin.
PEGA Pool may be a relatively new platform, but its green mission has already attracted many miners. According to blockchain explorer BTC.com, the pool is already among the largest mining pools in the industry, ranking 11th on the list. It currently produces a hash rate of 2875.62 peta hashes per second, closely following Poolin. The pool has already mined 771 Bitcoins mining 121 blocks, all with minimal environmental impact.
Green initiatives like the PEGA Pool could positively impact Bitcoin’s future, even if Bitcoin is unlikely to join Ethereum in its transition to a proof-of-stake (PoS) protocol. However, mining can become a more sustainable industry by focusing on renewable energy. This in turn could increase demand for renewable energy, possibly benefiting more than just the miners themselves. Miners looking to green their operations can find more information about the PEGA Pool on its official website.
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