U.S. company resorts to using coal waste to mine Bitcoin and clean up their community

U.S. company resorts to using coal waste to mine Bitcoin and clean up their community
Updated: 23 Mar, 2022
3 mins read

The vast quantities of power necessary to mine Bitcoin have prompted a debate about whether the energy required to create the digital commodity is worth the potential environmental problems linked with it.

On the other hand, one particular company in western Pennsylvania, claims they have discovered a method to put cryptocurrency mining to work in order to clean up their neighborhood, according to a report by Reuters.

Using waste from decades-old coal power plants, Stronghold Digital Mining (NASDAQ: SDIG) generates energy that runs hundreds of supercomputers that are engaged in Bitcoin mining. 

Chief executive officer of Stronghold, Greg Beard stated:

“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.” 

How is the waste used to mine Bitcoin?

Waste Coal (also known as GOB colloquially) is a byproduct of coal mining that was dumped around the state. This waste coal causes water pollution as rain runs through it and creates AMD, which is basically acid.

Stronghold cleans up the waste coal (like that at Russellton,) and brings it to the specialized waste coal plant (Scrubgrass). There, the waste coal is converted into power and waste coal ash.

“The power is used to supply the grid, or mine bitcoin, depending on the situation. The waste coal ash is either put back into the reclaimed land to help it revegetate or used by local farmers as a liming agent. There are also some other clever uses that we’re working on,” said a source familiar with the matter who spoke with Finbold.

Despite the controversies surrounding Bitcoin’s energy consumption and environmental effect, Finbold revealed information from a study released on January 25, 2022, that stated BTC accounted for just 0.08% of world carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2021, meaning that talking points targeting the network’s energy usage seem to have been overstated.

A synopsis of Bitcoin mining

A method known as mining is used to create Bitcoin. Mining requires computers to solve complicated puzzles in return for the virtual currency, which is issued in the form of Bitcoin. Powering those machines consumes a significant amount of power.

More and more individuals are mining Bitcoins using unconventional methods as the digital asset grows in popularity. In particular, one crypto enthusiast recently built a 6kW solar-powered Bitcoin mining rig.

Elsewhere, last year a historic New York power plant resorted to mining Bitcoin with excess energy instead of selling it.

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Jordan Major

Jordan is an investor and market analyst. He's passionate about stocks, ETFs, blockchain, and digital assets. At Finbold.com, he delves into the technicalities to obtain future trends for new market traders and gives insights into user-friendly platforms for beginners.