Bitcoin (BTC) miners consume enormous amounts of power to protect the network and process transactions. While the network offers many benefits, such as banking the unbanked, Bitcoin’s energy consumption is a controversial issue 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 network security.
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. Since Bitcoin is based on its proof-of-work (PoW) protocol, the network is in the crosshairs of critics like Greenpeace as it does not align with the organization’s mission of making the world’s industries more sustainable. . Furthermore, Bitcoin’s reputation is on the line, with governments mulling strict regulations for the mining industry and brands like Tesla ruling out BTC as a payment method.
In other words, this move towards sustainability is also relevant to the Bitcoin mining community. A switch to sustainable energy sources seems like a logical step, but it’s not the easiest. 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 the environmental impact of methane by converting flared methane and landfill gases into electricity. Additionally, smaller miners can now also contribute to the green effort by joining mining pools like PEGA Pool.
Accelerating the green future of Bitcoin
PEGA Pool, a UK based platform, is one of the newer mining pools in the industry. Of course, network mining, joining forces with other miners and earning BTC together is nothing new. However, PEGA Pool offers miners a way to make their operations more sustainable.
There are several ways in which this mining pool makes the work of the participating miners more sustainable. First, miners using sustainable energy resources get a 50% reduction in pool fees, giving clean energy sources an advantage over other participants in the PEGA mining pool.
Second, miners using “dirtier” power sources can also join. However, 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 while mining Bitcoin.
PEGA Pool may be a relatively new platform, but its green mission has already attracted plenty of miners. According to blockchain explorer BTC.com, the pool is already among the largest mining pools in the industry, ranking 11th on the list. Currently, it produces a hash rate of 2875.62 peta hashes per second, closely following Poolin. The pool has already mined 771 Bitcoin mining 121 blocks, all with minimal environmental impact.
Green initiatives like the PEGA Pool can have a positive impact on the future of Bitcoin, 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 if it focuses on renewable energy. In turn, it may increase demand for renewable energy, possibly benefiting more than the miners themselves. Miners looking to make their operation greener can find more information about the PEGA Pool on their official website.
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