24 January 2021

Great American Mining: Converting Environmental Pollutants into Bitcoin

I came across this today, discovered it via a link posted to a Bitcoin "instance" on the Mastodon network (worth checking out if  you are turned off by Big Tech social media platforms; I believe it is the antidote to the poison they create). 

Great American Mining builds BTC mining platforms that harness "waste gas" from oil and gas operations to generate power to run Bitcoin mining rigs. These are gases that are otherwise simply "flared off", burned, to prevent them from floating off into the earth's atmosphere. It's better to release them as C02 than in their "raw" forms, but still an unfortunate waste because that energy simply vanishes in flame, unused. 

Not with this solution. Instead, pollution is tackled AND turned into something useful and valuable. 

One of the false FUD attacks that's popular to make against Bitcoin is that it "pollutes by using massive amounts of power." Nonsense. Like most lies, this one attempts to prove its false premise by dropping relevant context. Some iterations of this lie do things like compare the network's current energy consumption to a cherry picked assortment of small countries. Absolutely meaningless. You have to make meaningful comparisons, such as comparing Bitcoin to what it could replace: traditional banks, which when measured in terms of energy consumption powering only their branch buildings, ATMs, and servers (they have far more energy costs than just these three items), use about 3.5 times as much energy as the entire Bitcoin network, which needs none of those things. 

Additionally, as that link states, most of the Bitcoin network's power is coming from so-called renewable sources. Great American Mining's creation is a prime example of this. 

One of my clients is a municipal waste dump (a landfill). On the grounds there is a flare station, which all waste dumps in the U.S. have, the purpose of which is to vent and flare off methane gas that builds up as organic matter decays in the landfill. This prevents the gas from creeping into homes and businesses, so it serves a very useful purpose already, but all of that energy is just wasted. Imagine one of these mining rigs installed at such sites, generating revenue for the municipality, lowering taxes for the population there, and reducing the environmental footprint of the landfill and the legacy banking system...

Related: get $10 of free Bitcoin when you buy or sell $100 of crypto on Coinbase

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