US to become Bitcoin mining hub while China strengthens ‘War on Crypto’


  • Standard Power is set to mine Bitcoin in a nuclear power plant in Ohio.
  • The carbon-free mining operation will be set up in an abandoned paper mill, likely to ward off environmental concerns of regulators.
  • Anhui province in China plans to shut down all crypto mining projects in the next three years.

A climate-friendly agreement between Energy Harbor Corp. and Standard Power will bring clean Bitcoin mining to North America. Meanwhile, China's crackdown on crypto mining farms continues in anticipation of a future power shortage. 

A nuclear-powered Bitcoin mining farm

Energy Harbor Corp, a leading retail energy provider has announced a five-year partnership with Bitcoin mining hosting provider Standard Power. The plan is to provide reliable carbon-free electricity to a new center in Coshocton, Ohio. Operations are expected to start in December 2021. 

An abandoned paper mill will be turned into a state-of-the-art facility to enable the two companies to achieve their objective of green, sustainable, and locally generated electricity for mining. 

The emphasis is on ‘green’ since the University of Cambridge’s Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index puts the Bitcoin economy on par with carbon dioxide emissions of developing countries like Sri Lanka and Jordan. Scholars estimate that BTC's annualized energy consumption is at roughly 69.85 TWh. 

Chinese environmental concerns

According to the Cambridge University, China’s Bitcoin mining operations represented 36% of the network’s hashrate. This is set to drop as China shuts down mining operations. The demand for electricity stoked a surge in illicit coal extraction and undermined President Xi Jinping’s environmental goals, this became a burning issue. 

It is not easy to disentangle Bitcoin mining and its impact on China’s coal consumption, however, Chinese authorities have unearthed direct links between crypto and coal in mining hotspots Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia. 

Next on Beijing’s list is the Anhui province in eastern China. All mining projects within this province will be shut down in the next three years as authorities believe that there will be a large supply guarantee gap if mining operations were to continue. 

In response to this crackdown, Chinese miners are rapidly moving their operations overseas and North America has emerged as a hub for them with its carbon zero farms. Miners in this area currently account for 8% of the global hashrate, followed closely by miners in Russia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia and Iran. 

The number is expected to go up as energy retailers are eyeing renewable mining projects in the area. With environmental concerns out of the way, Bitcoin adoption is likely to increase in the future.

 

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