The cryptocurrency mining industry gets a lot of attention lately. Its perceived energy usage remains a topic of substantial debate. Icelandic farmers may have come up with a viable and sustainable solution in this regard. Several initiatives show how this business can be accommodated without any side effects.


A Different Take on Cryptocurrency Mining

The reports condemning cryptocurrency mining and its electricity use are growing in number. A lot of experts have different views on this business model and how it affects communities and even cities. In Iceland, several Bitcoin mining firms are in operation today. All of them rely on the country’s abundance of renewable energy. At the same time, even that approach may not be entirely sustainable.

To counter this problem, local farmers have come up with a new solution. Especially smaller operations can benefit from this approach in its current form. One small cryptocurrency mining operator pays neighboring farmers for their excess geothermal energy. Moreover, she installs the mining hardware to use excess power for other uses, such as heating. The conditions in Iceland are unique, as they allow for such business models to thrive.

The excess geothermal energy can be converted to electricity. With this electricity, her mining units can heat up stables and other storage spaces remaining empty otherwise. It is a business model which creates a win-win situation for all parties involved. For the mining operator, it removes any concerns regarding the scaling of her operation at her own farm. A very unorthodox business model which seems to work out quite well so far.

Scaling the Model Beyond Small Farms

This particular business model can be lucrative under the right conditions. However, it is not necessarily a concept which can be taken to the next level with ease. There are plenty of farms with geothermal energy across Iceland, but not every owner will approve the idea of having a cryptocurrency mining operation generate heat on their premises.

Convincing farmers is still an issue, even for this small mining operation. Installing strange and noisy machines in their barns is a very alien concept. A lot of people are still unfamiliar with cryptocurrency mining despite its popularity growing significantly. At the same time, those who take advantage of the opportunity appear to be happy with the business deal. How long this “peaceful” situation remains in place, is unclear.

Ventures like these show cryptocurrency mining is an evolving industry. Rather than disrupting power grids, enthusiasts and companies are looking for more sustainable solutions. Conditions in Iceland are unique in this regard, which allows for out-of-the-box thinking. Solving cryptocurrency’s ecological “problems” will not happen overnight. Even so, it is not the most harmful mining industry in the world today.

Do you think that this solution can be scaled to work for larger crypto mining operations? Let us know in the comments below.

This post is credited to livebitcoinnews

This week, the grand opening of the largest bitcoin farm in the world was overshadowed by a threat from the city that they would be temporarily shut down in case of a heat wave. BitFury and Hut 8 set up the mining farm in Medicine Hat, Canada with the expectation that they would be welcome in a region that is known as a top energy producer.

Over $100 million has been invested in the giant mining operation, with 56 shipping containers spread over a 4.5 hectare plot. The bitcoin farm consumes roughly the same amount of electricity as the entire Medicine Hat City, which is home to over 60,000 people, generating 20 bitcoins a day in the process.

Despite the heat wave caveat, Medicine Hat mayor Ted Clugston seemed generally welcome to crypto in an interview given at the mining farm on Monday. Clugson admitted that he knows very little about cryptocurrency, but said that he was happy to sell BitFury and Hut 8 electricity. Still, he feels that the industry is nonessential, and will be the first to get cut off in cases of emergency or scarcity.

Andrew Kiguel, CEO of Hut 8 said that people who have lost faith in traditional banking institutions see crypto as an extremely valuable tool. Kiguel stated:

Bitcoin was created during the financial crisis. It has really served a purpose in terms of providing the opportunity for people who don’t necessarily trust their government or their central banks.

Andrew Kiguel

The mayor has received pressure from groups concerned about the amount of energy that the bitcoin farm would use. However, there are many misconceptions behind fears of cryptocurrency representing an environmental danger. For years, well-intentioned but misguided environmental groups like Greenpeace have criticized bitcoin miners for consuming more energy than 159 countries.

Critics argue that cryptocurrency mining operations could make better efforts to use sustainable energy sources, however, proponents of the technology insist the energy consumption is smaller than traditional banking and credit card companies. It has even been calculated that Bitcoin mining uses less electricity annually than seasonal Christmas lights.

As CryptoGlobe recently reported, Bitfury, one of the companies behind the mining farm, revealed a new ASIC chip that they touted as being, “unparalleled in performance and efficiency.”

Cryptocurrency advocates say that the temporary shutdown of even a large bitcoin mining operation such as Medicine Hat would have a minimal impact on the network, because it comprises a very small portion of the global distributed hashrate.

This post is credited to cryptoglobe