White House Crypto Mining Report: “Bitcoin Mining Can Be Good for the Environment
Even though the White House has a strict policy on cryptocurrency mining, it agrees that Bitcoin mining might be good for the environment. The official report states that distributed ledger technologies might help regulate climate change.
Distributed Ledger Technologies May Help with Climate Monitoring or Mitigation
Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) have no central database but communicate peer-to-peer. Therefore, Bitcoin is a DLT. The question is, how can Bitcoin mining help in environmental protection yet uses an algorithm that consumes a lot of energy?
Bitcoin Mining, Methane, and Orphaned Wells
According to David Potter, the answer is methane combustion and orphaned wells. David Potter, CEO and Co-founder of the Satoshi Act Fund, believes that Bitcoin mining is the answer to methane pollution from neglected oil mines.
“..mining operations that capture vented methane to produce electricity can yield positive results for the climate.”
America has about 10 million neglected oil mines. According to EPA, the global Environmental Protection Agency, the mines generate 50 million barrels of oil annually. During mining, the wells release methane and other toxic gases into the atmosphere. The companies regulate this pollution for a while, but after the wells dry, they neglect the mines. These orphaned mines become a global catastrophe with continuous pollution. The government has had a challenge in trying to reduce methane pollution.
With 10 million oil mines, the government has no clear plan to reduce pollution. Due to the increase in global warming, the American government has to act fast to secure these mines. Methane is a colorless and orderless gas that consists of hydrogen and carbon. Despite having natural components, it is a greenhouse gas that causes global warming. According to EPA, methane is 80 times more toxic than carbon dioxide (CO2).
To eliminate methane, you must convert it to a safer form of gas, Carbon dioxide, through combustion. The combustion process involves flaring, which generates electricity. Because Bitcoin miners need electricity and the American government has no clear plan to eliminate methane, Bitcoin mining is the only option available. An advantage is that the miners will secure the mines after using them. The American government should recruit Bitcoin miners and allow them access to orphaned oil mines. The miners can generate the electricity needed by methane combustion.
Reactions to This Realization: Bitcoin Mining Can Be Good for the Environment.
David Potter was excited about this information. He even took to Twitter to say that the white house coming into an agreement that Bitcoin mining can help reduce pollution reaffirms the goals that he and many other individuals in the Satoshi Act Fund have been working towards. By converting methane to carbon dioxide (CO2), the miners will have enough energy to generate electricity. It will be a win-win for both parties.
“The efforts underway from our work will help miners go after stranded methane worldwide. We must unlock this energy source and allow #Bitcoin mining to begin removing more emissions than it produces.”
Are the possibilities of Bitcoin mining eliminating methane pollution possible? Today, everything is possible. Everyone thought Proof of Stake was impossible until Vitalik Buterin made it possible. Therefore, nothing is impossible. Bitcoin’s Proof of Work mechanisms might as well be an answer to methane gas pollution.