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 Brrr, Crypto Winter 

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BTC uptime since 2014: 100%!

Bundle up, Crypto Winter is here

The Bitcoin bears have been rampaging, clearly, and the entire cryptosphere is still down by 50% or more from the previous peak. Whilst this is likely to change with a vengeance once the highly-anticipated Bitcoin ETF filings get approved and the next halvening kicks in, instead of elaborating on this possible ATH, let's zoom in on another development, one that has been going on almost imperceptibly: The role played by Bitcoin mining on the quest for a more sustainable world.

Bitcoin mining has been a topic of hot debate for years, with many people condemning its environmental impact. However, recent studies by KPMG, MIT and Cambridge University have come to the conclusion that rather than being a polluter, Bitcoin and Bitcoin mining are on the way to becoming a net benefit to the world's need to become more sustainable.

According to KPMG's report, Bitcoin can serve a number of ESG functions—from stabilizing power grids and driving investment in renewables to monetizing stranded energy and capturing methane. The report also challenges conventional wisdom on Wall Street with a provocative thesis: "Bitcoin appears to provide a number of benefits across an ESG framework". Additionally, the research from Cambridge University reveals that bitcoin’s current environmental impact is much smaller than previously thought.

Green Bitcoin?

One of the ways in which Bitcoin mining is helping to promote sustainability is by using energy derived from otherwise wasteful flaring. Flaring is a process used by oil companies to burn off natural gas that occurs as a by-product of the processes taking place at petrochemical plants. The problem is that the gas, methane, a powerful greenhouse hydrocarbon, oftentimes isn't the plant's target product. In many cases, it's not energy-dense enough to warrant further treatment. Disposing of the gas is the most cost-effective option.

Now, rather than just venting this powerful greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, it's flared instead, basically ignited and burned off 24/7 as the towering flames that can be seen at many refineries. By capturing this otherwise discarded source of energy it can be used to mine Bitcoin. In other words, the waste methane is converted to monetary returns.

An even more beneficial way in which Bitcoin mining is aiding sustainability is by tapping into fossil fuel wells that have been abandoned due to their yields no longer being profitable for their prospectors. The fuels these uncapped wells subsequently continuously discharge into the atmosphere can, however, be harvested by Bitcoin miners, who, as part of the arrangement with the local governments, seal up these leaky wells once they're done.

Energy Sponge

Bitcoin miners also help to stabilize power grids and prevent blackouts due to demand/supply imbalances. This happens, for instance, when the wind and sun components of energy production are high enough for extreme energy surpluses to occur.

In Texas, for instance, Bitcoin miners are used to absorb excess power during very windy, very sunny days. Without the miners in the loop, this excess energy would have nowhere to go and, in fact, usually ends up being stored at prohibitive cost. However, by enabling Bitcoin miners to mop up this excess power, the problem is eliminated. Conversely, during peak demand, Bitcoin miners are simply switched off, lowering electricity rates for households.

Bitcoin miners are uniquely able to be used for this purpose, because switching their ASICS on and off isn't only a quick, easy process, but it also has no detrimental effects on the hardware.

One of the positive spillovers of the benefits provided by Bitcoin mining is that alternative energy sources have started receiving higher investment allocations. The consensus being that with Bitcoin mining as a stabilizer, solar and wind energy sources are no longer subject to extreme supply/demand fluctuations. The result? Shorter timelines to profits for investors.

Changing Seasons

Bitcoin mining is playing an increasingly important role in global efforts to become greener. Going forward, this will, in all likelihood, have a commensurate effect on Bitcoin's value. Add the potential for several ETFs coming online at about the same time the stimulating effects of the next halvening kicks in and it's fair to say that toastier times are at the horizon.



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Disclaimer
I wrote the above article myself and it expresses my own personal opinions and views on Bitcoin. I am unable to guarantee that the information and/or results will be correct. Furthermore, whilst I own some cryptocurrencies, I do not receive compensation for my writing and I have no business relationship with any of the companies mentioned in above article. In addition, I am not an investment advisor and above article is for purely informational purposes. Investors are advised to personally undertake adequate due diligence, or to consult a financial advisor in order to determine what assets - if any - are appropriate to invest in.

Bryan
Bryan, a Singapore PR, has spent two separate stints in Singapore, spanning close to two decades. As is the case for most non-techies, although Bryan's first exposure to Bitcoin was around 2010, it wasn't love at first sight. However, Bitcoin's impressive resilience, meteoric rise and world-changing potential have converted Bryan, to the extent that he has now pivoted to fully commit to Bitcoin.

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