Time and again, Bitcoin has garnered criticism for using the Proof of Work consensus mechanism. Contrary to the Proof of Stake concept, Proof of Work based protocols tend to consume more energy.
Now, a recent video from the World Economic Forum [WEF] showed the facilities and technology employed by a crypto-mining firm. It indicated that its operations were the “biggest winner” for the environment. However, in the video, it never actually mentioned that it was mining Bitcoin or crypto. Chase Lochmiller, the CEO and co-founder of Crusoe Energy, said in the video that it builds and operates “modular data centers” that are parallel to waste energy sources. Such a setup helps in using wasted methane streams to generate power. Elaborating on the same, Lochmiller added,
“By doing that, not only do we create a massive energy reduction from this previously wasted source of energy, but we can also produce ultra-low-cost computing infrastructure by harnessing this otherwise stranded form of energy.”
The World Economic Forum video encouraged efforts toward reducing ‘flaring’ by Lochmiller’s firm. Here, it is worth noting that Crusoe is a Colorado-based Bitcoin mining company.
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The Bitcoin community reacts
Throughout the video, images and clips of what seemed to be Bitcoin and crypto mining facilities were showcased. Nevertheless, the video failed to directly use the ‘B’ or ‘C’ word, nor did it address what is actually happening explicitly. Several from the community were quick to point this out. Kristine Cranley, Director of Business Development at the Texas Blockchain Council, tweeted,
MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor, on the other hand, said that “even the WEF is recognizing the environmental benefits of Bitcoin Mining.”
Leaving aside the community debate about Bitcoin’s energy consumption, it is worth noting that a recent research paper acknowledged that Bitcoin mining is sustainable and helps in decarbonizing energy grids. According to the findings of the paper,
“Bitcoin is indeed a network displaying a high electricity consumption. Nevertheless, this does not necessarily entail an equally high carbon footprint that is permanently sustained.“
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