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How Bitcoin Mining Helps The Environment

How Bitcoin Mining Helps The Environment
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Bitcoin mining is often thought of as disastrous to the environment. However, this is not always the case. In fact, Bitcoin mining can actually help the environment in certain cases. 

Sure, it’s not always the case that it helps the environment, but it does happen enough that it warrants some mention to counter all the negative press about Bitcoin being terrible for the environment. 

Well that in mind, this article will cover how Bitcoin mining can actually help the environment. 

5 Ways Bitcoin Mining Helps The Environment

As mentioned earlier, this section will cover how Bitcoin mining can help the environment. We do admit that this is not always the case. Again, this article is meant to highlight points about how Bitcoin mining is not nearly as terrible as Bitcoin detractors like to claim.

It Provides Heat in Cold Environments

The first way that Bitcoin mining can help the environment is that the operation of large Bitcoin mining operations gives off a lot of heat. 

In hot climates, this can be problematic because air conditioning must be used to prevent the rigs from overheating. However, in colder environments the rigs actually provide enough heat that external heat is not required. 

So, how does this help the environment?

Heat is often generated by burning natural gas, which releases carbon dioxide into the environment. That is obviously not required on a large enough Bitcoin mining operation because of the heat generated by the mining rigs. 

This is further compounded by the use of renewable energy sources (ie. hydropower) to power the Bitcoin mining operation. The use of renewable energy sources to power a Bitcoin mining operation combined with the mine being located in a cold climate makes the impact on the environment very low. 

Additionally, most Bitcoin mines are located in colder climates because the electricity costs are significantly lower because external cooling is not required to keep the rigs cold.

Bitcoin Mining is Distributed Across The World

Next, Bitcoin mining is distributed across the world. This helps the environment because no single location has a big enough Bitcoin mine to cause any major environmental impacts in a single location. 

Does this mean that Bitcoin is good for the environment in locations where mines exist?

No, it still stresses the power grid. Our point is that it’s better for the environment to have 100 Bitcoin mines spread out across 5 continents rather than having 100 Bitcoin mines in a single city. 

The reason it’s better is simple – the environment can more easily absorb the negatives of a single Bitcoin mine than it can a concentrated area full of Bitcoin. It’s a similar concept to a single factory in a location not being as bad for the environment as 100 factories in a single economic zone.

Old Mining Rigs Are Recycled

Another important aspect of Bitcoin mining is that those old mining rigs are recycled. Remember, these mining rigs are computers. And computers have a large amount of rare earth metals that can be recycled. 

We won’t say this helps the environment. But it does reduce the environmental impact that these mining rigs have on the environment because they can, in fact, be recycled.

Old Buildings Can Be Repurposed

An often overlooked part of Bitcoin mining is that these mining rigs still must be housed in buildings. Most people assume that these buildings are simply warehouses. 

And that is often the case, but it is not always the case. 

Now, it’s difficult to find exact data on this because owners of Bitcoin mines tend to keep that information private for fairly obvious reasons. 

Remember, there are a lot of shopping malls and other empty buildings due to the shift from brick and mortar business to eCommerce. Tearing down those buildings has a big impact on the environment due to all the waste, dust, and toxic chemicals released such as asbestos. 

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What if those buildings could be repurposed into Bitcoin mining farms?

It would prevent even more warehouses from being constructed. And it would prevent the buildings from being torn down. 

We are sure this already happens in places like China with a large amount of empty, ghost cities. As mentioned earlier, the exact location of Bitcoin mines is usually kept quiet for security purposes. But next time you see a seemingly abandoned commercial building remember that it could be housing the computers that help power the Bitcoin network. 

The Economic Benefits Help The Climate

Finally, the economic benefits of Bitcoin will help the climate in a sort of roundabout way. Hear us out on this one because it makes sense. 

What is the leading cause of environmental problems?

Lack of education about the environment due to poverty. In other words, poverty is a huge cause of environmental pollution.

Now, what is something that has the potential to lift a large amount of people out of poverty?

Cryptocurrency in general. And Bitcoin specifically. 

It’s important to remember that Bitcoin mining is used to power the blockchain, so all that mining has the potential to pull much more people out of poverty than the relatively minor impact that mining has on the environment. 

Bitcoin Is Not That Harmful To The Environment

Another important point to add is that Bitcoin mining is not nearly as harmful to the environment as detractors like to claim. Does it have some negative impact on the environment?

Of course, but it’s important to put this environmental impact into context. Every payment processor has some impact on the environment. Those Visa datacenters still require electricity to power them.

The same applies to the physical printing of fiat currency, especially paper notes because those wear out much faster than coins. 

Coins do require physical mining of the metals, though. And physical mining has huge environmental impacts other than just extra electricity costs. 

Have you ever seen a quarry?

Those mines make entire areas of land unusable. Not to mention that toxic chemicals can leak out from the mine.

Our point with this is that, yes, Bitcoin mining does have some impact on the environment. But every single other form of currency will impact the environment. 

The progress of renewable energy and countries moving away from coal powered energy will make the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining relatively minor in the years to come.

Just think, how does Bitcoin mining really impact the environment?

It uses a lot of electricity, which often comes from burning coal at a power station. Other than that, the impact on the environment. The mines are usually in warehouses in industrial zones, so the infrastructure already exists there.

Summary

In summary, the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining is greatly overblown by naysayers. We will not even mention that many of those pushing this “Bitcoin mining harms the environment” narrative have a vested interest in the failure of Bitcoin, and will reach at straws to try and make Bitcoin fail. 

The conclusion of all this?

Bitcoin mining does not really have that much of an impact on the environment. The only real impact comes from Bitcoin mines located in areas that rely on coal for electricity. But once coal powered electricity becomes irrelevant, then the environment impact of Bitcoin will be practically non-existent. 

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