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Bitcoiner waving environmentally friendly Bona Fides bet on premium

(Bloomberg) – Bitcoin’s dark side has been glossed over for years. Elon Musk changed that with a tweet. And with that, the Chief Executive Officer of Tesla Inc. opened up a new market opportunity for crypto miners expressing their environmentally friendly credentials. Some are working to sell what they call green bitcoin – coins whose transactions on the blockchain are verified by computers powered only by renewable energy. The bet is that they can get a premium of up to 10%. “There’s a market that doesn’t know yet,” said Sheldon Bennett, CEO of Crypto Miner DMG Blockchain Solutions Inc. His company has had discussions with “several banks and financial institutions” who want to buy bitcoins to meet the increasing demand for the environment – to satisfy social and corporate governance compliance, he said. “More and more they say that if there is an option, I’ll be willing to pay a premium to get it.” The corporate world has increasingly focused on environmental concerns in recent years – or at least on apparently caring about green issues. With the relocation, investors are keen to move on to renewable energy as the next big thing. Companies in all sectors are committed to reducing their CO2 emissions. And the Biden government has set strict carbon targets and promised to finance new green technologies. Even before Musk helped rifle the crypto world with his tweet that Tesla would no longer accept Bitcoin as a form of payment, industry participants were scrambling to address the green backlash. In addition to the mining pool, which specifically focuses on the use of renewable energies, DMG recently joined the Crypto Climate Accord, a private sector initiative to decarbonise the crypto industry by 2030. The group was inspired by the Paris Climate Agreement. The idea of ​​paying a premium on green bitcoin may not be such a stretch, considering that coins that don’t do energy-intensive mining – like Cardano and Polkadot – actually saw a brief rally after Musk’s comments when Bitcoin fell. The protocols they use to secure their networks and process transactions use less power than the system that supports Bitcoin. A growing number of companies in the crypto industry are aware of the danger of being labeled non-green, said Isaac Maze-Rothstein, a study analyst at Wood Mackenzie.Intense Competition “There are a number of miners who have seen what with happened to the coal industry, ”he said. “So you only pursue a project if it is negative for CO2. There are others who want to get together with the wind or the sun. “Miners’ willingness to bear potentially higher environmental costs can of course depend on the price of Bitcoin. If the going gets tough, many green miners could be forced to change their game and get lower costs and dirtier energy instead, said Christopher Bendiksen, head of research at CoinShares, a provider of digital asset investment services mining is very profitable, “said Bendiksen. “And these periods of hyperprofitability don’t last forever. When the cost of mining approaches the Bitcoin price again, the cost matters. Bitcoin mining is completely ruthless and you are up against miners who are in different countries than you and they don’t necessarily care about the environment like you do. It’s pretty dangerous to your competitiveness over time. “Today, according to Bendiksen estimates, only between 55% and 65% of all Bitcoin mining is powered by renewable energies. About 50% of all Bitcoin products are mined in China, some regions of which rely on cheap coal. Some of it is mined in Kazakhstan and Iran, using dirty energy as well. Ironically, some Bitcoin miners who label themselves green have managed to get low energy bills that can help them weather downturns – by buying old coal-fired power plants. While the term green miners may raise some eyebrows, the strategy seems to be increasingly in use. Greenidge Generation Holdings is mining a dormant coal-fired power plant in New York that has been converted to natural gas. Starting in June, the company will buy carbon offset credits in order to be climate neutral. Elsewhere, Stronghold Digital Mining Inc. owns a facility in Scrubgrass Township, Pennsylvania that runs on waste coal. The state has about 700 stacks – some containing up to 10 million tons – of carbonaceous waste left over from steelmaking. Stronghold is paid by the state to clean up the stakes that are burned to generate energy – some for Bitcoin mining. “We don’t know anyone who has lower electricity bills than we do,” said Greg Beard, CEO of Stronghold Others seek more innovative methods. A company called Gather Minen Crypto takes advantage of the wasted processing power of computers used by people who visit websites that the company works with. While users are streaming a video or reading the news on a website that works with Gather, the company will be mining crypto: “You’re not building massive new server farms in Iceland or Alaska, you’re just using the wasted resources they’re already using electricity,” said Raghav “Reggie” Jerath, CEO of Gather, who founded the company in 2018 Texas this week unveiled a comprehensive plan to focus more on clean energy and expand into crypto mining. Based in Woodlands, Texas, the company owns a mix of natural gas, coal, nuclear and solar assets. For Gryphon Digital Mining, one of the cheapest and longest-running power sources is just the ticket. Gryphon, which is slated to begin mining in August, plans to operate 100% hydropower at a facility in New York State. “We are committed to the ESG,” said Rob Chang, CEO of Gryphon. “We will only deal with renewable energies. We’re not going to do the financial gymnastics that others do. “(Update table.) More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com. Sign up now to stay up to date with the most trusted business news source. © 2021 Bloomberg LP


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