A lake in New York City is warmer than normal, and the cause is a local bitcoin mining. This is what the residents in the region of Seneca Lake say, at least. "it is so hot that you can sit back and enjoy it as if it were hot springs." .
According to an NBC report, Atlas Holdings, an investment firm, is responsible for mining Bitcoin, which is operated by Greenidge Generation LLC. The mining company works from a power plant and, by burning fossil fuels, generates electricity to power the 8,000 mining computers and has been installed in the region for a year and a half.
“Burning fossil fuel amid climate change to make fake money is ridiculous,” says Yvone Taylor, Lake Seneca's “forest ranger”. With thousands of computers running at full load 24 hours a day, an enormous amount of power is generated, further contributing to increased pollution.
A study by the University of Cambridge indicates that the energy consumed by miners around the world is equivalent to what Argentina needs for electricity in a year. When it comes to that amount of energy from fossil fuels, the increase in carbon emissions is significant, according to NBC. And we are only talking about a single mining station of the many that exist around the world.
A representative from investor Atlas Holdings said the company "takes responsibility to protect the environment and support local communities seriously and will continue to strive to meet the highest standards." Greenidge Miner CEO Jeff Kirt said "the power plant's environmental impact has never been better than it is now . " The company had already committed to eliminating carbon emissions and promised to stop using natural gas.
The water from the lake cools the 8,000 machines that are used to extract Bitcoin in the gas plant located in the Finger Lakes of New York. According to documents obtained by NBC, Greenidge's current permit allows him to drink 500 million liters of water daily, at temperatures of up to 42 degrees Fahrenheit in summer and 30 degrees in winter. The permit must be renewed in September.
The company claims that water temperatures are in the middle of these levels, but local residents disagree. According to NBC, despite their efforts, a full thermal study has not been produced and will not be done until 2023.
Returning to the study of the University of Cambridge, it is worth highlighting some curiosities:
- The amount of power generated by powered but idle electronic devices in US homes could power the Bitcoin network for 3.3 years.
- The energy consumed by mining Bitcoin in one year could boil water in kettles for the English for 15 years or 2.3 years for the whole of Europe.
- The Bitcoin network consumes enough energy in one year to supply the University of Cambridge for 382 years.