Greenidge Commits to Being 100% Carbon Neutral for Its Bitcoin Mining Facility Starting June 2021

Greenidge Generation Holdings Inc. has announced that it will offset all greenhouse gas emissions from its Bitcoin mining facility through a portfolio of fully accredited offset credits, beginning June 1st.

The company has said that it will conduct an entirely carbon neutral Bitcoin mining operation at its powerplant-cryptocurrency mining hybrid facility in Upstate New York. The company’s announcement comes at a time when Tesla automaker and Square payment company announced that they will not make future Bitcoin purchases, citing environmental concerns associated with crypto mining. 

Greenidge has said it will buy voluntary carbon offsets from a selection of U.S greenhouse gas reduction projects. The company mentioned that each project has been reviewed and credited by one of three well-known Offset Project Registries, Verra, the Climate Action Reserve (CAR), and the American Carbon Registry (ACR), ensuring that any project funded by Greenidge minimizes emission or increases sequestration of greenhouse gas in a manner that is verifiable, real, and permanent.

Apart from offsetting 100% of its carbon emissions from its Bitcoin mining, Greenidge also plans to invest in a portion of its mining profits in renewable energy projects. The firm is actively considering direct financing of alternative green energy sources in New York and other locations across the country.

Greenidge also stated that it will continue participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a market-based program in which participating states sell CO2 allowance through auctions and invest profits in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and other consumer benefits programs to generate local green jobs and encourage innovation in the clean energy economy. According to the report, the company buys RGGI allowances every year to cover 100% of its CO2 emitted from power generation and it has been doing so since it started gas-fired operations in 2017.

Bitcoin Mining Worries Many

As institutional and retail investors continue adopting Bitcoin, one concern that has emerged is its connection to energy and environmental issues. Experts argue that the crypto strains the environment because of all the energy it takes to mine a single Bitcoin. The amount of electricity used daily to mine Bitcoin has been identified to be more than electricity used by entire countries such as Ireland.

Some Tesla investors and environmentalists have been increasingly critical about the manner in which Bitcoin is mined using huge amounts of electricity generated from fossil fuels.

On Wednesday, May 12, Bitcoin’s price dropped by 10% after Elon Musk announced that Tesla has suspended the use of cryptocurrency as a payment method, less than two months after the electric vehicle manufacturer started accepting Bitcoin for payment. Musk cited the energy concern, especially the use of “coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel.”

Earlier this month, a bill was introduced in the New York State Senate to stop Bitcoin mining until the state assesses its impacts on the environment.

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UK’s Argo Blockchain Buys 320 Acres in Texas to Build Bitcoin Mining Facility

Global crypto mining firm Argo Blockchain announced its plans to establish a crypto mining facility in West Texas.

The crypto mining company listed on the London Stock Exchange revealed that it has acquired a 320-acre plot of land in west Texas, which gives the company access to up to 800-megawatts of electrical power. The company has revealed plans to build its new energy-efficient 200mw mining facility over the next 12 months. The purchase is a result of Argo’s acquisition of New York firm DPN LLC.

Argo’s purchase of land in Texas not only gives the company greater control over its mining operations but also the ability to meaningfully expand its mining capacity on a large scale. Peter Wall, the CEO of Argo Blockchain, said: “We now have access to some of what we believe is the cheapest renewable energy worldwide, in a location where innovation in new technologies is encouraged and incentivized.”

Argo is the latest crypto mining firm seeking to build a facility in the Lone Star State (Texas). In the previous few years, a rising number of crypto mining firms have moved to the Lone Star State, attracted by cheap electricity from the state’s abundance of wind power and natural gas energy. The state has more than 33 GW of wind power capacity – the highest number in the US – mainly located in West Texas.

In 2019, Bitmain Chinese cryptocurrency mining giant launched a shop in Rockdale, a small town in East Texas. During the same year, German crypto company Northern Data AG began constructing what it said would become the world’s largest Bitcoin mining facility on an area of 100 acres. Last year, Peter Thiel-backed Bitcoin mining startup Layer1 started crypto mining at its West Texas facility.

Suitable regulatory environment and cheap electricity are two of the most important factors that make Texas a new attractive territory for Bitcoin mining. The abundance of natural gas and wind energy boom makes Texas one of the most attractive places for crypto mining. Texas is becoming one of the most favoured jurisdictions in the US for blockchain innovation and investment, joining the likes of other crypto-friendly states like Arizona and Wyoming.

Argo Heavily Investing in Blockchain Infrastructure

The current Argo’s moves come at a time when the crypto mining firm is heavily investing in its mining infrastructure and this explains why its crypto mining production has significantly increased. The firm recently announced that it has achieved another high operating mining profits and revenue last month. The company mined 129 Bitcoins in the month of February compared to 93 Bitcoins in January. This brings the total amount of Bitcoin mined year-to-date to 222 Bitcoins. At the end of February, the company held a total of 599 Bitcoins.

In February, the company’s mining revenue amounted to $6.04 million compared to $3.46 million in January 2021. The firm recently installed an additional 4,500 Bitmain Antminer S19 and S19 pro miners procured from Celsius Network blockchain company. The company also announced that as of March 1, 2021, it started paying its CEO’s salary in Bitcoin and other employees given the crypto salary option as well.

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