Bitcoin Miners Say Energy Efficiency and Regulatory Certainty Are Crucial for the Industry’s Success

Bitcoin Miners Say Energy Efficiency and Regulatory Certainty Are Crucial for the Industry’s Success

Bitcoin mining is frequently chastised for its high energy use, but significant players in the sector are working to improve efficiency and sustainability while seeking legal certainty. Some of the world’s greatest crypto miners hit the stage in a darkly lit room at the FTX and SALT’s Crypto Bahamas event to debate the future of the small but expanding sector in the “Crypto Mining: Maximizing Efficiency and Sustainability” discussion.

According to Marco Streng, CEO and co-founder of Genesis Digital Assets, crypto miners are looking to improve their market through efforts ranging from improving hashrate efficiency, which is the amount of power required for a machine to produce a bitcoin, to data mining centers becoming more specialized and optimized for lower energy consumption. According to a research by the Bitcoin Mining Council, bitcoin mining computers are 58 times more efficient than they were eight years ago. Mike Levitt, co-chairman, co-founder, and CEO of Core Scientific, noted that in addition to machines being more efficient, the engineering of facilities and power sources has gotten much more efficient, which boosts the productivity of every individual bitcoin mining computer.

Some mines are even transforming extra heat into nearly 100 percent heat-generated energy, which would otherwise be squandered but is instead converted into energy, according to Streng. “It’s obvious now that miners are gravitating toward renewable energy,” Streng added. According to a graphic from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a research site financed by the US Department of Energy and UC Berkeley, around 65 percent of the energy generated and utilized in the US was lost in 2021. 

Miners, according to Streng, can help solve the problem of wasted energy. Hut 8’s CEO, Jaime Leverton, concurred.  “We essentially operate as a stabilizer by collaborating with a local power grid,” Leverton explained. According to Brian Brooks, CEO of Bitfury, the amount of energy required to manufacture $1 billion worth of value for Bitcoin is much less than that required to produce $1 billion worth of value for an airplane.

All of the panelists agreed that the lack of regulatory certainty is currently affecting the crypto mining business. “We think the speed of innovation should pick up if we obtain [regulation] because we’ll know the rules of the game,” Levitt said. “Hardware efficiency has greatly increased, as has power provision efficiency, and free markets have prompted us to be aware of how we deliver electricity in the most efficient manner.”