Mining is one of the ways to own cryptocurrency. Miners solve complex equations and verify cryptocurrency transactions as valid. Once miners complete the job, the transactions are locked into blockchains. A fraction of the transaction is received as fee by miners. For cryptocurrency mining, fast and high power consuming computers are required.
Following China’s crackdown on cryptocurrency mining, the United States have become the preferred destination for miners. Reports indicate that over one third of Bitcoin mining network’s computing power is located in the United States.
Energy consumption in bitcoin mining
Various reports have raised concerns about high energy consumption in bitcoin mining. It is estimated that bitcoin mining constitutes 0.5% of global energy consumption at present. Bitcoin mining consumes seven times more power than Google. The rising popularity of bitcoin is likely to be an environmental concern in the future.
Ameren Corporation in the news
A news item has appeared that Ameren Corporation has set up a data center near its coal-fired power plant for mining Bitcoins. The critics have expressed apprehension that the move will increase demand for polluting coal-based power. The company maintains that it has used extra power generated by its coal-based power plant, Sioux Energy Center to do the Bitcoin mining. Ameren says that Bitcoin mining is aimed at improving the company’s operating efficiency. Ameren started Bitcoin mining in April 2021 but did not announce it publicly then.
A coal based power plant is a source of greenhouse gas emission. Environment activists consistently demand that coal based power plants must be phased out at the earliest