popularity Cryptocurrency Over the past few years, so have concerns about the environmental impacts of mining. In the United States, a massive cryptocurrency mining operation is causing controversy, with dire consequences for the local ecosystem and turning the glacial lake into a “jacuzzi”.
Located on the outskirts of Seneca Lake in New York, the Greenedge plant was once a power plant. However, in 2019, it converted to cryptocurrency, as it now has 8,000 miners from Bitcoin, operating continuously, fueled by burning natural gas.
According to data provided by NBC News, in December 2020, when the plant was operating at just 13% of its full capacity, mining operations produced 243,103 tons of carbon dioxide: 10 times more than the amount produced earlier that year. Nitrogen oxide emissions also increased 10 times over the same period.
In addition, to cool the machines, the plant has a license to use more than 526 liters of water from Seneca Lake per day, with another 511 liters poured into it, with temperatures above 42 degrees in summer and more than 30 in winter. This practice causes the lake’s water temperature to increase dramatically, endangering the existing ecosystem and promoting the appearance of toxic algae.
Greenidge Generation, the company that operates the plant owned by Atlas Holdings, a private company, aims to install more mining machines and expand its operations by converting other sites into factories.
However, New Yorkers are vehemently opposed to these processes, and even in early July they staged a protest in front of an office of the Department of Environmental Conservation, the government regulator responsible for environmental affairs, in Nova York. A NBC News.
Recall that according to a study conducted by the University of Cambridge, global bitcoin mining operations It already consumes more energy than the whole of Argentina. The latest figures show that the process consumes 121.36 TWh of electricity. Consumption is equivalent to 0.5% of the total energy produced annually on the planet.