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Bitcoin-mining power plant raises ire of environmentalists

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One obstacle to large-scale Bitcoin mining is finding enough cheap power to power the huge, power-hungry computer arrays that create and process cryptocurrencies. A mining company in central New York developed a novel solution that alerted environmentalists. It uses its own power plant.

Greenidge Generation operates a once-decommissioned facility near the shores of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes area to produce approximately 44 megawatts to power 15,300 computer servers, plus additional power fed into the state’s power grid. The megawatts made available for Bitcoin could be enough to supply more than 35,000 households with electricity.

Proponents call it a competitive way to mine increasingly popular cryptocurrencies without putting a strain on the existing power grid.

Environmentalists see the plant as a threat to the climate.

They fear a wave of resurrected fossil fuel power plants that pump out greenhouse gases for private profit rather than public good. They see Greenidge as a test case and call on the state to refuse the renewal of the air quality permit of the plant and to put the brakes on similar projects.

“The current state of our climate requires measures to mine cryptocurrencies,” said Liz Moran of Earthjustice. “We are jeopardizing the ability of the state to achieve our climate goals and thereby setting the course for the rest of the country.”

The former coal-fired power station in a tourist region known for its glacial lakes and Riesling wines, was converted to natural gas by Greenidge and started producing electricity in 2017. The company said it was bringing “a piece of the world’s digital future” to New York state.

“For decades this region has been told that it would see new industries and opportunities,” Greenidge said in a prepared statement. “We’re actually making it happen, and entirely within the state’s leading high environmental standards.”

Bitcoin miners unlock bitcoins by solving complex, unique puzzles. As Bitcoin increases in value, the puzzles become more difficult and require more computer power to solve. Estimates of how much energy Bitcoin uses vary.

Greenidge said it had mined 729 bitcoins in the three months ended September 30. The value of the cryptocurrency fluctuates and on Friday one Bitcoin was worth over USD 59,000.

Opponents are frustrated that Greenidge applied to run a power plant but is now running a mine that uses more electricity from the power plant.

Greenidge says mining was not part of the plan when the plant came back online, noting that they continue to feed electricity into the grid. From January through June, Greenidge said it used 58% of its energy in mining.

Supporters see it as an economic boon in part of New York state that could use the help. Douglas Paddock, chairman of the Yates County Legislature, testified at a public hearing this week that the plant created 45 high-paying jobs and “made a significant contribution” to the area through tax payments and capital investments.

Some opposition to the facility is focused on the potential impact of its water withdrawals from Lake Seneca. But air quality issues were at the fore when the state Department of the Environment reviewed the plant’s air emissions permits.

Greenidge has stated that it is honoring its permits and that the facility is 100% carbon neutral thanks to the purchase of carbon offsets such as forest programs and projects to collect methane from landfills.

Opponents claim the facility is undermining the state’s efforts to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades under the 2019 Climate Change Act.

A grand coalition of environmental groups and other organizations this week called on Governor Kathy Hochul to deny Greenidge’s air permit and take similar measures to prevent an existing facility near Buffalo from becoming a mining site. The coalition wants Hochul to set a “national precedent” and enact a nationwide moratorium on the energy-intensive “proof-of-work” cryptocurrency used by Bitcoin miners.

Environmentalists estimate that there are 30 plants in New York that could be converted into mining operations.

“I really think this plant is above all an important test of whether the state’s climate law is really worth anything,” said Judith Enck, who served as the EPA’s regional northeastern US administrator under President Barack Obama.

Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have separately entrusted the Federal Environment Agency with the supervision.

There are other power plants across the country that are used for mining cryptocurrencies under various agreements.

In Venango County, Pennsylvania, a power plant is used to mine bitcoins, convert waste coal into electricity and feed electricity into the grid when needed. Stronghold Digital Mining plans to replicate this type of operation in two other Pennsylvania locations.

And in Montana, a coal-fired power plant is now supplying 100% of its energy to Marathon Digital Holdings for Bitcoin mining under a power purchase agreement.

“We had previously done what a lot of miners do, namely find an industrial building, set it up for mining and then get electricity from the grid,” said Marathon CEO Fred Thiel. “And we wanted to turn this model on its head because we knew that there are a lot of unused energy sources in the US.”

Thiel said the harmful emissions are low due to the quality of the coal and pollution, and that the facility will be CO2 compensated by the end of next year. He said his company is focused on the renewable energy transition and said cryptocurrency miners could provide crucial financial incentives for building more clean energy projects.

New York State has yet to make a decision on Greenidge’s permits.

Greenidge said that even when the facility is at full capacity, the potential emissions are equal to 0.23% of the federal target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for 2030.

However, State Environment Commissioner Basil Seggos tweeted last month that “Greenidge has failed to demonstrate compliance with the NY Climate Law,” based on the goals in that law.

“New York State is a leader in climate change,” Seggos said in a prepared statement, “and we have some major concerns about the role cryptocurrency mining could play in generating additional greenhouse gas emissions.”

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Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency providers at high risk of financial crime – FMA

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The Financial Market Authority has found that cryptocurrency service providers are at high risk of being targeted by money launderers and terrorist financiers.

Photo: 123RF

The industry received the rating in the FMA’s most recent sector risk assessment (SRA), in which various types of financial service providers were described with regard to illegal financial behavior.

The risk profile for the majority of the nine sectors supervised by the FMA has not changed since 2017.

However, Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) that enable cryptocurrency, token or crypto-asset transactions were added and received the highest risk rating.

“Since our last assessment, the risks of virtual assets, especially cryptocurrencies, have come to the fore,” said FMA supervisory director James Greig.

“Virtual assets allow for a higher level of anonymity and have a global reach, making cross-border payments easy.”

A sector risk rating was determined on the basis of its complexity, liquidity of the transactions and the anonymity granted to clients.

This included the size of the company, the type of products offered, their value, how products can be bought and sold, customer types and country risks.

Virtual Asset Service Providers, or VASPs, that enable cryptocurrency transactions were added to the list and received the highest risk rating.

Virtual Asset Service Providers, or VASPs, that enable cryptocurrency transactions were added to the list and received the highest risk rating.
Photo: Delivered

The FMA expects all reporting offices to familiarize themselves with the risks and weak points in connection with VASPs and virtual assets and, if necessary, to include them in the risk assessment.

The main regulatory agency of cryptocurrency service providers is the Department of Internal Affairs, with the FMA overseeing a very small number of VASPs.

The 2021 sector risk assessment also confirmed the high risks associated with derivative issuers.

This follows on from the recent measures taken by the FMA against a handful of companies that failed to meet their obligations to combat money laundering.

“Derivatives issuers are inherently high risk because their products are highly liquid, accounts are easy to open, and they can have many overseas clients in higher risk countries,” Greig said.

Greig also said the rapid growth of retail investment platforms meant they could be targeted by money launderers as their compliance with their anti-money laundering commitments may not have kept pace.

This became clear at the beginning of the year when the FMA informed the retail trading platform Sharesies of failing to verify the identity of almost 8,000 customers and of insufficient customer due diligence.

“These platforms are highly liquid, so large volumes of trade can take place without suspicion, and customers can quickly create online accounts without personal verification, which favors anonymity,” said Greig.

“While these platforms often have sophisticated systems for monitoring accounts, they need to collect sufficient information about the nature and purpose of the investment.”

The FMA expected all entities subject to the FMA reporting obligation to review the new SRA and update their own risk assessments accordingly and to take into account all new risks and findings, said Greig.

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Cryptocurrency ‘mainstream’ in Australia | Bega District News

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News, latest news

Cryptocurrency has become mainstream in Australia, and according to a survey by a leading exchange, more and more women are punted. More than a quarter (28.8 percent) say they own or have owned cryptocurrencies, according to the Independent Reserve Cryptocurrency Index (IRCI) 2021 published on Tuesday. The proportion of women who deal with cryptocurrencies has doubled this year from 10.3 percent to 20 percent. Despite the amazing volatility, most of those surveyed (89 percent) made or even broke money this year. Adrian Przelozny, CEO of the Independent Reserve, said the sector urgently needs regulation to provide more security for both investors and cryptocurrency companies. “Our IRCI results this year support this as 28.6 percent of Australians who currently do not own cryptocurrency tell us that if there was better consumer protection, they would invest,” he said. Now in its third year, the annual survey of over 2,000 people tracks awareness, acceptance, trust and trust in the cryptocurrency. 26.6 percent said they would buy crypto if regulation of the industry improved. “While Australian regulators and government agencies may have taken a while to delve into cryptocurrencies and other digital assets, the Australians themselves have moved faster and we really see crypto as an asset class from the edge of the mainstream over the past year,” said Przelozny. According to the survey, Bitcoin remains the most famous and popular cryptocurrency ahead of Ethereum. The age group of 24 to 34 year olds trusted crypto the most. 27.6 percent said they shopped to get rich while people over 65 years of age said they did shopping to get rich Stay skeptical. The latest data from the Australian Tax Service shows that more than 800,000 people are making transactions in cryptocurrency. The Independent Reserve cryptocurrency exchange was developed and established in Australia in 2013 and is now licensed in Singapore. Australian Associated Press

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December 7, 2021 – 10:16 a.m.

Cryptocurrency has become mainstream in Australia, and according to a survey by a leading exchange, more and more women are punted.

More than a quarter (28.8 percent) say they own or have owned cryptocurrencies, according to the Independent Reserve Cryptocurrency Index (IRCI) 2021 published on Tuesday.

The proportion of women who deal with cryptocurrencies has doubled this year from 10.3 percent to 20 percent.

Despite the amazing volatility, most of those surveyed (89 percent) made or even broke money this year.

Adrian Przelozny, CEO of the Independent Reserve, said the sector urgently needs regulation to provide more security for both investors and cryptocurrency companies.

“Our IRCI results this year support this as 28.6 percent of Australians who currently do not own cryptocurrency tell us that if there was better consumer protection, they would invest,” he said.

Now in its third year, the annual survey of over 2,000 people tracks awareness, acceptance, trust and trust in the cryptocurrency.

26.6 percent said they would buy crypto if regulation of the industry improved.

“While Australian regulators and government agencies may have taken a while to delve into cryptocurrencies and other digital assets, the Australians themselves have moved faster and we really see crypto as an asset class from the edge of the mainstream over the past year,” said Przelozny.

According to the survey, Bitcoin remains the best known and most popular cryptocurrency ahead of Ethereum.

The age group of 24 to 34 year olds trusted crypto the most. 27.6 percent said they shopped to get rich, while people over 65 remain skeptical.

The latest data from the Australian Tax Service shows that more than 800,000 people are making transactions in cryptocurrency.

The Independent Reserve cryptocurrency exchange was developed and established in Australia in 2013 and is now licensed in Singapore.

Australian Associated Press

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bitcoin volatility, $196M Bitmart hack, new OpenSea CFO

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The entire cryptocurrency market suffered a slump over the weekend.

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market value, plunged to a low of nearly $ 43,000 on Saturday night. The price has since bounced back and is currently trading at around $ 49,149, according to Coin Metrics.

Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency, also fell to around $ 3,500 on Saturday. Ether is currently trading at around $ 4,179.

Aside from the volatility this weekend, here are seven things that have happened in crypto over the past week.

1. Metaverse Land Sales Exceed $ 100 Million In One Week

Virtual real estate has become more and more a coveted commodity.

Sales of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens representing Metaverse land, exceeded $ 100 million in the last week alone, cryptanalysis firm DappRadar reported on Tuesday.

The Sandbox, an Ethereum-based metaverse and game that allows users to purchase land and in-game assets as NFTs, had a trading volume of more than $ 86 million. Decentraland, a virtual reality platform operated by Ethereum, had traded more than $ 15 million for land NFTs.

“With record sales and constantly rising NFT prices, virtual worlds are the new top product in the crypto space,” wrote DappRadar in a blog post.

2. Jack Dorsey’s Square changes company name to block

On Wednesday, Jack Dorsey’s payment company Square announced that it was renaming itself to Block effective December 10th.

Block “has many related meanings for the company – building blocks, neighborhood blocks and their local businesses, communities gathering at block parties full of music, a blockchain, a chunk of code and obstacles to overcome,” Block said in a statement.

Square Crypto, a separate part of the company dedicated to advancing Bitcoin, will change its name to Spiral.

“We built the Square brand for our seller business where it belongs,” said Dorsey, co-founder and CEO, in a statement. “Block is a new name, but our purpose of economic empowerment remains the same. No matter how we grow or change, we will continue to develop tools to improve access to the economy. “

The name change came after Dorsey announced his resignation as CEO of Twitter. Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal will take on the role, the company announced on Monday.

3. Facebook withdraws from the crypto advertising ban

4. BadgerDAO DeFi project hacked, approximately $ 120 million loss

On Wednesday evening, BadgerDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization focused on bridging Bitcoin with decentralized financial applications, was reportedly hacked and lost about $ 120 million, according to blockchain security and data analytics firm Peckshield.

An investigation to find out what happened is still ongoing.

Meanwhile, BadgerDAO has frozen all smart contracts, which are digital agreements written in code and stored on the blockchain. Again, according to the BadgerDAO website, users will not be able to request deposits, rewards, or withdraw funds.

This is happening amid many new DeFi-related hacks, which is why financial experts caution against doing thorough research before investing in projects. They recommend investing only what you can afford to lose.

5. Hackers take $ 196 million from Bitmart crypto exchange

The Bitmart cryptocurrency exchange had been hacked, the company confirmed in a statement on Saturday evening.

Bitmart called it “a large-scale security breach” and estimated that hackers withdrew about $ 150 million, but Peckshield estimates the loss was closer to $ 200 million.

In the statement, Bitmart said all withdrawals have been temporarily suspended and a security clearance is ongoing.

As of Sunday, CNBC reached out to several Bitmart employees asking for more clarity about the hack and whether the targets would be reimbursed. CNBC hasn’t heard anything yet.

6. Charlie Munger Says He Wishes Cryptocurrencies “Never Made Up”

Billionaire investor Charlie Munger is still not a fan of cryptocurrency.

“I wish they had never been invented,” said Munger, according to The Australian Financial Review, at the Son conference in Sydney on Friday. “I admire the Chinese, I think they made the right decision to just ban them.”

This isn’t a new attitude for the 97-year-old vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. In May, during a question-and-answer session at Berkshire’s annual shareholders meeting, Munger said his aversion to Bitcoin had increased amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

7. OpenSea appoints former Lyft CFO. a

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