Top Five Companies that Harness Methane with Bitcoin Mining
Methane has rougly 80 times the global warming potential (GWP) of CO2 over a 20 year period. As Daniel Batten writes,
“Bitcoin mining is currently the only way of reducing these methane emissions which is both technologically feasible and does not require significant behavior change in order to work.”
This isn’t just theoretical. Numerous companies are already harnessing the practically magical attributes of Bitcoin mining to curb humanity’s methane emissions and work towards productive ends in the process.
1. Vespene Energy
Vespene’s mission is to “convert landfill methane into a valuable energy source and financial value for landfill operators.” Without any grid connection or pipeline development, they convert methane into money via Bitcoin mining.
As we continue to live through a bear market, venture capitalists are increasingly choosy with respect to which projects they fund. This is all the more reason to hold high hopes for Vespene’s future, as just last month they closed a $4.3 financing round.
Vespene’s ability to help municipal landfills earn revenue by limiting methane emissions has exiting political consequences. To the extent that these landfills are run by local governments, then those governments will have an incentive to enforce laws that are favorable to Bitcoin mining.
2. Upstream Data
Upstream data has been creating technological solutions to methane capture for the oil and gas industry for five years now. In that time, they’ve deployed over 175 data centers across North America and show no signs of slowing down. Their data centers are easily transportable, making them well-suited for gas companies that witness gas supply fluctuations across their facilities.
Upstream Data is proof positive that not only is Bitcoin mining a viable solution to methane emissions, but the company has basically commodified its services. They offer at least three distinct mining data centers, each tailored to a unique customer profile.
3. Giga Energy
Giga Energy offers “off-grid mining farms” and sells “high-quality infrastructure”. Giga offers to buy stranded or flared gas from oil and natural gas companies so that they can direct it towards powering Bitcoin mining.
The company has been focused on flared gas Bitcoin mining projects ever since it was founded in 2019.
Its founders, Brent Whitehead and Matt Lohstroh, were merely second-year college students when they chose to start up a Bitcoin mining company. At the time, the idea of an oil or gas company collaborating with a Bitcoin mining company was still alien. Only a few years later, this synergy is taken for granted.
4. Crusoe Energy
In Crusoe Energy’s effort to curb emissions via Bitcoin mining, it offers a patented product called Digital Flare Mitigation systems. This technology not only curbs methane emissions, but also those of CO2e, CO, and VOC.
Interestingly, Crusoe doesn’t harness wasted only to power Bitcoin mining. They also power artificial intelligence, deep learning, and other intensive computational research.
A few months ago, Crusoe earned funding from sovereign wealth funds such as those of Abu Dhabi and Oman. According to Crusoe’s statement sent to CoinDesk, “This investment will power Crusoe’s efforts to expand internationally as it works to align the future of computing with the future of the climate.”
5. Northern Immersion
Northern Immersion works to solve North Dakota’s flaring issue by offering their “immersion-cooled mobile data centers” that absorb the waste energy.
This company is quite aware of the beneficial side effects Bitcoin mining has on the environment. As they write: “Flare gases account for around 2% of all CO2 emissions as well as simply being a wasted energy source. Using this energy to power our immersion-cooled mobile data centers is a solution that serves to not only reduce waste of a natural resource (with its associated CO2 emission), but to also do so in a more efficient manner compared to air-cooled systems.”
The partnership between energy producers that yield methane and Bitcoin mining is too profitable for everyone involved. In other words, it isn’t going anywhere. That’s a beautiful thing for us, for the Bitcoin network, and for the environment.
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