Bitcoin miners go nuclear, as the search for clean energy persists


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Bitcoin miners are now turning their attention to nuclear energy as many of them continue to look for ways to reduce carbon emissions to the barest minimum. 

Serious criticisms have greeted the adverse effect the industry has on the environment. As a fact, there is a lot of growing concerns about the heavy carbon footprints being left behind by mining. Therefore, Bitcoin miners are finally starting to explore a new source of energy: Nuclear energy.

Recall that in July, a Bitcoin mining firm, Compass Mining, went into a partnership with Oklo, a startup nuclear energy firm. Oklo is reportedly building what we know as “microreactors” at the moment. This is so that the firm can avoid the long processes associated with building a full-scale one. 

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There has also been other reports of such partnerships further showing this trend of Bitcoin miners going nuclear. For instance, American energy company, Talen Energy, recently partnered with TeraWulf Inc., a Bitcoin miner also based in the United States. According to reports, Talen is presently building a mining facility that is four times the size of a standard American football field. The facility is located in Pennsylvania and according to Talen’s president, Alex Hernandez, will be producing car on-free coins.  

The most interesting part of these  partnerships is that, while Bitcoin has a reputation for polluting the environment, the nuclear industry is capable of generating clean energy.  

Why exactly do Bitcoin miners need clean energy?

The reason why the leading cryptocurrency is in an urgent need of clean energy cannot be overemphasized. There are many documentations and reports about its impact on the environment due to its mining, which usually carries hefty carbon emissions. 

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For example, a Cambridge University study in September 2020, claimed that the Bitcoin network was consuming up to 141 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year. Arguably, one of the top 30 countries in the world by virtue of the amount of energy they consume.  

Also, Bitcoin’s e-waste rate has worsened in recent times.  A recent study by an Alex de Vries, founder of the Digiconomist website, confirmed this. In his study reports, he claimed that Bitcoin produces as much e-waste as the Netherlands does on a yearly basis.

With this track record, and an ever increasing criticism, it’s not surprising that Bitcoin miners are starting to look to nuclear energy for a solution. 

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