Bitcoin’s superior financial settlement network is often attacked on its energy consumption needs – but a closer look at the hard facts often paints a pretty different picture. Daniel Batten, the co-founder of CH4Capital, a fundraising $400 million to finance projects mitigating vented methane from landfills by using the gas to mine Bitcoin, is one such case in point. “Once fully deployed, we will have enough capital to take the entire Bitcoin Network carbon negative,” said Batten. This extraordinary assertion counters recent condemnation from high-profile Bitcoin detractors.
Daniel Batten, CH4Capital
Leveraging Bitcoin Mining To Offset Emissions
Batten and his team are targeting methane-venting landfills to curtail emissions at a rate they believe is ten times faster than other methods. “Like EVs, Bitcoin does not have any direct emissions, [but] we want to go one step further and also mitigate all emissions caused by use of electricity,” he said.
Supporting this initiative, several companies have already leveraged Bitcoin mining to monetize waste and offset landfill emissions. Among them is Nodal Power, a renewable power firm extracting methane from landfills to generate electricity.
“Nodal is not a Bitcoin mining company, but we have found that data centers and tech have allowed us to expand our market footprint in a unique manner. Bitcoin mining has been a key tool they used for us to prove landfill gas projects can operate reliably and efficiently off-grid,” explained Bryan Black, Co-founder and CEO of Nodal Power.
Nodal raised $13 million in 2021 to commence their landfill projects. They have since filed two patents concerning the technology they developed for biogas in an off-grid set-up. They are currently engaging with an investment bank to raise $60m in equity for their expansion.
Similarly, Vespene Energy is a biogas-to-energy developer that co-locates data centers with electricity generation assets, such as bitcoin mining. This approach allows them to extract immediate financial value from the biogas without waiting for grid connections. Adam Wright, co-founder and CEO of Vespene Energy, indicated they target smaller sites to convert into energy projects.
While neither Vespene nor Nodal solely focuses on mining Bitcoin, their operations have served as an essential proof of concept. The scalability and transportability of Bitcoin mining allow operators to monetize energy directly at the source. These characteristics se will enable Batten’s team to target smaller landfills that may not be suitable for grid connections or more extensive gas-collecting operations.
Coinciding with Batten’s bold assertions, a recent study by Michel Khazzaka, a cybersecurity engineer and cryptographer, highlighted that the banking industry uses at least 56 times more energy than Bitcoin. Khazzaka, who spent four years compiling data and crunching numbers, concluded that Bitcoin consumes 88.95 TWh per year, considerably less than some estimates.
To put it into perspective, Khazzaka compares Bitcoin to space travel, noting that even if not everyone cares about reaching the moon, it’s a right, “even if it consumes more [energy] than a car.”
Bitcoin; Challenging The Narrative
As BTC mining continues to spark debates on energy consumption and environmental impact, the emergent evidence and innovative efforts from companies such as CH4Capital, Nodal Power, and Vespene Energy are challenging the mainstream narrative. Their actions could chart the course towards a greener future for the industry, where Bitcoin not only defends against claims of excessive energy use but actively contributes to emission reduction.
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