In a surprising turn of events, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has seemingly begun advocating for the eco-friendly aspects of crypto mining, particularly Bitcoin mining, despite previous criticism of high energy consumption in the sector. WEF has recently started to emphasize the economic and environmental advantages of certain crypto-mining practices.
Crusoe Energy’s innovative approach receives WEF’s recognition
A recent WEF video featured Crusoe Energy, a crypto mining company that helps oil and gas firms minimize environmental waste and emissions. Crusoe Energy CEO Chase Lochmiller explains in the video that the company uses surplus natural gas from energy operations to power data centers and crypto mining activities. Crusoe’s Digital Flare Mitigation technology prevents natural gas flaring from oil fields and landfills.
Lochmiller goes on to describe how Crusoe constructs and manages “modular data centers” co-located with waste energy sources, allowing them to utilize waste methane streams to generate electricity. This innovative approach creates an “ultra-low-cost computing infrastructure” by tapping into stranded energy sources that would otherwise go to waste.
Crusoe Energy’s expansion and collaboration with Oman
In October 2022, Crusoe expanded its Bitcoin mining capabilities by acquiring the operating assets of portable BTC mining operator Great American Mining (GAM), increasing its mining output by over 10 megawatts (MW) and adding about 4,000 application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) crypto-mining devices. In June 2022, Crusoe Energy also partnered with the government of Oman, which aims to eliminate all gas emissions by 2030. Crusoe will set up an office in Muscat, Oman’s capital, and install equipment to capture gas waste at well sites for use in cryptocurrency mining.
Crypto community’s reaction to WEF’s changed position
While the crypto community welcomes the WEF’s acknowledgment of the economic and environmental benefits of Bitcoin mining, the video refers to cryptocurrency miners as data centers. MicroStrategy executive chairman Michael Saylor noted the WEF’s recognition of the environmental merits of Bitcoin mining.
However, the WEF has previously expressed concerns about the environmental impact of Bitcoin’s current consensus mechanism, advocating for the adoption of proof-of-stake in its code. Some users believe that the video’s lack of explicit reference to cryptocurrency mining is due to the WEF’s earlier stance on the issue.
Even without directly mentioning cryptocurrency mining, Crusoe Energy Systems’ approach exemplifies how technology can reduce waste and encourage sustainability. The company’s resourceful use of waste energy sources to power its mining facilities is environmentally friendly and highlights the potential for the crypto industry to contribute to eco-conscious practices. Nonetheless, Kristine Cranley, director of the Texas Blockchain Council, pointed out in an April 23 tweet that the video didn’t mention “the b word” – Bitcoin – even once.