Bitcoin miners or any crypto miner primarily require energy for their ASICs, lots of it. In fact, most of the scepticism towards cryptocurrency pertains to its energy consumption. While some countries are fortunate to have renewable energy sources, most of them still rely on fossil fuels. However, broadening the definition of fossil fuels, there are different energy sources: Coal, Natural Gas, and Crude Oil. While all of them significantly impact the environment, Natural Gas performs much better than both of them.
However, there is a big complication with natural gas. Unlike Crude oil or Coal that you can transport easily, Natural Gas is not the fortunate candidate here. Gas delivery requires a pipeline if you have to transport it. Even if you develop the infrastructure for transporting the gas, the number of yields will significantly diminish. It is due to the high initial investment. Moreover, in order to fully exploit Natural Gas, you’ll have to utilize it on-site without any transportation for maximum efficiency.
Houston was facing the same problem that I mentioned above. Since there was no effective use-case for Natural Gas, about 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas went unused (wasted) on a daily basis in the US alone. That is a significant toll on the environment. However, a group of oil and gas executives and bitcoin miners talked about a potential solution to this problem back in August last year.
They found a way to have a synergy, involving mobile Bitcoin miners with their ASICs utilizing energy from Natural Gas fields on-site.
Their topic of discussion was how they can use “stranded” natural gas so that they can power bitcoin mining rigs. By doing so, they reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make money for gas providers and themselves.
Bitcoin makes it economically fulfilling for oil and gas companies that otherwise have to combust their yield with flare, which is not worth it.
Eventually, companies started collaborating Oil & Gas companies with Bitcoin miners so that they can utilize the ‘stranded’ natural gas with their mobile “Bitcoin mining ASICs”. One such company is Upstream which is one of the most booming companies in the area. In fact, it works with 140 Bitcoin mines across North America.
It is imperative to find such synergies if miners want to continue mining without disruptions and with the most efficiency. On the other hand, Oil & Gas companies have a good means of revenue with sourcing their Natural Gas resources. This reduces pollution in the environment and shows that we can further improve the efficiency of our existing natural resources.