Green Bitcoin with nuclear power? Ohio receives huge mining center

A new Bitcoin mining center is being built in Ohio that will be fed with 1,000 MW of nuclear energy. A double-edged sword.

Bitcoin’s increasing prominence in the mainstream has highlighted its production conditions. Arguments against the supposed “climate killer Bitcoin” are based, among other things, on the fact that Chinese mining farms often use cheap and partially subsidized electricity from nearby coal-fired power plants. Now that the Chinese Mining Inquisition – which, by the way, is not only directed against “dirty” miners – is in full swing, the West seems to be sniffing the morning air. The charm offensive is led by the USA. In the last few weeks there have been increasing reports from various US states who are trying to win the favor of the bitcoin miners alienated by China. From Texas to Wyoming to Florida, more and more states are looking to a piece of the mining pie.

Ohio on an unsteady Bitcoin course

Ohio also rolled out the red carpet for Bitcoin fans in 2018 – only to pull it away from under their feet again in 2019. A few months after its introduction, the state treasurer had an initiative that should make it possible to pay taxes in Bitcoin collected.

Two years later, the wind seems to have turned again – but it does not operate turbines. In the small town of Coshocton in Ohio, for example, a new Bitcoin mining center is to be built that relies on nuclear energy. This is made possible by a cooperation between the nuclear power plant operator Energy Harbor and the blockchain infrastructure service provider Standard Power. In a press release explained CEO Maxim Serezhin why Ohio was chosen:

Bitcoin blockchain mining centers are energy intensive and we are aware of our responsibility to build a more environmentally sustainable future. We chose Ohio because electricity costs are low there and there are carbon-free energy sources available. Through the partnership with Energy Harbor, we have proactively structured our hosting capacities. We want to ensure that 100 percent of the electricity connected to this facility is emission-free.

The bottom line is a win for BTC

Whether atomic energy can actually be considered “ecologically sustainable” in view of the repository problem is certainly a point of debate. But the consequences of the geographical centralization of the hash rate have already been observed several times using the Chinese example. Especially after the rainy season from June to October, this important metric for network security has repeatedly collapsed in recent years. The reason: The abundance of water makes hydropower even cheaper and mining more profitable. When the rainy season is coming to an end, however, miners take devices off the grid again. In the past few years, these break-ins began reliably between mid-October and mid-November.

It is true that the hash rate never fell to a critical level. This strong correlation to local weather events does not look good on Bitcoin as a decentralized currency system. While the advance may only be suitable to a limited extent for the greenwashing of Bitcoin, every new mining farm that aoutside China emerges, the resilience of the Bitcoin network.