Greenidge, a fossil-fuelled Bitcoin miner, has pledged to offset emissions.

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Next month, the gas-powered Bitcoin mining plant will achieve carbon neutrality.

Greenidge Generation, a massive natural gas-powered Bitcoin mining venture in upstate New York, declared on Friday that it would achieve carbon neutrality by the beginning of June.

“We are demonstrating we can provide the same critical transaction verification and processing services to secure the bitcoin network while maintaining a fully carbon neutral footprint,” said CEO Jeffrey Kirt in a statement.

“We call on others to join us in significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions now.”

Elon Musk wants to clean up Bitcoin

Concerns regarding the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining emerged again Wednesday after Elon Musk revealed that Tesla, his electric car venture, would no longer allow Bitcoin for payment on its vehicles due to the Bitcoin mining industry’s reliance on fossil fuels.

Musk confirmed that he would not sell any more of the $1.5 billion in Bitcoin purchased by Tesla in January. The tweet knocked several thousand dollars off Bitcoin’s stock, which is now just under $50,000, or around $15,000 lower than the all-time record of $63,500 set last month.

 

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Will Greenidge live up to its name?

Greenidge was a decommissioned power plant until a private equity company reopened it in 2017 and converted it to natural gas. Greenidge began mining Bitcoin using a portion of its produced power in 2019, and its mining activity was fully operational by 2020.

Last month, Greenidge announced plans to massively expand its Bitcoin mining business, prompting concerns from locals that the plant would harm the lake it draws water from and contribute to global warming.

Greenidge is now committed to achieving carbon neutrality. It intends to get there by engaging in clean energy programmes in the United States.

Greenidge will now continue to participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, in which participating states sell CO2 permits and use the proceeds to fund renewable energy projects.

Greenidge has purchased RCGI allowances to offset half of the carbon dioxide from its gas power plant since 2017. Greenidge, in addition to Bitcoin mining, also powers New York’s electric grid. Bitcoin mining, on the other hand, has proved to be much more lucrative.

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Reducing pollution elsewhere would not reduce the emissions emitted by Greenidge’s farm, so it will balance things out.

Carbon offsetting is not without its critics. Guardian columnist George Monbiot likens carbon offsetting to the Catholic practice of selling ‘indulgences’—get-out-of-hell passes for your sins.

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