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The Sisters Who Are Turning Cryptocurrency Green

By Desirée Kaplan

When most people think of cryptocurrency, they often don't think of the environment. Instead, for many, the digital currency seems to dwell solely in the intangible world. Unfortunately, the new currency is creating a hefty carbon footprint. “Mining” the cryptocurrency is the process of tracking digital coin transactions while releasing new crypto coins. There are no pick axes in these mines, but powerful computers processing online transactions. It sounds harmless because it’s done digitally, but the countless of machines stacked in warehouses are causing a significant drain on energy resources. 

The process of mining for virtual coins is estimated to cost $150,000 of electricity a day. Others suggest that the electricity needed for mining the coins is roughly the same amount of energy required to power a county like Croatia. Most of the mining takes place in large facilities full of computers in China where local mines are responsible for about 70 percent of cryptocurrency activity. 

While the process of recording thousands of transactions with machines requires a lot of energy, the profits made by mining the coins are just as huge. As more warehouses are created to house these high energy machines, concerns are being raised about the environmental impact. Hydrominer is working to make crypto mining significantly more eco-friendly. The company harnesses green energy from hydropower, which is considered to be an effective renewable energy resource.