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U.S. Department of Energy Agrees To Stop Gathering Information on Crypto Mining Following Lawsuit

U.S. Department of Energy Agrees To Stop Gathering Information on Crypto Mining Following Lawsuit

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is agreeing to stop gathering data about the energy usage rates of crypto mining firms. In a new court filing, the Energy Information Administration (EIA), which tracks statistics for the DOE, says it will not only halt gathering the data, it will destroy all information it has already collected […]

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Nic Carter, other pro-Bitcoiners fight climate impact narrative in new paper

A newly published working paper on Bitcoin mining has worked to counter claims from anti-crypto politicians that Bitcoin is melting the planet.

Bitcoin mining is a “critical tool” for clean energy and balancing the grid, according to a new working paper penned by Bitcoin advocates and the former president of ERCOT, the operator of Texas’ electrical grid. 

The Nov. 22 paper titled “Leveraging Bitcoin Miners as Flexible Load Resources for Power System Stability and Efficiency” argued that Bitcoin mining’s inherent interruptibility and swift load response capabilities could enhance grid flexibility to better integrate variable renewable energy sources.

Authors of the working paper included Castle Island Ventures partner Nic Carter, Satoshi Action Fund CEO Dennis Porter and  Science Advisor Murray Rudd, former ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) President and CEO Brad Jones — who recently passed away, along with Executive vice president of power at Houston-based tech company Lancium, Shaun Connell.

The paper provides case studies of Bitcoin miners participating in demand response programs and providing grid services in Texas, illustrating their unique capabilities as flexible and controllable loads.

The researchers concluded that this suggests that Bitcoin miners can play an important role in demand response, “thereby bolstering both the technical and economic stability of the grid.”

Some observers on X (Twitter) pointed out that the findings of the paper contrast arguments made by anti-crypto politicians who have blamed Bitcoin miners for high energy usage and loads on grids.

In October 2022, Senator Warren and six other Democrats pressed ERCOT for information detailing how much electricity Bitcoin mining operations have consumed. She has also previously attacked New York mining firm Greenidge Generation, claiming at the time that a “crackdown on environmentally wasteful cryptocurrencies” would help fight the climate crisis.

Bitcoin mining pioneer Marshall Long tagged Senator Warren in a retweet of the paper adding “The people who RUN the grids say you’re wrong,”

The researchers concluded that the comprehensive impact of Bitcoin on global energy demand and climate change “remains complex,” but emerging data suggests “its effects might be more nuanced than conventionally believed.”

Related: Bitcoin miners seek alternative energy sources to cut costs

A recently published Cornell University study demonstrated how wind and solar projects can profit from Bitcoin mining during their pre-commercial development phases.

In July, Cointelegraph reported that Bitcoin mining was becoming more sustainable thanks to innovations such as hydro-cooling farms and associated petroleum gas. Moreover, in September it was reported that Bitcoin clean energy usage had exceeded 50%.

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Binance to launch Thai exchange in joint venture with local energy giant

Crypto services from Binance and Gulf Energy’s joint venture, Gulf Binance, will initially be available to Thai residents on an invitation-only basis.

Binance will publicly roll out a Thailand-based crypto exchange in early 2024 via a joint venture with local energy giant Gulf Energy Development.

A Nov. 15 Stock Exchange of Thailand filing by Gulf Energy said the venture, called Gulf Binance, will initially be available on an invitation-only basis with a public rollout by early 2024, with the firm receiving Securities and Exchange Commission approval on Nov. 10.

A Binance spokesperson confirmed to Cointelegraph that the platform has initially launched as an invitation-only exchange and would give more details as information becomes available.

On May 26, Gulf Binance received digital asset operator licenses from Thailand’s Ministry of Finance, which enabled it to operate a crypto exchange regulated by the country’s SEC. At the time, Binance had planned to launch its Thai arm by Q4 2023.

Gulf Energy announces the commencement of Gulf Binance services. Source: SE

On the same day, Binance’s regional head of Asia, Europe and MENA, Richard Teng, said the exchange would harness "Gulf’s established local presence and network,” and Gulf Binance aims to show the potential of blockchain technology to local users.

Gulf Energy is one of Thailand's largest natural gas distribution companies, founded and run by Thai billionaire Sarath Ratanavadi. The company actively invests across different business verticals, including renewable power generation, infrastructure development projects and digital infrastructure businesses, among others.

Related: India, Nigeria, Thailand top Chainalysis’ 2023 Global Crypto Adoption Index

Gulf Energy invested in Binance’s United States-based arm, Binance.US. In April 2022, the firm disclosed that it invested in “Series Seed Preferred Stock issued by BAM Trading Services,” the operator of Binance.US.

Last month, Binance assisted the Royal Thai Police to seize $277 million from scammers. Following the revelation, over 3,200 victims contacted the authorities to file for compensation.

At the time, Binance’s head of financial crime compliance, Tigran Gambaryan, highlighted the company’s intent to partner with various authorities worldwide to help with “restoring the trust in the digital-asset ecosystem.”

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Bitcoin price and energy use for mining highly correlated: UN Report

The UN scientists evaluated the activities of 76 Bitcoin mining nations during the 2020–2021 period and found that the global Bitcoin mining network consumed 173.42 Terawatt hours of electricity.

A recent study conducted by the United Nations (UN) suggested a direct correlation between the price of Bitcoin (BTC) and the energy needed for mining operations.

The UN scientists evaluated the activities of 76 Bitcoin mining nations during the 2020–2021 period and found that the global Bitcoin mining network consumed 173.42 Terawatt hours of electricity. During this timeframe, the crypto ecosystem was undergoing a bull run, and Bitcoin rallied to mark its all-time high of $69,000. The UN report highlighted:

“A 400% increase in Bitcoin’s price from 2021 to 2022 triggered a 140% increase in the energy consumption of the worldwide Bitcoin mining network.”

At the time, fossil energy sources accounted for 67% of the electricity generated for Bitcoin mining. However, crypto entrepreneurs have taken proactive measures to increase their dependence on green energy.

Hydropower satisfied over 16% of the total electricity demand of the global Bitcoin mining network, nuclear, solar and wind energy sources provided 9%, 2% and 5% respectively.

According to the UN report, the top ten Bitcoin mining nations at the time — China, USA, Kazakhstan, Russia, Malaysia, Canada, Germany, Iran, Ireland, and Singapore — together were responsible for 92–94% of the global carbon, water, and land footprint of Bitcoin.

The global push for greener alternatives to fulfil the grid demand will also help reduce the carbon footprint of Bitcoin and the crypto ecosystem.

Related: Bitcoin mining is becoming more environmentally friendly

Recently, Genesis Digital Assets Limited (GDA), a mining and data center company with over 400 megawatts (MW) of power generation worldwide, opened a new data center in Sweden running 1,900 Bitcoin mining machines, driven by the country’s burgeoning renewable energy surplus.

Christian Anders, founder of BT.CX, told Cointelegraph that Bitcoin mining is not very common due to high energy prices. However, he added:

“Sweden, Finland and Norway have a surplus of energy and negative energy prices from time to time, and primarily renewable energy in the form of hydropower in a remote location which is hard to distribute.”

In parallel, Bitcoin mining equipment manufacturers continue to deliver energy-efficient hardware. At the World Digital Mining Summit (WDMS) on Sept. 22, Bitcoin miners shared their plans to help decarbonize the crypto ecosystem.

Bitmain rolled out its efficiency-focused Antminer S21, while Nazar Khan, Terrawulf’s chief operating officer, highlighted that the roll Bitcoin rig manufacturers play “is locating our Bitcoin mining loads in places where that’s happening and how do we facilitate that decarbonization process.”

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Binance Crypto Exchange Launches Futures Trading for Ethereum-Based Altcoin That’s Surged Over 50% in a Week

Binance Crypto Exchange Launches Futures Trading for Ethereum-Based Altcoin That’s Surged Over 50% in a Week

The world’s largest crypto exchange platform by volume is launching futures trading for one Ethereum (ETH)-based altcoin that’s jumped over 50% in a week. In a new announcement, crypto exchange Binance says that it will be launching futures contracts with up to 50x leverage for Powerledger (POWR), a decentralized energy market built on top of […]

The post Binance Crypto Exchange Launches Futures Trading for Ethereum-Based Altcoin That’s Surged Over 50% in a Week appeared first on The Daily Hodl.

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Bitcoin energy pivot achieves what ‘few industries can claim’ — Bloomberg analyst

Bitcoin's hash rate has continued to increase and yet its emissions intensity has been trending down, contrary to most other industries, Bloomberg analyst Jamie Coutts explained.

While the Bitcoin network has continued to expand over the years, the Bitcoin mining industry has yet to see a comparable increase in carbon footprint — an achievement that a Bloomberg analyst argues “few industries can claim.”

This, in turn, could drive the next wave of institutional investment.

On Sept. 20, Bloomberg crypto market analyst Jamie Coutts cited data showing that the sustainable energy mix for Bitcoin has continued to rise since 2021, and is now over 50%. This has led to the growth of emissions slowing relative to the network’s continued expansion.

“Bitcoin as a global monetary network is scaling while its carbon impact declines. Few industries can claim this achievement”

He said that the evolving relationship between Bitcoin network growth and the global push to transition from fossil fuels could “catalyze a wave of institutional and even sovereign investment capital.”

The analyst added that as energy constitutes well over 50% of mining's operational costs:

“The incentive to acquire the cheapest energy sources is contributing to the network's rising hash rate while simultaneously reducing the industry's emissions or carbon intensity.”

Energy emissions refer to the greenhouse gases and air pollutants emitted as byproducts from different energy sources and activities whereas carbon intensity measures how clean the electricity is.

On Sept. 18, Cointelegraph reported that the next generation of Bitcoin miners was focusing on alternative energy sources for efficiency.

However, the percentage of sustainable energy used in Bitcoin mining has been a point of debate, as Cambridge University's model (which hasn't been updated since January 2022) stated that mining from sustainable energy sources is just 37.6%.

Climate technology venture investor and activist Daniel Batten, however, argues that this is actually above 50%.

He said that the Cambridge figures were out because off-grid mining and methane mitigation are currently not included in its calculations.

Related: Bitcoin mining is becoming more environmentally friendly

Earlier this year, Batten reported that Bitcoin mining emissions intensity had fallen to its lowest-ever level.

Bitcoin Net Zero Emission Tracker. Source: batcoinz.com/@dsbatten

Moreover, he predicted that the Bitcoin network will become carbon neutral by December 2024.

“By 2030, the Bitcoin network is projected to mitigate 10x more emissions from the atmosphere than it produces, an astonishing achievement,” claimed Batten.

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Bitcoin energy value metric puts BTC’s ‘fair value’ at $47K — Analyst

Charles Edwards of Capriole Investments says that despite the current headwinds, Bitcoin’s fair value sits at $45,000.

Bitcoin (BTC) price is trading in a frustratingly tight range between $25,500 and $26,500, leaving traders unsure of the next direction that asset could take.

However, Charles Edwards, founder of Capriole Investments, believes that Bitcoin’s current price presents a low-risk long-term buying opportunity. Edwards’ view is based on Bitcoin's production cost and energy value.

Capriole Investments energy value theory gives a fair value price of $47,200 and Edwards reiterated his bullish stance by saying that Bitcoin's production cost gives a floor price estimation of around $23,000 with a 100% hit ratio.

The trade has a risk reward ratio of 1:5, with the potential for even higher price targets but Edwards added it is based on the assumption that the rally price would stop at fair value, which it never has.”

Bullish energy value theory

Edwards proposed Bitcoin’s energy value theory in December 2019. According to the theory, the fair value of Bitcoin can be estimated by the amount of energy it takes to produce it.

The model assumes that the more work that has been put into something, the more valuable it is.

In 2023, the amount of energy spent in Bitcoin mining has been on the rise as mining companies increased their capacity and share of hashrate with the installation of new ASICs and by preparing for the upcoming halving in April 2024.

Bitcoin price chart with energy value indicator. Source: TradingView

According to Edwards, the Bitcoin energy value reflects its fair value.

Bitcoin energy value has shown a strong correlation with Bitcoin’s spot price and this suggests that the theory is at least somewhat valid. However, there are some caveats to the theory.

One limitation is that Bitcoin's energy value is not always accurate. This is because the mining energy efficiency can vary over time.

Related: Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index updated to reflect hardware distribution and hash rate increases

Additionally, the theory does not take into account other factors that can affect the price of Bitcoin, such as the market’s current demand and supply, and the steps taken by miners ahead of the halving next year.

Bitcoin looks primed for further downside

Bitcoin’s spot liquidity data on Binance indicates that buyers are looking at the $24,600 level for support. However, the bullish momentum appears to be fading as most traders are crowding around the yearly low levels and hoping that these hold.

The liquidation levels of futures orders from Coinglass shows that buyers are expecting downside to $24,600, with smaller liquidations extending toward $23,000.

Notably, the price range between $25,000 and $25,500 has the most leveraged orders in significantly high volumes, making them hot targets for traders.

Bitcoin futures liquidation heatmap. Source: Coinglass

Should the price drop up to the $23,000 level, the buyer's conviction will be tested. A drop below $23,000 would target the $21,451 and $19,549 level from 2022.

Bitcoin support and resistance levels. Source: Jarvis Labs

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

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The Agenda podcast chats with Energy Web on how to fight climate change with the help of blockchain

Energy Web CEO Jesse Morris explains why blockchain can make “going green” more efficient, how fighting climate change is easier, and why Energy Web is building on Polkadot.

This summer, parts of the United States are wilting under a multimonth stretch of sweltering heat, and data suggests that summer temperatures will continue to creep up in the coming years. The planet is on what seems to be a pretty clear path to soon reaching 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming for the first time since the preindustrial era, a milestone number that the world’s countries pledged to try to remain under in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Humanity’s continued burning of fossil fuels combined with the return of the El Niño weather phenomenon has created a dangerous cocktail of rising temperatures that have been breaking records all around the world. In fact, July 6 was the world’s hottest day ever recorded — and possibly the hottest day in 100,000 years — with the month of July on track to be the hottest in recorded history.

Scientists say that short of drastic and monumental geoengineering projects, the only way to prevent the planet’s warming from remaining under 1.5 degrees Celsius is to rapidly phase out and ultimately stop the burning of fossil fuels. But modern society requires massive amounts of power to operate, so where will all that energy come from if fossil fuels are no longer practical?

The answer, according to organizations like Energy Web, lies in clean energy, or energy that does not release greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.

On Episode 15 of The Agenda podcast, hosts Jonathan DeYoung and Ray Salmond speak with Energy Web CEO Jesse Morris about his views on climate change, decarbonization and how blockchain technology can help facilitate the move to clean energy.

The tech is actually already built and readily available

A particular highlight from the conversation was Morris’ comment that it’s the economics of the climate change industry that need adjustment. Morris said:

“Let’s just make it so that all these technologies that can help us decarbonize are cost-effective, and businesses will just adopt them.”

Of course, it’s slightly more complex than that, but according to Morris:

“One of the big overarching challenges is we just need our electricity to be green. And one of the ways we can make the electricity to be more green, the entire electric system, is to take this concept where, let’s say we have all of these different technologies that I was talking about earlier: electric cars, batteries, solar systems, heat pumps.”

In Morris’ view, better public policy messaging couched in digestible data and a more reasonable approach to governments’ climate change and environmental preservation objectives are needed. Morris said the first step is to “electrify everything” and:

“We have all those assets out there, which is kind of a naturally decentralized, distributed landscape with all of these assets that are out there. If we can network those things together digitally and basically use those to actually balance the grid instead of these big natural gas or coal-powered facilities, that’s a really efficient way to manage the electricity system — basically telling all of those different batteries and electric cars precisely when to and when to not use electricity. It’s kind of like a big distributed, decentralized battery that’s a really efficient and incredibly economically powerful tool for balancing the grid.”

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What’s blockchain got to do with it?

Given the fact that environmentally friendly solutions are already in existence and ready to roll out, both DeYoung and Salmond were curious about the actual role and need for blockchain in these technologies. Morris explained that after six years of building and trialing different solutions, Energy Web honed in on “Green Proofs’ as the primary solution with a good product-to-market fit.

Green Proofs have applications ranging from green biofuels to Bitcoin (BTC) miners using only renewable and green energy and tracing how green the materials were that came in to create a battery.

According to Morris, “Blockchain plays a pretty key role. We use blockchains to actually represent those assets.”

“So basically, if I’m a fuel producer, I log in, I register, I upload data. An on-chain representation of that data is then used and can be moved around that ecosystem to sort of track who owns the digital certificate representing that unit of green fuel, for example.”

To hear more from Morris’ conversation with The Agenda, listen to the full episode on Cointelegraph’s Podcasts page, Apple Podcasts or Spotify. And don’t forget to check out Cointelegraph’s full lineup of other shows!

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This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal or investment advice. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

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Tether’s game plan in El Salvador: Why invest in Volcano Energy?

Stablecoin issuer Tether is making a strategic investment in energy production and Bitcoin mining to support El Salvador’s adoption of BTC.

Stablecoin issuer Tether has dipped into its war chest to invest in El Salvador’s $1 billion renewable energy project to help drive Bitcoin (BTC) adoption in the Central American nation.

The Tether (USDT) issuer is one of a handful of companies investing in El Salvador’s renewable power generation project. Volcano Energy is set to generate electricity from solar and wind energy in El Salvador to power future Bitcoin mining operations in the country.

The planned 241-megawatt (MW) renewable energy park is the latest move in El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption drive after the country made BTC legal tender back in 2021.

Cointelegraph caught up with Tether’s chief technology officer Paolo Ardoino during Money 20/20 in Amsterdam. Ardoino — who is attending the renowned finance and payments convention promoting Bitfinex Pay and the Lightning Network — delved into several topics concerning Tether, Bitfinex and the wider cryptocurrency space.

Tether chief technology officer Paolo Ardoino and Cointelegraph journalist Gareth Jenkinson at Money 20/20 in Amsterdam. Source: Cointelegraph

Just two days before the interview, Tether announced it would be investing in Volcano Energy to gain exposure to energy production and leverage the facility to power Bitcoin mining farms in the future.

There is also an ideological element to the move, with Ardoino stressing his belief that El Salvador is blazing a trail for sovereign Bitcoin adoption despite the relatively slow uptake of BTC as a payment option in the country.

Ardoino drew parallels to the European Union adopting the euro as a continental currency in the early 2000s, which required significant resources to change existing financial infrastructure, as well as buy-in from citizens of its 27 member states.

“Given all the powers that they had, it still took five, six years, and yet people were super confused.”

The proliferation of Bitcoin as a payment method in El Salvador has had some teething problems, as explored by Cointelegraph journalist Joe Hall in a recent visit to the country using BTC as a primary means of payment.

Ardoino contends that the path to widespread BTC use and adoption in El Salvador will take time, considering that citizens are not being forced to use the alternative currency in their everyday lives:

“It’s extremely unfair to expect that the whole population will use Bitcoin because, first of all, it’s not forced. Adoption is through private companies and public investments, rather than being taxpayer money.”

Tether’s investment in the country’s energy production program is part of a two-fold strategy. Firstly, investing in energy-producing infrastructure holds its own value, which can then be utilized to power Bitcoin mining operations.

Related: USDT issuer Tether has up to $1.7B in excess reserves, CTO says

Ardoino also argued against the prevailing narratives around the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining and critiques of the industry for putting a strain on the global energy grid:

“Firstly, the majority of Bitcoin mining is already happening with renewable energy. Secondly, Bitcoin mining is mainly using excess energy anyway, but even more so if we first build the energy production.”

Ardoino said Tether’s investment alongside a group of 12 investors aims to build an energy production facility that companies, factories and households can also tap into. The excess energy from Volcano Energy will be used for BTC mining to help make El Salvador a “unicorn with its own unique story.“

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Crypto Miners Pay Kazakhstan $7 Million in Taxes Amid Uncertain Future for Sector

Crypto Miners Pay Kazakhstan  Million in Taxes Amid Uncertain Future for SectorThe government of Kazakhstan has collected over $7 million in taxes this and last year from enterprises mining cryptocurrency in the country. The news comes amid growing regulatory pressure that is limiting the industry’s access to low-cost energy while increasing its tax burden. Miners Face Higher Expenses, More Challenges Under New Legislation Kazakhstan’s coffers have […]

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