Go green or die? Bitcoin miners aim for carbon neutrality by mining near data centers

Bitcoin (BTC) mining has always been a controversial topic. But, Bitcoin’s proof-of-work (PoW) model has reached new levels of concern as senior decision-makers and investors pay closer attention to environmental, social and governance factors. 

As such, many crypto miners are highlighting environmentally friendly practices by acquiring carbon offsets. Yet, some would argue that this isn’t enough to guarantee green Bitcoin mining. Other risk factors may also be involved with carbon credits.

For instance, Kevin O’Leary — the Canadian entrepreneur better known as “Mr. Wonderful” for his role on Shark Tank — told Cointelegraph that he typically indexes public mining companies like Marathon Digital Holdings, Riot Blockchain Inc. and others. However, O’Leary pointed out that once these companies claimed carbon neutrality through carbon offsets, their stocks dropped drastically. O’Leary believes this is because the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), may soon plan to audit carbon credits. O’Leary expressed his concern, stating:

“Carbon offsets are unauditable. So indexers like me dumped those shares — we had to sell. The only way institutions will now invest in Bitcoin mining is for those companies to claim there is no carbon involved at all.”

Bitcoin mining and data centers

In order to ensure zero carbon mining, O’Leary explained that Bitcoin miners should build in parallel with data centers. This would then allow mining companies to efficiently use excess energy omitted from data centers to mine Bitcoin, resulting in “zero carbon displacement,” a process that produces zero carbon emissions.

Bitcoin mining company Bitzero began implementing such a model two years ago in Norway. Akbar Shamji, CEO and founder of Bitzero, told Cointelegraph that the company initially built an infrastructure partnership with Norway’s local government two years ago that prompted the region to release unused hydroelectric power generation for Bitcoin mining:

“This was the perfect opportunity for us to test this idea. At the same time, big data companies started to use renewable energy…..


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