Major players in the Bitcoin (BTC) mining industry have their sights set on nuclear energy as pressure mounts to go green.
Nuclear energy could present a “tremendous opportunity” to introduce “enormous amounts of clean, carbon-free” energy to the baseload, Harry Sudock, vice president of Griid, said at the “Bitcoin & Beyond Virtual Summit” on Wednesday. Griid is an American company that procures low-cost, renewable energy to build vertically integrated Bitcoin mining facilities.
According to Sudock, past subsidy programs and discourse about renewable energy have largely focused on solar and wind power and neglected to consider the potential benefits of nuclear energy.
“The growth rate is largely focused around solar and wind right now, and that’s just the reality of the programs that have been rolled out over the last eight to 10 years. But what we’d love to see is an expansion of nuclear,” he said.
Blockstream chief strategy officer Samson Mow was a panelist alongside Sudock to discuss the complexities of Bitcoin mining and energy expenditure.
Mow referenced the domineering role that “FUD” — fear, uncertainty and doubt — tends to have in discussions around Bitcoin mining, which he said can lead to misunderstandings not only about Bitcoin mining but also about energy production more generally.
These misunderstandings are “leading to these kinds of crazy headlines that Bitcoin is going to boil the oceans,” he said.
“The bigger picture is really often missed because Bitcoin mining is a small percentage of energy consumption worldwide — like a fraction of a percent,” Mow said. “If we are dirty, then everything is very dirty, right?”
Mow is also a proponent of nuclear energy for Bitcoin mining. “The problem is, we’ve regressed as a society where we have kind of rejected nuclear power and have gone for other things like wind and solar, which are more costly more difficult to generate and don’t always function,” he said.
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Last month, the Bitcoin Mining Council surveyed around 33% of the current global Bitcoin network. BMC estimated that the global mining industry’s sustainable electricity mix grew about 3% to 55.9% during the third quarter of this year.
“Bitcoin miners will go to the cheapest form of electricity that they can find,” said Amanda Fabiano at the summit. Fabiano is the head of mining at digital asset invest management firm Galaxy Digital and a founding member of BMC.
“I think sustainably focused capital will find a really great home in Bitcoin mining.”