Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market in general have enjoyed an enormous boom in price, adoption and interest in the last 12 months. By April 2021, Bitcoin prices rose as high as 600% of their value at the start of the pandemic.
These prices dwarfed other commodities, though all commodities have seen price hikes as investors move assets in response to COVID-19.
Even this forward progress for cryptocurrencies, however, could be undone if Bitcoin miners don’t secure access to more affordable electricity.
The sophisticated computers that process cryptocurrency equations to “validate” transactions and coin ownership come with enormous energy requirements. And as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have heated up, the surging demand has resulted in a rat race to better (and cheaper) energy sources.
In the same frame of time, the oil and gas industry has been hurting. The huge drop in oil prices as a product of sweeping lockdowns, lack of travel and transportation, and more conservative investments during the pandemic ran many smaller oil and gas producers out of the business.
The resulting panoramic is composed of companies looking to optimize their efficiencies.
Meanwhile, government attention has turned to the oil and gas industry’s flaring practices with natural gas. The natural gas released as a byproduct of oil drilling is usually flared (or burned) away because the infrastructure to transport it to processing plants doesn’t exist.
Flaring was, itself, a “solution” that came at a time when venting (or simply releasing natural gas into the atmosphere) was the only option for companies with stores of gas they could not sell or move.
As it turns out, the solution to Bitcoin’s energy needs and to natural gas flaring is one in the same: Bitcoin mining powered by flared natural gas.
A Complete Solution to Gas Flaring
Bitcoin mining powered by flared natural gas is actually powered by would-be flared gas. That is, oil and gas companies can use all the natural gas collected during drilling for Bitcoin mining.
To make the gas usable, it has to be converted first into electricity. This is done with an on-site gas generator installed with the Bitcoin mining data center. This requires no infrastructure investments by the oil company, and the generator can process all the natural gas. Emissions are reduced to 0, and the oil company gains a new, reliable revenue stream.
No other natural gas flaring solution has come close to this level of efficiency or benefit.