As the debate over the use of sustainable energy by crypto miners continues, a growing number of British farmers are turning to a surprising energy reservoir – cow waste, or dung: this traditional and versatile resource is being used to generate electricity for carbon-neutral mining operations, and thus diversify and increase their income.
Manure as an energy source
Currently, some of the country’s farmers are generating electricity from dung and selling it to the National Grid, the company that manages the high-voltage electricity transmission network in England and Wales. Selling renewable energy to the National Grid can earn farmers about GBP 0.07 (USD 0.1) per kilowatt, but running a crypto platform can earn GBP 40 (USD 56.4) per day, and some USD 21,000 per year, according to the British daily Metro.
Following the trend, Easy Crypto Hunter, a British company specializing in cryptocurrency mining equipment, has seen a significant uptake from farmers looking to diversify and increase their income.
“More recently, the incentives for solar panels have dwindled to almost zero, but our machines have taken over,” he said. Farming is getting tough, which will often push a farmer to diversify to make a living.”Josh Riddett, CEO of Easy Crypto Hunter
The company uses manure – methane turned into electricity to be precise – to power their own equipment and mine carbon-neutral cryptocurrencies. They and their customers mine cryptos like Ethereum (ETH), but not Bitcoin (BTC), “because it’s not as energy efficient as other crypto-currencies and it’s not as profitable,” according to Riddett.
He said that four years ago, when the company launched, green energy was “not on [its] customers’ radar,” but now it makes up about 40 percent of East Crypto Hunter’s business and continues to grow every day.
“There’s a lot of diversification in agriculture these days, and while the average age of our agricultural customers is 58, the vast majority of farmers can now talk about technology with the same confidence they talk about cows and pigs.”Josh Riddett, CEO of Easy Crypto Hunter
The increasingly heated debate over using renewable energy to mine bitcoins has been fueled by Elon Musk’s recent decision to suspend Tesla’s support for Bitcoin on environmental grounds. The decision was part of an avalanche of negative news that caused Bitcoin’s price to plummet last month. More recently, the entrepreneur said his car company would resume BTC payments once “there is confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy use by miners with a positive future trend.”
“Elon Musk caused billions to be lost in the global crypto markets when he said Bitcoin mining was bad for the environment, but what we’re doing couldn’t be greener.”Josh Riddett, CEO of Easy Crypto Hunter
Of course it is not for everyone to use this type of energy, but we will note the efforts of everyone to try to mine ‘green’ cryptos, and thus combine performance and protection of the planet.