In recent months, the crypto space has gone through a lot of interesting changes and defied expectations.
For starters, the regulatory sector and the decentralized technology sector, once viewed as at odds with each other, have been in fact been working together cooperatively to create a more compliant and transparent financial landscape. This has has been demonstrated by CFTC Chairman J. Cristopher Giancarlo’s “do no harm” approach towards regulating crypto, Nasdaq and Gemini’s SMARTS market surveillance technology partnership, among other announcements.
And, on a separate crypto news front, there’s another unlikely partnership between two sectors that appears to be thriving: the solar industry and the world of bitcoin mining.
William Shatner Works With Solar Alliance to tackle Crypto Mining Sustainability
Solar Alliance, a Canadian solar energy company, announced that it acquired a 165,000 square-foot warehouse in Illinois to build a solar paneled array and rent space to bitcoin miners.
“Blockchain technologies, and cryptocurrencies specifically, are at the cutting edge of a new distributed technology infrastructure,” said actor William Shatner, also a spokesperson for Solar Alliance. “Utilizing solar arrays to power [mining operations] makes social and economic sense.”
The World of Bitcoin Mining Today
New research into energy consumption reveals that, by the end of the year, cryptocurrency could account for 0.5 percent of the world’s energy demand, roughly the same amount consumed by Austria. For crypto enthusiasts concerned about climate change, the massive energy consumption behind Bitcoin mining has been a difficult concept to reconcile with. However, this recent news from Solar Alliance may indicate that Bitcoin mining, as we know it, will change.
“The acquisition of the Murphysboro warehouse facility and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) represent Solar Alliance’s strategic entry into tenanting and supplying low-cost power to the cryptocurrency mining sector,” said Chairman and CEO Jason Bak. “The demand from cryptocurrency mining operations for competitively priced power is immense and we are perfectly positioned to take advantage of that demand.”
A Maturing Crypto Landscape
While 2017 was the year that Bitcoin experienced unprecedented growth, 2018 is shaping up to be the year that the crypto space is officially growing up. While crypto used to be a largely unregulated space, 2018 has focused heavily on crypto compliance, between the SEC’s increased regulation of crypto trading platforms to companies like Chainalysis raising impressive funding to help Bitcoin-based businesses protect themselves against fraud.
In addition to increased regulation, 2018 has also marked a year devoted to deepening understanding around blockchain technology, from the NYCEDC announcing big plans to expand educational efforts in this sector to Facebook launching a new team dedicated to blockchain research.
In my opinion, the advancement in solar-paneled bitcoin mining is another example of progress and maturation in the crypto industry. Just as the regulatory sector is making an extensive effort to weed out the bad actors in the crypto world, solar-paneled mining is addressing the the industry’s inherent environmental concerns. It’s encouraging to see different organizations and sectors tackling crypto’s issues as it scales from an industry with growing pains into an industry all grown up, with an emphasis on being more compliant, transparent, and environmentally conscious than ever before.