In his introduction to Michael Saylor’s recent conference “Bitcoin For Corporations,” Ross Stevens, founder and CEO of Stone Ridge and NYDIG, spoke about the importance of energy to bitcoin, and how bitcoin mining will create new economic hubs in areas where stranded energy exists.
Until now, human settlements have been located near transportation hubs, he noted, not energy hubs. But the need for cheap, abundant energy like hydropower makes bitcoin mining a natural pioneer in those areas where industries like forestry and pulp and paper have exhausted resources and moved on, leaving energy infrastructure behind.
In “A Hitchhiker’s Guide To Bitcoin Mining In North America,” we attempted to sketch out the rough outlines of the emerging bitcoin mining ecosystem on the continent where much of this energy pioneering is and will be taking place. We listed mining pools, mining companies, financial services firms and firmware companies.
In this second part, Bitcoin Magazine is continuing this journey of discovery to shed more light on what this new mining ecosystem looks like and, more specifically, what sources of energy are available and being used.
But this is no easy task. In digital asset firm CoinShares’s report on bitcoin mining from December 2019, the researchers expressed the difficulty of trying to pin down an accurate picture of where miners work and what energy they’re using:
“…while we do our utmost to accurately pinpoint the location of global mining centres, the Bitcoin mining industry remains a highly private and secretive industry,” they wrote. “As a result, our estimates may be subject to significant potential uncertainty.”
The North American Energy Landscape
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that North America is experiencing a new gold rush as mining companies stake claims, form partnerships and order large inventories of the latest ASIC technology.
North America is a new mining mecca, primarily because there’s lots of cheap,…