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US miner Riot defends against allegations by the New York Times

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Bitcoin miners make money off of electricity by gobbling it up, selling it and even shutting it down — and they cause immense pollution,” writes the New York Times. A comprehensive one Article from April 9 examines the energy consumption of US mining companies and comes to a devastating conclusion: high burden on the environment and climate, little added value for the local population. “The public pays a price” for the high energy consumption. Riot Platforms, one of the major US miners, is also the subject of the allegations. This defends itself now in an extensive press statement.

“Distorted display”: Riot Platforms fights back

Just one day after the article was published, Riot Platforms submitted a counter-statement in which the mining company addresses the main points of criticism. The New York Times painted a “false and distorted picture” of the company and provided “misleading information”.

Our Bitcoin mining operation produces no greenhouse gas emissions, much like any other Facebook, Amazon or Google data center – and yet we were singled out. Our data center uses electricity from the Texas grid, the cleanest grid in the United States.

According to the New York Times, the electricity demand of Bitcoin miners exceeds the available amount of renewables. As a result, “96 percent of the energy needs added by the company’s mine would be met by fossil fuels.” Riot Blockchain disagrees. The miner “operates exclusively in rural areas where wind and solar energy are plentiful”.

The accusation that bitcoin mining creates “significantly fewer jobs than other industries” and hardly promotes “local economic development” is countered: “Riot employs hundreds of full-time employees has used hundreds of local contractors and is the largest taxpayer in the district.”

In addition, according to the New York Times, the Texas Bitcoin mines benefited from certain agreements with the network operators. These stipulate that the miners stop their activities in phases of peak load on the power grid and receive compensation for this. Mining companies have a much more flexible and extensive shutdown of their operations than other industries and therefore benefited disproportionately from the rule, according to the New York Times.

Bitcoin’s energy consumption: a never-ending dispute

The dispute between the New York Times and Riot Platforms exemplifies one of the central controversies in the Bitcoin universe: the justification of the energy demand. Critics complain about the high power consumption. Proponents argue that Bitcoin mining encourages the expansion of renewable energy because miners depend on cheap electricity to be competitive. With renewable energies, there is a lot of overproduced and therefore cheaper electricity, which is used particularly efficiently through mining. This, in turn, is countered by statements like that of the New York Times with the argument that this theory has not been proven in practice.

In this context, the question always arises as to what “high energy consumption” actually means. Opponents of bitcoin mining are inclined to compare the power consumption of the bitcoin network to nation states. When making comparisons, defenders of the technology usually emphasize the usefulness of the network and, for their part, point to the high demand for clothes dryers or Christmas lights, for example.

All content in this article is for informational purposes only and in no way serves as investment advice. Investing in cryptocurrencies, commodities and stocks is very risky and can lead to capital losses.

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