Climate experts warn that proposals to repurpose waste gas are more akin to putting a Band-Aid over a gaping wound than a remedy.

FREMONT, CA: Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin possess the largest carbon footprint, it is also the most popular decentralized digital currency. Bitcoin mining alone consumes about half of the UK’s electricity in a year. Hence to repurpose a byproduct, mainly methane, experts are partnering themselves with oil companies to leverage an inexpensive source of energy to run bitcoin mining operations. Crusoe Energy is a company set up by Lochmiller and Cavness to fix the problems by working together. The demand for cheaper energy as crypto becomes more popular, as well as the waste of gas flaring that contributes to the climate problem. The venture is part of a small but growing group of tech companies that are looking to the oil and gas industry to help fuel the bitcoin boom.

However, climate experts notify it is a “false solution” as long as oil and gas production is allowed. The world’s leading specialist on climate science assesses that finding an alternative for “waste gas” does not help in reducing climate calamity and the over usage of fossil fuels.

Crusoe Energy has helped the industry to generate oil in a process that has gained in buying time or extending the runway for the energy transition. The firm has also drawn the attention of high-profile investors like Bain and Winklevoss Capital. They also have plans to roll out 100 bitcoin mining data centers at the beginning of 2022.

The solution proposed by Crusoe is copyrighted as “digital flare mitigation.” They set up fleets of data centers close to remote oil rigs in shipping container-like constructions. Oil producers are therefore compensated for waste gas that would otherwise go to waste because it is less expensive to burn than to carry to market. Crusoe can then use the waste to fuel on-site energy-intensive computing processes.