This year, some of the hottest trends in the crypto industry have been bitcoin adoption and environmental, social, and governance factors into crypto mining.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk pushed bitcoin's environmental concerns into the forefront, calling for "renewable energy" to be used for mining instead of fossil fuels. It's no secret that bitcoin mining takes a massive amount of electricity. It's estimated that energy consumption exceeds the power consumption of countries like the Netherlands and the UAE.
With the push towards ESG-Friendly bitcoin mining operations, there's one historic hydroelectric plant near Albany, New York, using power generated from its massive water turbines to mine crypto.
"We think this is the oldest renewable energy facility in the world that's still running," Albany Engineering Corp. CEO Jim Besha told the Times Union.
He said the plant "could actually make more money with bitcoin than selling the electricity to National Grid.
Albany Engineering Corp. receives around 3 cents per kilowatt-hour when it sells energy to National Grid. Mining bitcoin makes about three times the amount of money, Besha said.
"It's the best (type of bitcoin mining) because we're using renewable energy," Besha said. "We're just doing it on the side, experimenting with it. We're buying used servers."
Each week Besha converts thousandths of a bitcoin into fiat rather than 'HODL' because he's worried about crypto volatility.
The hydroplant was constructed in 1897 and is getting new life amid China's crackdown on miners, resulting in the hash rate —the computational power available to mine the cryptocurrency, reflecting the efficiency of the bitcoin blockchain network, plunging since mid-May.
The only issue Besha has to worry about is a bill that would ban cryptocurrency mining in New York.