Sanctions and strong ruble challenge Russia's crypto mining industry

Aug 9, 2022
A cold climate and cheap energy have made Russia a destination for bitcoin mining. But new factors confront its cryptocurrency efforts.
The strength of the Russian ruble has made it costly to mine cryptocurrency there. Above, a bitcoin mining center in Kirishi, Russia.
Olga Maltseva/AFP via Getty Images

Crypto industry finds itself in the thick of local fights over greenhouse gas emissions

Jul 1, 2022
New York's denial of a power plant permit highlights what's at stake for the crypto industry and communities fighting to meet climate goals.
Thursday, New York state officials decided not to renew an air permit for a cryptocurrency mining facility citing emission-reduction goals. Above, a workers install a row of bitcoin mining machines in Texas.
Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images

New York state awaits governor's decision on partial crypto mining moratorium

Jun 23, 2022
The 2-year moratorium prevents the repurposing of fossil-fuel burning power plants into crypto mining operations.
A large metal tube juts into Seneca Lake. The Greenidge Generation crypto mining facility uses the tube to take in water to cool its equipment. The warmer water is then discharged back into the lake.
Lily Jamali/Marketplace

Crypto miners use natural gas "stranded" in wells to power energy-hungry rigs

Mar 25, 2022
Usually the gas is burned off at the well. Environmentalists say using it for mining incentivizes more drilling.
If natural gas from oil wells can't be used or sold, it's sometimes flared, as above, or vented into the air. Some cryptocurrency miners see it as a potential energy source.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Crypto miners came to upstate New York for cheap energy. Some regret letting them come.

Mar 11, 2022
The miners have blown through one town's allocation of cheap power, while another has put a moratorium on new mining operations.
Coinmint is using an old aluminum smelting plant as a cryptocurrency mining facility. The plant comes with its own electrical substation with direct hookups to the grid.
Lily Jamali/Marketplace

How bitcoin mining works

Mar 4, 2022
Ingredients: Tens of thousands of powerful computers, enough energy to power all of Poland. Yield: More than $30 million in newly minted bitcoin every day.
Two technicians inspect a bitcoin mining operation in 2018. The highly lucrative practice is paying off for miners but wreaking environmental havoc.
Lars Hagberg/AFP via Getty Images