The Navajo nation is mining bitcoin using its renewable energy resources. Bitcoin mining involves using computing assets to execute processes that validate bitcoin transactions. In return for providing computing power, the bitcoin network rewards miners with bitcoins.
How Bitcoin Mining Works
Bitcoin mining had proven lucrative, especially during its early years when few were aware of its potential and opportunities. However, mining bitcoins is not inexpensive. Bitcoin miners have to invest money in specialized computers.
These data centers will house these computers, and they also have to pay for the high amount of electricity that these data center facilities will consume to mine bitcoin.
Energy Resources Navajo Nation Is Using For Bitcoin Mining
The Navajo Nation’s bitcoin mining operations draw electric power from natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric and solar energy generating resources. Around 60 percent of this energy comes from sustainable energy.
Critics have pointed out that bitcoin mining is detrimental to the environment since it consumes high electricity. This is contributing to pollution and global warming. Renewable energy might be the solution for environmentally-friendly bitcoin mining.
Navajo Nation’s Operations
The Navajo Nation’s bitcoin mining operation currently consumes almost half of the renewable energy that electricity-generating assets on tribal land are generating. There is a plan to use all generated renewable energy for bitcoin mining.
The Navajo nation suffers from dire poverty and extremely poor living standards. This is mainly due to the high level of unemployment that afflicts the region. Bitcoin mining operations might alleviate some of this poverty.
With Progress Comes A Dilemma
There is another dilemma that demands attention. Many residents in the Navajo tribal area don’t have access to electricity. This raises a key moral question: Should the electricity generated via renewable energy resources in the tribal territory be distributed to its residents (who lack access to electricity), or should electric power go towards bitcoin mining?
Currently, tribal leaders are endeavoring to increase economic opportunities in the region so that more companies may invest here and create jobs for the people.
Another major predicament needs to be resolved. Bitcoin mining is a high-risk venture. Should impoverished people commit most of their energy-generating resources to this risky operation?
Only time will tell whether the bitcoin mining venture is economically feasible. Bitcoin mining operations have been ongoing in the Navajo nation territory since 2020. Profits were reported for the first time in 2021. However, figures and statistics were not provided. 2022 could be different. This year, it is expected that the operations revenue will be disclosed.
The company controlling the operation, West Block, pays taxes and rent for the land it has leased. It has also arranged scholarships that will go toward Navajo nation members. The Navajo nation is mining bitcoin using sustainable energy and only time will tell how feasible this venture is.