The UK-based company’s PEGA Pool Bitcoin mining platform is on a mission to reduce Bitcoin mining’s carbon footprint to create a more sustainable and eco-friendly industry.
Proof-of-work crypto mining and the environment
One of the biggest challenges facing planet earth today is climate change. Over time we’ve identified the burning of fossil fuels, industrial pollution, and deforestation as significant contributors to climate change. Still, recently, the attention has shifted to a more modern offender, proof-of-work (PoW) based crypto mining.
Of a truth, unlike proof-of-stake (PoS) mining, PoW crypto mining utilizes an enormous amount of energy. It involves confirming blocks of transactions in exchange for digital coins and uses large amounts of electricity generated by power plants that run on fossil fuels in most cases.
To put it in perspective, The University of Cambridge estimates that Bitcoin alone consumes 132.48 terawatt-hours (TWh) of energy annually, surpassing Norway’s annual energy usage of 123 TWh as of 2020.
In 2021, China imposed a crackdown on Bitcoin mining in most regions. This decision spiraled into a decline in the crypto market at the time, causing many mining firms to shut down. Other countries followed with either partial or complete bans on PoW crypto mining.
The proof-of-work mining consensus
Bitcoin (BTC), the world’s flagship cryptocurrency, and a host of other established cryptos use the PoW mining algorithm to reach consensus and secure their networks. In PoW mining miners, use sophisticated computing machines to solve complex cryptographic hash puzzles to verify blocks of transactions that are updated on the decentralized blockchain ledger.
The miners who successfully solve these mathematical problems are rewarded with BTC (or the PoW token they are mining), incentivizing them to utilize more complex computers to mine crypto, and inevitably, these complex mining hardware require massive amounts of electricity to function.
As more powerful mining machines enter the race, the difficulty of the computational puzzles gets more challenging, and the electricity required to solve them increases. Over time, the electricity used by miners in these races surges exponentially.
Additionally, every four years, the amount of Bitcoin distributed for solving the puzzle and updating the blockchain is cut in half. The last halving occurred in 2020 when the reward was cut from 12.5 coins to 6.25. After each halving, the carbon emissions required to create one coin are doubled.
The environmental concerns of PoW mining have led many crypto mining projects to look into erasing their carbon footprint through several means, including buying carbon credits, planting trees, adopting renewable energy, and so on.
So far, only some of these projects have succeeded in their quest to make crypto mining entirely sustainable and PEGA Pool is at the forefront of that movement.
PEGA Pool Is Creating an eco-friendly BTC mining ecosystem
PEGA Pool is an eco-friendly Bitcoin mining pool where clients that own ASIC miner hardware can connect to the PEGA Pool network and come together to mine Bitcoin. This allows the platform users to stabilize earnings from mining whilst reducing their carbon footprint if they mine with non-renewable energy.
Bitcoin mining pools are networks of distributed Bitcoin miners who cooperate to mine blocks together and distribute the payments based on each entity’s contribution to the pool. This allows miners to boost their revenue higher than if they mined individually.
Whenever miners in the pool find a block, they pay the block reward to the mining pool coordinator. Then, after taking a small fee, the coordinator pays each pool member based on their hash rate contribution.
PEGA Pool partially offsets the CO2 emissions from these mining operations by planting trees. The network calculates how much electricity has been used to get the amount of CO2 and then plants trees according to the amount of CO2 emitted.
The funds used to plant these trees come from a portion of the fees the miners pay to the PEGA mining pool.
To enable miners to keep track of their combined climate contributions, PEGA pool created a badge section where miners can see how many trees they have contributed to planting and how much CO2 they have helped offset.
Benefits of using PEGA Pool
As institutions move towards climate-positive solutions, Bitcoin miners will benefit from using PEGA Pool’s eco-friendly mining pools. In addition to offsetting their carbon footprint, miners can also generate more revenue when using PEGA Pool due to the platform’s below average pool fees.
Miners joining the PEGA Pool early access waiting list will enjoy a permanent 50% pool fee discount post-launch helping them cut costs long term.
The platform is currently in the private beta test stage, with its public launch scheduled to be in Q1 2023. Miners participating in the beta testing phase are entitled to a 100% discount on pool fees during the beta stage. PEGA Pool Bitcoin Miners will get a 0.5% permanent pool fee post-launch.
The platform also incentivizes members who use renewable energy for mining; PEGA Pool offers a 50% reduction in pool fees for miners operating with renewable and sustainable energy. According to the network, Pool fees are 2% for non-renewable energy clients and 1% for renewable energy clients.
At the time of writing, more than 40,000 trees have already been planted by PEGA Pool for an estimated annual CO2 offset of 1,171-T. PEGA Pool’s unique Global Pool Infrastructure ensures that it is highly resilient to outages or equipment issues, including those caused by natural disasters.
PEGA Pool is a British-owned and operated company and was built by miners.
As more companies continue to integrate green energy solutions into their operations, PoW crypto mining is gradually heading towards complete sustainability. Of course, it’s still a long way before crypto becomes entirely climate-positive, but with projects like PEGA Pool emerging, we’re well on our way to reducing blockchain’s carbon footprint one step at a time.
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