Nuclear-Powered Bitcoin Mining: Feasibility Check

Bitcoin mining on nuclear power.
Simulation of Bitcoin mining on nuclear power.

Ever since Bitcoin mining appeared, the number one negative characteristic everyone was pointing to was power consumption. The consequences of energy expenditure to keep the Bitcoin network up and running are always topics for long discussions, especially among its opponents. 

Regardless of confronted opinions, there is a need to move to renewable sources of energy. And this is something countries around the world are working on…

In the previous months/years, we saw big progress towards greener sources of energy for securing blockchain networks, primarily Bitcoin’s. What is interesting is that eastern countries seem more leaned towards this movement.

Adoption of Bitcoin mining by countries

One of the first that started exploring Bitcoin mining on nuclear energy was Ukraine, back in 2020. Their plan is to build a center in the Rivne power plant that will include “host state registers, electronic archives, and computing facilities.” Officials stated it will have 2 to 3 gigawatts of power. Funny enough, they decided to go in this direction after discovering illegal mining equipment in the power plant year before.

Kazakhstan is another country that is friendly to greener crypto mining. After China banned it, this country recorded a spike in energy consumption due to miners moving their equipment there. This deficit made authorities explore other energy options, and they have the plan to build a nuclear power plant. At the moment, there are around 50 registered crypto mining companies in Kazakhstan, and a dozen more unregistered.

The next country in line for green crypto mining is Russia, who is exploring both hydro and nuclear options. Government officials stated they will allow cryptocurrency mining, but only in the regions that are known for excessive energy production, such as Irkutsk Oblast, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Tver, Saratov, Smolensk, and Leningrad. These areas already have hydro or nuclear power plants. Its capital Moscow won’t allow Bitcoin mining. 

Finally, it appears that the US wants to keep up with the pace in this race. TerraWulf, a crypto mining company from Pennsylvania, announced they are now operating on a nuclear energy with a hash rate capacity of stunning 1.0 EH/s, with approximately 8,000 mining rigs. And they are not planning to stop here, since the goal is to reach 5.5 EH/s this year…

One of the best known Bitcoin advocates Andreas Antonopoulos gave a great explanation on how actually countries, not miners, are responsible for both energy production and usage, as well as the sources from which this energy comes. I highly encourage you to watch it below.

Believe it or not, Bitcoin mining is NOT the problem for energy consumption, which was also proved by Michael Saylor in this study. However, it is good to see countries are exploring greener options. After all, this is another small step in mass adoption…