Republican senator proposes the use of flare gas energy to mine Bitcoin


The State of Texas has become a hub for Bitcoin miners following the recent exodus from China. Many concerns have been raised about Bitcoin mining, claiming it is environmentally unfriendly. Its ability to consume a lot of energy higher than some smaller countries has also been a topic of discussion in the past few months.

With regards to this, Republican Senator Rafael Edward “TED ” Cruz has highlighted some possible innovative solutions to the known concerns. According to him, once Bitcoin can rise above the challenges it comes with, it has the potential to address some of the problems faced by the state of Texas. Texas is known as the top producer of wind power in the US, and also has a considerable amount of solar power in excess. During the last winter storm, Texas was hit by a severe power outage, yet its energy remained in excess. 

Speaking at the Oct 8 Texas Blockchain Summit, Cruz suggested another form of energy that could facilitate Bitcoin mining without posing problems to the environment. According to him, gas flared energy produced in Texas is usually burnt off and wasted, so it could be a perfect alternative source of energy for Bitcoin mining. 

It is worth noting that the gas which is the byproduct of the oil industries is flared to avoid pressure buildups. This idea was lauded by the Castle Island Ventures partner Nic Carter. 

My jaw dropped while listening — he has the most enlightened perspective on the issue I’ve ever come across from a policymaker.

The challenge with the “flared” gas energy use for Bitcoin mining

During the presentation, Cruz disclosed that 50 percent of the gas being flared in the US is done in the West Texas Permian Basin. 

I think that is an enormous opportunity for Bitcoin because that’s right now the energy that is just being wasted.

The only known challenge is the inadequate transmission equipment or pipeline to channel the gas to the site. In this case, Cruz suggested that gas could be “captured onsite, and used with generators to mine Bitcoin”. In addition, there are environmental benefits that come with using the gas rather than burning it.  According to Carter, Cruz is absolutely right with his suggestion. 

Suffice to say, Sen. Cruz is absolutely right … Major energy firms will use BTC for renewable offtake & flare gas mitigation is happening.

Several firms including Crusoe Energy have started installing infrastructures to harness flare energy. It is believed that Bitcoin miners have a higher chance of taking advantage of the excess renewables which may be absolutely impossible in places where there is abundant solar or wind energy but lacking the infrastructure to harness it. 

Cruz added: 

dramatically different terrain with Bitcoin mining playing a significant role as strengthening and hardening the resilience of the grid,” in the next five years. 

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