Greenidge Generation, a Bitcoin miner that generates energy by burning natural gas, operates in the American state of New York. But something strange happens. The company has no permit at all for its mining activities. In fact, Greenidge is illegally mining Bitcoin (BTC). But this year things are going better than ever. How is that possible?
Illegal Bitcoin mining
In June 2022, Greenidge’s flight permit was not renewed by the judge. The company did not meet the state’s climate requirements. The company has also been operating for 5 years without having the required water permit. This permit is required to use water from the adjacent lake. Despite all this, Greenidge is having its best year ever and has already raised almost 1,400 Bitcoin in the first half of this year.
Greenidge uses a so-called loophole. The company has appealed the denial of permits. And as long as a judgment is appealed, there is no legal basis to stop operations. Environmental organizations fear that crypto miners will be able to continue their polluting activities for years without required permits.
“There is no mechanism to stop Greenidge’s operations while a ruling is appealed. This means they can continue to operate even if they are denied permission.”
Very polluting BTC miner
Although there are more and more crypto miners active who mine Bitcoin in a sustainable manner, Greenidge is not one of them. The company emitted 400,000 tons of CO2 in 2020, its first year of operation. According to a recent estimate, Greenidge pumps 1 million tons of CO2 and methane into the atmosphere every year. This corresponds to 0.37 percent of the entire New York state emissions target for 2023.
Currently, Greenidge Generation is operating under a permit that was revoked in November 2021, and environmental organizations and the local community are at a loss. Although crypto mining is becoming more sustainable and environmentally friendly, there are exceptions. Dirty crypto miners like Greenidge in New York State are not helping the reputation of Bitcoin mining.