Bitcoin Mining Injury Lawyers

Bitcoin is a digital cryptocurrency that can be used to buy goods and services. It has come a long way since its inception in 2009. Hundreds of major retailers, establishments, and services, including airlines, use bitcoin as an accepted method of payment.[1] At its beginning, bitcoin could be mined using average computers. Now, the process is much more expensive and can be labor-intensive. Industrial-grade computers along with vast amounts of energy are used to power mining operations across the globe. The amount of electricity used to mine bitcoin globally has exceeded the electricity consumption of entire countries, such as Ireland and Argentina.

In New Jersey, multiple bitcoin data centers have been constructed, including GD Entertainment and Technology operating a New Jersey mining facility. There are also bitcoin mining operations in neighboring New York.

Bitcoin Mining Industries

Mining bitcoin takes an enormous amount of energy. Many computers are used to solve extremely difficult mathematical puzzles, unable to be solved by hand, to confirm bitcoin transactions. Below are examples of sources of energy used to mine bitcoin, including:

Geothermal Energy

El Salvador was the first country to accept bitcoin as legal tender. They are now using renewable volcanic energy to mine bitcoins, namely, geothermal energy. This involves a process of utilizing heat. Wells are built underground to pump steam or hot water to keep a power plant running 24/7.

Hydroelectric Energy

Hydroelectric power plants utilize the effects of moving water. Hydropower uses a dam or other structure near a water source. The availability of energy can be affected by the water cycle and droughts. One example of a hydropower plant comes from Albany Engineering Corp., which is using electricity produced by water to mine bitcoin.

Solar Power

Solar power uses solar panels to retrieve energy from sunlight to power mining rigs. Another renewable energy, it retains much of its usefulness when employed in regions with lots of sunlight throughout the year, such as in the southwest. The downside is that there are hours without sunlight, when its cloudy, or when there are dust storms. Therefore, using a nonrenewable natural gas generator during those times can fill in the gaps. Or miners may opt to sign contracts called “power purchase agreements” with local energy grids to purchase power at off-peak times.[2]

Wind Power

Wind turbines can generate electricity used to mine bitcoin. An attractive place for this is Texas, which leads the nation in wind power capacity. One downside in Texas is the sweltering heat, but companies can make use of the arid climate by utilizing evaporative cooling to cool mining machines at very low cost.[3]

Coal

Using coal to power plants used to mine bitcoin is another method companies have been using, most recently in China before a country-wide ban. In Pennsylvania, the Scrubgrass power plant uses coal waste used in old coal mining operations to run their data centers.[4]

Natural Gas

Idled coal plants have been converted into natural gas plants to mine bitcoin, one example being Greenidge Generation. The supplied power runs a data processing center that could have 85 megawatts of mining capacity by the end of 2022.[5]

Operators at oil rigs and drilling sites can also cash in. Capturing the energy from flare gas at oil patches allows them to use it as an energy source.[6]

Nuclear Energy

The use of nuclear energy to provide the electricity needed to mine bitcoin is gaining traction. Due to zero carbon emissions, it is likely an attractive option for companies looking to scale with greener energy sources.

Bitcoin Mining Injuries

Workers in power plants may encounter various hazards, including:

  • Falls
  • Electrocutions
  • Burns
  • Fires and explosions
  • Pulmonary diseases from working with or around toxic chemicals, including mesothelioma or pneumoconiosis (black lung disease)
  • Hearing loss
  • Caught In/Between
  • Overexertion and repetitive motions
  • Transportation accidents caused by forklifts or heavy machinery
  • Wrongful death

Additional Information

Many companies have found that using byproducts of energy production, that would have gone to waste, can be used to mine bitcoin. For example, when oil companies drill beneath the ground, they also hit natural gas. Most oil companies burn the gas in a process called flaring because they lack the required infrastructure to make use of it. One company called Crusoe Energy is installing piping systems to divert the natural gas into generators to be used to power computers.[7]

Although bitcoin can be mined solo or through bitcoin mining pools, there is less capability for these enthusiasts than for giant enterprises. Corporations have the financial resources to be able to employ a workforce capable of running entire operations built towards one purpose. The more computers a company runs, in addition to how well they can solve mathematical equations, makes it more likely that they can produce bitcoin. After retrieving bitcoin, miners add a new block of transactions to the blockchain.[8]

The workforce used to mine bitcoin in various industries is expansive and will likely grow over time. There are many ways to be able to mine bitcoin. As corporations see the value in reducing waste while making a profit off it, there is likely to be more engaged in this lucrative industry. At the same time, there is also likely to be pushback from environmental groups about carbon emissions, as well as electronic waste, currently producing 30,700 tons each year.[9]

Let Livingston DiMarzio Help You

At Livingston DiMarzio, our job is to protect the rights of workers no matter the circumstances. This includes power plant workers, who face daily hazards that they must confront. We understand the critical nature of their work. If you are injured, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, which can cover the costs of wage replacement, medical care, permanent disability benefits, and death/survivor benefits. Our bitcoin mining injury lawyers are experienced in guiding our clients through an otherwise difficult process. We also know how important it is to keep you and your family financially stable. Call us today for a free case consultation at (973) 718-3769. As a reminder, you pay nothing unless you win.

[1] Techslang. (2021, September 22). How Long Does it Take to Mine a Bitcoin? Techslang. Retrieved October 2, 2021, from https://www.techslang.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-mine-a-bitcoin/.

[2] Williams, J. (2021, August 24). Is Solar Power a Good Fit for Bitcoin Mining? Nasdaq. Retrieved October 2, 2021, from https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/is-solar-power-a-good-fit-for-bitcoin-mining-2021-08-24.

[3] Orcutt, M. (2020, February 27). How Texas’s Wind Boom has Spawned a Bitcoin Mining Rush. MIT Technology Review. Retrieved October 2, 2021, from https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/02/27/905626/how-texass-wind-boom-has-spawned-a-bitcoin-mining-rush/.

[4] Helman, C. (2021, August 10). ‘Green Bitcoin Mining’: The Big Profits in Clean Crypto. Forbes. Retrieved October 2, 2021, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2021/08/02/green-bitcoin-mining-the-big-profits-in-clean-crypto/?sh=708e615b34ce.

[5] Spegele, B., & Ostroff, C. (2021, May 21). Bitcoin Miners Are Giving New Life to Old Fossil-Fuel Power Plants. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 2, 2021, from https://www.wsj.com/articles/bitcoin-miners-are-giving-new-life-to-old-fossil-fuel-power-plants-11621594803#.

[6] Robertson, H. (2021, June 20). Meet the Company Mining Bitcoin Using the Flare Gas from Oil Drilling – and Drawing Investment from Coinbase and the WINKLEVII. Business Insider. Retrieved October 2, 2021, from https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/currencies/bitcoin-mining-flare-gas-btc-energy-crusoe-energy-coinbase-winklevoss-2021-6.

[7] Robertson, H. (2021, June 20). Meet the Company Mining Bitcoin Using the Flare Gas from Oil Drilling – and Drawing Investment from Coinbase and the WINKLEVII. Business Insider. Retrieved October 2, 2021, from https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/currencies/bitcoin-mining-flare-gas-btc-energy-crusoe-energy-coinbase-winklevoss-2021-6.

[8] Frankenfield, J. (2021, May 31). Bitcoin Mining. Investopedia. Retrieved October 2, 2021, from https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/bitcoin-mining.asp.

[9] BBC. (2021, September 20). Bitcoin Mining Producing Tonnes of Waste. BBC News. Retrieved October 2, 2021, from https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-58572385.

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