In terms of energy consumption, cryptocurrency mining, like some other blockchain processes, is the dropper of the two industries.
"The mining industry (world) bitcoin used more energy than the country of Ireland at some point – and it was several months ago," said David Croft, a member of the law firm of Cleveland Meyers, Roman, Friedberg. & Lewis. Croft counts among its clients both cannabis growers and cryptocurrent miners and will speak at the Blockland Dec. 1-4 conference in Cleveland.
He said he thinks other mining and other blockchain businesses are coming here and supports the efforts of car dealership Bernie Moreno and others who hope to put Northeast Ohio at the forefront of the new industry. In addition to monitoring and managing (mining) bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, blockchain has applications for monitoring things such as medical records, insurance information and supply chains of producers and food producers, they say.
The Valley City mining operation continues, run by the Ethode of Medina County. CEO Joshua Holmes says he could use 100 MW of power if he could get it, but so far it has only a 2 MW portion.
What is a megawatt? Normally, it would be enough to feed about 1,000 homes, said Young – or about 2,500 people, based on the national employment rate. In other words, he said that a large glass production plant – operating over three shifts, 365 days a year – uses about 5 MW.
The large crypto mines can use more energy than an electric steel mill, which aspires up to 125 MW of power, Young said.
The next facility could be a mine designed for the west side of Cleveland (the specific site is a secret) of Hayden Gill, a Lakewood entrepreneur who sells mining equipment and consulting services to companies such as the cryptocurrency company Arbitrade. He wants all the power he can get, he said, because in the mining sector, every dollar spent on power represents a dollar and the change generated in the form of bitcoins or some other cryptocurrency, paying the miners to do its registry work.
"They have a 9MW service that we're trying to get … but there's still the issue of getting power," Gill said, adding that he will build his sub-station to manage power.
Young said that with advanced planning, FirstEnergy can generally supply around 2.5 MW to a single site.
Even the Gill mine is small. Both he and Croft said they are working with developers in other parts of the country to build facilities that consume up to 200 MW of power, enough to power the homes of half a million people.
At this time, the price of bitcoin is low compared to its historical highs. Experts say he is holding back the business. However, if the price increases, the larger mines will appear here and elsewhere.