The World Economic Forum (WEF) indirectly endorsed using flare emissions for mining Bitcoin.
In an unexpected turn of events, the lobbying group released a video featuring Chase Lochmiller, the CEO and co-founder of Crusoe Energy, talking about turning waste methane emissions into energy.
Crusoe Energy takes mobile and modular infrastructure to oil and gas sites to harvest waste emissions into energy for powering data centers and cryptocurrency mining – thus reducing the environmental impact of fossil fuel production and tapping into an alternative energy source.
“This helps energy producers clean up the least efficient parts of their operations to meet rising environmental standards around flaring and emissions.”
Lochmiller does not mention Bitcoin directly
According to the WEF, the work carried out by Crusoe Energy aligns the future of computing “with the future of the climate.”
During the short video, Lochmiller explained that it is not always economically viable or logistically feasible to collect flare gas – leading to energy producers burning the waste gas on site.
Co-locating mobile data centers with the sources of fossil fuel production, Crusoe Energy uses waste methane streams to cost-effectively power computing equipment at the location.
“By doing that, not only do we create a massive emission reduction from this previously wasted source of energy, but we can also produce ultra-low-cost computing infrastructure by harnessing this otherwise stranded form of energy.”
The video claimed that methane is “one of the most potent greenhouse gases,” having trapped 80 times more heat than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.
According to the WEF, computing currently uses 1.5% of the world’s total electricity output. However, by 2030, it could consume up to 8% of global electricity production.
While mentioning usage for data centers and computing, there were no direct references to Bitcoin mining. Crusoe Energy’s website indicates that their computing systems are used for AI and deep learning, blockchain and cryptocurrency, and “intensive research” applications.
The WEF wants to change is public image
WEF initiatives, such as advocating for the consumption of insects to fight climate change and managing the health crisis through “the Great Reset,” have been met with pushback from some who view these moves as conspiratorial in nature.
During last year’s Davos, WEF Managing Director Saadia Zahidi addressed these concerns, dismissing ties to a nefarious global elite or the deep state. She said the organization has been subject to “misinformation campaigns” and is working toward improving its public image.
“We, like many other organizations have been the target of misinformation campaigns. And that is something that we’re very proactively trying to work towards combating.”
Nonetheless, comments on the WEF-Crusoe Energy video were filled with skepticism, particularly on why Bitcoin was not mentioned and why the organization is now seemingly endorsing Proof-of-Work mining.
In a recent article, the WEF advocates for sensible and coordinated global policy under the guidance of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) rules, particularly regarding “know your customer” compliance.
The article also supported the Digital Currency Governance Consortium – a body comprised of over 80 organizations tasked with shaping the direction of digital currency development.