By Landon Manning
The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the largest electrical power company in Japan, has announced its intention to begin turning unused electricity into bitcoin.
The concept of “unused electricity” in this case is tied to alternating current. Alternating current is significantly more efficient in every way than direct current, but it does come with a tradeoff: power generated at a plant can be sent through wires and transformers to any users that have a need of it, but it can be difficult or even impossible to adjust the output to match actual demand.
This is where Bitcoin comes in. Often derided as a major source of carbon emissions and climate change, Bitcoin miners are increasingly becoming energy users in places where energy would otherwise be wasted, like in oil operations that flare gas.
Now, TEPCO is jumping in on this movement too, as it announced in December 2022 after having already set up a pilot project in Tokyo. Entering a partnership with TRIPLE-1, a Japanese semiconductor company, TEPCO’s pilot program was intended to “confirm the system behavior and the impact on the power grid when equipment is operated with a large amount of power on the scale of 1,500 kW.”
The report also claimed that all equipment seemed to be functioning normally. With this success, TEPCO is intending to set up Bitcoin mining operations all over Japan, in various power plants that use sources like wind, solar or hydroelectricity. All of these sources will generate power regardless of the demand, and all of them have opportunities for Bitcoin mining.
For TEPCO and other power companies, the choice of moving toward Bitcoin is an opportunity for new revenue streams; turning wasted opportunities into a chance to supplement revenue and ensure the viability of the entire company. Exxon is also carrying out a pilot plan to burn gas on-site and mine bitcoin, and it plans to expand the process into four countries.ConocoPhillips also reportedly joining the trend.
Bitcoin has introduced a valuable source of income for power generation in a wide number of situations and industries, in a way that can easily be expanded worldwide. With Japan’s TEPCO turning to Bitcoin on such a massive scale, the long-term benefits to the crypto community could be substantial. Powering adoption through its blockchain-specific uses, Bitcoin can take the world economy into the future.
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