Riot Platforms replied to The New York Times’ charges about its crypto mining practices in an April 10 statement. The New York Times published a story titled “The Real-World Cost of the Digital Race for Bitcoin” on April 9 that examined the activities of 34 Bitcoin mining companies in the United States.
Riot was named the largest of these efforts in that article. According to the New York Times, Riot utilized 450 MW of power, 96% of which came from fossil fuels, and produced 1.9 million tons of CO2 emissions every year.
Riot reacted by noting that it draws power from the Texas electrical system, which is 24% wind, 10% nuclear, and 4% solar. Riot has stated that it operates in rural areas where wind and solar are “abundant and otherwise wasted” during off-peak hours, and that it takes advantage of the available energy.
Riot claims that its Bitcoin mining activities “do not emit any greenhouse gas emissions” and instead consume electricity in the same way that other data centers do. Riot also refuted accusations that Bitcoin mining has an impact on the wider energy market and its prices. Riot claimed that electricity prices are rising for causes unrelated to Bitcoin mining, such as monetary policy, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the Biden administration’s restrictive energy policies.
Riot then contested claims regarding the amount of money saved by participating in energy-saving initiatives, claims about how those programs damage energy availability and pricing, and claims about how infrequently those programs occur.
Overall, Riot stated that the NYT piece provided a “false and distorted view” of both its own company and the cryptocurrency mining sector in general.
The business said that The New York Times ignored Riot data and instead made politically driven accusations. It warned that allowing parties selective electricity access based on their activities is a “dangerous path.” Several other members of the crypto world have also questioned The New York Times’ piece.
The NYT’s assertions are part of a lengthy line of critiques leveled at Bitcoin and its energy consumption. Around 2017, evidence appeared indicating that Bitcoin mining consumes the same amount of energy as some countries. Though Bitcoin still consumes a significant amount of energy, according to some estimates, renewable energy accounts for almost half of all Bitcoin mining.
When NFTs became widespread in 2021, the energy use criticism was extended to them. However, Ethereum, the foundation for the majority of NFTs, has stopped crypto mining. It no longer relies on competitive energy use to validate transactions.