06 Feb Italian Energy Company Enel Refuses to Power Bitcoin Miners
Global energy giant Enel has sharply announced that it has “no interest whatsoever” in supplying energy to cryptocurrency mining operations, say Reuters.
The decision comes after a brief period of research in which the Italian company was in talks to supply Swiss mining firm Envion AG with power from renewable sources. According to a Bloomberg report, the discussions with Envion were part of a broader effort by Enel to look at the market for selling power to cryptocurrency miners.
Enel is one of Europe’s top renewable energy suppliers and is also the primary energy supplier in Italy. It explained its decision in a report by Reuters, stating that they have made clear steps toward sustainable energy and therefore “sees the intensive use of energy dedicated to cryptocurrency mining as an unsustainable practice that does not fit with the business model it is pursuing.”
The move is sure to disappoint Bitcoin (BTC) enthusiasts in the country, who likely are waiting for some good news amid harsh government crackdowns on cryptocurrencies elsewhere. On the bright side, despite Enel’s aversion to digital coins, they are still keen to explore the applications of blockchain technology in the energy industry. This was the primary focus of the EnelFocusOn event that was hosted in Santiago, Chile, on February 2nd. The event saw Joel Comm, a ‘blockchain evangelist’, highlight solutions offered by blockchain in “making the energy industry more sustainable”, say Enel.
Bitcoin mining is becoming a hot topic as governments, energy companies and environmentalists grow increasingly concerned with the huge amounts of electricity needed to operate mining farms. Many Chinese mining companies are looking to the west for potential mining spots as the Chinese government, overburdened by energy demand, begins a crackdown on the activity. Renewable energy is of particular interest given its abundance, sustainability and relative cheapness in places such as Canada, yet the demand is pushing suppliers to breaking point.
Meanwhile, the Italian government has proposed cryptocurrency regulations which will ‘clarify’ the use of Bitcoin and others in the country. According to Coindesk, the regulations will help enforce new anti-money laundering rules put forward by the European Union. As a result, businesses who make transactions with cryptocurrency would be recorded.
Featured image: Enel.com