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Deutsche Telekom plans Bitcoin mining pilot to improve energy efficiency

deutsche telekom

We’ve previously reported on Deutsche Telekom‘s operating nodes and staking services for multiple blockchains – 14 and counting. From a strategic perspective, it views this as a modern version of traditional telecom infrastructure services. Deutsche Telekom’s Dirk Röder revealed that the telecoms company already operates Bitcoin and Lightning network nodes and plans to mine Bitcoin. He was talking at the BTC Prague event on Friday.

However, a Deutsche Telekom spokesperson emphasized to Ledger Insights that the nature of the work is about infrastructure rather than investment. With most blockchains switching to proof of stake, Bitcoin’s proof of work is far more energy hungry with the ongoing debate about the sheer quantity of energy it uses.

Deutsche Telekom plans to run a pilot to explore how to reduce Bitcoin mining’s energy impact on the environment. It involves adapting the Bitcoin mining rigs to the available energy supply in seconds. In other words, if there’s a general energy shortage, then bitcoin rigs would presumably power down. If there’s excess energy, it will use it for mining. This was compared the Texas energy stabilization models.

Bitcoin miners adapt to electricity demand

There are in fact two Texas-related stories. One involves some Texan Bitcoin miners using surplus gas from oil and gas extraction sites, which supposedly would otherwise have been flared.

The other more likely comparison involves mining companies committing to buying large amounts of electricity but getting compensated for adjusting their usage during peak demand. Bitcoin miner Riot Platforms reportedly made $32 million using this methodology last summer. With rising consumer energy bills, this is proving somewhat controversial.

Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick is not a fan of Bitcoin miners. “They produce very few jobs compared to the incredible demands they place on our grid. Crypto mining may actually make more money selling electricity back to the grid than from their crypto mining operations,” he said last week.

Various arguments have also suggested that Bitcoin could encourage greater demand for renewable energy. A couple of years ago, Time magazine fact checked various positive energy stories around Bitcoin, finding them to be a mixed bag.

Meanwhile, Deutsch Telekom’s most recent blockchain addition was, the network looking to deploy the economy of things – IoT devices powered by smart contracts. Bosch is a big supporter.

We believe this is the list of the blockchain networks that Deutsch Telekom supports: Hedera Hashgrapn DLT, Chainlink, Flow, Celo, Ethereum, Q network, Polygon, Energy Web, the Graph, MultiversX, Aleph Zero,, the Lightning Network and Bitcoin.

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