After a merger with Ikonics Corporation, the environmentally-focused, renewable-energy-committed company, Terawulf, has drawn big investors and plans to be carbon-zero by 2025.
Elon Musk, in an effort to condemn the use of fossil fuels in crypto mining, tweeted back in May that Tesla would no longer accept Bitcoin. The tweet caused a plummet in BTC and sent the mining industry into a frenzy. But the squeeze on miners hasn’t let up since May of 2021 when Musk tweeted the news. China’s recent crackdown on crypto mining has forced many companies into a public-relations-friendly push for sustainability. Argo has a mining plant in Texas that is powered mostly by wind and solar energy, an effort that is intended to be more envirornmetnally responsible.
For now, financial and technical barriers are preventing many companies from going completely “clean”, in their quest for crypto mining. There is room for change, however. In states such as Texas, there is an incentive for companies that have the ability to cease electricity use when there is a desperate need on the grid. This can provide regular electricity users with power; the state offers these companies a discount for their ability to pull the plug when needed.
TeraWulf is a sustainability-minded crypto mining company that has recently made headlines and has topped Google search data in the crypto category. With celebrity backers such as Gwyneth Paltrow and generous investor returns, the company is committed to mining their Bitcoin from a zero-carbon energy source.
TeraWulf is the first ESG-driven crypto mining company in the U.S.
On their website’s sustainability page, the company states:
At TeraWulf, we know that having a meaningful ESG impact requires a 360 view of how our business affects issues such as climate change, diversity and inclusion, health and safety, and community engagement.
That’s why we evaluate each project and investment through TeraWulf’s proprietary ESG Matrix to ensure alignment of our physical footprint with our corporate values.
In an effort for clarity, they define the difference between zero-carbon and carbon-neutral industries. Being carbon-neutral is not necessarily a sustainable practice, because carbon-neutrality involves removing the same amount of carbon created only after it is already in the atmosphere.
Typically, companies can offset their carbon consumption by buying carbon credits. Though this involves these credits being put towards offsetting, such as planting trees and forests, this has also drawn criticism as well. It’s not a perfect science, and offsetting doesn’t deliver when it comes to reversing climate change. It is simply maintenance, or the cleanup of collateral damage.
TeraWulf aims for 100-percent zero-carbon emissions, meaning that from the beginning of the product/ service, no carbon emissions are created. At the time of this article, TeraWulf is at 90% zero-carbon emissions, and plans to be 100% zero-carbon by 2030.
They also have a charitable foundation, “complementing” their mission to create environmentally freindly Bitcoin mining. The charity aims to make a difference in the areas that they live and work. According to the foundation, they are passionate about “protecting our agriculture, managing water and waste responsibly, and supporting underserved communities.”
“In January 2022, the Foundation made its inaugural financial commitment to the Chesapeake Conservancy to support the initiative to elevate the national significance of the Chesapeake Bay and provide ecological, cultural, and economic benefits to its multi-state watershed region,” said the company’s website. The charity foundation is led by their CEO, Paul Prager.
TeraWulf’s Investors Include Gwyneth Paltrow and a Slew of Celebrity Investors
Many news outlets have branded TeraWulf as a “green” company, and it appears to have caught the eye of GOOP CEO and actress, Gywneth Paltrow. GOOP claims to be “moving full steam ahead towards sustainability” and appears to support ethical brands. The alternative medicine and wellness company has drawn criticism in the past, touting some questionable practices in the name of health.
Paul Prager tweeted in December of 2021 that Gwyneth Paltrow and “others” have invested a substantial amount into the company. TeraWulf has raised a total of about $295 million to date and said it continues to take “an opportunistic approach” to raising capital.
The “others” in the 8-figure investment lineup include actress and comedian Mindy Kaling, as well as comedian and late-night host Lilly Singh. Other celebrity investors include Beautycon Media CEO Moj Mahdara, KITH CEO Ronnie Fieg, and TikTok’s head of global marketing, Nick Tran.
Paltrow said in a statement about the investment, “…the highly-experienced management team is passionate about diversity and inclusion, reflected in their executive team and the fact that they welcomed us with open arms not simply as an investor, but as a true partner.”
Currently, the company has two facilities. The Lake Mariner Facility is located on the shores of Lake Ontario and sources its power from Western New York. The facility is a hydroelectric-powered mine on the site of a retired coal plant.
The other facility resides in Pennsylvania. The Nautilus Cryptomine is a partnership between TeraWulf’s nuclear mining facility subsidiary and Talen Energy Corporation. According to the site, “it will be among the largest, most efficient BTC mines in North America.”
The shares of the miner have declined about 47% this year, while the price of bitcoin fell 15%.
As of right now, TeraWulf is a leader in turning crypto mining clean. “Everyone I talk to now is talking about carbon neutrality,” said Paul Prager in an article from the New York Times. “The language has absolutely changed.”