Crypto has brought a lot of things into the world: more jobs, more money, and decentralized finance. However, one more thing that gets overlooked is the energy demand. Figures show that Bitcoin’s energy use is 150 terawatt-hours of electricity annually. It may not sound like a lot at first, but to put it into perspective, Bitcoin uses more energy per year than the entire country of Argentina, with all of its 45 million people. And that’s just Bitcoin alone, so what about the remaining 4,000+ cryptocurrencies out there?

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The State of the planet has called this massive energy consumption “Cryptocurrency’s dirty secret,” and it has not slipped the minds of the major crypto stakeholders. That’s why Kraken, the trading platform, has decided to release the Kraken of energy sources—nuclear power.

Source: Giphy

Kraken is reportedly considering using nuclear energy to power its data centers. According to Vishnu Patankar, Kraken's CTO, one of the major rationales for this switch is the expected rise of DeFi and the rising demand it is seeing. Patankar states:

With institutions moving into the crypto asset class and activity moving on-chain, the need for reliable fiat onramps continues to grow… Bolstering our energy resiliency means we strengthen a direct avenue into the crypto ecosystem, supporting its continued growth.”

But even for a company the size of Kraken, going nuclear is quite a massive task. However, the trading platform has said it is not seeking to build its own nuclear reactors. Instead, it has opted for an easier way of partnering with energy providers that dabble in nuclear power supply through small modular reactors (SMRs). These SMRs will be safely co-located with data centers and don’t have space or weather constraints.

This sounds like a good idea, considering crypto is used 24/7 worldwide and thus needs a constant, ample energy supply. Another important consideration is the surge in energy demand from AI and high-performance computing firms. Combining those demands with crypto is unsustainable, and it’ll probably mean no more power for the rest of us. We should really be thanking Kraken.

Source: imgflip

However, a move to nuclear power would also be a win for Kraken. According to Patankar:

A nuclear backup means Kraken can continue to operate even if there was major disruption to local energy supply. It adds redundancy and protects our energy resiliency so we can continue to offer round-the-clock products and services to our clients globally.
Source: Giphy

Watching crypto go “super saiyan” mode is truly an exciting prospect, but Kraken has not yet decided whether to go nuclear. According to Patankar, it remains a very strong consideration since alternatives like wind and solar depend on weather, and their energy storage methods are not quite as solid as nuclear power. So, will we be getting nuclear crypto? We’ll have to wait for Kraken to release the Kraken.  

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