In a move that has been seen as innovative by some, but environmentally unsound by others, Simplicity Esports and Gaming Company have announced that they will collaborate with one of the biggest esports organizations Esports Entertainment Group’s ggCircuit to use its gaming PC’s to mine cryptocurrencies.
The aim is to only use the machines when they are idle and not being used for gaming, hence the passive aspect of the operation.
The company has 33 gaming centres across the United States and with a minimum of 20 gaming stations in each centre, company CEO Roman Franklin has stated that he expects to be able to mine between $100 and $125 in Ethereum a month, per PC by mining when idle during the day and also overnight.
Speaking about the potentially controversial move, Franklin stated:
“We continue to find innovative ways to leverage the largest footprint of esports gaming centers in the U.S. for increasing revenue. We plan to have the first PCs mining Ethereum as soon as next week, and plan to roll out this strategy at all new locations that we acquire or build as long as it remains economically viable.”
That looks to be a very likely prospect given the news this week that Ethereum has outperformed bitcoin so far this year.
Solid Performance from Ethereum
A recent news article revealed that Ethereum has seen its value increase by around 240% this year, while Bitcoin has seen its value increase by just short of 38%.
In what has been a volatile year so far for all cryptocurrency, Ethereum’s value soared to $4,000 in May but has since fallen down to $2,500. Similarly, Bitcoin saw its value increase to around $65,000 in April before falling back to $30,000.
Given that each computer that mines for Simplicity Esports could generate $100 to $125 of Ethereum a month, the amount that could be mined per annum makes this a potentially lucrative additional stream of income for the company.
If we assume 33 centres, each with 20 PCs that means each centre would generate between $2000 and $2500 per month. Across the 33 centres, that equates to around $82,500 worth of Ethereum each month, and just shy of $1,000,000 worth of Ethereum across the year, assuming that Ethereum’s value remains relatively steady.
Furthermore, if the value of Ethereum starts to increase again in the future, then the value of the crypto that the company mines will only grow in value, even potentially doubling its value, thus making it a very lucrative additional stream of revenue for the company.
Given that cryptocurrency is being used increasingly more widespread and for a vast array of uses, such as crypto betting (on sites such as EEG’s vie.bet esports) right down to doing the weekly shop, or even buying a house or car, the move certainly makes a lot of sense given how crypto values are increasing in general.
Criticism of “Dirty Currency”
While fiscally sound, the move to mine for Ethereum passively will not go down well with environmental campaigners, who have argued that cryptocurrency mining, which uses as much energy as the country of Argentina, is a drain of natural resources.
Elon Musk famously decided to not accept payment for his Tesla cars using bitcoin due to concerns over mining for them and its environmental impact. Trinity College Dublin professor Brian Lucey called Bitcoin “a dirty currency”.
There is no doubt that Simplicity Esports decision to use their PC network to mine for Ethereum makes fiscal sense, however, there are many that argue that the damage that it can cause by its largely fossil fuel energy consumption, is ethically wrong.