Some people sometimes see Bitcoin mining as a wasteful and useless industry. Genesis Mining is launching a pilot project in which they go a step further than ‚converting electricity into hashes‘. They are going to link the mining of bitcoin to the cultivation of crops.
To be more precise, they are going to use the heat for greenhouses in Boden, Sweden. The company announces this today in a press release. The cloud mining company has been working on this project for a year now. They want to decimate the waste when mining bitcoin.
The biggest cost item for bitcoin mining is electricity. Using special rigs, the so-called ASICs, miners convert this electricity into computing power. The compensation they receive for this is in the block reward, which consists of a subsidy (which is currently 6.25 BTC) and the sum of the transaction costs in the block.
But with that, for the time being, the profit was only within the ecosystem of the cryptomint itself. There are also initiatives to use illiquid energy (with gas flaring) for mining. But also here the end product was just new mined bitcoin.
With this initiative of Genesis Mining they also use the residual product of the mining, namely the heat that is released. Not only do they want to recycle this heat, they also want to help the local government to produce self-sufficient food in the greenhouses.
„A 1 MW data center can improve local self-sufficiency by up to 8% compared to competing products in the market.
MATTIAS VESTERLUND, RESEARCHER AT RESEARCH INSTITUTES OF SWEDEN (RISE)
In addition to Genesis Mining and its philanthropic subsidiary Hashpower For Science, this project is also supported by Systemair, Lulea Technical University, RISE, Boden Business Agency and the local municipality (Boden).
„This project contributes to scaling up the food industry while achieving national energy efficiency targets. It is the first of many projects within the Energy Symbiosis, and hopefully the results will show that it is very possible to scale up to large commercial production“.
NILS LINDH, DIRECTOR OF DATA CENTER DEVELOPMENT AT BIDDING BUSINESS AGENCY
For the pilot, Genesis Mining made special customized Bitcoin mining containers with newly developed hot air extraction systems. All this is clearly documented on the website.
According to calculations by the Technical University of Lulea, a mini container of 550 kW is more than enough to heat a 300 m2 greenhouse – even in the cold Swedish climate. However, according to a university lecturer, the potential is many times greater than that.
The news follows an initiative of Square. They are investing $10 million in the mining industry, committing to a green(er) sector with their Bitcoin Clean Energy Investment Initiative.
Hans Looman joked in our Hup Bitcoin podcast about heating his home in Canada with a mining rig as a (noisy) hobby project. Listen to his story about mining rigs at locations where they torch gas in exchange for free bitcoin.