As Bitcoin receives increased screen time on the global stage for its energy consumption, approaches are being developed around the world to make bitcoin mining more efficient.
Vancouver-based clean tech startup MintGreen is working on one such development by recovering waste from Bitcoin mining and selling it via heat offtake agreements with institutional clients. As a result, MintGreen uses mining electricity twice: first to mine bitcoin, and then to produce heating. All this, the startup says, is done using clean-sourced energy.
Now MintGreen has concluded a seed round, raising an undisclosed amount from CoinShares Ventures and a number of the startup's pilot clients, to further its efforts for the monetization and repurposing of mining-generated heat.
According to a press release shared with the BTC Times, MintGreen has two pilot projects lined up for the second quarter of the year. The first will be installed at Shelter Point Distillery on Vancouver Island, which will use the heat generated through liquid immersion mining to make its whiskey. The second, also situated on Vancouver Island, will be set up at the Vancouver Island Sea Salt facility to heat its large evaporation tanks used to produce gourmet flake salt.
The startup is further working with a number of district energy companies to implement full-scale multi-megawatt projects in the coming months.
MintGreen's isn't the only company working on adding efficiency to the Bitcoin mining industry which, while, growing at an accelerating rate, has become decried for its energy consumption in recent months despite its numbers not holding a candle to the carbon footprint of other assets like gold.
Many large-scale mining farms set up their operations in areas where the excess energy is generated, as is the case near some hydropower plants. Bitcoin infrastructure firm Blockstream became one of the first companies to enter into the Quebec hydropower market in 2017 to establish low-emission bitcoin mining operations. Norwegian industrial investment company Aker ASA made waves across the Bitcoin space earlier this month when it announced the formation of a subunit dedicated to Bitcoin infrastructure investments, including mining operations using stranded energy in partnership with Blockstream.
As demand for energy-efficient mining solutions increases, MintGreen CEO Colin Sullivan shows himself confident in the startup's mission:
“Bitcoin fixes many things, but we find ourselves with the unique opportunity to fix one of Bitcoin’s biggest problems without changing a line of code."