In the course of the last few of years, there have been considerable discussions relating to the energy consumed by cryptocurrency mining. The process of generating new bitcoin is called mining, and this consumes a lot of electricity in the process. According to Digiconomist’s Bitcoin Energy Consumption 2017 Index, Bitcoin’s annual estimated electricity consumption is equivalent to 29.05TWh or 13% of the total global energy electricity consumption. The estimate means that the electricity consumed as a result of bitcoin mining now exceeds that of 159 individual countries and more than Ireland or Nigeria.
Significant amount electricity consumed poses a considerable issue because bitcoin mining is seen as unsustainable in the long run, due to its heavy energy consumption. However, some miners are coming up with innovative ideas to harness the excess heat generated from bitcoin mining to produce cash crops.
What innovative ideas have they come up with?
In a Twitter discussion on March 10th, the co-founder of Czech cryptocurrency exchange Nakamoto X revealed a photo of large bunches of tomatoes that were grown using excess heat from crypto miners.
Kamil Brejcha revealed that a bespoke housing for bitcoin servers was created to harness heat and send it to the greenhouse currently growing the tomatoes.
The venture which would be soon be joined by another business called Agritechture has been in “stealth” mode. However, it has now produced its first batch of crops on a five-acre greenhouse filled with tomatoes named ‘Cryptomatoes.’
Brejcha explained the underlying technology behind “Cryptomatoes” which is a Container that is being placed in the basement and the excess heat from the crypto mining rigs, and computer server is blown into the various greenhouses.
Mining rigs and computer servers generate a tremendous amount heat, and many other cryptocurrency advocates have set up mining farms in countries where electricity is affordable and in abundance to heat up homes.
One individual enquired why Brejcha did not grow cannabis plants with the excess heat generated. Brejcha, however, responded saying:
“Unfortunately because of local strict rules, we were unable to obtain a license for medical marijuana growing, so we had to choose tomatoes and other vegetables instead”
According to Brejcha people will be able to buy the tomatoes in ordinary shops. Additionally, Brejcha says the team also plans to include vertical farming for the project’s roadmap following the project’s initial stages.
Opposition to the Idea
Although some individuals are entirely against crypto mining in the first instance, because it uses a lot of electricity, hence it is deemed inefficient. One individual commented on Brejcha’s Twitter account saying “Would it not be more efficient to not crypto mine, to begin with.” However, Brejcha reply was that his team are different as they produce its energy using 100 percent bio waste produced power.
With all the complaints about the wastage of energy resulting from crypto mining, Brejcha, and other crypto advocates are showing individuals that mining can have a closed energy cycle loop by reusing the excess heat generated from crypto mining to produce cash crops.