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Volcano in Kenya turns on lights in rural homes thanks to Jack Dorsey’s bitcoin mining support

This innovative method takes advantage of extraordinary natural resources to bring energy to areas that may have previously lacked access to electricity.

Date: 2024-04-22 Author: Łukasz Michałek
Volcano in Kenya turns on lights in rural homes thanks to Jack Dorsey’s bitcoin mining support

In a remote region of Kenya , a group of Bitcoin miners has found an innovative way to power their operations and bring electricity to rural homes.

Located near Hell’s Gate National Park, the miners have set up a workshop on the site of an extinct volcano, where they use a mobile container equipped with solar power and energy from a nearby geothermal source.

This unique setup allows them to mine Bitcoins while electrifying local communities. The venture is led by a start-up called Gridless, backed by Jack Dorsey.

Gridless operates six mines

Gridless operates six mines in Kenya, Malawi and Zambia, all powered by a combination of renewable energy sources. “Most people think about bitcoin and the price of bitcoin and how they can save value on it or maybe spend it,” – Gridless CEO Erik Hersman told CNBC .

“It’s not going to happen without our global distribution.” Mining bitcoin is a process that requires significant amounts of electricity. Miners around the world use powerful computers to check transactions and create new tokens.

In their search for the cheapest sources of energy, miners often face challenges from fluctuating cryptocurrency prices. But Bitcoin ‘s recent rise in value has renewed interest in mining operations, making it more profitable to continue supporting the network.

Analysts predict a shift in the geography of cryptocurrency mining after the recent halving, as profit margins shrink. Countries with lower energy costs, such as Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, are attracting cryptocurrency miners.

This creates an opportunity for renewable energy developers in these regions to tap into excess power and support the growing Bitcoin network.

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Bitcoin mining operations

The goal of Gridless, founded by Hersman and his co-founders Philip Walton and Janet Maingi, is to bridge the gap between power generation and capacity in Africa. With some 600 million people lacking access to electricity, the company’s bitcoin mining business serves two purposes.

They tap into renewable energy sources that would otherwise be wasted, and provide electricity to homes and businesses in underserved communities.

The volcanic region in which Gridless operates, known as Hell’s Gate, has a rich history and is home to diverse wildlife. Taking advantage of the volcanoes’ energy potential, geothermal power plants have been developed in the area . This approach is not unique to Kenya; other countries, such as Iceland and El Salvador, have also harnessed geothermal energy to mine Bitcoin.

Bitcoin mining has faced criticism because of its energy consumption. However, when combined with renewable energy sources, it can help release trapped renewable energy and encourage increased production.

Bitcoin miners act as energy buyers, harnessing surplus renewable energy and providing financial incentives for further development.

The Gridless network has not only powered thousands of households, but has also facilitated local farmers with refrigerated container storage, electric motorcycle charging stations and public Wi-Fi points.

Through its mining operations, the company is making renewable energy economically viable in Africa, while contributing to the secure operation of the Bitcoin network.

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Łukasz Michałek
Łukasz Michałek
Founder of the rapidly developing cryptocurrency channel "Biblia Kryptowalut" on YouTube. He also co-creates the Arena Trading group with Marek. Łukasz is fascinated and passionate about blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, which constitute the central element of his activity in the cryptocurrency industry.
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