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Cryptocurrency mining is a hot topic of debate due to the energy its consume. There are many skeptics who criticize Bitcoin and the entire ecosystem built aruond it due the amount of energy it consumes.
Per the latest stats, Bitcoin consumes more than 132 TWh of electricity annually, which is almost as much energy as consumed by Argentina.
To surmount the challenge and make Bitcoin more sustainable, the most viable solution is to use renewable energy resources to power Bitcoin mining operations.
iM Farm is a project establishing a completely solar-powered Bitcoin mining farm. For this interview, I spoke with Daniel Elimelech, the CEO and Chief Engineer of iM Farm to understand the importance of more sustainable Bitcoin mining operations and how his firm is bringing about the much-needed change.
Q1: Welcome to Unhashed. Please share with us your journey in the crypto and blockchain space so far.
Answer: It all started when I first invested in Bitcoin (BTC) in 2013. What fascinated me about Bitcoin was the ability to transact any desired amount with anyone without the involvement of any central entity and that too in a few clicks. It was in 2016 that I started mining and observing the electricity consumption of the Bitcoin network and realized how big an issue it could be in the long run.
Not many were conscious about this issue so I started approaching the community through meet-ups and discussed with them the potential of a sustainable blockchain utilizing liquid cooling and sustainable forms of energy. I laid the cornerstones of intelligent mining in 2017 and built an effective and efficient mining system that drastically reduces heat corrosion, noise, and the high energy consumption and works in an eco-friendly manner.
We wanted to go live earlier but paused to build our infrastructure and sign partnerships with solar companies. Today, our infrastructure is ready to become one of the biggest green mining farms in the world.
Q2. iM Intelligent mining focuses on making crypto mining “virtually free.” What does this mean and how do you intend to achieve this?
Answer: Virtually free refers to completely free of unordered, forceful energy that is destroying and distorting our environment. It means that we have developed an organized system specifically built to offer green energy to our crypto mining rigs so that we do not cause any form of pollution to the environment.
Q3: You are building mining rigs and other implements in deserts to best facilitate your operations. With global regulations still up for debate, please share with us the regulatory viability of this infrastructure.
Answer: Having studied the blockchain space for many years now, I've understood that it’s use cases are many and people, entities, even governemnts, all stand to benefit from it. But cryptos are volatile and that's why most regulators are skeptical about cryptocurrencies. But things are changing for cryptos as well.
Take for example, El Salvador accepting Bitcoin as a legal tender. Many may call it a small change, but it is change indeed and it has caused ripples that are already showing its impact.
Speaking of our infrastruture, we're like any other crypto mining firm that is operating legally but with a more novel agenda in mind: making crypto mining completely green. Unless there's some radical switch in crypto regulations as they stand today, I don't see why there would be any regulatory issues with our infrastructure or operations.
Q4: There are multiple corporations working on building solar-powered crypto mining. What are the current issues faced by these initiatives? And how does iM Intelligent mining stand apart?
Answer: One of the biggest issues of utilizing solar energy for crypto mining is efficiency. As solar energy generation is a direct result of the sunlight, which is also proportional to the heat generated, it becomes a great hinderance for most mining firms mulling large-scale solar powered systems to mine cryptos. Heat is the greatest distractor and creates lower efficiencies for miners.
To solve the cause, we have created an efficient cooling system powered by thermodynamics to put together a system that can bear the sun's heat and ensure that the computer chips can function normally throughout without corrosion.
Q5: The volatility in the market prices of the coins have a direct impact on the network hash rates. So, when the price falls, the profit potential of mining reduces and end users are at risk. Please explain how you mitigate this risk considering the rising volatility.
Answer: The answer to that lies in the rates you pay for the energy you consume. If you can build a green infrastructure such a completely solar-powered one, it reduces the costs dramatically. With what we've assessed and found, we're guessing that our total cost of powering the mining rigs for 30 years will cost the same amount that a miner of our scale will pay for the regular electricity they consume over a 6-year period.
So, when the cost of mining crypto reduces, obviously our profits soar. And even when the market drops, we have a greater chance of operting at a profit.
Q6. Recently, El Salvador accepted Bitcoin as a legal tender and also initiated the process of Bitcoin mining with rigs powered by the heat produced by volcanoes. What are your thoughts about this and where do you think are we headed next?
Answer: There are some risks due to volatility, but I think it's a massive step. And of course, it's evenmore amazing if we think about the impact it will have on the adoption of cryptocurrencies in general. Besides, using the heat of volcanoes is genius idea. As is said, the nature has enough to offer us if we're willing to use our brains to utilize its resources without harming it.
I believe that we are now headed toward better and more defined regulations for Bitcoin and chances are that it will be classified as a new asset type.
Disclaimer: The sole purpose of Unhashed is to unhash (decode) information about projects innovating using blockchain and cryptocurrencies and share it with the community. The writer does not have any vested interest in any of the projects covered herein. Not that this article shares any, but still, taking investment advice from strangers on the internet is not a wise thing to do.
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