The BTC mining rigs from Gridless Compute are powered by hydroelectricity, and on December 9th, the company tweeted pictures and commentary about how this is benefiting a rural community of 2,000 people (roughly 500 families). The tweet claims that monthly expenses will drop from $10 to $4.
While doing so, the blockchain that underpins Bitcoin is protected.
This week, the project’s developers also announced the conclusion of a successful $2 million funding round led by VC Stillmark and Blocks, the parent company of CashApp and Square.
Gridless claims it will use the proceeds from this round to bring reliable electricity to remote villages in Africa where bitcoin is mined.
While Bitcoin mining has been popular in North America, Europe, and Asia, Gridless CEO Erik Hersman has noted that Africa offers significant untapped potential for diversifying the industry. He stressed the continent’s wealth of renewable energy sources.
As well as having a positive effect on the communities in which it is used, “this presents excellent potential for profits for both energy generators and miners.”
Miles Suter, a well-known figure in the Bitcoin community and the head of CashApp, recently travelled to rural Kenya to inspect a potential CashApp location. Suter highlighted the project’s use of renewable energy sources, as BTC mining has been criticised for its negative effects on the environment in the past.
Despite mining reporting its lowest revenue in two years, miners have been able to recoup some of their losses due to a recent drop in BTC’s hash rate.
As more and more real-world applications for cryptocurrency and its underlying technology emerge, there has been a surge of crypto-related activity on the African continent over the past year.
As a result, the International Monetary Fund has recently advocated for stricter crypto regulation in the continent of Africa.
Furthermore, new partnerships have enabled U.S. residents to send money to Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya via the BTC Lightning Network for international financial transactions.