Just close to Snowdonia National Park in Denbighshire, there lies Berwyn mountain range beside which Philip Huges farm is located whereby cattle feast upon lush valley pastures while flocks of sheep beautify the hills. Besides, there exists a mega ship container in which a unique farm flourishes in such otherwise picture-perfect panorama and such is a cryptocurrency farm.
For generations, Mr. Hughes’s family has been into farming but now, for a change, he has shifted focus towards mining, making use of puissant computers that run by renewable energy to provoke new cryptocurrency.
And the source of this energy is, as Mr. Hughes remarks, “cow muck”.
A mega engine comprising six-cylinders, runs at 500 rpm and turns methane expelled by cow manure decomposed into electricity.
The term given to the process is anaerobic digestion.
Now, sans oxygen, manure is broken down by microbes and causes the emergence of methane, that is burnt to generate heat and electricity and it is thus thwarted from entering the atmosphere else it would have emerged a real draconian greenhouse gas.
The residue can be utilized as fertilizer.
Now, when anaerobic digester produces electricity, about 75% of it, helps in enabling the farm with power as well as its caravan park while the remaining power fuels the mining rigs, which are specialist computers as large as a suitcase.
The minds are still busy on lengthy computations useful in transactional verification and would get rewarded with new crypto-currency and such a process is tedious with a tremendous of energy involved.
Currently, efforts centre around Ethereum mining.
Income varies and to such a query, Philip says, “it does very much depend on what day you ask that question”, clearly referring to whimsical nature of such digital product.
As a matter of fact, Ethereum’s worth has declined from $4000 just in May to around $2400 at this time of article writing.
Mr. Philips has initiated upon sharing his renewable energy on lease.
There are many rigs getting powered from digester, while some he owns but some belong to other parties.
Then comes Josh Riddett, owning Easy Crypto Hunter in Manchester who, commenting on the rigs where each costs around 18 thousand pounds, says, “lots of very powerful computer-graphics cards”.
Truly, Ethereum mining pulls a lot of energy but still it falls lesser than Bitcoin mining while efforts are on to reduce it further.
It has been quite a while that Josh has been active pestering small-scale electricity generators for cryptocurrency mining and has a wide range of equipment scattered in 42 sites meant for solar, hydro and wind-powered generators other than anaerobic digestion.
However, a handful of small-scale hydro projects have shown wariness recently, as they are much concerned about the impact of cryptocurrencies on the environment.
Apart from this, some are filled with scepticism about cryptocurrencies that this would hold value for longer duration and would enable investors in recovering investment made into such projects.
Earlier, the machinery adopted for unravelling renewable energy schemes was the feed-in-tariff, which simply financed the renewable generators for electricity supply. The tariff was launched in 2011 which led to a surge in renewables but payable amount declined and new generators were made functional in 2019.
Josh contents, “We’re not going to be able to move to green energy unless the government revitalizes the subsidy, or we start looking at alternatives”.
But then, save crypto-mining, renewable energy is found useless to other purposes such as powering electric cars or to heat homes.
Mr. Alex de Vries, who writes in Digiconomist, terms such usage as green-energy wastage as crypto-currency is useful to few and hence lacks social relevance. In his words, “The utility these systems can have is inherently extremely limited”.
“If you look at Bitcoin, it can only process seven transactions per second at most- that’s its maximum capacity”.
“You have to consider that a payment provider like Visa can do 65,000 transactions per second, if needed”.
Mobility Towards Gold:
Hydro-electric power is spared in enormous amount in some parts of US, which can be ascribed to fall in heavy industry and this has triggered crypto-miners towards it.
As a result, electricity prices registered a rise in prices and in some regions, crypto-mining has even been dis-allowed in its entirety.
Besides this, e-waste problem also looms large, as devices used in crypto-mining cease to be functional after sometime. Now, experts call for a permanent and a long-term solution through renewable energy, while voices are in favour of making crypto-currencies more efficient and socially relevant too.
Gathers Momentum Infused By Sheer Interest:
As per reports circulated by Anaerobic Digestion and Bio-resources Association, plant delved into crypto-mining are limited in number.
Mr. Philips is exclusively concerned that his crypto products would enlist a shining value and would thus be an asset.
If market plunges, he has numerous other uses of computing power in mind, drawing out of rigs.
His crypto splash has garnered massive interest among commoners, especially farmers have approached him in a large number.
He remarks, “it’s a lot easier to run a computer now than a herd of cows or a flock of sheep”.