5 QUESTIONS TO SEBASTIEN GOUSPILLOU, CEO OF BIGBLOCK
One of the biggest blockchain news in France in 2019 is the launch of your huge mining unit in Central Asia:
1. In full bear market and in a period of slump for global mining, is not this against the current?
We closely study the movements of this mining industry, which evolves according to prices: between August 2017 and August 2018, the power of calculation has been multiplied by 13, 13 times more machines on the market in one year. This massive addition of power has come through the different ICOs on mining and by the participation of newly arrived private investors in Bitcoin.
Since then, hashrate has fallen, hundreds of thousands of high-performance machines that are used very little are available at low prices on the market; in fact, today we can create a mining farm with 5 times less investment than 18 months ago. Of course, this only makes sense if you have cheaper electricity than the majority of competitors, and that’s the whole battle that is currently being fought among miners: having relied on a facility in Kazakhstan for one year (purchase of the land, the processor and creation of the local company), we are offered a more profitable mining than 80% of our competitors.
We have requests for hosting from colleagues coming from Asia, Canada, the United States and Europe, which confirms to us if necessary the relevance of our strategy: to position ourselves solidly and sustainably on a site that has a lot of electricity not sold with very low prices.
2. So, you are betting on a drop in prices that would lower the hashrate and give you a bigger position? You see the course of bitcoin still fall?
Let’s say that this hypothesis is actually favorable in our position, even if we are convinced that we will live a new bull run, one day. Many of the world’s largest investment funds and giant banks like Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan are banking on bitcoin (even if, of course, they say bad things about BTC), the finance world knows that the value of this token is set to go up a lot. But we don’t know when, so, waiting, we will be comfortable in one of the best place to mine in the world.
3. Bitcoin is often criticized for having a concentration of mining, which would call into question decentralization, the first quality of this protocol. What do you think about?
Many people fantasize about bitcoin, and write without knowing; they refer to the concentration of Chinese mining pools to conclude a territorial domination of China in the field, for example. This is a counter sense, the hardware connected to these pools are owned by minors from anywhere. But even this concentration of pools and questioning today, the following charts show it well.
4. Your ultimate goal is the creation of a BTC mining pool, is it feasible and how do you plan to do it?
Yes, it is our goal, we hold as French actors to have a position that counts in the mining cooperatives, precisely to participate in this decentralization. We can call enough power on our current site to represent 1% of the world’s Hashrate; this will happen with the participation of hundreds of different customers, the hashrate that we manage is not our property, it is decentralized. But the ambition of our pool is not to bring together only the minors of our site: it will be a new solution, 100%, transparent and professional, and we know that it will attract many of our colleagues, which should make our pool “bleu blanc rouge” an actor that counts, able to compete with the main actors of the moment.
5. Finally, we know you as a slayer of the idea “Bitcoin is an ecological disaster”: what about the energy used on your new site?
I confirm, Bitcoin on the contrary has all the advantages to be an agent of the energy transition. Understanding mining as a waste of electricity is a misconception, but popularized by its opponents: rightly, we are all worried about our planet. Designating bitcoin as a scapegoat is a great idea if you want to weaken it. Fortunately today, the “studies” in the press tending to demonstrate that Bitcoin is black coal or responsible for a future global warming are everywhere denied: they are biased, without scientific rigor and based on assumptions technically false .
In many countries, green electricity generation sites exist, while distribution networks are not sufficient; this generates an unused production, it is this production that the miners are looking for. By transforming lost production into digital assets, or simply by selling it to these newer customers with the ability to source it, operators can much more quickly make their production units profitable and invest in the distribution network, bringing electricity to their territory faster than expected. This is a real opportunity for them and for the people who will benefit from this electrification. We are in this case on the site of Almaty, the electricity is produced by a hydroelectric dam in overcapacity compared to local demand. So, the carbon footprint of the dam remains the same whether we are there or not. To say the opposite is a shameless lie.