Natural gas for bitcoin mining instead of wasting it

Robert Hoogendoorn
Nov 5, 2019 · 3 min read

Canadian gas companies are mining bitcoin instead of venting natural gas into the atmosphere. They aren’t letting natural gas pollute the atmosphere, but use it to create electricity. As a result bitcoin mining devices can be powered on location. Tech company Upstream Data Inc. has been posting about its invention on Twitter.

Upstream Data has build a small mining cube called an Ohmm. The device comes in different sizes, but its function stays the same. It’s a small data center that’s placed at oil and mining locations around Canada.

The devices use natural gas that’s too expensive to hit the market. This often has something to do with the location and the costs of transport. Now these devices use 500 m3 of natural gas per day to generate electricity for bitcoin mining.

“Bitcoin mining is the future of oil and gas waste conservation, producers are slowly catching on!”

Upstream Data on Twitter (July 19th 2019)

How does the Ohmm bitcoin miner work?

Ohmm is not a miner by definition. The device has an engine that’s powered by natural gas, which is connected to an alternator which generates electricity. This electricity can then by used to power ASIC miners.

One Ohmm Mini generates 50 kW, while using 450 to 500 m3 of natural gas per day. This is enough energy to power 45 Antminer S9’s. That would mean that a fully loaded Ohmm Mini mines approximately 0.3 bitcoin per month, which currently equals ~3100 dollars.

Ohmm Datacenter Updstream Data natural gas mining hardware
Ohmm Datacenter Updstream Data natural gas mining hardware

More natural resources used for mining bitcoin

Natural gas is obviously not the same as green energy, even though mining bitcoin is better than just venting it into the air. Green energy is quite popular in the crypto mining business. In countries like Russia, Canada, the United States and China, there are bitcoin mining farms powered by hydro, wind or solar energy. According to research from CoinShares 74% of all cryptocurrency mining is done with green energy.

For example, in June this year Ploutin Mining from the United States announced that it would build the biggest solar-powered bitcoin mining farm in the country. They will produce 10 to 13 megawatt of electricity per day with their farm in the Western Mojave desert.

In addition hydropower plants in Siberia are now attracting cryptocurrency miners. These locations can use cheap electricity from the hydropower plant. The electricity from these plants in Siberia is among the cheapest in the world. It’s estimated to be around $0.04 per Kw/h.

Bitcoin network stronger than ever

Renewed interest in bitcoin mining has made the Bitcoin network stronger than ever before. In September the network has a record amount of computing power backing it. The Bitcoin blockchain generates more than 100 exa-hashes per second. In other words, that’s 100.000.000.000.000.000.000 calculations per second.

Miners earn rewards for verifying transactions. In each block miners find 12.5 BTC, which equals roughly 159 thousand dollars. Next year, approximately in April, the Bitcoin halving will occur. This means the rewards will get smaller. This creates scarcity and because of this the price of bitcoin generally goes up.


Originally published at NEDEROB.

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