The entrepreneur, Bruce Hardy, who is based in Manitoba, wanted to find a good use for the heat that is generated during the mining of Bitcoins. Today, he owns and operates about 30 rigs, which are stored in a 20,000 square foot building in St. Francois Xavier, Manitoba. The heat they generate is circulated through the building and used for growing plants and keeping fish.
He uses the heat to raise about 8000 Arctic Char in a fish tank located on the first floor. The water in which the fish live in is rich in nitrates, and can thus be used as plant fertilizer. With just the push of a button, he pumps this nutrient-rich water to feed basil, lettuce and sprouted barley, which he grows via aquaponics on the floor above the fish.
Hardy says that he has been mining Bitcoin for about two years now. Initially, he had invested in a large-scale air conditioner to cool the rig. However, he later realized that the heat could be used to produce food. He decided to put his thoughts into action, and that was how he came up with the project.
The Reeve of Hardy’s municipality spoke in support of what he was doing. He has also said that the project has been beneficial to the community. Using the money he gets from mining Bitcoins, he has been able to retain staff to keep this project running.
He said that the project was still very young. For instance, he pointed out that only a quarter of the building’s second floor housed rigs and plants. Hardy says that Chinese investors and Australian researchers have even approached him. He says that he soon hopes to be able to expand the project to fill the entire space.
Why Manitoba Is Popular With Bitcoin Mining
The main reason why crypto coin miners are moving to the province is for the cheap and abundant power supply. Hydropower is one of the major assets that the province has, according to Hardy. He said that if people in the province could take the energy and add value to it, there was a lot of hope for the province with regards to what it could achieve.
Besides cheap power, the province has some very low temperatures. This has further made it quite attractive for Chinese companies seeking to avoid the regulatory regime in China. Manitoba Hydro claims that it has received hundreds of inquiries from interested parties from China and their brokers in North America.
This is despite the fact that media reports show Manitoba want to raise power prices by 7.9 percent, starting in April 2018. This would make power in the province quite expensive compared to that which is sold in other provinces of Canada.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos
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