I attended the Tech Summit on Friday at Atlanta Tech Park. It was a fabulous event sponsored by Partnership Gwinnett. I met some amazing people, found out that water is the new sexy and won a one year membership to Atlanta Tech Park, which I am so supped up about.
Although there were some great companies at the event who are doing big things here in Gwinnett County, one that just stood out for me was CleanSpark, a bitcoin mining company.
I Know you are probably thinking, “what is bitcoin mining?” Up until that day I had no idea what it was and now I finally understand it to be a massive amount of computers talking to each other to solve a puzzle. Each computer has its’ own piece of the puzzle and when all of the pieces come together, you have just mined a bitcoin. Now it’s way more complex than that, but that’s my spin on what bitcoin mining is.
CleanSpark which is making a $145 million dollar investment in the Norcross, Georgia location says that,
CleanSpark is committed to advancing sustainable bitcoin mining practices as we build the infrastructure of the future.
We strive to be a leading miner by integrating key ESG criteria into our business operations and by being completely transparent with our stakeholders. Bitcoin miners have an important role to play in decarbonizing the economy, educating the public on the social utility of Bitcoin, and operating transparently so that newcomers to the bitcoin community can fully participate in and understand this next stage in the evolution of money.
Bitcoin miners may be hardware operators and infrastructure developers, but the blockchain is about more than ledgers and nonces and machines: it’s about people and the planet. It’s about creating a better world.
“Bitcoin is an inflection point in human history. It offers the chance to do things differently.”
— Zach Bradford, Chief Executive Officer
A Force For Good
Energy abundance and resilience. A recent study looked at the impact of large, flexible data center operations—of which large-scale industrial bitcoin miners can operate as—on the Texas power grid (ERCOT). The authors found that adding an additional 5000 MW of data center loads would incentivize the building of more wind and solar and contribute to a net reduction in carbon emissions (IdeaSmiths, 2021, NB: work funded by Lancium, a CleanSpark partner). The study also found that flexible
data centers, like bitcoin miners, increase grid resiliency.
A lifeline for the unbanked and those in developing economies. For those of us from financially privileged economies, the day-to-day benefits of Bitcoin go largely overlooked. Over 5 percent, or 7 million, U.S. households do not have a checking or savings account, according to a 2019 FDIC survey. That number grows even more in developing economies; across the globe, some 1.7 billion adults are unbanked, according to the World Bank. Being unbanked can make something as simple as cashing a paycheck both costly and time-consuming. And as cash becomes more scarce, digital cash equivalents like Bitcoin are even more important.
CleanSpark said that anyone looking to take a tour of the facility can schedule that and they will be happy to show you around. I plan on taking them up on that offer.
For more information about CleanSpark check out their website https://www.cleanspark.com/