Bithub Africa is harnessing solar power for use in mining Bitcoin and Ethereum. Under the leadership of John Karanja, Founder and CEO of Bithub, this project intends to debunk the myth that cryptocurrency mining degrades the environment. In due course, Bithub hopes to influence other miners within Africa to adopt their eco-friendly methods.
In an interview with Bitcoin.com, Karanja said that the company is using solar energy to determine its viability as a source of energy for crypto mining. He added that preliminary analyses have shown that solar has the potential to transform the crypto mining sector. John also noted that the blockchain industry is embracing renewable sources of energy at an increased rate.
The solar power setup is pretty similar to what you would find in a standard home. A 200-watt solar panel is connected to a charge controller, which is in turn linked to a battery. Cables from the battery transmit the energy to an inverter whose role is to transform direct current into alternate current that can be used the mining computers. The rig features an integrated nuc computing device that generates tokens on the blockchain protocol.
Bithub Africa is a three-year-old commercial blockchain accelerator that aims to increase the adoption of blockchain technology in the African continent. Also, the firm develops blockchain-based solutions for clients in the financial services and energy sectors
Besides the solar-powered mining operations, Bithub Africa also mines Litecoin and Ethereum Classic using power sourced from the grid. Still, the company ensures that energy use is optimized by minimizing the use of air-conditioners to cool the mining hardware. The firm has two Bitcoin Lightning nodes installed in their payment unit.
Advantages of Solar Power
Off-grid solar panels have proven useful in Africa, a continent that is characterized by unreliable grid power. Now, their benefits have transcended beyond homes into the cryptocurrency mining sector. The introduction of solar-powered crypto mining is seen as an eco-friendly alternative to conventional methods, which have been heavily criticized by environmental activists. Furthermore, solar power is considerably cheaper than electricity generated from burning fossil fuels.
Karanja, however, believes that the arguments against Bitcoin mining are unfounded. As mentioned above, environmental activists are claiming that cryptocurrency mining is contributing to global warming because it consumes large amounts of electricity. Karanja is confident that the demand for electricity resources for mining will spur the innovation of sustainable methods of generating power.
The most significant challenge with using solar power is its dependence on weather. Solar power relies on sunshine. This means that when there is cloud cover, cryptocurrency mining might have to be halted because the solar panels cannot generate enough power to run the demanding hardware. Nonetheless, there are some panels that use batteries to make up for insufficient sunlight. Lastly, Karanja acknowledged that solar-powered cryptocurrency mining is still far off from becoming mainstream. As a result, many are skeptical over adopting this emerging technology. He concluded by saying that they intend to increase adoption by educating and equipping engineers who will deploy the solution across African countries.