Most people who build a cryptocurrency mining rig do it to… well, mine cryptocurrency. Some have loftier goals, however.
Take Canadian Bruce Hardy, for example. He’s the president of Myera Group, a Manitoba-based business with a focus on developing “sustainable and intelligent food production systems.”Hardy also runs a consulting business called Function Four, which does, among other things, software development.
It’s not a complete surprise, then, to learn that he’s been mining BitCoin in his spare time. For his latest venture, he came up a way to combine mining with Myera’s mission. Hardy is using the waste heat from computationally-intense cryptocurrency mining to help grow food.
As you can probably imagine, it’s not the quietest setup in its current form. It’s pretty much just a shelving unit fully of mining computers with their exhaust fans running full blast. It’s still an effective way to warm a space, however, even in the middle of a cold Manitoba winter.
Manitoba is also a great place to run a mining operation, because of the province’s relatively cheap electricity. Locals like Hardy aren’t the only ones who’ve made that connection. Chinese giant Bitmain is reportedly eyeing up Manitoba as a possible location for expansion.
Something else Manitoba has going for it: abundant fresh water. Hardy sees the two as a match made in heaven when it comes to sustainable food production. The facility the CBC toured shows why. Freshwater tanks provide a home to arctic char, which produce nutrient-rich water that provides excellent food for the plants that are being kept warm by the mining rig… which also happens to generate revenue at the same time.
For now, it’s a terrific setup. It’ll be interesting to see if it’s a system that remains feasible as the difficulty factor for some cryptocurrencies continues to climb and others shift to proof-of-stake from proof-of-work.