Bithub Africa, a Kenya-based blockchain and cryptocurrency startup is studying the use of off-grid solar power to mine Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Speaking on its proposed operations, John Karanja CEO and founder of Bithub Africa expressed his optimism regarding their mining operations which he hopes will spread the technology to other parts of the continent. In his words, Mr Karanja quipped:
We are using solar energy in a similar manner to traditional power sources, to test its reliability as a source for cryptocurrency mining. We are still analyzing the data but we can already see that the blockchain economy is certainly incentivizing global innovation in the renewable energy industry.
Founded in 2015, Bithub Africa aims at educating and driving the adoption of blockchain technology solutions and related practices across Africa. The firm also integrates a platform for breeding blockchain experts through its subsidiary (Whive Academy) as well as facilitating access to financial services and energy through public blockchain projects and open protocols like Bitcoin.
The company has set aside equipment and devices for its small mining facility in Kenya’s capital of Nairobi; with all to be powered by a standard solar panel which generates just enough power to run the blockchain software. Additionally, Bithub Africa would extract Litecoin(LTC), Ripple (XRP) and Ethereum (ETH) using conventional sources of electricity.
At this time, solar panels are providing alternative lightning for homes in urban and rural Africa especially due to the continent’s below average electricity production. Cryptocurrency mining on its part has overtime faced criticism from environmental auithorities for allegedly consuming too much electricity, posing global warming threats as well as causing potential environmental hazards; an argument Karanja labels as untrue as he dismissed claims that cryptocurrency mining poses a danger to the environment.
“We disagree that this is the case. In fact, we believe the converse; that it will spur innovation in sustainable energy solutions.” he remarked.
To this end, alternative and renewable power sources seem a best fit to swerve off these enviromental concerns. Besides the critic factor, these other sources of power are cheaper and renewable.
Reacting further to suggestions that Solar power served only intermittently due to dependence on supply factors such as regular sunny weather; Katunga explains that power could be stored in batteries to serve as back up in non-sunny weather.
In all, Bithub Africa believes there is room for more development and innovation in cryptocurrency mining and energy sources as both technologies are in their early stages. The firm also plans to increase educational courses on mining while testing and deploring more blockchain use cases within the continent.