Mining bitcoin using flare gas has turned out to be a successful idea, says Brent Whitehead who is a co-founder of Giga Energy. The company has sealed deals with around 20 oil and gas companies. Giga Energy Solutions, established in 2019 by Brent Whitehead and Matt Lohstroh, is a vertically integrated natural gas bitcoin mining company.
Whitehead and Lohstroh are known to pack the computers inside shipping containers and place them near flare stacks to run the whole system. Whitehead says he has grown up seeing flares and knew how wasteful it was. He believes it’s a new way to lower emissions and to monetize gas.
Environmentalists and governments across the world have not been keen on the crypto industry due to its impact on climate and the environment. Crypto mining is an extremely energy-consuming process. Bitcoin mining, as per a Cambridge analysis, consumes 121.36 terawatt-hours a year; this is more than what Argentina consumes!
But miners must increase their computing power to compete with fellow miners. They use more energy to process more transactions. As such, the miners are always on the lookout for the cheapest electricity and highly energy-intensive computers. To keep a tab on the consumption of energy/electricity, some governments such as China have implemented restrictions on the mining process.