Mojave Desert is Fertile Ground for America’s Largest Planned Solar Bitcoin Mining Farm
Plouton Mining is building one of the largest solar Bitcoin mining facility in the United States in California’s Mojave desert. The co-founder, Sammy Del Real, is a brain cancer survivor, musician, and high performing real-estate agent. Learn more about his story and vision.
Plouton Mining is a Los Angeles startup that is combining Bitcoin mining with renewable solar energy. On 50 acres of land situated in the Mojave desert, founder and CEO Ramak Sedigh, as well as co-founders Samuel (“Sammy”) Del Real and Cole Walton founded a company to bring a more sustainable future to Bitcoin mining.
Sedigh is a tech and real estate entrepreneur that created one of the first national criminal databases in the United States, according to Del Real. With backgrounds in data center management, real-estate, and finance, the trio felt that they had the skills to break into renewable crypto mining.
BLOCKTV learned about Del Real’s story to better understand the builders behind blockchain and cryptocurrency technology:
Interview with Sammy Del Real
CryptoSlate interviewed Del Real to better understand the genesis of the project. According to him, he got his start in mining through ASIC retailing:
“We got involved in the BTC mining world by actually selling the ASIC miners. We actually had the number one store on eBay for selling ASICs S9 Antminers in 2017. After we had gotten involved in the space and gotten our hands in there, we wanted to figure out what other ways we can participate in a more meaningful way. Mining BTC naturally was it.”
Del Real later went on to elaborate on why he chose to pursue renewable energy rather than simply find ways to mine Bitcoin:
“As we all know being in the industry the electricity costs were a barrier of difficulty that everyone faces. So we started looking into land in the desert. We found the plot of land which is now ours and began the project!”
When asked why solar power over other forms of cheap, renewable energy such as hydro and wind, Del Real stated the following:
“Well, where we purchased the land in, Mojave CA, happens to be ranked in the top 12 places in the world for solar power due to its placement and overall days of sun. We need to be able to push in innovation in sustainable energy by means of BTC and allow access to the rest of the world to participate [in the Bitcoin network]…”
Finally, Del Real shared his insights as an entrepreneur and startup owner. Knowing that most startups fail, he had this to say:
“You have to go hard in order to come up on top. Put you’re money where your mouth is and show up. Work your ass off fail and pick up again fail and pick up again. Life’s not easy and neither are businesses. [People] just have to do everything with a lot of heart and a lot of integrity.”
Renewable Energy in Cryptocurrency Mining
The move to renewable energy isn’t all too surprising. In a January report from CoinShares, a group of digital asset managers that perform periodic analysis of the space, the company estimated that 78 percent of the energy used for Bitcoin mining comes from renewable sources.
The report also indicated that Bitcoin mining is potentially becoming more decentralized. One research study suggested that up 74 percent of Bitcoin mining was occurring in China. This level of centralization is problematic and could expose Bitcoin to 51 percent attack.
According to CoinShares, miners are leaving China to set up operations in the United States, Russia, Iceland, and Canada to take advantage of friendlier regulations, abundant renewable electricity, and cooler climates. Now, CoinShares estimates that only 60 percent of miners remain in China.
Another interesting point is that many large-scale miners are able to enter into agreements with renewable energy providers for cheaper electricity. These miners are able to utilize energy surpluses from utility providers, which would otherwise be wasted.
Solar and the Future of Energy
In Del Real’s case, solar is another good source of cheap, renewable energy. By co-locating ASIC miners where the energy is harvest, Plouton is also able to utilize more of the electricity that is generated, some of which is typically lost in the grid during transit and distribution.
Cryptocurrency mining is ultimately a race for who can produce the most hashes for the least electricity. These miners will battle for ways to produce more efficient computer chips and get access to even cheaper power.
It is fascinating that not only is renewable energy the cleanest way of obtaining this energy but oftentimes it is also the most cost-effective way. This is a promising sign that perhaps a world of primarily renewable energy isn’t so far off after all.
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