Canadian city becomes first to heat buildings through Bitcoin mining | News

North Vancouver announced Thursday it would become the world’s first city to be heated almost entirely by bitcoin mining, an innovative way to tackle climate change by creating valuable cryptocurrency coins and usable thermal energy at the same time.

The city energy utility company is teaming up with MintGreen, a Canadian cleantech cryptocurrency miner, to create renewable and clean energy for the city by mining for the popular digital coin using their proprietary “Digital Boilers,” which recover more than 96% of the electricity used for bitcoin mining in the form of heat energy.

In Bitcoin mining, high-powered computers are used to verify virtual coin transactions. Bitcoin operates on what is known as a blockchain, essentially a public ledger, that contains the history of every transaction. The miners’ computers solve complicated math problems in order to add new blocks to the chain and are in turn rewarded with the digital token, making the endeavor profitable.

“The complex issue of climate change requires innovative solutions, and LEC, with the City of North Vancouver, is showing tremendous leadership in environmental stewardship,” Colin Sullivan, MintGreen’s CEO, said in a statement.

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The boilers will mine cryptocurrency at full capacity for 365 days a year and thereby deliver heat to 100 residential and commercial buildings in North Vancouver.

In its justification for investing in the new heating technology, the city cited the United Nations Climate Report from earlier this year that warns of the “extreme” impacts of climate change to come.

In 2019, the City of North Vancouver voted to increase its greenhouse gas reduction targets to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, while Canada as a country has proposed a $170-per-ton carbon tax that will come into effect in 2029 and is expected to drive up the cost of conventional natural gas.

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The city said in a statement that it hopes that the pilot program within its jurisdiction could be the launchpad for future bitcoin-generating energy opportunities elsewhere in Canada.

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