Two Texan 23-year-olds have use an alternative way to mine Bitcoin (BTC), using flare gas from oil drilling, generating USD 4m in revenue last year, and eyeing USD 20m by the end of 2022.
Giga Energy, the Houston-based vertically integrated natural gas Bitcoin mining company established by business partners Brent Whitehead and Matt Lohstroh, places BTC mining equipment packed into a shipping container on an oil well, allowing natural gas to be diverted into generators that convert the gas into electricity. This electricity is then used to power BTC mining gear, CNBC reported.
“We can produce a bitcoin for ~USD 4,000 or we can sell natural gas for ~USD 16” per metric cubic feet, the company tweeted in February 2021.
Since then, natural gas prices have soared across the world, but they are still far from bitcoin’s value even when considering the crypto’s recent spike.
Today, BTC trades at around USD 42,500.
“Growing up, I always saw flares, just being in the oil and gas industry. I knew how wasteful it was,” Whitehead who attended Texas A&M University with Lohstroh and hails from a family with a long tradition of oil and gas production, was quoted as saying by CNBC. “It’s a new way to not only lower emissions but to monetize gas.”
Giga Energy has signed contracts with more than 20 oil and gas companies, including four businesses that are publicly traded, and the firm is also in talks with sovereign wealth funds to facilitate its further expansion, according to Whitehead.
The company’s team of 11 employees will gain another six persons this month, he said.
Meanwhile, the company is readying to expand its product portfolio with the sale of generators and data centers which are to “be available for purchase starting Q1 2022,” Giga Energy said on its website.
The technology can be used to power crypto mining, but also to curb CO2 emissions, as indicated by data released by Crusoe Energy Systems, a company dedicated to eliminating routine flaring of natural gas and decreasing the cost of cloud computing. By reducing uncombusted methane emissions, it is possible to reduce CO2-equivalent emissions by some 63% compared to continued flaring.