FORGET dilithium crystals, actor William Shatner is getting involved in mining of Bitcoin using renewable energy.
Following unsubstantiated reports that mining Bitcoin consumes as much electricity as the Republic of Ireland, the Star Trek legend best known for his role as Captain Kirk in the sci fi epic, has become a spokesperson for Solar Alliance, a company based in Vancouver.
The Canadian firm recently acquired an abandoned warehouse in Murphysboro, Illinois where it will build a 3-megawatt solar farm.
The renewable energy company plans to rent out space to cryptocurrency miners once the facility becomes operational.
“As an advocate for solar energy I was intrigued by the potential for it to power cryptocurrency mining operations,” Shatner stated. “They are energy intensive and utilizing solar arrays to power them makes social and economic sense.
“I am proud to be a part of the group that is powering the digital currency revolution. Blockchain technologies, and cryptocurrencies specifically, are at the cutting edge of a new distributed technology infrastructure.”
Shatner Pivots on Bitcoin
Four years ago, Shatner claimed “bit coin” was a “cyber snob currency”, but it appears that his view on the world’s number one cryptocurrency has become a lot more positive.
He recently told the Chicago Tribune that the concept of cryptocurrencies is “really strange”, but that it makes sense once one’s understanding deepens.
He also told the Chicago Tribune he’s now a convert.
He has homes California and Kentucky, and may visit the facility, which Solar Alliance Energy plans to start leasing out to mining clients by the end of 2018.
According to Solar Alliance’s CEO, Jason Bak, Illinois requires utility firms to purchase renewable energy.
The Canadian company acquired the 165,000-foot warehouse, encouraged by Murphysboro’s mayor, Will Stephens, as part of an initiative known as “Renewing the Murphysboro Community Through Green Energy Jobs”.
The warehouse has lain vacant for more than a decade and previously housed a label-making factory.
Earlier in the year, for instance, Japanese power utility Kumamoto Electric Power unveiled a cryptocurrency-mining unit which will draw most of its energy from solar photovoltaic arrays.
The subsidiary known as OZ Mining will build containerized mining facilities which will be ideally installed near power sources.
Bitcoin is estimated to have a yearly carbon footprint of more than 25,000 kilotons.
Murphysboro has just 8,000 residents.