Canadian city becomes first to be heated through Bitcoin mining

Bitcoin’s intensive electricity use has been criticised for helping to fuel the climate crisis

Bevan Hurley
Tuesday 19 October 2021 17:00 BST
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The city of North Vancouver in Canada is planning to harness electricity created by Bitcoin mining to heat nearly all of its homes.

In a world first, the city’s energy utility company announced it was joining forces with cleantech cryptocurrency miner MintGreen to create renewable energy for the city.

The partnership is being welcomed as an innovative step in offsetting the environmental damage caused by mining the valuable cryptocurrency.

The technique will involve using MintGreen’s Digital Boilers, which recover more than 96 per cent of the electricity used for bitcoin mining to heat commercial and residential buildings.

Operating at full capacity 365 days a year, the bitcoin miner will be able to heat 100 residential and commercial buildings in the city, situated in the hills north of Vancouver.

Bitcoin’s intensive use of electricity required by the high-powered computers used to verify its virtual coin transactions has received intense criticism for contributing to the climate crisis.

But companies such as MintGreen are innovating to find environmentally-friendly solutions, and have begun branching into supplying heating to a local brewery and sea salt distillery.

Bitcoin rose in price above $60,000 last week, closing in on its all-time high
Bitcoin rose in price above $60,000 last week, closing in on its all-time high (Getty Images)

“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

North Vancouver’s utility company, Lonsdale Energy Corporation (LEC), is welcoming the partnership as an important step on its “decarbonisation journey”.

“Being partners with MintGreen on this project is very exciting for LEC, in that it’s an innovative and cost competitive project, and it reinforces the journey LEC is on to support the City’s ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets,” LEC CEO Karsten Veng said.

The City of North Vancouver has passed greenhouse gas reduction targets so that it can achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

An obstacle to large-scale bitcoin mining is finding enough cheap energy to run the huge, power-gobbling computer arrays that create and transact cryptocurrency.

The price of Bitcoin has soared in recent weeks to $62,000 on Tuesday, near its all-time highs of $65,000.

The first ever Bitcoin ETF is being launched on Tuesday, allowing investors to easily buy into the cryptocurrency.

Agencies contributed to this report

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