Even though they live in one of the wealthiest regions in the world, the Navajo in the US is not doing well economically. Years of exploitation of the raw materials in their country left them disillusioned.
Still, a video from Compass Mining shows how a local bitcoin mining farm is creating opportunities and helping to make the switch to sustainable energy. To know more about bitcoin mining, you can visit bitcoinsup.org
The Navajo, or Dineh, live in Navajoland, also known as the Four Corners Reservation, located in the US states of Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. With nearly 400,000, they are one of the largest tribes in North America, but they are also one of the poorest.
The sparsely populated area is not very interesting for the financial sector, so few banks are not. The economic situation is partly a result of the treaties with the US. These give the Navajo a lot of autonomy but no control over monetary policy and land ownership.
“The federal government stripped the Navajo people’s land rights,” said the president of the Navajo Tribal Authority.
However, the soil of Navajoland is rich in resources. For years, coal was mined to power surrounding towns and uranium during the Cold War. Now that the Cold War is over and demand for coal continues to decline due to the energy transition, the Navajo once again seem to be left empty-handed — except for abandoned mines and power plants, poisoned groundwater, and elevated uranium levels in their bodies.
Meanwhile, mining has sounded wrong for the Navajo, but maybe bitcoin mining can change that. A video from Compass Mining explains how the Navajo teamed up with Canada’s West Block in 2018 to start a bitcoin mining farm on Navajoland. Now, about three years later, it has turned out to be one of the more successful decisions.
It created new and well-paid local jobs, bringing new money into and around the community. Initially, there were two full-time employees, but with an upcoming expansion, there will be 11. In addition, the investment profits from the mining farm were used by the Navajo to build new public facilities, the video explains.
59% Sustainable Power
For bitcoin mining, the electricity price determines the profitability, and mining is only profitable if the electricity price is low. Usually, when there is an overcapacity of power because there is too little purchase locally – as with the Navajo. Electricity is then offered at an increasingly lower rate until there is a buyer.
It happened even if the electricity was sold at a loss. As a result, the excess capacity of electricity cannot be thrown away.
For bitcoin miners, the cheap power is a godsend, and energy producers are happy with the arrival of miners because it gives them a market for the generated power. Sometimes this ensures that projects that were previously loss-making suddenly become profitable. This way, it stimulates the construction of new solar power plants in Navajoland.
“I had an excess of electricity that I still had to pay for and find a solution for,” explains Navajo Tribal Utility Authority chairman Walter Haase. “Now, I want to build renewable power plants to replace my lost coal plants in the (Navajo) nation. I need someone to consume the renewable energy.”
The mining farm is now one of the largest customers and runs for 59% of sustainable electricity generated from a new solar power plant. According to the video, there are plans to expand the number of mining farms in the coming months.
Solutions for the Energy Sector
Energy producers are increasingly discovering that bitcoin mining offers them solutions. For example, bitcoins are mined on a large scale with green energy surpluses from windmills in Texas, and Senator Ted Cruz thinks that bitcoin mining can strengthen the Texas power grid.
Ukraine recently legalized bitcoin to mine with surplus power from nuclear power plants, and Laos started a pilot to use surplus power from hydroelectric power plants. In addition, the bitcoin country El Salvador focuses on mining with sustainable electricity generated from the heat of volcanoes.
Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey and Tesla CEO Elon Musk argue that Bitcoin is driving the development of renewable energy sources. It was disclosed in an official app of crypto news. Square released a white paper as part of the Bitcoin Clean Energy Initiative to explain this.
In various places globally, people are also experimenting with bitcoin mining as a solution against the extremely climate-unfriendly ‘flaring’ and ‘venting’.