It’s a dystopian nightmare for some, an obvious solution to a long-term problem for others: a decommissioned coal-fired power plant, kick-started and brought back online (partly) to mine cryptocurrency. That’s the stated plan of two companies: IOT Group and Hunter Energy. IOT Group is the cryptocurrency company, with a background in selling “selfie” drones. It wants to build a “Blockchain Application Centre” and connect directly to Redbank, a decommissioned Australian coal-fired power station, to deliver wholesale energy to blockchain companies. Hunter Energy is the company that wants to kick-start that power station in the first quarter of 2019. The facility has lain dormant since it was closed back in October 2014. The only issue: Some involved in the project have a long history of legal trouble. Many believe the project won’t actually come to fruition. On Monday, IOT Group made an announcement on the Australian Securities Exchange: “IOT to be the first in Australia to offer pre-Grid cost effective power prices to Blockchain operators.” The plan: work alongside Hunter Energy, selling energy at a wholesale price to those who need it for blockchain projects. Why? The answer’s relatively simple. Mining for digital currency (particularly bitcoin) is challenging. It requires a huge energy expenditure, and in Australia the cost of that energy can outweigh the financial benefits of mining. If it was possible to deliver cheap energy to cryptocurrency miners, it could be more profitable. That might encourage emerging blockchain companies to set up shop in a Blockchain Application Centre next… [Read full story]
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