iMIntelligent Mining (iM) has launched solar-powered blockchain mining. With rising worries over massive electricity usage in blockchain, iM is producing a solution suited to a business environment increasingly concerned about climate change. iM’s short term goals are to establish its first mining farm and build a dapp. However, its longer-term aim is to change the blockchain mining model. It wants to establish autonomous, solar-powered mining rigs built in the desert and owned by a decentralised network of iM token holders. In addition, it hopes to establish an investment structure that begins with solar energy production.

Founder and CEO Daniel Elimelech said: “…anyone can be a part of that, literally any person that has access to the internet. Instead of having the machine at home with all the dust and heat and cables, you just hold the token and it’s like owning your own mining farm.

The problem

Thе сrурtоcurrency mining business model depends on a stable еnеrgу supply which does not disrupt mining operations. The price and availability of electricity аrе now the two most important factors – because either can make or break a mining operation’s investment.

As a consequence, most mining operations prefer cheap еnеrgу. Thеir hunt for this has led to a concentration оf mining operations in countries with inexpensive fossil fuels and low ѕосiо-есоnоmiс and environmental ѕtаndаrdѕ.

But there аrе negative consequences associated with such low cost, usually dirty, еnеrgу. They too often lead to long term detrimental environmental consequences. At the same time, concentrating mining operations in just a few countries:

  • runs the risk of undermining the distributed ledger system
  • increases thе possibility of malign manipulation (if actor or group of actors can achieve >50% of mining, they can rewrite the blockchain, thus destroying a principle attraction of the technology)
  • potentially destroys huge value (if a blockchain’s integrity comes into question).

Furthermore, miners have become vulnerable tо еnеrgу price fluctuations as well as regulatory changes. It means the competitive advantage оf many companies in this sector depends on the willingness of a handful оf regimes tо:

  • tolerate cryptocurrencies
  • keep еnеrgу prices low (whatever the environmental price)
  • maintain friendly regulations.

The iM concept

iM believes it can offer a technologically elegant solution to the problems of worldwide:

  • power consumption
  • environmental damage
  • centralised block-mining operations (aka 51% attacks)
  • blockchain scaling
  • high barriers to entry for individuals and developing countries.

As described earlier, a key is “establishing autonomous, solar-powered mining rigs built in the desert and owned by a decentralised network of iM token holders”. Token holders retain fractional ownership of autonomous mining farms. Their present value does not depend on cryptocurrency but on the future potential value may rise in accordance with it. Each mined Bitcoin will buy from the iM token pool to increase value and demand.

In practice and the iM business model

The iM mining farm adopts environmentally friendly practices. Advanced cooling technology, bulk purchase of equipment and streamlined operations provide the revenue for maintaining equipment and reinvesting in growth. iM’s approach will store excess heat and release this overnight to continue powering the rigs in the dark. (This should not only reduce the environmental impact but also improve profit.)

iM says, for example, its cooling systems will enable mining rigs to work at a higher speed indefinitely. This alone should provide c. 1.5 times the standard revenue. Combine that with discounts for bulk mining equipment and energy financing partnerships, and the potential is to create 4 times the typical retail return on investment. Additionally:

  • 9% of profits gained will go towards community operations, as in maintaining equipment and funding 24/7 security detail on-site
  • 30% of profits will be for reinvestment
  • 60% of profits will be distributed to the community
  • 1% will go to the iM (as a non-profit) to develop further hardware, software and infrastructure efficiencies.

Enterprise Times: what does this mean

Boiled down, iM is offering a decentralised blockchain mining operation. This exploits solar-powered mining rigs to provide ‘free electricity’ for the operation of a blockchain. iM token holders enjoy the benefits of owning both a solar panel farm and a mining rig without the complications of building it themselves.

As Enterprise Times has noted before, the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining is becoming a serious climate consideration (unbelievable as this may seem). Whether the specific iM approach will succeed remains uncertain. Nevertheless, the concept is good – especially if it might dilute (or even remove) the risk of governmental (Chinese or otherwise) 51% take over of Bitcoin calculations.

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Charles Brett is a business/technology analyst consultant. His specialist areas include enterprise software, blockchain and enterprise mobility tech (including metering). Specific industry sectors of interest and experience include finance (especially systems supporting wholesale finance), telecommunications and energy. Charles has spoken at multiple industry conferences, has written for numerous publications (including the London Times and the Financial Times). He was the General Chair of the bi-annual High Performance Systems Workshop, 2005. In addition he is an author and novelist. His Technology books include: Making the Most of Mobility Vol I (eBook, 2012); Explaining iTunes, iPhones and iPads for Windows Users (eBook, 2011); 5 Axes of Business Application Integration (2004). His published novels, in the Corruption Series, include: The HolyPhone Confessional Crisis, Corruption’s Price: A Spanish Deceit and Virginity Despoiled. The fourth in The Corruption Series - Resurrection - has is now available. Charles has a B.A. and M.A in Modern History from the University of Oxford. He has lived or worked in Italy, Abu Dhabi, South Africa, California and New York, Spain, Israel, Estonia and Cyprus.

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