In a heated discussion, Bitcoin miners on their way to address environmental issues, two firms claim to offer a solution for reducing some of the bad effects: nuclear energy.
Oklo Inc., a power company, announced a collaboration with Bitcoin mining and hosting provider Compass Mining to bring sophisticated fission to the energy-intensive process of coin minting.
The firms claim it is an effort to minimize fossil-fuel emissions from Bitcoin mining and diversify the energy sources used by miners, who compete to validate transactions in exchange for new currencies.
“Bitcoin is a tremendous market potential for sustainable energy generation, particularly for new generation systems,” said Oklo CEO Jacob DeWitte, who co-founded the firm with Caroline Cochran in 2013.
Located in Sunnyvale, California, Oklo said in a statement Wednesday that its advanced fission reactors will start producing sustainable energy in the early 2020s.
Oklo is in the process of obtaining the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s permission for nuclear-powered Bitcoin mining.
The business claims it is still years away from reaching an agreement with the NRC, which is required to examine applications within three years. Their statement comes after a lengthy discussion about the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining.
Oklo is one of a slew of firms working on smaller reactors that they claim will be faster and less expensive to build than traditional nuclear plants.
Such reactors might be compact and produce a lot of electricity while generating no dangerous chemicals.
It is not the only one working on this. Energy Harbor Corp., a power producer, announced earlier this week a five-year collaboration with Standard Power to supply carbon-free electricity from its nuclear fleet to Standard Power's Bitcoin mining hub in Coshocton, Ohio.
According to a press statement, this will commence towards the end of the year.
Oklo will be looking for places in Idaho, Alaska, and other parts of the United States. In addition, the business sees potential in central, southern, and eastern Europe, as well as throughout the Americas.
DeWitte refers to what Oklo provides as fission-as-a-service, which means it sells electricity and heat in a way that makes it easier for clients to buy. Oklo describes his new relationship with Compass as a "matching of opportunity."