Bitcoin has been on a slump, taking a hit to both price action and public perception. Following an announcement from Elon Musk, that Tesla would no longer be accepting BTC payments due to “environmental concerns,” discourse has resurfaced around the trade-offs of Bitcoin’s mining and its use cases. Consequently, attention has landed on the concept of vertically integrating carbon-neutral reforms to mining.
Bitcoin mining requires high energy consumption in order to maintain the network’s ability to validate and add blocks accurately. Proof of Work (PoW) is becoming outdated, and alternative consensus mechanisms have produced validation mechanics that have proven to increase transaction output, while adding similar security features. Cardano and TRON have diverted to PoS (Proof of Stake), aiming to bring blockchain closer to mass adoption. Daymak, a Canadian light electric vehicle (LEV) manufacturer, has developed a hybrid mining mechanism capable of mining Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and other cryptocurrencies.
Mining On The Go!
The car manufacturer announced the integration of Daymak Nebula in their “Spiritus” Electric Car, which will include a singular, patent-pending technology that permits cryptocurrency mining. They claimed: “We have positioned our Daymak Avvenire series as the LEVs of tomorrow, and tomorrow’s vehicles will feature an array of technology systems.”
According to their press release, Spiritus will be “the first car in history with mining hardware and cryptocurrency technology programmed into the user interface.” The mining process will use an integrated GPU, and will mine cryptocurrencies directly to Nebula Wallet when the car is parked, turning the LEV into an “environmentally-friendly crypto miner node.” Furthermore, Daymak will integrate the Nebula Wallet app, allowing drivers to collect, store and make transactions with their earnings by using the Spiritus interface.
Spiritus will launch in 2023 and will utilize solar panels to harness solar energy for “trickle charging.” The two-seat coupe is dissimilar to contemporary electric cars, as the layout features two wheels at the front of the car, and one wheel at the back. With an entry price starting at $19,995 USD, and a range of 300km, Spiritus has amassed $350 million in pre-orders alone. Aldo Baiocchi, President of Daymak, emphasized that, while “most vehicles are depreciating while they sit in your garage, the Nebula Miner will make you money while your Spiritus is parked. The potential applications are limitless.”
The innovation brought forth by Daymak is revolutionary and could shift the focus of car manufacturers towards new technological innovations. The “Documenting Bitcoin” Twitter page stressed that, while using a car for mining might be pointless, the idea is “incredible at the same time.” Consider this, with over 70 million car units sold globally, it’s worth imagining how plausible green mining could become if all cars were individual Bitcoin nodes. It’s certainly an intriguing thought!
On the Flipside
- Daymak does not mention the type of mining protocols that will be in place at launch.
- Regulatory measures regarding mining in China might prevent Daymak from entering the Chinese market.
- The value of Bitcoin mining for Daymak will diminish when the last Bitcoin is mined.
The Environmental Narrative
The global agenda is centering around renewable energy and carbon neutrality. Elon Musk’s announcement regarding Bitcoin’s carbon footprint is another in the growing pattern of attention being drawn to cryptocurrency’s effect on global warming. On January 25th, 2021, Bloomberg reported on Bitcoin’s high power consumption, although much of the spotlight was on financial gains, making it seem like water under the bridge.
The advent of renewable energy usage in mining is being analyzed; although reports thus far have highlighted the difficulty of the task. Hive Blockchain allegedly sold their Norwegian mining farm due to a lack of tax subsidy, while the Times reported that the energy production of solar farms is unsustainable. Further compounding these concerns, Bitcoin’s demanding energy process may have reached its limit according to the CEO of Landsvirkjun, who indicated to Bloomberg that there could be “little excess energy in 2021 and 2022.”
As the solar power market expands, prerogatives to discover mining innovations may be growing in demand to accommodate lofty goals. Elon Musk and Twitter’s CEO have backed an ARK Invest research study which highlights that cryptocurrency is incentivizing renewable energy development. Additionally, motor vehicle companies such as BMW and Ford are studying, and in some cases, already working to integrate, blockchain initiatives. Integrating blockchain mining in cars might be the nudge the industry needs to reimagine how mining should be conducted.