Cryptocurrency mining is being carried out by individuals and businesses alike and ranges from small, household scale to industrial size, with an energy consumption to rival some smaller countries. Bitcoin mining alone is estimated to consume as much energy as Lebanon, or 15 million US households.
An Austrian-based cryptocurrency mining venture, HydroMiner is promoting the mining of cryptocurrencies using green energy. Launched in 2016 by two sisters – Nadine and Nicole Damblon – the operation has grown from running in their apartments, into a large-scale enterprise, which uses carbon-neutral hydro-power stations in the Austrian Alps for power. Using hydro power has the advantage of cheap energy, but also reduces costs for cooling as the water from the river is used. Additionally, using renewable energy lowers the carbon footprint of the mining operation.
Currently, Austria has more than 670 run-of-river power plants and around 1,800 small-scale hydro power stations in operation. Combined, these generate approximately 60% of Austria’s electricity needs. At the moment, HydroMiner operates in two hydro power stations near Vienna. The founders of the project are now working on expanding the mining capacity by renting more hydro power stations. To finance this expansion, a token sale is planned for early October.
On September 25, 2017 HydroMiner plans to begin the presale of its H2O token, representing an energy contract that allows its holders to receive profits generated by mining, measured in watts. Acquisition of the token will allow investors to receive mining profits from a fully running mining operation. H2O is an Ethereum ERC20-standard token that can be purchased with Ether.