Crypto miners set up rooftop solar units to cut power costs

Some groups plan work stations in cold countries

September 07, 2021 01:01 am | Updated 01:01 am IST - Vijayawada

Those mining cryptocurrency in India have just got smarter. In a bid to fight expensive power cost involved, most of miners are setting up solar rooftop power units and battery back-up in their residential facilities. There are also more enterprising ones who are evaluating cold countries nearby to install system infrastructure to save on heat issues and subsequent operating costs.

Cryptocurrency is a virtual currency which uses blockchain technology for its existence and secure transactions online. The famous cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Lightcoin and Darkcoin and etc.

Crypto-mining is earning cryptocurrency by solving cryptographic equations using high-end computers. The highly secured problem solving process consists of verifying data blocks and these transaction records are added to a public ledger using blockchain technology. Solving complex mathematical problems in a decentralised environment online ensures cyptocurrency to users.

48-year-old Ajay K. from Hyderabad, who was once an active stock market trader, has been into serious business of crypto-mining (Bitcoin and Ethereum) for the past couple of years. To cut costs on power, Mr. Ajay has set up a solar rooftop unit a year ago.

“My 5 KVA solar rooftop power system with battery backup is saving over 60% of the cost. The air conditioning and mother-board with multiple graphic cards consume a lot of power. We are looking out for avenues to cut these costs,” said Mr. Ajay.

Cost of power, equipment

The hardware infrastructure consumes high power, and it’s the major cost and a big challenge in crypto-mining. On an average, the power consumption for crypto-mining could be to the tune of ₹30,000 to ₹50,000 per month. While a basic cryptocurrency mining system starts at ₹50,000, the professional one with high-end motherboard and eight graphic cards costs about ₹4,00,000.

Mr. Ajay is not alone in setting up rooftop solar plants. He has company from fraternity groups in WhatsApp and Telegram in India and abroad who have already set up solar power units. As per estimates, there are a few lakhs of crypto-miners in India while the Telugu States Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have a few thousands of them.

Offshore offices

The cost cutting is not just limited to solar power units. Better ideas are apparently evolving in the social media groups. There are smarter miners who want to set up shop abroad, especially in colder countries to save on power. “We have a group of like-minded people in our WhatsApp group who are aiming at setting up our systems in Ukraine and other cold countries nearby. We are most likely to do it shortly,” said Mr. Ajay.

Equipment business

Meanwhile, the crypto-mining equipment supply has emerged as a big business in India. The demand for equipment is growing multifold, according to Bhimavaram-based Krishnam Raju who caters to Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu markets.

“The business is maturing fast. Now, the import time for customised motherboards and graphic cards from China and Singapore has reduced to seven days. The customs clearances are processed instantly. Earlier, the import used to take about a month,” said Mr. Raju.

The fast-emerging market segment also caters to those who do not believe in cryptocurrency but interested in lucrative equipment trade. “Like Warren Buffett, I am also a non-believer of cryptocurrency. But, the equipment trade works for me and I am happy doing it,” said Hyderabad-based businessman Anil Kumar.

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