The Italian village that mined Bitcoin: you’re going electric!

Bitcoin, in ten or twenty years, there will still be some – Very recently, the Italian hydroelectric power station of Alta Novella installed a BTC mining farm within it. The first of its kind in Italy, the operation aims to be profitable and ecological: mining Bitcoin from wasted, expensive surplus electricity that is not profitable.

The small Italian town that mined Bitcoin

The story takes place at Borgo d’Anauniaa municipality in northern Italy, in the region of Trentino-Alto Adige. Nestled in a peaceful and remote corner, this Italian town has recently taken a step forward. If the future is promising for technological innovation, it will have to be built in an ecologically sustainable way. Waste is no ! And that, the mayor of the commune, Daniele Graziadeiunderstood it well.

Bitcoin ASIC miners – (Sandali Handagama/CoinDesk)

Moreover, for Alta Novellathe challenges are also those of long-term profitability. Serving the interests of the municipality, the plant is intended to be profitable, as Daniele Graziadei explained during an exchange with Coindesk.

“The income [de la centrale d’Alta Novella] are used for the maintenance of the installation and for the public works of the municipality in the service of the community. »

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An eco-friendly and profitable Bitcoin

By definition, a hydroelectric plant needs water –lots of water– to spin its turbines. Dependent on rains and rivers, Alta Novella therefore relies its production on nature and the seasons. Own production, but not permanent. However, this can affect the costs of the producer and by extension the durability of the installation. Sustainable energy yes, but we said profitable!

“In periods like this winter when there has been little rainfall and the amount of water brought by the river is very low, this new technology allows us to maximize production and therefore give greater value to our installation. . Even though the water levels are low, [l’exploitation minière] allows us to keep the installation in production. »

Daniele Graziadei for Coindesk

The installation of 40 ASIC mining machines was therefore obvious. But Alta Novella does not produce or sell bitcoins directly: the plant sells the computing power produced to a young Italian start-up, Alps Blockchain. It is this company that, in turn, sells computing power to mining pools.

Alps Blockchain, the start-up that has it all

Created by two entrepreneurs in their twenties, Alps Blockchain is characterized by its desire tocombining technology and sustainable energy. Well aware of climate issues, Francesca Failoni and Francesco Buffa took the position that blockchain technology, decried for its energy cost, was reconcilable with respect for nature. In response to expensive energy for the environment and for the wallet, Alps Blockchain was born.

A Bitcoin mining farm near the hydroelectric plant facilities.
Bitcoin mining farm near Alta Novella power plant facilities – (Sandali Handagama/CoinDesk)

While the desire to limit the production of cryptocurrency and their use within the European Union is more relevant than ever, this initiative of a small town in northern Italy demonstrates –if needed– that technological progress and the protection of energy resources are not incompatible. A new proof that we can combine profitability and ecology. Professionals in the energy sector understand this and examples are almost daily now. Thank you !

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