Farmhouses, cattle pens and heavy machinery Nestled among picturesque rolling fields. This is a typical Irish dairy farm. But just next door is a different kind of farm. All because of this mysterious metal box right here. Farms produce a lot of waste. And that box right here can turn that waste into Digital gold. Yes, you heard it right. Let's find out more. The Irish government is targeting a 25% decrease In greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. That's a pretty tall order. But one of the best ways to lower emissions is to Invest in renewable energy sources. However, Ireland has a unique problem. Over 35% of its greenhouse gas emissions come From the agricultural sector, and a majority of Those emissions come from, you guessed it, cows. This is a serious problem because in Ireland There are about 1 million more cows than there Are people. There are 7.3 million cows in Ireland And unfortunately they create a lot of waste. Cows like the Kerry cattle are one of the oldest Breeds in Europe. Dairy farming is a pivotal part of Ireland's Culture, history and economy. But the future of Irish farming is not so bright. Many farmers say that meeting targets could drive Them into bankruptcy, with the head of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association, Pat McCormack, warning that farmers could have to Cull their livestock. If Ireland was to bring their greenhouse gas
Emissions to target right now, they would have to Cull 1.3 million cattle. Luckily, a group of young Irish entrepreneurs Think they might have found a rather unusual Solution: Bitcoin mining. Nestled on the cusp of Armagh County lies a Typical Irish farm tended to by a man who is Perhaps ahead of his time. Tom Campbell is the first Irish farmer to mine Bitcoin. The amount of electricity Bitcoin requires is a Contentious subject, but it's coming purely from Renewable sources here. It does sound like a lot like an outlandish thing To turn grass into Bitcoin, but there is a way to Do it. Farmers are increasingly pressured by the Irish Government to reduce emissions to reach the Country's greenhouse gas emission goals. In some cases, these goals have driven farms to Bankruptcy. For farmer Tom Campbell, Bitcoin Mining was an interesting option to pay off Investments he was obliged to make. The Bitcoin option here for consuming electricity On site rather than just exporting it. It was an exercise in trying to beat the grid Price that you were being paid for export and it Gives us another market for electricity. And it's just a form of wealth storage, I suppose, On the farm. He produces renewable energy on his farm using a Special method called anaerobic digestion. Anaerobic digestion is a method where Microorganisms break down biodegradable material
To a point where it creates methane gas, which Can be used to produce electricity. It's actually quite similar to a cow digesting Grass and farting it out into the world. But instead that fart is captured and used to Create electricity in a purely renewable way. On average, Tom's farm produces an electrical Output of 500kW, but can scale up to 700kW. That's the equivalent of powering nearly 12,000 Households. If 41% of Ireland's farms installed Anaerobic digesters, they could produce enough Electricity for every single home in Ireland, all By using environmentally-friendly and renewable Biogas. We collect our crops from the fields during the Summer months, put them in our silage clamps in The yard, and then every day we fill our feed Hopper here and that feed hopper every hour feeds A predetermined amount 24 hours a day, a Predetermined amount down into our digester. The digester takes it and mixes it in this Slurry. As we feed them in, it digests it and Produces biogas, which is about 52%-53% methane. We run that the methane through the engines that Run generators and we export our electricity to The grid. Anything we don't export to the grid, We use it for mining Bitcoin. You might be wondering why Farmer Tom doesn't Export every kilowatt of electricity to the grid. The answer is simple: the grid doesn't actually Need all that energy. But Tom can't let the excess energy he's created Go to waste. And so, voila — Bitcoin mining.
When grid demand is low, miners step in to scoop Up the excess clean energy. So when the price from the grid is very low, it Makes more sense to mine Bitcoin. When it's very, very high, you sell the Electricity to the grid as renewable green Electricity. Yep. You keep your coffers happy and obviously the Grid is happy that they're getting this green Energy too. Yep, absolutely. That's it. Yeah. No brainer. I mean, yeah, switch it on when You can, right? Yeah, yeah. Should we switch it back on now? I think so. This particular mine is actually running 24/7. A constant stream of biogas generates a constant Supply of energy. And because the digester can be Fed all the time, there's no downtime on this Energy source. It's always up and farting. Sorry, running. The brains behind the mining operation are a Young team of Irish entrepreneurs who specialize In using stranded or untapped energy to mine Bitcoin. So we looked at a number of energy sources, you Know, wind and solar were the first ones that Appeared to us. But inevitably we realized that In order to get a better, higher uptime source of Energy, we needed to delve a bit deeper. And we ultimately came across anaerobic Digestion. And what we came across is that a lot Of instances they have an export capacity of X
Amount, but they can produce more. But previously they had no financial incentive to Do so, because if they can only export X amount, Why would they produce more? And so what we Realized is that if we come up with a Containerized solution, we can basically offer Them a constant off-grid buyer of electricity. So we're making use of their stranded energy and They're getting a buyer for their spare Electricity. So it's a match made in heaven for Both of us. Now, some of you may ask why Bitcoin? Why not house something else like a data center For Amazon Web Services? You know, farmers are pretty independent Individuals anyway, and they like to be in Control of everything that's going on in their Own farms. And so in this instance, this farmer In particular has complete custody over his own Bitcoin. The Bitcoin is going into whatever Wallet he or she wants to use on any given week Or month, and they're completely in control of That Bitcoin. And so also, if they want to shut This thing off and do some maintenance and do Whatever they want to do, they're not asking Another individual like AWS or whoever else to Put servers into a unit like this. They're in control of their own ASICs, they're in Control of their own Bitcoin. It takes approximately 2.5 months to mine one Bitcoin on this site, which is a lot considering There are only 35 machines consuming purely Excess energy. And Tom Campbell, who has a deep understanding of
How Bitcoin works, is what's known in this space As a Bitcoin Maximalist. When we looked at the Bitcoin as opposed to which Other coin to mine, we felt Bitcoin was the Purest crypto out there. It's not contaminated by outside influences. It's on a network that needs a lot of consensus. So we thought that's the one we would opt for. Obviously this particular project is a match made In heaven. It's a win-win for both sides of the Operation. Stewart Hosford is an economist and The founder of Scilling Digital Mining, the Company that runs the mining operation on Tom's Farm. I asked him, can other farms do the same in Ireland and start mining Bitcoin too? Can they replicate this concept? Yeah, I hope so. You know, I hope so. There's 135,000 farms in Ireland. You know, people talk about circular Economy, Joe. You know, I hear this term all the Time and I'm a big fan of it, right? But here's a perfect example of a circular Economy: you grow cattle, they provide food, Dairy, produce, beef, they create waste, the Waste gets harnessed, it gets turned into Electricity, which provides energy to our grid. Any excess energy can be used to mine Bitcoin, Which secures a really important monetary Network. And out of the anaerobic digester comes A digester, which is, you know, an awesome Fertilizer that can be then used to spread back On the land. This is the circular economy Working. The future of Bitcoin mining in Ireland could be
Bright. Bright orange even. Although it's set against a backdrop of a European Energy crisis. If the idea of using untapped and renewable Energy sources to mine Bitcoin spreads across the Country and even the globe, we all might be Looking at a brighter future. Nonetheless, there's still a huge amount of Criticism and a lack of understanding surrounding Bitcoin mining. Regulators want to ban Bitcoin Mining's mechanism called proof-of-work, and this Cloud of uncertainty could remain at least for The near-term. In this case, Bitcoin mining could be the catalyst For the rollout of small scale anaerobic Digestion across Ireland, which is obviously a Positive contribution. So just focusing on, you know, X amount of Bitcoin uses and not realizing that a lot of that Usage could be a net benefit to the environment Is quite a narrow-minded approach to have. You know, it's quite bizarre to us that a lot of People don't even know what we're doing in Ireland yet. We're kind of operating under the Radar, but people are slowly but surely seeing What we're doing and becoming quite interested, Whether it be farmers themselves, whether it be Wind and solar guys. It's just a case of educating people on Bitcoin Mining and showing them that it's here to stay. Ultimately, it's a really innovative energy Solution that people will implement over the Course of the next couple of years. We started thinking about it as an energy source.
Not only generating energy, but also generating Economic value and therefore, you know, turn it Into a positive, and then, you know, things Change, right? It's that perception, isn't it? It's that perception, right? It's that perception. As the sun sets over this beautiful Irish Countryside, I am hopeful about the future of Bitcoin. These guys are doing something peaceful, Productive, yet bold. They're turning cow pat into digital gold. I mean this. This! Renewable green grass. This could be the future of Bitcoin mining.