By Justin Spittler, editor, Casey Daily Dispatch
There’s a money-making machine hidden in the Virginia countryside.
It’s located in Alleghany County, about 230 miles from Washington D.C.—in other words, the middle of nowhere.
And yet, this machine practically prints money around the clock. It does so by “mining” cryptocurrencies.
Regular readers know that this is how new crypto coins are created. Of course, you can’t mine cryptos like you would gold or copper. That’s because cryptos are digital assets. They’re intangible.
Instead, you mine them by using computers to solve complex math problems. If you succeed, you earn bitcoins or some other coin. That’s how you get paid.
Here’s a picture of the money-making machine.
Now, I know it doesn’t look like much. But this machine makes my colleague Joe Withrow hundreds of dollars in passive income each month.
Joe is one of Casey Research’s top analysts, and an early adopter of bitcoin. He bought his first bitcoins in 2014 for around $800. That’s one-ninth of what bitcoin trades for right now.
• Two years later, Joe started mining bitcoins…
He invested about $4,500 to get his operation off the ground.
That’s a decent chunk of money. But Joe tells me he made his money back within eight months. Since then, basically everything he’s made from this operation has been pure profit.
You might be wondering how that’s possible. After all, mining cryptocurrencies can be very expensive. In the United States, it costs around $4,758 to mine just one bitcoin.
So, how did Joe make his money back so quickly? Well, it’s quite simple.
• Joe’s mining operation runs on solar power…
Here’s a picture of the solar panels that power his rig.
Just to be clear, Joe’s rig isn’t entirely green. It has a “grid tie” as well. This keeps the rig running when it’s cloudy or raining, and at night.
That said, Joe’s operation runs almost exclusively on solar power.
But Joe didn’t go with solar because he’s an environmentalist. He did so because it’s the cheapest way for him to mine cryptos.
• You see, solar power has become very cheap in recent years…
According to a recent report from asset management firm Lazard, the cost of solar power has declined 86% since 2009. That’s the biggest price drop of any major energy source.
In many parts of the country, solar power is now competitive with coal power and other fossil fuels. In some places, it’s cheaper.
And that’s a big deal for crypto miners like Joe.
You see, mining bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies requires a lot of energy. And this is because the mining computers themselves use huge amounts of computing power. They run around the clock, and you have to use fans to keep the computers from overheating.
Because of this, electricity accounts for about 60% to 70% of a bitcoin miner’s total expenses. So, it’s critical that miners use the cheapest energy source available. And in Joe’s neck of the woods, that’s solar.
Of course, mining bitcoins is no longer something only crypto enthusiasts like Joe do to make extra cash. It’s now a big business… with massive amounts of money on the line.
• Because of this, large miners will start doing whatever it takes to tap cheap energy…
Tam Hunt is one of those miners.
Hunt is the founder and owner of Community Renewable Solutions, a renewable energy consulting and project development company. He’s one of the top renewable energy experts in the country. And he’s launching several solar powered bitcoin mining operations.
One of those projects will feature a one-megawatt mining operation and a three-megawatt solar facility. According to Hunt, the facility will cost around $6 million to build. Although, he expects the project to pay itself off within a year.
And that’s just one example. Many other miners are also tapping solar power to mine cryptos profitably.
And many more will do the same. I say this because, again, solar energy is getting quite cheap. But that’s not the only reason…
• I also believe governments will soon force crypto miners to adopt renewable energies…
That’s because crypto mining is very energy-intensive.
In fact, some experts believe that bitcoin miners could eventually consume 5% of the world’s electricity. That’s 10 times more electricity than they consume currently.
And bitcoin is just one cryptocurrency. There are thousands of others just like bitcoin that require huge amounts of energy to mine.
That’s why I expect regulators will soon force crypto miners to go green. And I’m not the only one who thinks this.
Tam Hunt thinks the same thing:
I see governments getting increasingly worried about the amount of power they use to mine bitcoin. If you’re not mining responsibly, you’re probably going to get shut down by the government before very long.
This would obviously be bullish for renewable energies like solar.
Now is a great time to start investing in renewable energy companies if you haven’t yet.
You can do this easily by buying the iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (ICLN), which invests in a basket of renewable energy companies. And as I showed you in this Dispatch, you could also buy the Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN), which invests in a basket of solar stocks.
These are both good ways to bet on this massive trend without taking on any company-specific risks.
Punta del Este, Uruguay
May 30, 2018
P.S. Just to be clear, I expect the cryptocurrency community to find other ways to reduce how much energy it consumes. They’ll tweak the algorithms to make them more energy-efficient. Companies will also develop more energy efficient mining rigs.
But these changes won’t happen overnight. And that’s why I think crypto miners could still trigger an explosion in demand for renewable energies.
Today, another reader responds to Monday’s guest essay: “Oil Tycoon Buys These Eight Companies—You Should, Too”…
Fracking has been as big a bust as the subprime mortgage market. It has never been profitable and is a shell/con game. Burned through billions in investor money, all gone… Just my two cents.
As always, if you have any questions or suggestions for the Dispatch, send them to us right here.
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