A County Durham entrepreneur has ambitions of floating a Bitcoin business on the Toronto Stock Exchange after investing £500,000 in a Canadian venture.
Alex Lineton is the UK CEO of Vancouver-based Mine One Blockchain Inc, which has invested half a million sterling in infrastructure, equipment and hydro power.
Bitcoin mining is performed by high-powered computers that solve complex computational math problems, with ‘miners’ using increasingly energy-intensive hardware to create new Bitcoins – the virtual currency for an increasing number of transactions.
The need for vast amounts of energy to run the machines means that there is always competition to find new providers.
Canada – which is the world’s fourth-highest producer of hydro power – currently has 8% spare hydro energy capacity, which is what persuaded Alex to look there.
Alex – possibly best known in this region as a director of the Beaumont Group, a family-run company providing ground maintenance and landscaping – explained: “Mine One Blockchain is an infrastructure company, with the aim of demonstrating that cryptocurrency mining can be done at scale in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way.
“Canada is producing all this hydro power, the world has a problem with Chinese miners being shut down, and we need to keep Bitcoin transactions going
“So we’re taking Bitcoin mining to somewhere that has a lot of spare power capacity, to create a carbon neutral hydro electric mining development in Canada to provide the infrastructure for Bitcoin.
“By using only renewable and carbon neutral energy sources, in association with next generation mining rigs, the company has huge potential and is already rapidly scaling.”
With two recent increases in its value jumping from the level of $29,000 on July 20 to a high of nearly $48,000 on August 16, Mr Lineton says the combination of Canada’s spare power capacity together with the growing price of Bitcoin convinced him to target Vancouver.
“There’s a fascination with Bitcoin. It’s new but it’s incredibly valuable,” said Mr Lineton.
“Everyone saw the headlines a few years back and everyone thought Bitcoin had its day. But it has now stabilised, with its value growing rapidly in recent months, and what many people don’t realise is that Bitcoin will probably be the currency of the future.
“I know an opportunity when I see one. Bitcoin is going to be huge, but the world needs to produce more of it.
“US entrepreneurs are currently flocking to Texas to take advantage of its cheap wind power. But we think Vancouver’s hydro power capabilities will be perfect.”