MintGreen raises seed round from CoinShares and other investors to use bitcoin mining to monetise heat generation
MintGreen has closed a seed financing round, led by CoinShares Ventures, the investment arm of the publicly listed digital asset investment firm, as it looks to deploy the first large-scale commercial project to harvest heat from bitcoin mining.
MintGreen is a Canadian clean tech company that recovers waste heat from cryptocurrency mining and sells it via heat off-take agreements with industrial clients. MintGreen’s proprietary immersion bitcoin mining systems use clean sourced electricity twice; first to mine bitcoin, and then to produce zero carbon heating. The persistent and predictable heat loads generated year-round are complementary to the needs of industrial processes and district energy.
Founded in 2017, MintGreen’s first commercial product was CADDY, a 13-GPU mining rig that looked like a portable wine fridge. The company put these units in ski cabins in Hemlock, BC, heated them, and split the power bill with the owners. This started MintGreen on a pathway from traditional crypto mining to clean energy production.
The cryptocurrency market is growing rapidly, with the price of bitcoin up 10x year over year and surpassing a USD1 trillion market cap for the first time. MintGreen’s business model is designed to protect against market volatility and downside risk by greatly subsidising the operating cost of mining.
MintGreen is partnering with district energy operators that use networks of subterranean pipes to deliver hot water to buildings and entire city blocks. According to District Energy Magazine, district energy is a USD177 billion market, growing to USD250 billion by 2029. The industry is trending towards low carbon heating, as concerns for climate change grow and carbon regulations in many jurisdictions tighten. Locally, Vancouver’s zero emissions building plan requires 30 per cent of new construction to use zero carbon heating. This increases to 100 per cent by 2030. There is an impetus to lower greenhouse gas emissions, but traditionally, district energy operators have had to pay a large premium for clean sourced energy.
Already, MintGreen has two pilots on Vancouver Island planned for Q2 of this year to utilise heat generated by bitcoin mining in industrial processes. Its first project will be installed at the Shelter Point Distillery and will use heat from liquid immersion mining in the mash process to make whisky. Further, it will be heating barrel storage facilities to assist in the ageing of whisky to bring out flavour profiles. MintGreen’s second commercial partnership with Vancouver Island Sea Salt will heat large evaporation tanks to produce gourmet flake salt. MintGreen is also working on deals with several district energy companies to implement full-scale multi megawatt projects in the months ahead.
CoinShares Ventures led this Seed financing round with a diverse group of investors (see below for the full list) including prominent crypto angels.
Meltem Demirors from CoinShares, says: “At CoinShares, we believe bitcoin will drive fundamental changes in the energy and infrastructure sectors. As the North American bitcoin mining ecosystem grows, innovative companies like Mintgreen will bridge the gap between bitcoin mining, industrial power generation, and sustainability mandates.”
Bitcoin’s detractors have long criticised the network for its energy consumption. The next generation of green mining technology leverages existing energy use in communities and will solve this problem. According to MintGreen’s CEO Colin Sullivan: “Bitcoin fixes many things, but we find ourselves with the unique opportunity to fix one of bitcoin’s biggest problems without changing a line of code. CoinShares has the same belief in ethical, sustainably mined bitcoin and we couldn’t be more excited to have them as our partner.”
MintGreen is hacking energy economics with its business model, which results in subsidised mining costs and opens non-traditional crypto mining markets. A 1MW MintGreen system reduces a district energy system’s carbon footprint by 1700 tonnes annually when compared to natural gas. MintGreen’s technological advancements are a solution to some of the biggest challenges facing bitcoin and the industrial heating sector: power costs and sustainability.
Investors in this round included CoinShares Ventures, Nelson Investments, Hard Money Collective, Meltem Demirors, Rus Newton, Michael Deeg, Alex Blikstad, Frank Hinek, Vipul Goyal, Cristofoli Contracting LTD, Kevin Shaw, Matjažek Horne, Michael Kordyback, Oscar Plag, and Peter Poka.