Stronghold Digital Mining Is a Rube Goldberg Bitcoin Miner


With cryptocurrencies posting blistering performances not too long ago, these on the sidelines are more and more tempted to leap in. On the identical time, direct publicity to particular person blockchain cash and tokens has its personal set of dangers exterior of market volatility. For an alternate, many have turned to crypto miners like Stronghold Digital Mining (NASDAQ:SDIG) inventory.

Supply: Mark Agnor /

However not like your typical mining funding, SDIG inventory provides an intriguing twist.

As I mentioned in my protection of Stronghold Digital for Benzinga, the corporate goals not simply to be a crypto enterprise however reasonably promote environmental benefits organically through its operations. Particularly, Stronghold converts coal refuse piles (primarily a unclean byproduct of legacy coal mining that impose hazardous dangers) into sensible vitality, which may then energy its Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD) mining endeavors.

Additional, by extracting the refuse, that are plentiful in Stronghold’s residence market of Pennsylvania because of the state’s lengthy historical past of coal mining, the corporate provides a holistic enterprise profile: it’s ecologically accretive (by means of hazardous waste materials) and it produces Bitcoin. With the benchmark crypto persevering with to soar, it’s seemingly a win-win for SDIG inventory.

Certainly, I discussed in my Benzinga protection that Stronghold appeared as a modern-day Rube Goldberg machine. As physics college students will bear in mind, it’s technically attainable to extract a number of reactions from a single catalyst. It’s the identical precept with the underlying enterprise of SDIG inventory. Via the gathering and combustion of coal refuse piles, Stronghold can take away environmental hazards and enrich its stakeholders.

Additional, the narrative seems possible. Because the New York Instances said, Bitcoin uses more electricity than many countries. That takes away assets for extra “reputable” endeavors, for lack of a greater phrase. Thus, why not use hazardous waste merchandise from defunct coal-mining operations to mine BTC?

It’s cheap however there’s a catch.

SDIG Inventory May Not be Scientifically Possible

As a rule of thumb, if one thing sounds too good to be true, it normally is. Now there are exceptions in fact. Personally, I by no means thought that digital humorous cash could possibly be used to purchase a home however I was proven wrong.

However when the matter includes science, you ought to be further skeptical. That’s as a result of the bodily legal guidelines of the universe is an equal-opportunity discriminator. They don’t give stipends or concessions or distributions due to who you’re. You wish to convert vitality from one kind into one other? It’s going to require work in step with the situations of the system. And that’s the place the scenario will get difficult for SDIG inventory.

Particularly, the conversion of coal refuse piles to sensible vitality for the needs of mining Bitcoin won’t be possible. For one factor, the idea isn’t new. In some areas, the piles are so quite a few that authorities officers are sitting on an environmental timebomb. Due to this fact, experts have proposed refuse conversions before.

One of many issues, although, is that the combustion of coal refuse is each inefficient and “much more polluting than new coal crops.” So the concept of imparting a double profit – changing refuse piles with Bitcoin gardens – is akin to the idea of a perpetual movement machine. It sounds nice in principle but it surely’s by no means been confirmed possible.

And let’s be actual. If waste-to-Bitcoin processes truly labored, scientists would presumably have already jumped on the mechanism for different, arguably extra utilitarian functions, akin to waste to winter heating or waste to air-con.

Nevertheless, such initiatives haven’t taken off probably due to the flawed economics. In different phrases, it’s good to expend appreciable vitality to transform the coal refuse into usable, sensible vitality.

Stronghold Is Compelling, however Mighty Dangerous

Nonetheless, I encourage you to carry out your due diligence on the matter earlier than making a call on SDIG inventory. I’m on the skeptical aspect relating to the sensible nature of waste-to-Bitcoin conversions. Nevertheless, I might be glad to be confirmed improper. If Stronghold is profitable, it might resolve one in all Pennsylvania’s urgent environmental issues – and that’d be a win for all Individuals.

However right here’s the problem. Even when Stronghold’s scaled-up Rube Goldberg machine works as marketed, there’s nonetheless a value construction concerned. Changing coal refuse to vitality won’t ever be free. And which means the corporate relies on the sustainability of the crypto market.

Due to this fact, we’ve got two variables to take care of. First, the viability of the above conversion course of and second, the cooperation of Bitcoin, which isn’t assured. Due to this high-risk circumstance, you must suppose very, very fastidiously earlier than continuing.

On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto held a LONG place in BTC. The opinions expressed on this article are these of the author, topic to the Publishing Guidelines.

A former senior enterprise analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped dealer main contracts with Fortune International 500 firms. Over the previous a number of years, he has delivered distinctive, important insights for the funding markets, in addition to varied different industries together with authorized, building administration, and healthcare.

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