Gondo, the southern Swiss village, was well-known for gold mining a century ago. Unfortunately, this era ended in this village. Now there is a new business opportunity that the region is offering to the cryptocurrency world and bringing miners back to the town. However, this time they are no longer mining for gold. Instead, they are using advanced graphics cards to mine virtual currencies such as Bitcoin.
This is an interesting change to the village as the cryptocurrency world has brought about a new breed of miners. A group of young men has come to the village with only a population of about 50. These young men are engaging in a business model that very few of the villagers understand: mining cryptocurrencies. The newcomers don’t see it as very different from mining gold during the gold rush period. They use racks upon racks of hundreds of graphics cards which are equivalent to 150 computers to mind the cryptocurrencies.
These graphics cards help to calculate the blockchain algorithms that must be solved to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. When these young men tried to explain what they were trying to do in the city, the people in charge of the municipal council had to Google the word blockchain.
The blockchain is simply a public ledger that keeps records of cryptocurrency transactions. Mining these cryptocurrencies will require a large number of computational resources to verify transactions within the ledger. This helps to maintain the blockchain system, which is a peer-to-peer transaction system for Bitcoin users. However, all of these calculations come with a hefty price. It requires high electricity and expensive computing hardware.
In the Alpine Mining’s computing lab, the room temperature can go as high as 41 degrees Celsius, which means the room is very hot. However, the young men intend to set another computing center within the village that has higher ceilings and improved ventilation. One of the reasons that these young men were attracted to Gondo is because of the cool climate. Hence, this will help them to bring down the cooling costs significantly. When this team of miners arrived in the village, the municipal offered them an extensive tax advantage and low rent costs. This is mainly because the population within the area has significantly decreased since there was a disaster about two decades ago.
After a torrential rainstorm caused the cliffside of the tiny village to crumble, 13 deaths were reported and all the buildings were washed away. Since then, it has been difficult for the village to attract business within the region. As a result, the village was a ghost town. It was only a pitstop for long-haul truckers who pass through the village daily. Today, the villagers are happy that the six employees of Alpine Mining have chosen in their village as a mining business. At the moment, there is interest from other companies that also want to set shop in the village.
Although so, there is nothing much to do at the village as there is no school, shop, or cafe that these miners can go to. Therefore, this encouraged the villagers to open their very first restaurant in March. Alpine Mining believes that the company will continue to grow in the next few months.
Despite this, the main problem with setting up operations within the village is that Gondo only has one electrical transformer. At the moment, the mining they do already consume a third of the power generated. To request a new transformer will take a few months and is not advantageous for the miners as the cryptocurrency trend requires them to be quick. Therefore, they are looking for other places within the southern Swiss Alps for cheaper electricity.