Connect with us

Blockchain News

Oil Field Alchemy: How Bitcoin Can Turn Waste, Emissions into Proof-of-Work

Published

on

In a handful of oil fields in the Great White North, natural gas, an otherwise wasted drilling by-product, is being put to work. But it’s not being used to well more oil; it’s being used to mine bitcoin.

“Bitcoin’s a great arbitrage mechanism for these companies. Anywhere you go, oil and gas producers are having issues,” Steve Barbour, founder of Canadian company Upstream Data, told Bitcoin Magazine.

Upstream Data’s “ohmm” mining skids, as they are called, help these companies transform these issues into monetary solutions. By taking otherwise idle natural gas and using it to mine bitcoin, this modern day alchemy is more than just an arbitrage mechanism or an alternate stream of revenue for these oil companies; in Barbour’s native Canada, it allows them to stay regulatory compliant, while also reducing the environmental impact their operations would normally produce.

From Waste to Work

Stranded gas — an industry term for the natural gas by-product that oil drilling produces but which can’t be used — accounts for somewhere between 40-60 percent of all the world’s proven gas reserves. In the United States alone in 2013, oil companies vented (released directly into the air) or flared (burned off) some 122 billion cubic feet of stranded natural gas. That’s enough to power every home in Chicago for an entire year.

This gas is not wasted wantonly; rather, there is simply a lack of utility for it and solutions to harness it. Some companies use the by-product to power equipment or heat up oil to make it less viscous, Barbour says. But there’s so much of it that companies are left with a surplus, and while some have methods to transport it (or turn it into power for commercial use), others don’t.

“It’s stranded. There’s no way to get it to the market; there’s no pipeline and there’s no powerline. There’s no demand for it. So what we normally do is producers will use as much gas for operations on site. The rest gets vented straight out of the pipe.”

For Canadian oil companies, transporting is particularly tricky “because the nature of the oil is it’s very thick and viscous.” In the province of Alberta, Barbour’s backyard, most of the companies don’t even have pipelines, the oil being so thick that you can’t pump it. As a result, no money goes into managing the natural gas by-product; it’s cheaper just to vent it off.

An oil industry veteran of 10 years, Barbour knows these problems well, but it wasn’t until he learned about bitcoin that he realized this unwanted excess could be managed in a less environmentally hazardous and even lucrative fashion.

“I came up with the idea in June of 2016, pretty much when I learned about bitcoin. It sorta just blew my mind — I couldn’t believe it.”

His solution is simple: Instead of exhausting the gas on site (or fumbling with the sunken cost of transporting it), companies can use it to power bitcoin mining rigs. All that’s required is a generator and an ohmm mining skid.

Upstream Data provides the mining hardware, shelter for the rigs and the generator set, unless the oil company has a natural gas generator on site already. The company advertises custom rigs to suit each company’s needs, offering engines that produce from 45 kWh to as much as 1,200 kWh of power. For those clients who purchase their own skids, this could mean up to $0.10 CAD per kWH, which translates to roughly $150 a day for a 45 kWh engine.

Conservation as a Service

Upstream Service offers clients three different mining packages. As detailed above, one involves buying the mining rig, supplying the gas and converting this gas into power, and the producers get to keep all the mining profits. With option two, they only provide the gas and power conversion without buying the skid, and Upstream Data keeps a slice of the profits.

Then there’s the third option. Upstream Data parks the skid on site and converts the gas to energy for them, offering the conversion for free in exchange for free gas. This might sound odd to hear that the companies are willing to supply the gas without any promise of mining rewards in return, but as Barbour told us, the payoff is getting rid of the by-product without having to pay for combustion — and staying compliant with regulations.

Black Pearl Resources in Calgary, Alberta, is one company taking advantage of the service, and Barbour said that they’re more than willing to offer up free fuel to Upstream Data since it means one less operational headache to deal with.

“They are happy with that because the energy is a liability to them. They’re not making any money off of it anyway, and they have financial burdens related to it.”

Some of these companies are strapped for cash, so rather than invest what capital they do have in a full skid (they’d rather just scout for and dig more wells) it makes sense for them to leverage Upstream Data’s free service. This way, they don’t have to sink capital and resources into disposing of the gas, and they can offload responsibility onto Barbour’s company.

“I call it conservation as a service — in trade with them, we take all the risk but also reap all of the benefits.”

Defying Expectations

Barbour founded Upstream Data in 2017, bootstrapping it out of pocket without any outside investment. Its growth has been slow but steady. To date, Upstream Data has provided services to half a dozen clients. With each new client a testament to the proof of concept, Barbour emphasized that it’s getting easier to convince companies to take a chance with the novel solution that “has no precedent.”

“Being the first is difficult because people have trouble joining you being the first. It’s still difficult now getting a sale and selling the skid. It is getting easier, but it’s still difficult.”

So the first two years were really about the company getting its bearings and improving its product rather than exhausting itself with rapid or unrealistic expansion. And this strategy has largely paid off, Barbour said, as “an optimized product” and “really good prices” have led to increased interest that even spans outside of Canadian borders. Making the move down South, Barbour told us that Upstream Data is trialing a fleet of smaller skids with an oil company in Texas.

Barbour believes ohmm skids could unlock a boon of revenue for Texas companies who are having trouble monetizing natural gas by-products amidst drooping prices. “Their pipelines won’t pay out,” he puts it plainly, so the ohmm solution could be an attractive means to generate alternate income to ballast revenue streams.

In the grand scheme, Barbour sees Upstream Data’s model as a unique opportunity for these companies to recoup sunken investments, not just in by-products like natural gas, but in defunct oil fields themselves. These “orphaned wells,” as he called them, are the bastard children of bankruptcies and related mismanagement. Whereas typical protocol is to “plug and cap” these wells and cut losses, Barbour sees them “as an opportunity to set some data centers on these oil fields and make them profitable again.”

At the core of Upstream Data’s modus operandi is finding cheap, otherwise wasted energy and milking it for otherwise unrealized profit. The Bitcoin maximalist maxim that proof of work encourages users to unlock otherwise untapped energy and find creative, efficient fuel sources to feed mining rigs comes to mind here.

Barbour stressed that this is important to consider when discussing Bitcoin’s environmental impact. Critics can ignore the fact that mining rigs more often than not use renewable energy like hydro, wind and solar — anything less efficient and the operators would struggle to break even. In Upstream Data’s case, while natural gas is still being burned, the company’s website points out that venting pure gas “has approximately 25x more global warming potential than carbon dioxide.”

So it’s actually more environmentally ethical for oil companies to employ the ohmm method. And to Barbour, it makes more sense financially, while also showing that they’re more nuance to Bitcoin’s energy use than critics recognize.

“I think we’re a pretty good example for why the energy waste argument is a load of crap. Bitcoin mining by nature of free competition is the most competitive market on the planet. Everyone is looking for low value energy, which happens to correlate to waste, so wasted energy is pretty much guaranteed to be profitable.”

Like what you read? Give us one like or share it to your friends
original post…

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Bitcoin News

NEO Price Prediction: Long-term (NEO) Value Forecast – June 2

Published

on

  • The long-term outlook is in a bullish trend.
  • The 1.618 in the fibs at $19.17 is the bulls target in the long-term.

NEO/USD Long-term Trend: Bullish

Supply zone: $20.00, $30.00, $40.00
Demand zone: $2.00, $1.00, $0.50

NEO continues in the uptrend in its long-term outlook. The strong pressure on the cryptocurrency by the bulls’ comeback at the 61.8 on 18th May has kept price up with new high each week. $12.59 and $15.04 in the supply area were the highs on 20th and 30th May respectively.

The new week is started on a bullish note with today’s opening candle at $13.72 higher than last week opening price at $11.45, an indication that the bulls are more in the market.

Price is above the two EMAs that are fanned apart which suggest strength in the trend and in this case the uptrend.

The journey to 1.618 of the fib extension with price at $19.17 in the supply area is the bulls target in the long-term as the bullish momentum increase and more bullish candle open and closed above the two EMAS.

The views and opinion as expressed here do not reflect that of BitcoinExchangeGuide.com and do not constitute financial advice. Always do your own research.

Like what you read? Give us one like or share it to your friends
original post…

Continue Reading

Bitcoin News

Argentina Using Bitcoin To “Skirt Capital Controls” – Economist Alex Kruger

Published

on

  • One BTC’s trading at $9,143 USD in Argentine exchange Ripio
  • Argentina’s black market peso fell 4.56% to an all-time low of 76.75 against USD
  • President Alberto Fernandez says Argentina is in virtual default, compares its economic solution to the 2001 crisis

Argentina is recording its highest volume week ever on LocalBitcoin, a peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange platform. Although it has been at the highest volume in terms of the Argentine peso, the volume in terms of BTC is still small versus 2016.

In early April 2016, it hit its peak at 228 BTC, however, at that time, the value of 1 BTC was around $420. Today, 1 BTC is worth more than $7,365.

Source: Usefultulips.org

As per crypto exchange Ripio, the current value of 1 BTC is $548,197 Argentine peso which equals over $9,143 USD, trading at a premium of 23.5%.

On LocalCrypto, however, this is not the case as there are only about one hundred traders in Argentina in the past month. The Argentine peso is 25th by volume on the platform, reported LocalCryptos, but last month they added Bitcoin and could see these low volumes changing soon.

Capital Controls driving the need for Bitcoin?

Matt Ahlborg of UsefulTulips said, “Argentina had its highest volume day ever on Localbitcoins yesterday as capital controls on dollars increased earlier this week.”

Today, Argentina’s black market peso fell about 4.56% to an all-time low of 76.75 against the US dollar, pushing it further away from the official spot rate, which has been held steady by strict capital controls imposed in September.

Argentina’s new Cabinet chief, Santiago Cafiero said a new bill that is sent to Congress will hike taxes on goods and services purchased in US dollars to as high as 30%.

The move aims to stabilize peso that has lost over 80% of its value over the past four years, that fanned high levels of inflation, under former president Mauricio Macri.

On Sunday, new president Alberto Fernandez said Argentina is in virtual default, comparing its economic solution to the 2001 crisis. The country is currently in recession and its economy is expected to shrink by 3.1% in 2019.

“It is not the same as 2001, but it is similar. At that time poverty was at 57 percent, today we have 41 percent poor people; then we had a debt default, today we are in virtual default,” Fernández said in an interview.

Economist Says, That’s Not the case

Could it be that Argentineans are finding safety in Sats? According to economist and trader Alex Kruger, this is not the case.

“Bitcoin in Argentina is not used for safety, but as a temporary vehicle to skirt capital controls,” he said.

In September, he pointed out how the LocalBitcoin chart showing “exploring volumes” has been in the local term that has been because of the peso devaluation and not because Argentines are using the flagship cryptocurrency to “escape the economic crisis.”

In one of his recent tweets, he shared the findings of a poll he ran where he asked Argentine bitcoiners the reason behind their BTC purchase.

Out of the 3,000 people contacted, only 100 reverted that revealed only 10% bought BTC to protect themselves from the devaluing Argentine peso. The majority 80% is in it just for long or short term speculation.

Like what you read? Give us one like or share it to your friends
original post…

Continue Reading

Bitcoin News

Here’s Why the Bitcoin Price Has Crypto Traders Railing at Bart Simpson

Published

on

Bitcoin’s contemporary worth actions have crypto buyers in all places railing at Bart Simpson for roiling the marketplace. Below, we’ll provide an explanation for why, however first, let’s check out the flagship cryptocurrency’s actions lately.

Bitcoin Price Trades Sideways

Bitcoin worth motion has now not modified a lot since our previous analysis. The virtual forex continues to pattern within a slender channel. Whether or now not this channel is a bull flag can’t be decided simply but. The best certain factor within the present pattern is bitcoin’s talent to carry onto positive aspects it made all through February 8’s spectacular bull run.

As of Thursday afternoon, the bitcoin-to-dollar rate (BTC/USD) used to be buying and selling at $3,576, down a modest 0.02 % because the Asian consultation open. Both the amount and volatility are decrease because the earlier upside run. That reasonably hints that the bitcoin worth is last in in opposition to its subsequent large transfer. Nevertheless, the intervening time bias struggle has made it tricky to are expecting which course bitcoin would pursue within the coming days: downward, sideways, or upward.

Bitcoin Divided Between Bart Simpson and Bull Flag

[embedded content]

[embedded content]

The ongoing bitcoin worth motion has first introduced us earlier than the very well-known Bart Simpson. Yep, that Bart Simpson who may be our bearish indicator for lately – no pun meant. But earlier than we reside additional, let’s take a look on the symbol within the tweet beneath:

Technically talking, a Bart Simpson development happens when a sideways motion follows an sudden spike in worth, after which the fee drops again once more – all of sudden. The worth motion suits the form of Bart Simpson’s head.

In the present bitcoin worth motion, the BTC is midway becoming the definition of the Bart Simpson development. A complete Bart will broaden if the cryptocurrency undergoes a unexpected bearish correction, such that it erases its earlier positive aspects. Should that occur, bitcoin is taking a look at a drawback goal in opposition to $3,355. That’s what a immediately Bart Simpson head can do.

bitcoin, Btc USD, bitcoin price

BITCOIN 4H CHART | SOURCE: COINBASE, TRADINGVIEW.COM

But the glass is part complete. The bitcoin worth has now not fully invalidated the bull flag formation, which turned into a central level of debate in our earlier research. The BTC/USD price remains to be consolidating within just a little descending channel, which might imply there’s nonetheless an opportunity that the pair would lengthen its upside momentum.

A retest of the descending channel resistance, coupled with an building up in quantity, will ascertain a bull flag. Then, bitcoin will be capable of ruin above the mentioned resistance to set the following upside goal in opposition to the crimson line at the most sensible (within the chart above). From a broader standpoint, this higher crimson trendline makes the resistance of a medium-term symmetrical triangle. Have a glance:

bitcoin, Btc USD, bitcoin price

BITCOIN 4H CHART | SOURCE: COINBASE, TRADINGVIEW.COM

 Bitcoin Price Intraday Targets

As lengthy because the bitcoin worth remains within the descending channel, we can stay our bets within the vary. That being mentioned, a jump from strengthen would have us open a protracted place in opposition to resistance. Simultaneously, a pullback from resistance would have us input a brief order in opposition to strengthen.

We will keep away from putting breakout goals for lately.

Instead, we’ll go away you with one thing to chunk on:

[embedded content]

[embedded content]

Bart Simpson Image from Shutterstock. Charts from TradingView.

<![CDATA[

]]>

Like what you learn? Give us one like or proportion it for your pals
original post…

Continue Reading

Bitcoin News

Early Bitcoin Adopter Throws Cold Water On Halving Narrative; Here’s Why

Published

on

As NewsBTC has covered over the past few weeks, a debate has erupted around Bitcoin’s impending block reward reduction. Informally known as the “halving” or the “halvening,” every four years the number of BTC issued per block (every 10 minutes or so) gets cut in half, resulting in a negative supply shock on the market.Analysts are currently divided over whether or not it will affect the underlying BTC price in a positive way — we just published another report on why the halving isn’t priced in from a derivatives perspective.While bulls have a good argument due to the Stock to Flow model popularized by pseudonymous quantitative analyst PlanB, a prominent early Bitcoin adopter recently came out in the side of bears, arguing that the halving will not help BTC investors.Related Reading: Bitcoin Price Likely to Jump After Christmas; Here’s Why“First Bitcoin Startup Investor” Bashes Halving NarrativeRoger Ver, an early Bitcoin evangelist who invested in Blockchain.com, Bitcoin.com, BitPay, amongst other crypto companies, recently remarked that he sees a “very real possibility the price of Bitcoin Core (BTC) does not go up after the halving.” This comment was made echoing a remark made by Melem Demirors of CoinShares, who cited financial derivatives as a potential dampener on the positive effects of the halving.The now Japan-based Ver, trying to build out his own thesis on the matter, remarked that he thinks the price won’t up because ” the blocks are full and there is no room for additional commerce to take place on chain.” With this, he is seemingly referring to the sentiment that the economic activity of a chain will affect the price of the asset that is based on top of it.There is a very real possibility the price of Bitcoin Core does not go up after halving.For the first time, the blocks are full and there is no room for additional commerce to take place on chain.Bitcoin Cash on the other hand, has
an amazing future ahead. https://t.co/z4tC7jij7d
— Roger Ver (@rogerkver) December 26, 2019 Related Reading: Why Did Youtube Crack Down on Crypto Channels? Lawyer Weighs InVer Thinks BCH Will Beat BTCVer’s latest comments on the Bitcoin halving come shortly after he remarked in two mainstream media interviews that he expects for BCH to rapidly appreciate against BTC.Per previous reports from NewsBTC, the cryptocurrency entrepreneur and investor told CNBC in an interview that he thinks the market capitalization of Bitcoin Cash is poised to appreciate by over a “thousands of times where it currently is because it’s looking to become peer to peer electronic cash for the entire world.” For some context, BCH would be trading $191,000 apiece if it was trading 1,000 times higher than what it is trading at now.He doubled down on this opinion in an interview with Forbes, saying that he expects for BCH’s market capitalization to supplant that of BTC:“Bitcoin.com is partnering with more household names to bring BCH usage to actual commerce for real people and real businesses. As that adoption of BCH-based commerce grows, so will its market cap.”While Ver has belief in this sentiment, not everyone is convinced that Bitcoin Cash will outperform BTC by that much, if at all.In the wake of his aforementioned interview on CNBC, the crypto community erupted, pledging not to take Ver’s rhetoric lying down. Dan Hedl, a long-time Bitcoiner and industry executive/entrepreneur, wrote on Twitter:“Hey @JoeSquawk whats up with this reporting on bcash by CNBC? Roger is saying factually incorrect information about adoption and identity.”Related Reading: Is the Bitcoin Halving Priced In? No Way, and Here’s WhyFeatured Image from Shutterstock

Like what you read? Give us one like or share it to your friends
original post…

Continue Reading

Bitcoin News

Canaan’s New 5-Nanometer Chips to Escalate ASIC Arms Race With Bitmain

Published

on

Chinese mining application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) manufacturer Canaan will launch new, improved mining machines with 5-nanometer chips in Q1 2020.

Chinese industry news outlet 8BTC reported on Dec. 24 that the new ASICs will have significant advantages compared to the previous generation. The new firm’s 5nm manufacturing process is expected to improve performance, power and area scaling.

A significant development

The company expects to scale the production of this new product series faster than it did with its 7nm chips. The number of nanometers refers to the size of the features of the silicon chip, 5nm approaches what is possible with conventional electronics. For scale, 1nm is approximately equivalent to the width of two silicon atoms.

As the features in chips become smaller, it becomes possible to fit more transistors in a silicon die of the same size. At the same time, the electric current has to travel less distance in the circuit to perform a calculation, which means that efficiency is improved and the amount of heat is decreased when the features are smaller.

Canaan is one of the few cryptocurrency-related companies that managed to go public with a $90 million Initial Public Offering (IPO) held in November. As Cointelegraph recently reported, the firm’s shares have seen a 40 percent drop in value since the IPO.

Like what you read? Give us one like or share it to your friends
original post…

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2022 The Crypto Report