Guatemala Town Mining Bitcoin with Waste Oil – Bitcoin Magazine


A circular bitcoin economy in Guatemala uses resources that would otherwise be wasted to power a local bitcoin mining operation, empowering its residents financially and demonstrating a viable economic path outside of the government-controlled economy.

Patrick Melder, MD, founder of the circular economy coined “Bitcoin Lake“, told Bitcoin Magazine that his Kaboom bitcoin mining project is the result of a desire to help clean up nearby Lake Atitlán while providing an ongoing source of income for the community.

“We don’t have a large endowment or donation to do what we do,” he said, pointing out a stark difference from Bitcoin Beach in El Salvador, which was created in part through a donation. “Bitcoin mining was a way to circulate bitcoin in the community.”

Many attempts to clean up the lake had been made prior to this project, most of which suffered from the failure of trying to solve everything at once. According to Melder, a review approach increases complexity and ultimately reduces the likelihood of completion.

“Over the past five years, a major effort to clean up the lake costing over $300 million failed because it was so complex with so many large stakeholders who couldn’t agree on a solution,” he said. he added.

Bitcoin Lake took a different approach by starting small with reusing used cooking oil to power bitcoin mining ASICs.

“This cooking oil would either be dumped on the street or taken to the landfill located several hundred meters above Lake Atitlán,” Melder explained. “Either way it would find its way into the watershed and into the lake.”

This is the generator used to power the Kaboom project bitcoin mining ASICs. Gallons of used cooking oil that power the generator sit on the right side of the photo. (Photo/Bitcoin Lake).

By launching this initiative, Melder said he expects to trigger a snowball effect in nearby communities as they realize that cleaning up the environment can not only be doable, but also profitable.

“All of the community leaders and citizens of the lake are concerned about the environment, but there are limited tools and resources to tackle the problem, so our goal is to create a “sliding scale” use of wasted energy /blocked to mine bitcoin and in the process clean up the lake and create wealth in the communities It’s a sliding scale because in a small community we can just have a “Kaboom type” project or we can have small bio-digesters that collect waste.

Bitcoin mining ASICs at the Kaboom project at Bitcoin Lake

Bit by bit, Bitcoin Lake is accumulating ASIC machines that produce a steady stream of bitcoin revenue by reallocating a resource that would otherwise be wasted and end up in the local lake. (Photo/Bitcoin Lake)

Beyond mining

Panajachel, Guatemala - Lake Bitcoin

Panajachel, Guatemala. (Photo/Bitcoin Lake)

Melder used to travel with his family to the town of Panajachel, Guatemala every summer during his daughters’ undergraduate years, but after graduating from college, these trips to the country of America center have come to an end. However, Melder and his wife continued to search for ways to return. It didn’t take long for him to discover Bitcoin Beach in El Salvador, which eventually inspired him to travel to Panajachel again and start Bitcoin Lake.

“My desire was to bring the Bitcoin Beach model to Panajachel which is a beautiful town on Lake Atitlán in the Guatemalan highlands,” he wrote in a 2021 blog post who detailed his vision for the project.

In addition to cleaning up the lake, Melder detailed in this blog post what other goals Bitcoin Lake set out to achieve from the start, including helping a local education center and creating economic opportunity for the “small but vibrant town. Guatemalan”. Since then, Bitcoin has been at the forefront of the project’s work.

“Everything we do in the community is related to bitcoin. It is either funded by bitcoin, teaches bitcoin, or is taught or implemented by bitcoiners,” Melder told Bitcoin Magazine. “Our three goals in the community are to teach bitcoin, create a circular bitcoin economy, and clean up the environment with bitcoin mining as an economic incentive.”

While Bitcoin Lake is tackling the latter, the other two goals have not been ruled out. On the education front, the project helped introduce Bitcoin-related courses at the local education center Centro Educativo Josué.

“Kids learn about all aspects of bitcoin, from ‘what is money? “,” What is inflation? “, detailed Melder. “We are proud to say that we have been doing this since January 2022 developing our own program along the way and Bitcoiners from all over the world have come to help us.”

The work that began at the local school has since proliferated to a wider audience in the city, Melder said, with the goal of helping people of all ages learn more about the world of money. peer-to-peer digital.

“We held bitcoin education meetings for adults and business owners in the community and worked to include leaders from indigenous communities as well,” he said.

With a better understanding of the technology, adoption is made easier as users and business owners are not caught off guard or pressured into using bitcoin. On the contrary, a movement begins, naturally.

“Since we started in January of this year, we’ve onboarded over 60 businesses in and around Panajachel, and in Guatemala as a whole, we have about 200 businesses that we’ve onboarded to accept bitcoin,” Melder explained. .

Business in Panajachel, Guatemala accepting payment in bitcoins

Business in Panajachel, Guatemala accepting bitcoin. (Photo/Bitcoin Lake)

As Bitcoin awareness grows and adoption continues to increase, the community is poised to continue expanding its initiatives. On the mining front, Melder plans to further develop the reallocation of wasted and stranded resources to increase regular community income and further improve lake cleanup efficiency.

“Our environmental cleanup/bitcoin mining initiative has just begun, but will grow to the point within about a year that we can actually take unsorted landfill waste (new or old) and turn it into a source clean energy to mine bitcoin,” Melder predicted. “We are working with a group from the UK to bring this to life and it will have a major impact in Panajachel and Guatemala as we now have an economic incentive to clean up the huge waste problem that exists in Guatemala and most developing countries. We are proud to be the first to market this technology. »

A landfill in Panajachel, Guatemala that could one day power bitcoin mining

Dump in Panajachel, Guatemala. (Photo/Bitcoin Lake)


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