A Guatemalan circular Bitcoin economy known as “Bitcoin Lake” is leveraging Bitcoin ASICs to clean the Lake Atitlán while also generating income for the community. Bitcoin Lake Founder – Patrick Melder – explained that the “Kaboom” mining project is recycling used cooking oil for use to mine Bitcoin rather than polluting the local environment.


Melder told Bitcoin Magazine that the project is a follow-up to previously unsuccessful attempts at cleaning the lake that were ultimately very expensive. Bitcoin Lake decided to take a new approach to ecological sustainability by repurposing used cooking oil to mine Bitcoin which would have been thrown into the street or the landfill that stood above Lake Atitlán.


Earlier this month, Bitcoin Lake shared a video of the project in action. Under one tent, the project founder kept multiple containers of used cooking oil, a generator, ASICs, and a laptop used to track the hashes being generated. Both the generator and ASICs are old, recycled models but they have found new purpose, thanks to the almost free energy made available by seed oils.


The founder hopes to introduce the initiative in neighboring communities as they realize that they can feasibly and profitably clean the environment. In the United States, Bitcoin Mining’s negative impact on the environment is a major concern that is commonplace among regulators. However, reports have suggested ways that it can help heal the environment e.g by flaring of excess natural gas.


Melder’s broader “Bitcoin Lake” project has three goals: cleaning the lake, Bitcoin adoption in the community by educating the locals and creating a circular Bitcoin economy. The project was inspired by El Salvador’s Bitcoin Beach where various Bitcoin-friendly initiatives have been implemented. However, unlike the Salvadoran example, Bitcoin Lake had no large endowment, donations or seed fund to kickstart its operations.


Regarding education, the project has already integrated Bitcoin-related material into local education centres. Children in the area have been learning core concepts such as ‘what is inflation’ and even ‘what is money’ – ideas since January. Educational meetings for adults, businesses, and community leaders are also held routinely. The initiative is meant to inspire natural bitcoin adoption through education rather than coercion that catches businesses off guard.


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