Bitcoin is turning the heads of energy companies, including a Frisco firm that’s mining the skyrocketing cryptocurrency by using excess gas at drilling sites.
Oil and gas driller Silver Energy is among dozens of companies turning to mobile cryptocurrency mining units that need large amounts of energy to perform the complex data center operations needed to create new cryptocurrency units through mining.
Silver Energy President Joel Gordon said his firm bought a rig in the fall for $350,000 from a Chicago firm called EZ Blockchain, which is building the units that can be transported on a semi-truck to remote locations in places such as West Texas, North Dakota or Alberta, Canada.
Officials at Silver Energy and EZ Blockchain said the mobile rigs help solve the pollution problem from natural gas flaring, which is responsible for about 1% of the world’s man-made carbon emissions.
In turn, that energy is put to use in the increasingly competitive world of Bitcoin mining, which requires massive amounts of energy to validate the blockchain transactions that form the backbone of the cryptocurrency market.
After spending most of last year trading for about $9,000 to $10,000, Bitcoin prices have shot up since December. The