Dutch use bitcoin mining to grow tulips
Added on 13 January 2023
Engineer Bert de Groot inspects the six Bitcoin miners as they perform complex sums to earn cryptocurrency, filling the air with a noisy whine along with a blast of warmth.
That warmth is now heating the hothouse where rows of tulips grow, cutting the farmers' reliance on gas whose price has soared since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The servers in turn are powered by solar energy from the roof, reducing the normally huge electricity costs for mining, and cutting the impact on the environment.
Meanwhile both the farmers and de Groot's company, Bitcoin Brabant, are earning crypto, which is still attracting investors despite a recent crash in the market.
"We think with this way of heating our greenhouse but also earning some Bitcoin we have a win-win situation," flower farmer Danielle Koning, 37, told AFP.
The Netherlands' love of tulips caused the first stock market crash in the 17th century when speculation bulb prices caused prices to soar, only to later collapse.
Now the Netherlands is the world's biggest tulip producer and also the second biggest agricultural exporter overall after the United States, with much grown in greenhouses.
'Improving the environment'
But the low-lying country is keenly aware of the effect of the agricultural industry on climate change, while farmers are struggling with high energy prices.
Mining for cryptocurrency meanwhile requires huge amounts of electricity to power computers, leading to an environmental impact amid global efforts to tackle climate change.
Image by Freepik