It takes a lot of energy for miners to verify transactions and create new blocks on the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain. According to In Statistica, a Bitcoin transaction consumes as much electricity as over a million VISA transactions. Additionally, the environmental burden of cryptocurrency increases even more if the energy used for mining comes from fossil fuels.
But SAITech, a Eurasian-based Bitcoin mining operator headquartered in Singapore, is looking to recycle waste energy from mining for use in residential, agricultural and industrial applications. The company is also the subject of a $ 228 million Special Purpose Acquisition Company, or SPAC, merger with TradeUP Global Corp to get its shares listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. In an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph, SAITech CEO Arthur Lee discussed the company’s heat capture technology, its efficiency, mining rig power consumption, and the way forward. after its SPAC merger:
.@knutsvanholm we @ SAI2TECH make your vision a reality. Our plug-and-play #bitcoin mining centers can approach where the unused energy is and convert it into #digital assets. #BTC #ISC #SAITECH https://t.co/QouvjgpAoy
– ISC (@ SAI2TECH) November 19, 2021
Co-telegraph: Could you describe your liquid cooling and heat recovery technology in simple terms?
Arthur Lee: SAI is a clean energy crypto-mining operator. We provide hosting services with cutting-edge energy saving solutions in computing power and heating. You can think of us as a horizontally integrated clean energy company; we provide services for the computer industry, electricity and heating industry. But for now, our main focus is on the Bitcoin mining industry because it consumes so much energy; we want to find solutions for the whole industry and improve it, reduce carbon emissions and improve the efficiency of the whole industry. For now, we are just providing a liquid cooling system, saying that we reuse the heat from the miners and provide heating services to our customers, through which we can just save the electricity used for two parts: one is for heating, the other is for IT.
But for now, we can only use part for the electricity, after the computer test is completed, we will provide heating service. Based on this, we published our ESG Carbon Footprint Report this year. With our method, we can prove that we can save more electricity and reduce carbon emissions. We also joined many NGOs like the conversation on the UN climate change framework. We have signed a United Nations pledge to cut costs through clean computing power in the digital asset industry. We aim to provide more services to global customers, not only in Asia but also in Europe and America.
CT: How efficient is your technology in terms of heat recycling? Are there types of metrics you can share?
AL: I can simplify it because you use some of the electricity, we can reuse about 90% of it to provide heating services. For the whole system, it is an integrated system, not just a heating system; we have four parts of technologies; the first one is SAIHEAT, we use the heat from the chip. The second is SAIWATT; we find more clean energy resources like hydropower, solar power, wind power and other clean energies. We will become a better battery for them to solve the problem of power saving and energy storage. The third is SAIBYTE technology. Based on this technology, we offer integrated systems; you know, the mining pool, the wallet, and the blockchain browser.
We have just integrated the functions together and provided the services to customers and suppliers in the industry. The fourth technology we will use is SAICHIP, you know we have the best liquid technology which can reuse heat and better cooling system, so we cooperate with manufacturers like BITMAIN and other miners, we will provide our cooling technology liquid to make the miners more efficient, which allows us to improve the efficiency of the whole system. For us, liquid cooling and heating services are just the start, but we will reuse them and have a more efficient system.
CT: Why did you choose Kazakhstan among all the countries to set up the majority of your mining operations?
AL: You know that before Chinese regulations, most of the world’s miners were based in China; they use 20% of the total hash rate in China. After regulation, many miners want to go abroad like North America, Eurasia, Southeast Asia and maybe Europe. For us, all of Eurasia is a better place for minors because, on the one hand, minors who go to America will pay more criminal taxes. For the Eurasian market, it is close to China, so many Chinese miners can get there faster, and third, the energy supply is very efficient; in Eurasia, especially in Europe and Central Asia, the energy is cheap and enough for you to use more electricity and cheap electricity. Fourth, the construction cost and the construction cost are cheaper in Eurasia because the labor is cheap and the efficiency is high. We think Eurasia is like the Middle East in the oil industry, so Eurasia will be another Middle East in the mining industry.
CT: Do you have data on the total hash rate of all your mining machines, all combined?
AL: Currently, we operate around 4,500 units of mining rigs for our customers in Eurasia, and we will expand our self-mining rigs over the next year and provide more hosting services to our customers.
CT: What future after your PSPC merger? For example, will you expand to countries outside of Kazakhstan? etc.
AL: After the merger, we plan to go in two directions; the first is R&D, we will improve our efficiency, at the same time, we will provide new product, more efficient and cost effective. Second, we will expand our market from Eurasia to North America and other places. We will provide more accommodation services and increase the percentage of SAIHEAT used to provide heating services. And we will provide more heating services to agriculture, residents and industry. We may buy more mining devices next year at the right time, build our own self-mining system, find more partners in the world, like those who have more clean energy and have needs. heating, and provide them with services.
SAITech’s mining operations around the world | Source: Presentation to SAITech investors
CT: Are you taking any of these [green] initiatives? For example, to help build the local Kazakh economy, something like that?
AL: I think for the bitcoin industry, just like the mining company and the trading company, they just provide services to customers. I think mining is more like an investment and buying bitcoin is like saving. For investment, miners are considered a bank providing institute and settlement services. Suppose the mining company becomes the clean energy problem. In this case, they will face more problems in the future. More and more people will focus on the issues of ESG and carbon emissions, so that the whole industry, not only for us but for the whole industry, will focus on the way we could use more clean energy or even save energy. Suppose we can provide more service with our products. In this case, we reuse the heat. For the bitcoin industry, we are providing more products to customers; for the whole industry, this means that we can save more electricity consumed and that we will reduce overall carbon emissions for the industry. No one will worry about more carbon emissions and more wasted energy in this industry.
CT: Would you like to add any other statement or vision about the business, especially as it relates to sustainable mining?
AL: Yes, you know our name SAI, S stands for Sustainable, A stands for Available and I stands for Innovative, so we want to find more technologies capable of delivering sustainable available and innovative services for customers, the whole market and industry. For us the whole industry is like the energy industry, so energy is the main cost of mining services, maybe chip is the second part, so electricity is the part main. We are the first company in this sector to publish the carbon footprint and the ESG report. We just said we have better solutions like SAIHEAT SAIWATT and SAIBYTE. We have better solutions to help us promote carbon emissions and efficiency. We want to become a major company providing services to the mining industry. Not only do we operate mining ourselves, but also wish to cooperate with other mining companies. We use our technology, open source for them, and we can use the technology together. We will help them reduce carbon emissions and find more electricity. For the whole industry, we are going to make it better and more efficient.