Guatemalan Town Using Waste Cooking Oil for Bitcoin Mining

Reading Time: 2 minutes
  • A Guatemalan town is turning its waste cooking oil into bitcoin
  • Lake Bitcoin takes the waste oil, which was polluting Lake Atitlán, and turns it into biodiesel
  • This is then used to power bitcoin mining machines

A Guatemalan town has found a novel use for its waste cooking oil – powering Bitcoin mining. As a recent report in Bitcoin Magazine states, the town of Panajachel is situated by Lake Atitlán, where discarded cooking oil from the town ends up, polluting it and hampering clean up efforts. Now however, thanks to the Kaboom project, the oil is being diverted to powering Bitcoin miners, ensuring it stays out of the lake and generating a new income stream for the area.

Tackling Pollution Through Bitcoin Mining

The Lake Atitlán project is the work of Patrick Melder, founder of the circular economy coined ‘Bitcoin Lake’. Melder told Bitcoin Magazine that the Kaboom Bitcoin mining project is the result of a desire to help clean the lake while providing a source of continuous income to the community. Bitcoin Lake is the latest in many attempts to clean Lake Atitlán, most of which Melder says tried to solve too many issues at once:

Within the past five years, a major effort to clean the lake costing upwards of $300 million failed because it was so complex with so many large stakeholders who couldn’t agree on a solution.

Cooking Oil Turned into Biodiesel

By focusing on one area, that of the problematic cooking oil, Bitcoin Lake has not just stopped a prominent source of pollution but turned it into a money generator. Biodiesel can be created through ‘transesterification’ – a process that converts fats and oils into biodiesel and glycerin, which can then be used to power electricity generators. The electricity from this is then used to power Bitcoin mining machines.

Melder says his mission, which started last year, is also focused on educating the Guatemalan people about Bitcoin and the freedom it can offer them, and his chances will be greatly increased if he can help clean up the beautiful Lake Atitlán at the same time.