A County Durham entrepreneur has ambitions of floating a Bitcoin business on the Toronto Stock Exchange after investing £500,000 in a Canadian mining venture.
Alex Lineton is the UK CEO of Vancouver-based Mine One Blockchain Inc, which has invested half a million sterling in infrastructure, equipment and hydro power.
Bitcoin mining, which is growing hugely in the US, is performed by high-powered computers that solve complex computational math problems, with miners using increasingly complex machinery to speed up mining operations and ‘mint’ Bitcoins.
But there’s a worldwide shortage of Bitcoin miners after China shut down mining operations earlier this year.
Canada – which is the world’s fourth-highest producer of hydro power – currently has 8% spare hydro energy capacity.
And with Bitcoin mining demanding huge amounts of energy, Mr Lineton has acquired spare, carbon neutral hydro capacity in Canada to run a sophisticated Bitcoin mining operation.
He explained: “Mine One Blockchain Inc. is a blockchain infrastructure company, with the aim of demonstrating that cryptocurrency mining can be done at scale in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way.
“Canada is producing all this hydro power, the world has a problem with Chinese miners being shut down, and we need to keep Bitcoin transactions going
“So we’re taking Bitcoin mining, which is in huge global demand, to somewhere that has a lot of spare power capacity, to create a carbon neutral hydro electric mining development in Canada to provide the infrastructure for Bitcoin.
“By using only renewable and carbon neutral energy sources, in association with next generation mining rigs, the company has huge potential and is already rapidly scaling.”
With two recent increases in its value jumping from the level of $29,000 on July 20 to a high of nearly $48,000 on August 16, Mr Lineton says the combination of Canada’s spare power capacity together with the growing price of Bitcoin convinced him to target Vancouver.
“There’s a fascination with Bitcoin. It’s new but it’s incredibly valuable,” said Mr Lineton.
“Everyone saw the headlines a few years back and everyone thought Bitcoin had it’s day. But it has now stabilised, with its value growing rapidly in recent months, and what many people don’t realise is that Bitcoin will probably be the currency of the future.
“By market value, Bitcoin is one of the top 10 global asset classes. Morgan Stanley, a tier one US bank, allows their clients to trade in Bitcoin, and it is being adopted by El Salvador as a trading currency.
“We think we’ll see a worldwide adoption of Bitcoin over the next five-to-ten years.”
Mr Lineton – known locally as a director for Aycliffe-based family firm Beaumont Landscapes – says his confidence in the future success of Mine One Blockchain Inc. is underlined by his significant investment.
“I know an opportunity when I see one,” he added. “Bitcoin is going to be huge, but the world needs to produce more of it.
“US entrepreneurs are currently flocking to Texas to take advantage of its cheap wind power. But we think Vancouver’s hydro power capabilities will be the perfect breeding ground for Bitcoin mining.”