Earlier this week, the US Congress debated the topic of making cryptocurrencies more environmentally friendly, reflecting the struggles of those in charge to understand the technology. However, startups like LiquidStar are already offering viable solutions.
The debate took place during an oversight hearing by the Energy & Commerce Committee and aimed to reach a consensus on how to address the environmental concerns around crypto mining. However, after hours of debating, the conclusion reached by the entity was pretty reflective of the status of crypto regulation in the United States: “we don’t have any answers”.
Congress’s inability to take a stance on crypto is a tale as old as time, with the United States refusing to take steps toward offering clear regulations and guidelines on cryptocurrency and blockchain. Despite environmental concerns around crypto mining being one of the major controversies of the past years, regulators have left the matter to be addressed by third parties.
Liquidstar, a clean energy startup based in Hong Kong, is one of such third parties. The startup was founded with the mission to increase accessibility to energy and water services across the world. For this purpose, it has developed custom-designed 20-foot shipping containers with retractable solar panels that can pump and purify water known as “Waypoints”.
By deploying these containers to the areas that need them the most, Liquidstar allows users to charge rentable batteries and gather purified water. When not in use or when excess electricity is detected, the container will mine Bitcoin and Ethereum using the renewable energy stored. In addition to this, carbon credit NFTs are sold to further increase profit margins and allow the startup to continue its mission. Scott Salandy-Defour, Liquidstar Co-Founder, said about this approach:
“The reason why people don’t have electricity is simply that it’s not profitable to serve them. The lack of profitability is further compounded by the fact that people who don’t have electricity often don’t have consistent revenue streams and don’t have many appliances that use electricity making it harder to generate a return on electricity. Once we understood that, we started to think about potential solutions in a different way from the standpoint of, what is the most efficient and easiest way to turn electricity into money. ”
The approach taken by the startup represents not only an opportunity for clean Bitcoin and Ethereum mining to help the environment but also for organizations to help those in need while also generating new opportunities for them. Such is the case of Nigeria, where the startup is returning part of the revenue to its users at the end of each quarter in the form of e-naira, the country’s CBDC.
Liquidstar has experienced rapid growth since its founding, securing the support of investors like Mistletoe, Taizo Son, and Flori Ventures, which has allowed it to initiate its first full Waypoint deployment in Djibouti in partnership with USAID. The startup is also working on establishing partnerships with other organizations such as ACTED, UNDP, and UNICEF across Kenya, Benin, Nigeria, and Indonesia