According to a press release sent to Bitcoin Magazine, Stronghold Digital Mining, an ESG-friendly and vertically-integrated bitcoin mining company based in Pennsylvania, has raised $105 million in two private placements of equity securities.
The firm is focused on converting coal waste directly into value through bitcoin mining.
“Coal waste fires have been wreaking havoc in my home state of Pennsylvania for the last hundred years,” said Bill Spence, co-chairman of Stronghold, per the release. “Not only are these coal fires a major source of greenhouse gases, but the acid runoff and ash from these uncontrolled burning piles pose serious threats to the health, environment and water quality of the surrounding communities.”
Spence also commented on the strategy employed by Stronghold and the role it plays in reducing the impact of coal waste fires.
“Simply put, we employ 21st-century crypto mining techniques to remediate the impacts of 19th and 20th century coal mining in some of the most environmentally neglected regions of the United States,” he said.
Waste coal acid mine drainage (AMD), the largest water polluter in Pennsylvania according to the release, is formed when rain or snow meets the sulfur-rich waste coal dumps. As a result, aquatic life near these sites is threatened because the AMD runs off and contaminates nearby streams and rivers.
Stronghold’s first power generation plant, known as the Scrubgrass Plant, has sought to restore the usability of geographical areas that have previously been damaged by waste coal and the inevitable formation of AMD. The mining farm can achieve this goal by converting the waste coal into power and mining bitcoin. According to the release, the company eliminates around 200 tons of waste coal for each bitcoin mined.
Stronghold plans to employ the latest investment raised to have a more significant environmental impact in the region. The company expects to have over 28,000 bitcoin miners in operation by the end of 2021, and it has already sketched expansion plans. The bitcoin mining firm is currently negotiating to expand its operations and acquire additional facilities with over 200 megawatts of power capacity.
Bitcoin mining, an energy-intensive activity necessary to fully decentralize and secure the Bitcoin network, has received its share of criticism and comparisons lately. But cases such as Stronghold’s demonstrate that Bitcoin mining can not only be green but also help the planet restore some damages that date back a century.