Gridless, a bitcoin mining company backed by Jack Dorsey, has raised over $2 million in funding and plans to help generate new sources of energy for communities in rural East Africa.

Source: CoinDesk/YouTube

The major $2 million in investments will help the company expand bitcoin mines across African markets. Gridless previously started five projects in rural Kenya with the African hydroelectric energy company HydroBox. They now plan to expand to other regions of East Africa.

Gridless designs, builds, and operates these mining sights all on renewable energy producers in rural Africa where excess energy is unused, Coin Desk reported.

Gridless brings “a socially and environmentally conscious approach to bitcoin mining, one that provides tangible benefits by way of access to electricity for communities in rural parts of East Africa,” Alyse Killeen, managing partner at Stillmark, said in an announcement.

A recent study found that the environmental cost of producing bitcoin is among some of the least environmentally friendly industries like animal agriculture and fossil fuels.

Bitcoin’s enormous energy usage is mostly due to the “mining” process, which involves the use of specialized computers to solve increasingly more complex, and thus, energy-draining, algorithms. The energy-intensive computer process emits a large amount of carbon dioxide.

Researchers estimate that the global climate damages of bitcoin between 2016 and 2021 are estimated to be $12 billion, and carbon emissions have increased 126-fold over that amount of time. Studies have estimated that bitcoin mining used more energy than in countries like Austria or Portugal.

Read more about the environmental impacts of bitcoin in One Green Planet. Raise your voice against climate change and buy one of these empowering climate change tees.

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