The Navajo Nation’s Bitcoin story is perhaps the healthiest in recent months. The mine not only provides jobs on the reserve, it helps them shift from providing coal-fired power to renewables. Another case study that proves that Bitcoin incentivizes and finances green energy. Another story of Bitcoin helping disenfranchised people find their place.
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How disenfranchised are the Navajo? “The federal government has taken away all land rights from the Navajo people,Says a disembodied voice in the mini-documentary Compass Mining. According to her, among the Nation:
- 48% are unemployed
- 40% live without running water
- 32% live off the grid
- 33% live below the poverty line
“But the Navajo are resilient people who have claimed the Southwestern Desert as their home from time immemorial.», Said the director Will Foxley via Twitter. And now they have Bitcoin on their side.
The first Bitcoin mine in Navajo territory
The audiovisual piece comes with this text as a companion, which tells the story of the birth of the first Bitcoin mine:
“In 2017, a small Canadian company called West Block approached the Navajo about building a mine on Navajo lands. With a size of 8 megawatts (MW) after the first round, the Navajo invested in a stake in the mine during the bear market of 2018. Three years later, Bitcoin mining has turned a milestone to become the one of the most profitable sectors of Bitcoin. himself.
Apparently 58% of the mine’s energy already comes from the solar farm shown. “Bitcoin mine spurs renewables to be built on Navajo country to replace coal ”, explains the narrator of the mini-documentary. Foxley states that “Bitcoin mine uses Navajo energy on Navajo lands for Navajo jobs. “However, the text specifies that”The Navajo chose to divest with a profit. “The move has been positive, however, as it has ended”put money back in the hands of the Navajo people with investments in public services.“
In addition, the mine uses renewable energy from the abundant Navajo sun. Neighboring towns used to pull Navajo (coal) power from the reserve.
But the Bitcoin mine uses Navajo energy on Navajo lands for Navajo jobs. pic.twitter.com/NZUwigZ4vP
– Will Foxley (@wsfoxley) November 4, 2021
The Navajo Nation’s Transition to Clean Energy
In the past, the Navajo have had their races with dirty forms of energy. The text sums them up as follows.
“The history of the 20th century Navajo is fraught with energy abuse, including malpractice in extracting coal and uranium for people off the reserve. The current generation of Navajo continues to live with these negative externalities, such as increased levels of radiation in well water.
However, as the world tries to phase out coal-fired energy, the Navajo are innovating to keep up with the times. According to Walter Hasse, chairman of the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, “I had excess electricity that I still had to pay for and manage. Now I want to build renewable energy to replace my lost coal resources that are found all across the country. I need someone to consume this renewable energy resource.“
Who could consume this energy? we ask ourselves. Which industry is mobile enough to move to the wilderness and start making money for everyone right away? Well, the mini-documentary deals exactly with this phenomenon.
BTC price chart for 11/06/2021 on CEXIO | Source: BTC/USD on TradingView.com
Jobs for the Navajo people
Traditionally, the Navajo do not want to leave the reservation. However, there aren’t a lot of job choices out there. Until Bitcoin comes along, that is. According to Foxley, the mine now houses around 3,000 machines. According to the text, “The facility currently employs two full-time staff. With the expansion, that number will increase to eleven. This money then flows from the mine to local jobs, creating even more buzz.“Not only that, promises the narrator of the documentary”other mines are expected to be commissioned in the coming months.“
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Considering that a mining company commissioned both the audiovisual piece and the text, one might assume who is behind these “no more mines planned. And we salute them.
Featured Image: Screenshot from the mini-documentary | Charts by TradingView