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Waste-to-energy firm in talks with Blockchain Puerto Rico to set up plant

By on May 17, 2018

SAN JUAN – A waste-to-energy company “focused on the production and provision of electricity to power the mining of popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum,” 4NEW, announced it has entered into “formal talks” with Blockchain Puerto Rico, an organization that promotes the use and development of blockchain technology, to build the “first waste-to-energy power plant on the island,” according to a release.

The company says that under the waste-to-energy model, “energy produced is ‘free’, given the revenue generated from waste processing. Consequently, as Bitcoin mining gets increasingly harder to maintain profitably, 4NEW’s ecosystem, coupled with free energy, will be disruptive, providing users with [an] unparalleled competitive edge compared to all other actors within the mining industry.”

The Puerto Rico Economic Development Department (DDEC by its Spanish acronym) recently launched a Blockchain Advisory Council to develop regulations and the legal framework to support blockchain businesses.

José González of Blockchain Puerto Rico and IDACB (Courtesy)

“We’re seeing a giant push by the entrepreneurial sector for the tokenization of precious commodities such as electricity,” said José González, the executive director of Blockchain Puerto Rico and board member of the International Decentralized Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain (IDACB), an initiative to “drive standardized principles” related to the regulation of virtual currencies and their associated ledger technology.

González added that since the energy sector in Puerto Rico was severely disrupted by Hurricane Maria in September, “If there ever was a ‘best’ moment to come in with a solution to a problem for the Puerto Rican government, it would be now,” as it “is exploring alternatives within the private sector to the state run power company PREPA (Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority) which is also well supported by Puerto Rico’s governor Ricardo Rossello, who has been very vocal in his support for microgrid infrastructure.”

Varun Datta, founder of 4NEW, added that the company’s “sustainable energy solution” will “address two major challenges the island faces today: waste management and affordable energy.”

The energy firm recently announced it secured the “first two waste-to-energy power plants in the United Kingdom.”

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