How two Texas 23-year-olds became millionaires mining bitcoin – New York Post

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A pair of recent college grads made $4 million before their 24th birthdays by using flare gas from Texas oil fields to mine bitcoin.
Brent Whitehead and Matt Lohstroh are Texas A&M University alums who co-founded Giga Energy Solutions, a company that uses stranded natural gas that is normally burned off in oil fields to power large computers used to mine cryptocurrency.
“Growing up, I always saw flares, just being in the oil and gas industry. I knew how wasteful it was,” Whitehead told CNBC.
“It’s a new way to not only lower emissions but to monetize gas.”
Oil drillers frequently find natural gas, but are forced to burn it off because the discovery location is often too far from pipelines needed to distribute and sell.
Giga Energy Solutions transports shipping containers with bitcoin-mining computers to oil wells. The excess natural gas that would normally be burned off for nothing is diverted to generators which create electricity to power the mining computers.
Researchers said that the process of diverting natural gas flares cuts down on carbon emissions by around 63%.
The company’s business has grown so quickly that it now has deals with 20 oil and gas firms — four of which are traded on the stock exchange, according to Whitehead.
Giga is also reportedly negotiating with sovereign wealth funds to expand their business. It hopes to hire six more employees to its current work force of 11 people.
The company took off thanks to Whitehead’s background in engineering as well as Lohstroh’s belief in the future of cryptocurrency.
“No one controls it, and you don’t have to ask permission to use it,” said Lohstroh.
“That’s really what drew me to bitcoin.”
Environmentalists have long criticized bitcoin mining due to its energy-intensive methods that have often put a strain on electric grids.
The mining of cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, entails the use of sophisticated computers by miners who must solve complex mathematical problems.
The miners are then rewarded for their efforts by being issued digital coins and introducing new currency into circulation.
Some foreign governments like China, Kosovo and Kazakhstan have cracked down on mining after their energy grids were unable to sustain the stress caused by the process.
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