The Tara Expeditions Foundation and the FF Creative Community Agency have devised a new way of mining cryptocurrencies: using hydraulic turbines. This device, dubbed Ocean Miner, was installed in Morbihan, Brittany , “where the sea currents and the tides are the strongest,” said the foundation in a statement .

Powered by this turbine, a computer is responsible for validating transactions on the blockchain Bitcoin protocol. It is this activity that makes it possible to obtain bitcoin cryptocurrency in return. In a month, the foundation says it has collected around 0.0015414 BTC per day, or 200 euros per month during the installation period. In a video published Monday, April 16, Romain Troublé, executive director of the foundation, describes the installation of this infrastructure.

Mining cryptocurrencies, a particularly energy-intensive activity

Cryptocurrencies are often criticized for their environmental cost. Since blockchains require a lot of computer computing power, they are also very energy intensive . Although Bitcoin is particularly greedy for electricity, Tara Expeditions found the parade by running a computer with renewable energy. Nevertheless, it seems difficult to imagine this system converted on a large scale for professional cryptocurrency miners. It is not sure either that it is a profitable investment for them.

For Tara Expeditions, this is mainly a communication operation to call for donations and raise awareness about marine research. Since May 2016, scientific schooner Tara, a veritable floating laboratory, has traveled the Pacific Ocean to study the impact of climate change and human activities on coral reefs.