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On The Brink with Castle Island

Feb 21, 2022

Co-chairman of Stronghold Digital Mining Bill Spence and CEO Gregory Beard join the show. Stronghold is a vertically integrated Bitcoin miner that uses waste coal to power their operations – while also remediating this environmentally damaging product. We dive into this fascinating, and counter-intuitive story. In this episode: 

  • Backgrounds of the co-chairmen and how they found the intersection of Bitcoin mining and coal waste mitigation
  • Bill’s personal commitment to the mitigation of coal waste
  • Why coal waste has been accumulating in PA since the late 1700s
  • The immense scale of the coal waste and how it continue to affect PA, even though mining no longer occurs
  • How unremediated coal waste can be understood as a form of class warfare
  • Why coal waste exists in the first place
  • Why developments in power plant technology meant that coal waste could be safely combusted
  • Why aboveground coal waste oxidizes and releases CO2 anyway - as well as other harmful particulates
  • Why growing grass over the coal waste doesn’t solve the problem
  • Why 2 billion tons of coal waste can’t just be moved into landfills
  • How there are 800 sites in PA and 70 of them are currently on fire
  • Why Stronghold is vertically integrated, and the advantage this grants them in mining Bitcoin
  • How Stronghold sends power to the grid in the case of a shortage
  • Has Stronghold evaluated other high energy intensity loads aside from just Bitcoin
  • Why Bitcoin is a more suitable load for their energy resources than others
  • How Bitcoin allows Stronghold to keep their power available at short notice
  • Stronghold’s reaction to criticism in the press and from Washington
  • Why nothing had been done about the coal waste for 100 years before Stronghold came along Is the future of Bitcoin mining vertical integration?

Sponsor notes: 

  • Compass Mining is the world's first and largest online marketplace for bitcoin mining hardware, hosting, and ASIC reselling. Start mining your own bitcoin by visiting