How Alex Liegl’s Layer1 Mines Bitcoin To Clean Up America’s Energy Grid | Forbes

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“Mining bitcoin is about converting electricity into money,” Liegl says. He’s betting $40 million in funding from the likes of billionaire Peter Thiel that he’s found the cheapest juice out in west Texas, where wind turbines outnumber oil wells. In exchange for cheap power, Layer1 helps manage the local power grid’s load. If the wind stops blowing, Liegl shuts down his bitcoin-mining machines. “We act as an insurance underwriter for the energy grid,” he says. It costs him about $2,000 to mine a single bitcoin, which currently trades at around $17,000. His message to any pikers still trying to mine crypto from their bedroom PC: “I can’t think of something more irrational at this point. It’s like if I wanted to dig a hole in my backyard and try to get oil out of the ground.”

“As North America settles in for a long pandemic winter, there are bright spots on the horizon. Hundreds of them. The 600 young entrepreneurs, activists, scientists and entertainers featured in our 10th Annual Forbes 30 Under 30 give everyone reason to hope. Some are defying the odds and building businesses despite Covid-19; others are helping to fight the illness, serving on hospital front- lines or working with A.I. to discover new drugs. This year they were photographed by one of their own: Mamadi Doumbouya, a 23-year-old immigrant from Guinea who appears in this year’s Art & Style group. Collectively, our Under 30 trailblazers have raised over $1 billion in venture funding and are proof positive that ambition and innovation can’t be quarantined.”

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