This teenage tech prodigy tells us he can fix Bitcoin's energy consumption problem

CryptoSolarTechÁlex Sicart, soon-to-be consultant on disruptive technology at Spain’s biggest solar farm.

  • Álex Sicart was coding at 10, had created his first app at 13, and was chosen by Forbes as one of their most influential young Europeans under 30 in 2017.
  • The young tech prodigy is currently preparing to become a consultant on disruptive technology at Spain’s biggest solar farm, CryptoSolarTech.
  • He’ll be mining a cryptocurrency being developed in Malaga.

Álex Sicart is 18. Like many 18-year-olds, he’s currently in the midst of exams — and yet his career is already off to a flying start.

Sicart learned to code at the age of 10, by 13 he’d already created his first app and at 17 he was chosen by Forbes as one of their 30 most influential young Europeans under 30. That was in 2017, the same year he went to Silicon Valley with a grant to begin developing a startup.

And now? He’s currently preparing to become a consultant on disruptive technology at Spain’s biggest solar farm, where he’ll be mining a cryptocurrency being developed in Malaga.

“One of the problems with blockchain is that it’s scalable, namely due to the energy consumption involved,” Sicart explained to Business Insider.

SRAlain Aguirre, who’s involved in CryptoSolarTech’s project, believes using solar energy to mine cryptocurrency is not just about revolutionary technology, but that it will be more ecologically beneficial too.

Considering there are over 1,900 crypto coins in the world, one of the biggest challenges of making this economy viable is energy: Bitcoin is already consuming the same amount of energy as the whole of Ireland.

He proposed two solutions: “we either have to make the algorithms used to mine cryptocurrency more efficient or find a way to mine them with renewable energy, like solar energy.”

Sicart will soon be doing exactly that in his new position as a disruptive technology consultant at CryptoSolarTech. It’s expected to be the largest farm for mining solar-powered cryptocurrency. The aim is to install 3,000 servers in a warehouse in Malaga, that will serve as a mining farm — and it will be powered by solar energy panels in Seville. In order to guarantee its energy supply, a 15-year contract with the company Respira Energía has already been signed.

“I don’t like to get involved in too many projects, but this one is worth it,” said Sicart, adding that he also thinks his previous experience of blockchain will be of use.

BIISicart is looking to combine blockchain technology and energy, and says that it would be useful to be able to sell solar energy using blockchain.

For the time being, CryptoSolarTech has launched an ICO, meaning the company will launch an issue of tokens (similar to cryptocoins) to finance itself. This token will be called CST and will fall into the utility category, meaning all owners will have rights of use over the acquired assets.

The company plans to start up 1.26 billion tokens worth 12 cents each. This would be comparable in traditional markets to owning shares in the company. However, as stated in this ICO’s White Paper, it should be noted that it isn’t regulated by the CNMV (a stock exchange regulator), the Exchange Commission or any other foreign regulatory authority.

The people responsible for this CryptoSolarTech project — Pablo Alonso, Alain Aguirre and Roque Garijo — have highlighted that it’s not just about revolutionary technology; according to Alain Aguirre, co-founder and CEO of the project, it’s also about “ecology and how we can consolidate the technological revolution with taking care of the environment”. His team’s objective is “to turn a plan based on renewable energy with a high return on investment” into a reality.

A past in energy

Sicart had already dabbled in energy prior to this new project he’s now embarking on: he won an Audi scholarship to spend a summer in Silicon Valley with two colleagues, where they developed the Sharge app — an app which connected owners of electric car charging stations with electric vehicle-owners wanting to recharge their cars.

“When we came back from Silicon Valley with a working product, we realised we couldn’t implement it here because of regulatory issues,” said Sicart, who explained that Spanish legislation doesn’t allow the resale of energy to individuals. So the project never took off. Though Sharge fell by the wayside, the business allowed Sicart to familiarise himself with concepts related to energy and to see how, even if something makes sense on paper, the reality can be different.

Now, Sicart is talking about combining blockchain technology and energy. When asked how he’d explain the idea to someone unfamiliar with blockchain, the young man likened the whole concept to playing catch. “It’s like I’m throwing you a ball and you’re catching it. All that movement would be recorded and all the members of the network would know about it,” he says.

What role will blockchain play in the field of energy?

“Blockchain would be useful, for example, if you had solar panels and wanted to sell your energy to another producer — thanks to blockchain, you could do that automatically and safely,” said Sicart.

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Read the original article on Business Insider España. This post has been translated from Spanish. Copyright 2018. Follow Business Insider España on Twitter.

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