Sustainable Bitcoin Mining — Panajachel, Guatemala

3 min readDec 15, 2021


View of Lake Atitlan

You can read Parts 1 & 2 here and here.

The goal of Bitcoin Lake is to provide economic opportunity to those in Panajachel based on the success of Bitcoin Beach in El Zonte, El Salvador. 70% of Salvadorans are unbanked, meaning they do not have access to banking services to include savings. This significantly affects the ability to create generational wealth to break the cycle of poverty. With El Salvador’s recent legalization of Bitcoin as legal tender, El Salvador is on track to report a 12% increase in GDP. El Salvador’s president Bukele is also pushing for the use of the country’s vast volcanic geothermal energy for Bitcoin mining.

Our goal is to create a Bitcoin circular economy in Panajachel and the greater Lake Atitlan basin with a total population of about 300,000.

Lake Atitlan is a vast, beautiful lake in the western highlands of Guatemala. Unfortunately, poor human wast management and non-sustainable farming practices have polluted the lake and many fear that this beautiful natural wonder may soon become a blight. Algae blooms have threatened the natural ecosystem of the lake and threatened tourism in the past. Tourism accounts for a significant source of revenue for the communities around the lake.

The problems of the Guatemalan Atitlan basin are:

  • Poor air quality
  • Water pollution from non-sustainable farming
  • Water pollution from poor human-waste/sewage management
  • A poor and unreliable energy grid

As we introduce Bitcoin to the people and create a Bitcoin economy, we would like to start a sustainable Bitcoin mining operation for the monetary benefit of the community. Using the Square/ARK Investment model of sustainable Bitcoin mining, we envision that the combined use of wind/solar and methane from biomass digesters can provide the lowest cost energy source for Bitcoin mining. And the revenue from the Bitcoin mining provides an instant ROI allowing for the introduction of expensive Li-ion batteries and battery management systems to create a reliable energy grid.

Since profitability is the main driver of Bitcoin mining, there is an inherent need to use renewable sources of energy. The Electrical Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is currently incorporating Bitcoin mining into one of the largest electrical grids in the country to help with load balance as the ERCOT grid has seen an expansion of its renewable sources of energy over the last decade. In fact, the lack of load balance was a major contributor to this year’s Texas energy blackout. Bitcoin mining will provide this balance for the future.

Per the Square/Ark white paper, renewable sources of energy can only provide 40% of a grid’s energy demand based on the Duck Curve. With the addition of Bitcoin mining, batteries and renewables, the renewable Bitcoin mining grid could provide 90% of the demand.

Further, Bitcoin as a technology is distributed and trustless. Bitcoin miners must and do use the cheapest form of energy to stay competitive, so by default, all renewable energy would be used without the need for trusted verification of the energy source. In effect, the energy production and consumption becomes trustless as well.

Any excess energy produced would be sold back to the local municipality. The cost of the energy produced will likely be cheaper than what even the local municipality can produce.

We are planning to launch this project in the spring of 2022. We have two high school seniors from St. Louis who have a senior project based on sustainable Bitcoin mining that will begin the project.

Please follow us on Twitter at @lakeBitcoin to keep up to date.

You may also donate to the project here: — Lightning address

Bitcoin Lake, BitcoinLake, Lago Bitcoin, and LagoBitcoin are trademarks of Patrick C. Melder, MD