Steve Barbour is a Mechanical Engineer in the Canadian energy sector whom in early 2017 combined his experience in the traditional energy sector with Bitcoin mining. Spotting an opportunity to turn excess energy produced in oil & gas wells into Bitcoin, he created Upstream Data, which prides itself in designing, constructing and operating modular Bitcoin mining solutions for upstream oil and gas facilities. This resulted in a reduction of GHG emissions by monetizing stranded gas such as vented and flared natural gas at oil production facilities.
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Alright, we’re live. Welcome to the crypto mining tools podcast. And I’m your host, Scott offered. And over here is Ethan. Hello. Hi, everybody aren’t gone here. We’ve got Steve, Steve, a barber, hair cutters farmer. I was hoping it was gonna be a little bit more sexy or something. Are you, you’re in Canada, right?
Yeah. Yeah. I’m on, I’m in a unique city in Canada. I think. Apparently we’re the only city that’s on the border between provinces. That’s our claim to fame. We’re barely actually a city. It’s more of a small town. But about 25,000 people a Lloydminster, so it straddles Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Cool. Okay. All right. Yeah, I, I’m from twin cities myself. It’s Sue Saint Marie, Ontario, and then there’s Sue Saint Marie, Michigan, which is on the upper peninsula of Michigan. So yeah, we, we used to go across the border all the time and to get gas and milk or you know, whatever, depending on the exchange rate, when, when I was growing up or healthcare cigarettes. Well, and that was the interesting thing cause in st Marie Ontario, I think the drinking limit was 21 or no. 19. And in Sue Saint Marie, Michigan, it was 21. So a lot of the people from the college over there would come to the Canada cause I, cause I, yeah, I was, I was raised in Canada, but interesting. So, so between you said between Alberta and Saskatchewan. Okay.
Yeah. So we’re basically in the prairies, like Western Canada. So it’s all agriculture and oil out here basically. Do you ever get like, you know, like an East coast, West coast like fight thing going on? Like,
So Scott you on is the best. Alberta is the best. You know,
Albertans is, it’s a schedule of nights or whatever they, whatever they call them they get along really well. It’s usually the fighting is usually between like West coast and East coast. So like Alberta and Saskatchewan will team up against the East coast from the East coast. I’m from I actually grew up in Newfoundland, so I’m from a more liberal side of the country. Versus, and now I live out here in a very conservative side of the country. So it’s, it’s fun. I have some fun arguments with my family these days.
Interesting. So, yeah. What, what the heck are you doing all the way up there?
Well I moved out here in 2011 was basically just working in oil, right? So I’d graduated mechanical engineering and came up here to actually my first job was production engineer. So I was basically responsible for like servicing oil Wells, optimizing oil Wells, like just working with the operators and stuff like that. Really cool job are missing in some ways cause it’s a very competitive job. It’s actually a lot like Bitcoin mining cause you know, Bitcoin mining, we’re all trying to like maximize uptime, maximize hash rate, just it’s competitive. It’s just naturally very, very competitive. And that’s what that job was like to I would just be competing against like my peers at the oil company, trying to get more production than they can and be my budget, you know, same kind of deal. So it’s funny cause Bitcoin mining has a lot of parallels with like producing oil.
It’s very similar. It’s all, it’s all part of the energy industry I guess. But yeah, yeah. I moved out here for that and then I switched roles and that same at that same company and was doing facilities engineering. Okay. So then that role is all about that specific role was more about I had some major projects, like big horizontal pads that were building and I’d do I’d work with the engineering firm on the design and then, you know, getting it built and all that stuff and then then we’d hand it back over to production. But I had some cool projects to where like it was just sort of more maintenance style projects with facilities. Like any random thing that needed to be fixed or upgraded or an operator needed something new, they come to our group and then we would sort of figure out the, figure out what the problem was and try to come up with the best solution.
Right. So I guess my experience prior to what I am doing now, which is obviously Bitcoin mining in as my company obviously is a Bitcoin mining service provider. I think it all sort of, I was well fit for this like before I got into it. Especially cause I obviously target oil field mainly. So all my experience is pretty relevant to that. So yeah. So, so you so 11 years ago you said you got into the oil industry. Well, it’s 2011, 2011 not quite. Yeah. Yeah, that’s when I graduated and started. I mean I had co-op positions before that and oil field. So I’ve been technically working in oil field since about 2008. And so how did you get into Bitcoin then? Yeah. Tell us about how that how that translates into cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin. Yeah. I don’t, I don’t really have, let’s say like an interesting entry story into Bitcoin, but I think I just discovered it on Reddit.
The interesting part of my story, it was just, I was, at least for my, for me it was interesting. I was I had just quit my job. I quit it. I had quit in the middle of like, well oil oil was still hurting a lot back in 2015 and 2016. It’s hurting a lot now. It’s even worse now. Like it was bad then too. It’s even worse now. And Canadian oils is easily the worst it’s ever been in history. So it’s a, it’s a very tough time to be in the oil and gas industry right now. But yeah, I left my, I left that role and I was actually, the reason I left that job and it was, it was a weird time because nobody was quitting their jobs at this time because there were so many people out of work.
But I was doing all these patents for this oil company cause I’m really interested in like downhole tools, like oil tools and stuff like meaning for production tools. And I was pursuing that career where I, Oh, I, I sorta pearly you learned and coached by a YouTube channel on how to sorta, it’s not that I sort of found this channel after I pursued this path, but it was about like, you know, how to, how to pursue a path in, in like inventing and like patenting and licensing. And that was a career path I was on. And I ended up doing, I have like a laundry list of oil tools. I wanna I wanna get to the market. But I ended up getting in that timeframe between 2016 and 2017 and partly in 2018 cause I was, I had started upstream data but was also doing this other stuff on the side.
I got two products that I, I guess invented and patented and licensed. So that was the career path that was going down. And the reason I had, the way I got into Bitcoin was while I was pursuing that I had a period of time in which I quit the company with no prospects cause I had to quit in order to do it on my own. They wouldn’t let me do it through the company. So I, I had no prospects and that’s when, you know, I had more downtime. So I don’t even know what triggered it. But I think Bitcoin at that time, it was mid 2016 it was starting to go up a bit. So it was certainly a bit more a big thing, a bit more publicity online. And so that then I see this Bitcoin thing again. People were talking about, okay, what is Bitcoin?
Like, you know, and then he just obviously jumped down that rabbit hole and then like, Oh, well fuck, this is really awesome. Or if I can swear on your pot, I wasn’t sure, but I swear a lot. I’m from Newfoundland, I’m from, we certainly sailor, so I’ll try to tell him that though. Where was I going? I don’t know, but yeah, I got into the Bitcoin thing and Oh yeah, it just sort of made sense for me right away cause I didn’t even know what Bitcoin was obviously, but like Bitcoin mining, it’s like, Oh, you know, someone should do that in oil field. And at the time didn’t seem like anyone was, so I just went out and tried it. Tell us, you know, what are the exciting things that you’re doing today?
Yeah a couple exciting things I have planned. I mean, exciting things for me is just like new products, like getting new stuff out. You know, exciting. As far as like Bitcoin mining goes, some people find that exciting. Some people, I mean it’s to some degree it’s pretty, pretty unexciting. Like all we’re doing is plugging computers in, right? Like it’s not that exciting, but well that way I have pull up your website here. Yeah, you can. Even while I’m talking to you, like if you bring up like the products and services and data centers, like I’ve, I’ve gone through a lot of different iterations. Like the first thing that I built, which I still running right now, I basically over-designed the first one I built and it’s been running amazingly. But it’s over-designed and you know, big, much higher costs and what it needs to be.
Like for example, the first thing he built is like in that bottom left there, that combo that a center, like it’s just a modified see can within gen said in it. So that’s like the old version and I got a new version and I’m coming out with right away. But that’s, that’s basically what the first one I ever built looks like. And then I built some more that way. So I guess since this is a mining tools podcast, I guess I’ll talk more about the products I guess. But I mean the, the way this obviously works if it’s not clear there’s a man to where you see in the front with the fans and, and that’s the data center side, right? So you just walk in there and that’s really your electrical and networking and everything is, and that’s, that’s the only way to enter that side of the building.
And then there’s a, in the middle there’s a, the way I design these ones, which I’m getting away from, but like I said, I’ve iterated a lot. But in these ones, like in the middle, there’s just a steel grading, which is breathable and it’s got just the hogs hair filter and you can put other filter media over it. So that separates the engine side from the data center side. And so the, the whole concept is, is like, especially when you’re deploying for oil field, at least, at least the way we like our strategies, like I try to design stuff that I can just ship to whoever the customer is and they can operate it without needing us. So part of it is like, I want to isolate the data center from the engine room because it was our data center. For example.
You know, you can’t have anyone just be able to walk in there. Normally in oil field buildings are usually unlocked unless, you know it’s a certain facility. But if it’s just a small well site and like usually buildings are unlocked. So, and you know, if you, if I need to call a mechanic or something and it’s three hours away, he’s got a bill to get in there and do work. So that’s why the engines in a separate completely separate room that’s unlocked, which is the other side of the sea camp. And you can see the exhaust sticking out. And I have the thing on the roof is actually a vent hood. It’s how I push the engine heat out of the unit or the way I designed this one. It’s only really for Canadian climates which are cooler. But the point was that like the engine, he would research, isolate, excuse me, and keep the temperature stable.
Yeah. Like the first time I did this, especially, you know, I was really walking into a completely blind, like the only thing I had to go off of at the time in like I was designing this first one in 2016 and so the only thing I, the only resource I had at the time, at least, cause I wasn’t as well connected, like I don’t know guys like you anymore at that point. Right? So I was just going on Bitcoin talk forums and just seeing what, like, you know, what the design constraints are. Like I wasn’t sure I did a lot of things like I wasn’t sure like, okay, when it gets cool would, would it, is there a risk of condensation on the walls? Will it drip [inaudible], you know, all kinds of stuff like that. And so like, I, I mitigated all those risks.
Probably like I even have, I even put in like this propane furnace in case in case like there was no power cause it was shut down and then you need, and I needed to keep it warm. So it had, it switched automatically to this. This inherently safe propane furnace design where they’re like none of the exhaust, none of the spark was in the building. Oh yeah. So I mean like all kinds of weird stuff like that that I implemented in the prototype and never used all kinds of things I did to over-design things. But I guess the upside of doing it that way. And I generally do that anyway. Like the first time I’ll build a unit, I’ll over-design it and I’ll do a little more like the first one I sent to Texas for example. I wasn’t really sure, like I’d never, I’d never operated in that climate, so I just went crazy with oversize and the fans cause I was like, I cannot, I cannot risk not having enough air flow.
So it just went right much. Right. Yeah. That’s usually the biggest gripe is, you know, is there going to be enough air flow to get the heat out? Yeah, yeah. People have all kinds of different concerns. Like the one common concern I get is, you know like should you put reflective coating on the outside building and stuff like to push away the sun’s radiant heat. But usually it’s like, not really, there’s so much air flow, it doesn’t matter. But you know, you get all kinds of different concerns, but that’s part of just doing it. You just go out and do it and see what works. And then after that prototype, what would what did you do with it? Yeah, yeah, yeah. I did that first prototype and then I did a few more just improved versions. Like I made the electrical system a little more efficient, like cost efficient, et cetera.
And so I did more of those sequence style, so I got a few of those out there. And then the next one basically was yeah, the next one was a no, the next one was a custom one showing in the bottom right. Actually that one I said to Texas, that’s like not a standard product that’s shown there. It’s just, yeah, it just links to like if someone wants a custom build, that one was cool because they wanted, they wanted an option where they could use our gen sets but not they didn’t want to buy it all at once. They just want to try it and it was on a stranded gas wall. They want to try it small, start small and then have it so they can plug in more engines. And so I did that one. I designed that one so that you can see the six plugs on the side there, those bulls bugs.
So every engine plugs in independently where the gas goes or no, the gas goes to the engine. So that’s just the data center. The way that data centers designed, there’s a control system that’s watching all the engines. And if one engine, that’s a primary engine that runs the fans. So I wanted to make it user friendly. And this is where like certain things like this, I probably just because of the costs I could do it cheaper, but like those plugs are expensive for 200 bucks each, aren’t they? Oh yeah. I know those plugs were like 1500 bucks each, what are they called? What are these ones called? Those are mail trick. They’re metric. You can get like a cheaper version. But at the time that was what I found. But it was also, do you know the customer wanted a certain design so that I gave him a few options and that’s what they ended up going with. But it is a really good system. I think it was really well done in, in the, in how it works. Cause I did it. They’re all independent circuits so that’s not the not paralleled engines. The control system manages it. So like if the primary engine goes down, it’ll shut down the other engines because of the primary goes down and the fans go down. Right. It’s very rare for that to happen. And it’s just a safety feature.
So is there some sort of like, you know, big parts catalog that you can thumb through and you can find these things? Cause I Google for this kind of stuff all the time online and I can’t find anywhere that would sell things like this or this kind of like industrial grade stuff. So how do you even go about, you know, sourcing this kind of stuff?
Same as you man. Like I, I’ve gone, I’ve spent so many hours, like for example, looking for exhaust fans that like, I was happy with that I wanted to have as a standard and I think I’m there, but like, it’s even you know how it is to, if you build something you’re like, Oh, if he finds something, if you come across something that’s a little cheaper, you’re like, well, okay, well now maybe I’ll switch everything over to this. But I guess was that a question?
Yeah, it says, yeah. How did, how do you keep your ACX warm enough in the Canadian winter?
Meaning in winter? Yeah. So well let me give you an example. Go to the mini cubes in that website. So the mini cube, I can give you two, two examples here. The easy way to do it is like in the comedy to the left. Yeah, the mini cubes for this to the left there. Before I just talked about this, the combo unit that the solved is just the engine heat, right? The engine preheated all the air and then you can control the engine air circulation just with this manual louver. So in the cold weather you just let the engine heat blow into the unit. And this one there is no engine, right? And it’s just the, it’s the smallest data center I could possibly figure out how to build. It’s a four foot cube as you can see. They’re meant to be stacked if you need him.
So it was this meant to be very modular. That cube was designed for the commodity engine that we sell, like the V 5.7 liter, a small block, which is like the most common oil field engine in history. Right? So that’s why I designed it that size. Now in terms of how do you keep your basics cool? Or he asked, how do you keep him warm? Right? It’s already said. How do you keep them warm through the cold Canadian winter? Yeah, so I’ve, this has been a, so this cube is our first winter we had going with these cubes cause I didn’t have them last winter. Just design, I built the first one last summer. So my plan for research collating the heat was just first the first idea like plan a, it was just, I had the fan on a VFD, small VFD and I know it’s an acronym for something variable frequency drive.
So like a three phase motor, you can control the speed and even overspeed it with a three with a, with a VFD. Okay. So there’s a small VFD in each of these running that fan and I’ve gotten away from that, which I can get into. But the idea is that I would just going to Seoul the fan down. Right. And then the 86 are pushing the same airflow so they’re going to just recirculate. And that was plan a to see if that would work. It didn’t work that well because a, there’s huge temperature swings. A, B, there’s not really any ideal placement of the temperature sensor in the cube. That gives you a good idea of the, you know, what’s hot and what’s not. In the very middle, it can be super hot, but on the outer edges it could be almost freezing and you wouldn’t think it.
But like even in that little cube, like there’s a lot of weird dynamics going on on how the air is flowing. So it didn’t work that well. Like I would, I could slow the VFD down. It would help a bit, but it wouldn’t like, ideally you don’t want to be like mining like minus 20 degrees C you wouldn’t be mining at maybe no, no more than minus five, but hopefully above zero, right. Zero above freezing. So it was trying to keep things above freezing. But honestly I couldn’t really do it. So why my knee? My plan B was I built a small tin call it like a plenum that just goes over the fan and reroutes the heat back to the intake, sort of what you see some other container guys do. That worked okay. But overall I wasn’t really satisfied with it.
So I just found that the I guess certainly with S nines, we didn’t generally have a lot of problems running them. Some, some we did that they have trouble just cold starting and stuff. So there was just a bit more manual intervention, but the ducting works okay. But that’s why with those cubes, like the next product, I guess I can show you the iteration now. The next product, just the hash hut is really how I solved this problem, hopefully for good. Because you know, you want to get rid of
That sounds like a kind of place you would like party on the weekend, you know, like Oh fuck yeah. Door big enough to get it right. Yeah.
I’m very unapologetic in terms of how I brand, cause like, like I’ve, you know, I’ve had people like just friends and stuff and like people tries to give me constructive criticism about, you know, not branding is like solely Bitcoin mining. Right. cause if you look at my website, all I talk about is Bitcoin. I don’t talk about you know what a lot of guys will do and it’s probably good marketing is just to say like we just do data centers and we do computations or we do cloud computing, right? They don’t, they don’t say you know, we’re into Bitcoin and that’s all we do. But I’m like unapologetically Bitcoin or should I do that? Well, honestly I just think in the one I’m playing the long game, like I think society will continue and is coming around to Bitcoin. I can tell you like the oil field is coming around to Bitcoin big time compared to what? Like compared to the conversations I had in like 2016 versus now. It’s crazy. It’s completely different. So like the hat, like you putting that word like hash in there. I’ve, I’ve had a lot of my friends in oilfield be like, why’d you call it hash? They’re going to think it’s like a marijuana.
Right, right, right. Yeah, exactly. Converted over. We can make that hash out a real head.
Absolutely. And some people call it a sauna. I don’t know why that looks like a sauna look like that. I dunno.
I wouldn’t want to touch the sides though. I mean with my bare arm on a sunny day, no way. That’s a whole bunch of note from me. Throw some more rocks in there. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s a that’s,
That’s built out of like, so we just build the buildings in our shop, but it’s a galvanized tin in that, in that case we can do like any color too cause we just sell the guys that just branded themselves. So the, the cool thing about this, you gave out the heat management. Like I’m hoping this is my last iteration in terms of just heat management. The idea here is that I wanted to come up with a good way to recirculate the heat. So, you know, most container designs, not all of them, but Mo, most of them have this sort of standard unit, directional airflow or just comes in one side out the other. And so it makes it, there’s ways you can recirculate the heat. But I haven’t seen anything. I haven’t seen anything. To me that looks like it’s very reliable, that works very well.
Especially when it’s like, you know, when I parked these things in the Prairie’s there’s really, I can’t imagine a worse environment. Like it’s just, it blows just constant hard wind, extremely cold. Any, if you try to read Cirque the heat like over the top or the unit or something even has any chance to blow away, it will. So not to say that that problem is completely solved here, but the way I solve it is you just put a weather hood that you point on each fan and you can point it up or down. So if you want the heat to blow back into it in the winter, it’s just a manual. The weather hood pushes it straight down at the intakes. Intakes are on low on East side the night. The nice thing about this too is like you’ll find in the winter, especially in Canada, well there’s a few other issues.
Like you’ll get frost clog off your intakes and this solves X. It blows the heat rate at the intake. And then also the biggest problem the flaw or the cubes that I build. And you know, I, I explained this to the customers, you gotta be very careful, like it’s not as dummy proof as you could. I guess I could say as this is, cause if, if the operator at the site operator, you know, he was managing the data center, even though he’s just doing it for the company and he doesn’t, he hasn’t bothered or nothing, he might not really know what he’s really doing aside from, you know, if I have to tell, if I tell him I need you to check this breaker, like flip it, right. But if he opens the door and have the cube, so I’m talking about the cube now, if he opens the door, which is also where the air comes in and leaves it open for an extended period of time or does it when he shouldn’t.
Like if it’s snowing out, it’ll suck snow right through and, and short your Essex. So, yeah. Yeah. So that’s the downside of the cube is or any real data center design is you gotta make sure the operators know what to doing. So I wanted to make something a little more dummy proof and I think that’s what this hash out is because if you’re going to open that building, you’re really just going to enter it and do your work inside. Whereas the cubes, the cubes have a really good application number, seeing a lot of good use cases, but it’s just a little less dummy proof. And that’s what I want to get away from. So the cubes for example, are more so I’m targeting warmer climates and hash huts for vets are actually, yeah, there were basically all purpose, but especially for my Canadian guys, like it’s mostly their hash huts or what I’m quoting recently.
Yeah. Yeah. And so this says it has a water curtain add on and soundproofing out on I’m sure that the soundproofing has been something that people have asked for.
You know, not actually, because most of my target audience rate is oil field. And with that, this the Bitcoin, mine’s like the quietest thing on the site. Well it depends, right? Like it’s all about, it really is just all about application in a lot. A lot of sites they’re close to land owners and so they have to be a lot more conscious about decibels. I think the well the soundproofing is pretty easy with like we just sound proof at the same way we sound proof gen sets and everything else. You can add sound boxes and stuff to it, which is pretty easy to do with this design. The water curtains, we don’t actually supply them, but you could, you could just Mount the water curtain pretty easily to it. So it was just a, another feature where it’s pretty easy to implement. Yeah. But again, we haven’t used water curtains in oil field and it’s also a lot more challenging cause you know, you’re going through water, so who’s are punishing that like,
Yeah. Where, where’s the water going to come from and what’s the, you know, clean level of the water and
It’s not, yeah, it’s, it’s something that would be something maybe someone just in the right application, you know, can look up. But for most of our oil field guys, like probably not going to fly. Yeah.
Yeah. It’s a, it’s really fascinating to see all your different designs and your, your different builds. You know, definitely in, in my time working with Scott I’ve seen a lot of people, you know, kind of address a lot of different issues and a lot of challenges and you seem to have the the most versatile solutions that, that I’ve seen around. Would you consider yourself kind of a one stop shop? Like are you able to do everything from end to end or are you just mostly focusing on you know, the, the boxes?
Well, the kind of, sort of our offer to producers, like my main clients are oil producers, right? Like I do get a lot of inquiries from just pure Bitcoin miners wanting quotes, wanting, hosting, et cetera. But certainly in the past, like I’ve done a lot to improve our cost basis on all of our stuff. So I think I’m actually at the point now where I can competitively offer like a utility minor, like like a, like a solution, like a data center package. Whereas even a year ago it was, most of my stuff is just best suited for oil field. So cause even a year ago, like the amount of growth I’ve had in the last year, I was still just a one man show a year ago and I finally like had an enough sales and stuff to start bringing people in and expanding business.
But my, my, I guess my pitch to producers is like when you go talk with oil producers about this stuff and I’ve, we’ve been talking with most of the big guys in Canada at least, almost like it’s, it’s rare for them to care about holding Bitcoin for example, and wanting Bitcoin. Like they don’t want it, they don’t want to touch it. So, while in terms of the kind of service we offer, like I do offer a full turnkey service, like we do the gen sets, I build them in house. Like I don’t obviously manufacture them, but I assembled them in house. The, we do that up to like 400 kilowatt right now because that seems to be where, where most of the demand is. And then so I was saying the, for the oil producer, a lot of them has their own, have their own gen sets.
So I go after those guys mainly because it’s all about costs, right? Like Watson investment costs. What’s a payout they have if you have, you know, stranded gas one idle engines two all you need is a Bitcoin. Mine is pretty easy. It’s much smell right? But we do we do the full deal. Like I’ll build the gen sets in our shop. Usually most of the gensets we’re building are like these 50 kilowatt small blocks. Right. But discuss this where the demand is. But we, we build the data centers in, shop, in, in, in house. Like in her shop and then obviously a six, we just get from, you know, wherever we get a good price and just package it together. But when it comes to the customer we offer, it’s pretty basic, really. Like I set them up in the mining pool.
It’s usually like slash pool cause these guys are noobs and they just want a nice UI. Right. UX whereas, you know, if you put them on something like CK pool or like one of the, you know, where you’re just getting some Jason data, like they’re not that keen on that. But basically like I, I don’t, I don’t hold anyone’s Bitcoins for them or at least I will do it for like up to a period of like one or two months, cause some of our customers don’t want to touch it, so we have to hold it in, liquidated for them. So that’s, that’s how I get them to you know, cause that’s always a big question is, you know, if you’re, if you’re a big oil, if you’re an engineer at a big oil company, like you can make the sale on.
Okay, we can buy this package, it’s going to cost this much. This is a cost benefit. Like the revenue, the payout, it looks pretty decent. While you’re not going to usually sell your management on is like who’s going to manage the Bitcoin for the company. Right. Because it’s very slippery. Right. Like it, you know how it is. What if you get hacked? Like prove it. Right. So prove that you didn’t steal it. Right. So why we did what we do is this, I give them that extra option where I say, look, we’ll just buy your Bitcoin for market rate. So any point they want to sell it, they don’t have to go to an exchange. We just buy it off them. Yeah. Wow.
It’s nice to have the capital laying around to do that too. Well, to be quite honest. Yeah. No, I liquidated no matter what. But we, we just buy it and sell it. So I bought, it’s already in my possession usually cause they’re, they’re mining on they’re mining to our wallet, but they just, they have the account and we just liquidated, these are just, we have contracts set up with these guys. But with the smaller guys, I find you know, smaller producers and even like we sold to some I guess you can call it competitors, but like other companies that build and service gen sets for example, who were like, we got no work right now. We need to, a way to diversify right now and offer our customers a reason to use our gensets. So there’s a couple gen set suppliers locally here sorta like, just within a couple of hours radius of us that we build data centers for. And for them though, they’re more because they’re more well, they’re smaller and they’re more willing to handle their own Bitcoin. They just do all that. So I just sold them a data center just like any other, you know, any products supplier, I just helped them keep it optimized. Yeah,
It’s a bit, it’s a very cool niche. Yeah. Steve, of all the stranded resources people I’ve had the pleasure of talking to your, you’re the only one that makes it sound like it’s easy. You’re like, yeah, we just got the hash box and put a couple of hash boxes and they’ve got a gin set ready to go. We’d plug them at the all the Bitcoin goes in my wallet. I cash it out for him. You know, no big deal. Like everybody else makes it into this huge, you know, really technical, you know, difficult, almost impossible situation. But you’re, you’re the only one that, that seems to make it easy. Well talk. Yeah. Talk about making it easy. You know, that’s what Scott and I intend to do for the industry with our website cryptomining.tools. Cryptomining.tools is meant to be your one stop resource for all information regarding crypto.
However, we do not do private tutorials, so if you have some strange or obscure hardware or software, we, we don’t do tutorials or support that you will need to reach out to the vendor and contact them to get support. But if you’re wanting basic information such as calculations on profitability, these are the different miners out there. We have that available. And we have what we think is, you know, I don’t mean to brag, but we think it’s the best calculator out there. Why? Because it considers all the different factors and variables that other calculators are not considering. And we’re constantly making improvements to it. We’re constantly tweaking the algorithm and we’re constantly tweaking the graphic user interface. Don’t want to give away anything but you know, stay tuned in about three or four weeks, you’re going to see some changes to the graphic user interface.
We want to make it very, very easy for people to understand what these calculations are doing, how they’re working over time. And just see, you know, in numbers. Cause sometimes that can be hard for people. And then we have our comparison app here where you can compare the different miners and you know, miners that you’re considering to buy. You can see how they rank and how they stack up to other miners and then go to the next, Nope, we’re there. Yeah, I’m, I’m here. I was just gonna say, and then our next app is the shop app. So once you know what miners you’re interested in purchasing, you can go to our shop. Now we’re, we’re doing a major overhaul here, so don’t be spooked away if you don’t see an inventory available that’s going to change very soon. Where we’re going to create an entire user role and client relationship management system on the back-end.
It’s almost done. It’s being tested right now. That will hopefully keep fresh inventory constantly going into our system. So you’ve always got a chance to buy the latest miners and the hottest miners. And even the miners, you know, let’s say you have free electricity. Apparently everybody that I talked to that, that has questions on the site, they have free electricity. So you have an opportunity to get to use miners at a really, really deep discount. And then last but not least, and I think this is where our guest, Steve kind of ties in here. Let’s say you buy a hash box, you know, from Steve and he’s got it all set up for you and you know you’re stranded, you know the price of oil, the price of gas, everything it takes and you know, it falls through and you’re stuck. Now you don’t have a contract, you don’t have a place to do it.
On our hosting directory listing, you can find a power purchase agreement. You can find active power purchase agreements in North America. And we’re expanding every day and you know, you can go back and you can save the entire deal. Cause you know, Steve, he’s gonna work hard. He’s going to build that hash box for you. And you know whether or not you have the power that’s on you, but we have a resource that can help you get that power and help you acquire that. Another very useful tool here and Scott loves this, is let’s say you want to know how many miners you need to use a certain power. So let’s say you have a half a megawatt of power that you know is available, but you have no clue. You know, you don’t want to sit down all day on a calculator adding, you know, water. Just trying to figure out how many miners do I need to get a half a megawatt on our website. You can literally go in here, you can choose the miner that you want to mind with and you can adjust the quantity until it shows you exactly how much power that you want to use. It’s a pretty cool tool. It’s pretty nifty.
Awesome. Well thanks for sharing that Ethan. Yeah. So back to you, Steve. I need you to, I need to hire you. You send a show my stuff, man. Hey. Hey. I like the enthusiasm. He’s very proud of this. You know, it started out as my baby, but he took it over and it’s taken a lot off my plate. It’s been awesome. Awesome. Yeah. So Steve, yeah. Bitcoin mining, oil fields. It’s all crazy stuff. So one thing we haven’t talked about and we gotta we gotta wrap it up pretty quick though, but sure. I, my one question to you is the people that are buying this stuff from you, are, are they doing it really, like you said, you know, to get into Bitcoin or is it more that flare mitigation or,
Yeah most of our sales is certainly, well there’s certainly plenty of guys that are doing it to get into Bitcoin, but most of them are doing it to solve a problem. Which is stranded gas, usually stranded or I like to call it liability gas, but stranded gas Wells vented gas and flared gas. So reducing in some cases we’ve completely eliminated the flares. In other cases, just depending on, depending on the nature of the facility, that’s going to be a lot harder to do. Especially in, in a lot of facilities, flares are not, they’re also critical as a safety feature to have that flame continuously burning for upset conditions. Right? So there’s, there’s different needs, but most of our clients, because Nene, you know, 99% of our clients are oil field. They have a need and it’s usually to mitigate. So when they, for example, you know, when there’s several examples I could give you, like one common one is in Canada you’re not allowed to vent too much gas. And if you do especially the guys will hold a lot of guys do and just don’t tell anyone. Right. but
That’s what I, that’s what I do. If I drink too much gas smell is the filler, not me. We’re not in Roswell to talk about farts on this podcast that was just talking about bitten gas, man. That’s, that’s the other podcast. This is Riley. I like
These podcasts to go to be honest. Yeah. I mean they, you know, there’s all kinds of benefits like you know, if they have, cause there’s several cases would be deployed units and the only reason they’re allowed to start there well up is cause we were on their site. So in cases like that, cause we’re putting them into compliance with the regulations. Wow. Now, smaller guys don’t give a shit like not, not, not to paint them all the same brush, but generally if they’re, if they can just get away with doing nothing, like just venting, they’ll keep doing it. But it’s just how it is. Right. They just don’t want to go bankrupt. Right. So but you know, and then of course stranded gas Wells, we get a lot more calls, especially recently. I don’t know exactly why, but I’m getting a lot more calls from guys just with stranded gas Wells and I think they’re just hearing, cause you know, I think you guys have seen it too. I certainly have seen like the narrative around Bitcoin mining and oil field has been boosted a watt in the last like year and a half, two years ago and two and a half years ago. It was like, no, like no cold calls. It was just, you know, a very uphill battle. Very, very much so.
Steve, I hate to leave it there. You’ve been awesome. Can you let our audience know what’s a good way for them to reach out to you? Cause I’m sure things are really changing for you.
Yeah, just like always Twitter is the best way to reach out if it’s just to say hi or whatever. If it’s my Twitter is at @SGbarbour. And if it’s more serious, like it’s more about like sales and data centers just email [email protected].
Okay. All right. Fantastic. Awesome. Yeah. I’m going to put that here in the comments section. So Steve on Twitter. Okay. Right there.
It’s all shit posts. It’s nothing, no quality posts, it’s just garbage.
No way. No, I, I when I read your tweets it’s always about how Bitcoin is the best and you know, yeah, you definitely seem like a, like a maximalist. And I, I’ve, I’ve seen you get some pretty good retweets and comments and likes and you got some good stuff going on. Twitter.
I, I wouldn’t, I am an M I am in, I’m not a maximalist. I guess it depends how they define it, but definitely very, very pro BTC as they say.
Yup. That’s awesome. Yeah. Awesome. Well, yeah, thanks again for coming on our show. It was good chatting with you and getting to know you a little bit better. Thanks a lot for sure. Thanks guys. Alright, take care. Bye. Bye. Bye. Bye.