In brief

  • Compass Mining will partner with nuclear energy startup Oklo to bring "clean" energy to its crypto mining operations.
  • Oklo is a California-based startup that is working to develop "microreactors" to power smaller organizations.

Compass Mining, a service that lets anyone buy a Bitcoin mining machine and host it around the world, has inked a partnership with nuclear energy startup Oklo. 

The goal? To offer alternative energy sources for Compass’ mining operations. 

By tying up with Oklo, the Compass community, which ranges from hosting services in Canada, the U.S., and China to an array of hardware manufacturers, would be able to tap into “clean” nuclear energy. 

This is in part possible because of Oklo’s ambitious attempt to commercialize “mini nuclear reactors.” Instead of building massive plants to generate power, the California-based startup wants to build smaller, unmanned outfits that could power college campuses, large companies, or, in this case, crypto mining farms.

Far from launch, this is an artist’s rendition of one of Oklo’s microreactors. Source: Gensler

So far, the startup is off to a positive start. Oklo became the first American company to earn a license for its advanced fission technology accepted by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission last year. 

Now it’s turning its attention to crypto mining.

According to a press release shared with Decrypt, the first phase of the project is set to launch “in the early 2020s” and will see Oklo provide Compass’ Bitcoin mining machines with at least 150 megawatts of clean power. For context, 2 megawatts can provide enough electricity for roughly 400 homes.

Oklo claims that its advanced fission powerhouses are capable of producing reliable energy for up to 20 years without the need to refuel, with a possibility to scale the project further–the firm says it can provide additional capacity to accelerate Compass’ sustainable Bitcoin mining efforts.


“Every Bitcoin miner understands the need for cheap, reliable power,” said Whit Gibbs, co-founder and CEO of Compass.

Compass sets new course for Bitcoin

The partnership between the two firms comes amid heated debates about Bitcoin’s negative impact on the environment and increased efforts aimed at the broader use of clean energy sources in mining.  

According to the 3rd Global Cryptoasset Benchmarking Study published in September 2020, a substantial part–as much as 61%–of energy used by Bitcoin miners was still coming from non-renewable sources of energy, such as fossil fuels. 

The picture is likely to have somewhat changed since then due to the ongoing crackdown on the mining industry in China. 

However, hopes of a complete switch to renewables may be a tad optimistic given they don’t produce enough power to meet the demand from various industries.

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