FF Los Angeles is helping save the oceans in an unconventional way – by mining them for Bitcoin.
The agency has unveiled the ‘Ocean Miner’ project for the Tara Expéditions Foundation. It’s a system somewhere between blockchain and land art that gives the ocean a chance to produce Bitcoin to finance its own preservation.
The Tara Expéditions Foundation travels the world’s seas with scientists proactively studying and understanding the ocean to better preserve it from climate change. Its mission is essential, but is often confronted with the difficulty of engaging the general public, politicians or the investors necessary to finance marine research.
Since environmental concerns represent less than 3% of donations to charities, the Tara Foundation team has developed, in partnership with FF Los Angeles, a system called 'Ocean Miner.' The new hydraulic turbine system is installed in the Gulf of Morbihan, in Brittany, France, where marine streams and tides are at their strongest.
How it works is that the turbine, naturally driven by stream action, converts the energy from the ocean into electrical energy. A computer operating in Bitcoin Mining is wired to the turbine, generating a margin of Bitcoin for the owner of the computer. This digital currency is then convertible into Euros and can then immediately be re-invested in ocean research.
The computer and its components were set up in a small housing unit atop a rocky outcropping, equipped with mirrors, which downplays the visual impact of its implementation on the shore and also protects them from the weather. After the house was locked and connected to the turbine, the system became autonomous and self-sufficient, using the power of the ocean to create its own energy.
After a month of running the turbine and generating Bitcoin, the 'Ocean Miner' system made it possible for the Tara Foundation to collect nearly $250 a month over the whole implementation phase.
"This system certainly won't cover the needs of the scientific research, it is only a drop in the ocean: a minimal symbolic contribution made to the expeditions led by Tara,” said explained Romain Troublé, managing director of the Tara Expeditions Foundation. “It is, however, a powerful way of recalling that only the mobilization of everyone together will make it possible to fund the research to study, understand and to better protect the Ocean in the future.”
“Over the years, FF has been actively involved with a series of creative social responsibility projects ranging from refugees to social advocacy, the environment, and beyond. Today, we’ve decided to focus our creativity on a place of huge importance that doesn’t get the attention it needs: our oceans,” explained Fred Raillard and Farid Mokart, founders of FF.
“The four offices of the network are each creatively committed to the oceans cause, like FF New York and FF Shanghai with Sea Shepherd or FF Paris with Noé, and today FF Los Angeles with the Tara Foundation. We are eager to select one great cause, only one and to go deeper knowledge of the topic campaign by campaign. We’re partnering with a selection of brands and charities to find creative ways to protect the ocean and clearly communicate its vital importance to our lives. It is the place where we feel we can make the largest impact for the world.”