Rohtak in Haryana, known as the dairy hub of the country, is nowadays milking (or rather minting) cryptocurrency, using a mining farm with 300+ Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), costing them an electricity bill of Rs 3 lakh a month.
New Edge Soft Sol Pvt Ltd, founded by Pardeep Narwal, is situated close to the age-old Palika Bazaar of the city, where three engineers man the machines extracting Ethereum 24x7 in different shifts. A three-storeyed building houses their office on the first floor, rigs on the second and accommodation facility for engineers on the ground floor.
Mining is essentially validating crypto transactions on the blockchain, a public ledger system. It not only validates but also secures the system. Computers all around the globe can do it by Proof-of-Work, which means by solving a complex algorithmic problem. But, this calls for speed and strength of the system.
34-year-old Pardeep, a gold medalist in M. Tech, started the venture during the pandemic with his wife Jyoti Lamba and college friend Monu Nagar. They not only mine for themselves but also host clients on their machines who want to invest but don't have the infrastructure.
This 14-Gigahash data centre consumes 35,000 electricity units which translate into a heavy electricity bill every month. A big turbine installed on their terrace sucks the hot air from the ducts installed above the rigs and another cooler brings in fresh air from outside to maintain the temperature.
Rig is an arrangement of hardware elements: specially designed motherboard, server, GPUs and Internet connection, required to perform cryptocurrency mining.
One small room attached to the mining farm room is a control unit where engineers monitor different factors of a rig, i.e the client it is working for, temperature, output etc.
"I have studied and been brought up in this city, hence I started the farm here", said Mr Narwal while replying to a query on why he didn't set this up in any other metro city like Delhi or Mumbai or for that matter even Bengaluru, known for tech setups.
But there is a business strategy also behind choosing Rohtak as a location. Rental properties are much cheaper in the city as compared to other Tier-A cities, but the output remains the same as it would be in any other big town. Pardeep has worked on various government and non-government engineering projects and now lends his knowledge for Blockchain integration in government projects.
In the Union Budget, Centre had announced that crypto mining infrastructure won't be considered as cost of acquisition, hence would not be allowed as a deduction under I-T Act.
New Edge Soft Sol doesn't feel too demotivated by this because they believe in holding their crypto earning from mining and hence realising its benefits over a long period of time.
Mr Nagar hopes that the Government will make better rules to regulate this space and also align itself with international forces.
If your question is: can I start mining at home? The answer from their team is a big “Yes”. But, one should have a strategy, crypto and goal in mind. Because you don't want to spend more resources than what you earn. As the blockchain gets older, the complexity to solve the problems also increases.
That means you spend more energy resources. So, is mining profitable? Mr Narwal answers this by saying, "setup and infrastructure cost is reduced now as the devices are not as expensive as they were five years ago. So the lump sum amount remains unaffected."