Solar Alliance announced Star Trek icon, actor William Shatner, as their celebrity spokesperson for the startup: using the sun’s energy to power bitcoin mining. This isn’t Mr. Shatner’s first encounter with cryptocurrency, and even still he readily admits not understanding what it is he’s shilling.
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William Shatner Boldly Goes Where a lot of People Have Already Gone
Maybe some of Captain James T. Kirk’s maverick character on the kitchy television show, Star Trek, rubbed off on the man who played him, William Shatner. Captain Kirk bagged the smokin’ hot African American Lieutenant Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) in a risque interracial television kiss, for example. He was also known to be quite the adventurer, exploring “strange new worlds.” Perhaps this fictional role emboldened Mr. Shatner, 87, to accept a spokesperson gig with Solar Alliance.
Solar Alliance is attempting to answer growing criticism from environmentalists about how bitcoin mining wastes precious resources. CEO Jason Bak explained to the Chicago Tribune his company would spread out on 14 acres in the middle western United States, using solar panels to generate the relatively large amounts of energy miners need. There, miners can lease space along with receiving coaching from the company along the way.
An Ingratiating Confession
Mr. Shatner confessed to the Chicago Tribune, “The concept is so, I guess the word is bizarre. You have to blank your mind and say, ‘What is blockchain, again? How does mining operate, again?’ The concepts are really strange, and yet when you begin to grasp it, it makes sense.” This seems to be the Canadian born actor’s default position on the phenomenon. Back in 2014, when bitcoin core (BTC) could be used as a tipping currency, a fan sent him some satoshis. The iconic actor tweeted in response, “what the heck is bit coin [sic]?”
Mr. Shatner present day said he was made aware of Solar Alliance when they outfitted his own home by coincidence. Asked if he’d take a personal tour of the facility once it’s up and running, he affirmed, “I’m in Chicago a lot, and I live in Kentucky part of the time. I might very well do that. It’s an interesting idea to see it at work because … it’s so esoteric that it’s difficult to understand.”
The Illinois small town of less than 10,000 residents, Murphysboro, has laid down the welcome mat to the company. Its mayor has even suggested a 165,000 sq ft factory, vacant for over a dozen years, be converted for mining operations. Mayor Stephens explained his town “like a lot of Middle America, have seen job losses because of a change in the worldwide economy. From my perspective, we’re going to have someone who will occupy a previously derelict property, and whatever development comes out of it will just make it more marketable if the project is not successful.”
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