Final Frontier? William Shatner Boldly Goes into Bitcoin Mining

Star Trek actor William Shatner is now representing Solar Alliance in its move to build a solar-powered bitcoin mining facility in Illinois.

Jun 14, 2018 at 1:55 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:03 a.m. UTC

Star Trek legend William Shatner has become the latest celebrity to beam into the crypto space.

Shatner, known for playing Captain Kirk in the science fiction series, is representing Solar Alliance, an alternate energy developer which is planning to build a solar-powered bitcoin mining facility in Illinois, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday. The company - which is based in Canada - will be using an existing factory in the town of Murphysboro to host a solar panel array.

Captain Kirk told the 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."

That being said, while Solar Alliance is building the infrastructure to support a mining facility, it does not actually intend to mine bitcoins. Instead, the firm intends to lease the building to mining firms after the solar panels are completed. While there is no timeline yet on when Solar Alliance will finish renovating the facility and installing the panels, chief executive Jason Bak told the Tribune that he plans to start finding potential tenants by the end of 2018.

Bak also intends to dedicate some of the space inside the building to an educational venture, aimed at explaining how to install solar panels to those interested.

Shatner, who lives in California, told the Tribune he may visit the completed facility, because "it's an interesting idea to see it at work because ... it's so esoteric that it's difficult to understand."

William Shatner image via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

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