Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin can be “mined” using high-powered computers to solve incredibly complex maths problems. When computers solve these intricate questions, they produce new coins. The process consumes vast amounts of power, making the process unviable unless miners have access to cheap electricity. The mining is part of a project called “Democratising Technology” by artist Maël Hénaff.
He claims each gadget generates approximately £0.90 per day for the community, helping to alleviate the financial burden caused by unemployment.
Jaywick was the most deprived neighbourhood in England in 2010 and 2015, according to the UK government’s deprivation index.
Mr Hénaff said: “In the next 15 years, it is estimated that at least 40 percent of jobs are going to be replaced by machines.
“Nowhere is this future more apparent than in Jaywick in the UK where 60 percent of the population have already either lost their jobs or are out of work, mostly because of the insurgence of automation and machine learning and the inevitable decline of jobs that these technologies have brought about.
“Through this project, I collaborated with Jaywick’s community to create a practical workshop where local people could build fully functioning crypto-miners to allow them a real means of generating a secondary, supplementary income.
“This call to action aims to not only outline the very real potential of automated technologies but to also stimulate debate as to what we want our collective future to look like, and how we can ensure that future technologies are democratic and support the many and not the few. “
Resident Natalie Smith says she was interested in how communities impacted by automation can use the same tech to improve their lives.
She said: “If technology can help people make their lives better, then yeah, rather than just be for big industries.”
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