Bhutan uses Himalayan rivers to generate energy used to mine Bitcoin, local reports reveal.
Bhutan is bullish on Bitcoin. Following the revelation that the small Himalayan kingdom has been quietly accumulating crypto, the country is also mining Bitcoin. Moreover, the country of less than 800,000 people leverages green energy to power its Bitcoin mining operations.
Known for its focus on “Gross National Happiness” and picturesque landscapes, Bhutan has found ways to harness its immense hydroelectric potential, which accounts for 30% of its gross domestic product.
First reported in an exposé in local Bhutanese news and followed by inquiries from Forbes, Bhutanese officials confirmed that mining began when the price of Bitcoin was around $5,000 in April 2019. The price per Bitcoin has since soared to roughly $28,000 per coin at the time of writing.
The kingdom has reportedly explored partnerships to expand its mining operations further. Notably, it is negotiating with Nasdaq-listed mining company Bitdeer to secure 100 megawatts of power for a Bitcoin mining data center in Bhutan. This partnership would increase Bitdeer’s mining capacity by about 12%.
The scale of Bhutan’s mining operations remains a mystery, with little information available about the location, size and profitability of its mining farms. Some Druk Holding and Investments (DHI) employees have listed “crypto mining” as their tasks and skills on their LinkedIn profiles.
It is also unclear why the government chose not to disclose this project to its citizens or international partners. However, it is known that the state-owned holding company DHI has invested millions of dollars in cryptocurrency holdings, with the funds managed on behalf of its people.
Although mainstream media would indicate the contrary, Bitcoin mining is the world’s cleanest industry, with more than 50% of its energy sources being renewable or clean energy. Bitcoin mining advocates, such as MicroStrategy chairman Michael Saylor, explain that “99.92% of carbon emissions in the world are due to industrial uses of energy other than Bitcoin mining.“ Due to cheap, abundant hydroelectric power, DHI reported that Bhutan is an ideal destination for mining Bitcoin.
Bhutan adds to a long list of regions from East Africa to Scandinavia mining Bitcoin with hydropower, one of the cheapest clean energy sources.