Bhutan, a small Himalayan kingdom with a population of less than 800,000, has quietly been mining Bitcoin since April 2019. According to local reports, the country uses its abundant hydroelectric power to generate the energy needed for its mining operations.
This move towards cryptocurrency aligns with the country’s focus on “Gross National Happiness,” The mining has been profitable as the price of Bitcoin has surged since it started mining when it was $5,000.
Hydropower accounts for 30% of Bhutan’s gross domestic product, and the country has been exploring partnerships to expand its mining operations further. Bitdeer, a Nasdaq-listed mining company, is currently negotiating one of the notable partnerships.
Bhutanese officials verified mining began in April 2019 when the price of Bitcoin was about $5,000, as first reported in local Bhutanese press and followed by queries from Forbes. At the time of writing, the price of one Bitcoin had risen to almost $29,000 per coin.
The anticipated agreement would supply 100 megawatts of power to a Bitcoin mining data center in Bhutan, improving Bitdeer’s mining capabilities by around 12%. The scale of Bhutan’s mining operations is unknown. Little information is available about its mining farms’ location, size, and profitability.
However, DHI has invested millions of dollars in cryptocurrency holdings, with the funds managed on behalf of the people. Despite concerns over the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining, more than 50% of its energy sources come from renewable or clean energy. This makes it the world’s cleanest industry.
Bitcoin mining supporters, such as MicroStrategy chairman Michael Saylor, claim that “99.92% of carbon emissions in the world are due to industrial energy uses other than Bitcoin mining.” Bhutan, according to DHI, is an ideal location for Bitcoin mining due to its inexpensive and plentiful hydroelectric electricity.
Bitcoin Mining with Hydropower: A Global Trend
Bhutan is not alone in its use of hydropower to mine Bitcoin. Many regions from East Africa to Scandinavia are exploring using this cheap and clean energy source. Given the industry’s historically high energy consumption, the shift towards using renewable energy for Bitcoin’s mining is a significant development.
Bhutan’s use of renewable energy for Bitcoin mining may inspire other nations to adopt sustainable practices in their cryptocurrency operations. The global trend towards green energy makes this a plausible and necessary shift. Cryptocurrency’s rise requires sustainable mining.
Renewable energy is crucial for the industry’s and planet’s sustainability. As demand for cryptocurrencies rises, reliance on renewable energy sources for mining will become increasingly important. Investing in renewable energy for mining operations is necessary for the industry’s long-term viability and the environment’s health.