Despite the controversies revolving around Bitcoin, it undoubtedly has its positive qualities. The proof-of-work protocol cryptocurrency that requires mining has gotten its fair share of criticism due to the environmental effects of its energy consumption. However, according to recent news from Kenya, Bitcoin mining projects can also give to rural communities.
According to a hydro-powered Bitcoin mining initiative by Gridless Compute, the project has managed to power an entire rural community as a side-product of BTC mining. The project’s mining rigs can supply the entire rural settlement with power, simultaneously lowering the energy rate for 500 families, corresponding to approximately 2000 people. This has resulted in a monthly $6 cost decrease from $10 to $4.
The future of bitcoin mining in Africa
The news from Kenya is especially encouraging, as the project has received additional funding after a successful $2 million funding round. This can enable further expansions to BTC mining facilities permitting other rural African communities to access energy. Many communities lack this access or could only welcome it with better terms and prices.
Africa is an interesting front for crypto-mining projects, and the amount of related projects has increased significantly over the last year. Besides incentives to establish new mining facilities, new partnerships through cross-border payments have been established between the United States and multiple African countries. However, the growing interest in Africa has driven the International Monetary Fund to call for tighter crypto regulation in Africa. Hence, some regulation might be on its way.
Bitcoin and the controversy
Despite Bitcoin being scrutinized for its negative environmental impacts, mining projects can increase well-being in many rural areas. Mining indeed requires vast energy resources, and for it to be more sustainable, the energy has to come with decreased environmental costs. One way to enable this is by using renewable or waste energy sources. When you combine these efforts with local development work in rural areas, BTC is well on its way toward a more sustainable protocol. However, for mining to be sustainable, the industry needs to create a symbiosis that profits both the crypto protocols and sustainability.
With sustainability as a goal, the humanitarian dimension must be addressed, as nudging these rural communities in a more sustainable direction is key for further development. As all efforts for a more durable future are required, don’t hesitate to contact GRN Energy to assess your business needs in combat against climate change.