Bhutan, the small Himalayan kingdom, has been quietly accumulating and mining Bitcoin since April 2019. The country of less than 800,000 people is leveraging its abundant hydroelectric power 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.
According to an exposé in local Bhutanese news and inquiries from Forbes, Bhutanese officials have 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. While the scale of Bhutan’s mining operations remains a mystery, some Druk Holding and Investments (DHI) employees have listed “crypto mining” as their tasks and skills on their LinkedIn profiles.
It is worth noting that the state-owned holding company DHI has invested millions of dollars in cryptocurrency holdings, with the funds managed on behalf of its people. The government is reportedly exploring partnerships to expand its mining operations further. One such partnership is 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%.
It is unclear why the government chose not to disclose this project to its citizens or international partners. However, Bhutan’s focus on green energy and sustainability makes it an ideal destination for mining Bitcoin. Bitcoin mining is the world’s cleanest industry, with more than 50% of its energy sources being renewable or clean energy. 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. The country’s commitment to green energy and sustainability is commendable, and it sets an excellent example for other countries looking to adopt Bitcoin mining. With its vast hydroelectric potential, Bhutan has the potential to become a significant player in the Bitcoin mining industry.