Paraguay to Use Surplus Electricity for Crypto Mining
Paraguay is looking to use its surplus electricity to mine cryptocurrencies. Blessed by the bountiful supply of electricity from the Itaipu hydroelectric power dam, its aim is to become a major mining hub.
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Paraguay With an Eye on the Mining Industry
The government of Paraguay recently signed an agreement with the Blockchain Technology Foundation’s “Commons Foundation” to build the world’s largest crypto mining facility. Referred to as the Golden Goose project, the mining farm will utilize the power produced by Paraguay’s share of the Itaipu hydroelectric power plant–half of its total output.
The dam is just north of Ciudad del Este, positioned close to the border Paraguay shares with Brazil and Argentina. The Itaipu dam is the world’s most powerful hydroelectric dam. Paraguay, with an historically sluggish and small economy, currently has use for only a portion of its half-share of the dam’s output. It currently sells the surplus to Brazil at under market value.
If Hydropower Can Be Considered Clean, Bitcoin May Suddenly Go Green
Electricity prices in Paraguay are around 5 cents per kilowatt hour, as compared to almost 25 cents in Brazil. Using barely twenty percent of the half-share of the power the dam produces, Paraguay uniquely has a surplus of energy. Using that energy to mine bitcoin would give the currency a green image it doesn’t currently enjoy given the coal-dominated electricity production that prevails in dirty-industrializing China.
(Hydroelectric dams create other substantial side-effects, particularly on local ecosystems and communities. Despite this, they are manifestly greener than coal.)
Choi Yong-Kwan, Chairman of the Commons Foundation, spoke glowingly of the environmentally friendly aspect of the project:
“Only 10 to 20 percent of electricity is produced at Itaipu hydroelectric plant and consumed in Paraguay. More than 80 percent of its electricity is exported overseas. We will build the world’s largest mining center in Paraguay using low-cost and abundant clean energy.”
Who Gets the Eggs the Golden Goose Will Lay?
If the Golden Goose project proceeds as planned, it will be interesting to see how the benefits trickle down to the impoverished nation. More than a quarter of Paraguay’s roughly seven million people live in poverty.
Have your say. Will Paraguay become a global crypto mining hub and will the average Paraguayan family benefit?
Images via Pixabay