Over the years, crypto mining has become one significant way to obtain digital assets like BTC. Hence, it is no surprise that a national park in the Eastern part of Congo has decided to join the trend by using its natural resources to mine BTC.
National Park Turns To Bitcoin Mining
Virunga National Park in Congo has experienced several bad events in the past years, affecting its financial position. Such incidents include poor government assistance, diseases, pandemic lockdowns, deforestation, pillaging, and militia violence.
Virunga is Africa’s oldest protected Park and houses endangered mountain gorillas. Meanwhile, the Park has turned towards BTC mining to raise funds and safeguard its wildlife and forests.
Adam Popescu from MIT Technology Review shared details about the Park’s planned move. According to him, the Park will use energy from its hydroelectric plant to mine BTC and use the fund to restore the Park to its former glory.
Emmanuel de Merode, the director of the Park, said Ebola and COVID-19 reduced tourists’ visits and the Park’s revenue. He said, “we worked on the power plant and decided to build the network gradually. (…..) We had to devise a solution.”
De Merode and other staff in the Park decided to buy Bitcoin rigs and power them using the Park’s hydroelectric energy to generate profits. In 2020, the Park purchased second-hand servers through the help of Sébastien Gouspillou, a crypto investor.
They went on to build the first known BTC mining center worldwide, owned by a national park and uses green power. Furthermore, the Luviro hydro-station provides the energy that powers the Park.
The Luviro hydro-station is a river-operated hydro plant that began operation in 2013. Recently, there have been several negative happenings in the crypto industry, like the fall of Bitcoin’s price and the recent FTX saga.
However, De Merode remains optimistic. He stated that each mining day represents pure profit, whether BTC’s value goes up or down.
Michael Saylor Commends The Virunga Project
Michael Saylor, the executive chairman of MicroStrategy, applauded Virunga’s model. He said it is the ideal industry to build in a country with abundant clean energy but cannot use the power to export or produce a product.
Meanwhile, Argo Blockchain CEO, Peter Wall, said the Virunga mine might be profitable. According to him, the project has the three main things needed to mine BTC: capital, machines, and power.
Notably, Argo Blockchain currently operates a hydro-powered mining station in Quebec. De Merode further noted that this investment was an incredible idea for the Park.
According to him, “we are going to be generating BTC and not speculating its value.” He added that the Park would be mining BTC using surplus power and monetizing it.
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