In recent times, Bhutan has shown significant interest in becoming a hub for bitcoin mining. Druk Holding & Investments, the investment arm of Bhutan’s Royal Government, has partnered with Nasdaq-listed Bitdeer Technologies Group to introduce a $500 million fund dedicated to supporting BTC mining activities in the country. This collaboration aims to utilize Bhutan’s hydroelectricity resources to develop green crypto mining infrastructure in the region.
The fund’s main target will be institutional investors, who can start participating by the end of May. Druk and Bitdeer will also act as financial backers, with the latter intending to establish a 100-megawatt mining operation in Bhutan. Construction is expected to commence in the second quarter of the year and be completed by September. There have been hints that Bhutan may have secretly been involved in BTC mining since 2017, when the price of bitcoin was around $5,000.
Ujjwal Deep Dahal, CEO of Bhutan’s investment arm, believes that venturing into BTC mining is the least risky way for the country to participate in the crypto industry. Dahal said, “It’s important for us to look at assets that are low volume, high value or digital assets for that matter, and try to position ourselves in a way that we can be competitive globally over time to build our economy.”
Apart from its ambitious BTC mining plans, Bhutan is also exploring the launch of a digital version of its national currency. In 2021, Ripple announced a partnership with Bhutan’s central bank, the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA), which will use Ripple’s CBDC solution to pilot a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in phases. This move is expected to enhance cross-border payments and promote financial inclusion.
The bank’s decision to partner with Ripple was influenced by the company’s commitment to sustainability, aligning with Bhutan’s green policies. Ripple’s CBDC solution is carbon-neutral and 120,000 times more energy-efficient than proof-of-work blockchains, as it is based on the public XRP Ledger.
In conclusion, Bhutan’s recent steps to become a leading player in the bitcoin mining scene are noteworthy. With a $500 million fund dedicated to green BTC mining and plans to launch a digital version of its national currency, the small Himalayan nation could indeed position itself as a competitive force in the global crypto industry. However, it remains to be seen how these ambitious plans will unfold, and whether the country can sustain its course in the fast-paced world of cryptocurrencies.