Cheap Electricity A Boon For Bitcoin Mining In Cash-strapped Venezuela
Sumaira FH 24 days ago Wed 01st September 2021 | 10:00 AM
Caracas, Sept 1 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 1st Sep, 2021 ) :On a factory floor in Caracas, the din of dozens of computers working non-stop is deafening. This is the sound of a bitcoin mine -- one of several in a country where cheap electricity has made crypto mining a rare profitable endeavor.
The process produces intense heat, which require the constant cooling power of four large fans.
"We have discovered a way to generate income effortlessly... transforming energy into money," he told AFP.
"Mining" is one way of raising crypto currency, putting high-powered computers to work to solve complicated mathematical problems -- and the price of electricity is a major obstacle for miners in many countries.
- Confronting economic crisis - But in Venezuela, the rock-bottom rate overrides most other considerations, including power cuts -- frequent in a country where public services have all but collapsed, but less spotty in the capital Caracas than elsewhere.
Today, Doctorminer has some 1,500 miners connected to its grid, according to the company's website.
And this is nowhere near the full value of crypto money in circulation, said the analyst, as it does not factor in the currency generated by mining.
"There is a massive economic activity that is unseen," Olmos said.
Pedro, a miner, bought two "video cards" with which to mine crypto currency in 2017 for $800.
- 'Better not to talk' - But the windfall brought about unforeseen difficulties -- the reason Pedro declined to give his full name.
The currency and the practice of mining it are legal, but police frequently arrest miners for failing to jump through bureaucratic hoops.
Reports of extortion are rife in the country that ranks a lowly 176 out of 180 on Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index, and where public officials demanding bribes is a common problem.
Many Venezuelan miners end up behind bars for lacking paperwork, according to specialist websites such as CriptoNoticias.
"It is something that is better not to talk about," added Pedro of his line of work.