Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is Africa’s oldest reserve and a testament to the continent’s biodiversity and natural beauty. However, the park is facing increasing pressure from local militia groups that have staged violent attacks on animals and employees, and various issues, including COVID-19, have forced the park to close to tourists. It claims to extend and account for about 40%. of its earnings.
Ah Reported in MIT Technology Review Park Director Emmanuel de Merode explains how he turned to Bitcoin mining to monetize the park’s abundant natural resources, which are stranded to maintain the park’s existence. doing.
De Merode met with Sébastien Gouspillou, owner of Big Block Green Services, who advised El Salvador on “Bitcoin City”. Guspille explains:[They] I used to buy electricity to mine, but it wasn’t efficient. That money may go to Kazakh oligarchs. In Virunga you can see it saves the park. ”
Gouspillou assisted de Merode in setting up the first part of the operation in 2020, and mining began in September of that year. The site then staffed the facility, where he employed nine full-time workers and operated miners in shifts within the jungle. He in the park is powered by three hydroelectric power plants. This is a sustainable power source that was already used to power nearby towns.
“We currently have 10 containers powered directly by the power plant’s 4-meter turbines. Each container holds between 250 and 500 rigs,” the report explains. Virunga owns 3 of his 10 containers and Gouspillou owns the remaining 7 of his. Their arrangement allows him to buy energy from Virunga while maintaining bitcoin mining.
Commenting on the project, Michael Thaler said Bitcoin is “an ideal high-tech industry to introduce into countries that are rich in clean energy but unable to export products or provide services with that energy. ‘ said.
Explaining that despite the recent market downturn, De Merode remains confident that the project will be successful. we are generating it. If you buy bitcoin and it decreases, you lose money. We make Bitcoin out of surplus energy and monetize what is otherwise worthless. That’s a big difference. ”
He also talked about bitcoin storage in response to a question about what would happen if he was attacked, an ever-present threat in the jungle. Managed… Anyway, I’m unlikely to spend more than a few weeks with my bitcoin because I need funds to run the park, so something happened to me or the CFO lost my password. If he did, it would have been a hard time for him, but it wouldn’t have cost him much.”