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Bitcoin mining project in Kenya helps power rural community


A hydro-powered crypto mining project based in Africa released an update on its efforts to bring energy developments to rural communities via Bitcoin (BTC).

On Dec. 9, Gridless Compute tweeted photos and commentary on how their hydro-power BTC mining rigs are powering an entire rural settlement while also lowering energy rates for 2,000 people, the equivalent to 500 families. According to the tweet, costs decrease from $10 per month to $4.

All of this while securing BTC’s underlying blockchain network. 

Earlier this week, the project also shared results of a successful $2 million funding round led by VC Stillmark and Blocks, the parent company of CashApp and Square.

According to Gridless, the funds from this round will be used to further the expansion of BTC mines across African markets while targeting rural communities for accessible energy.

Erik Hersman, the CEO of Gridless, said that while BTC mining has been widespread throughout North America, Europe and Asia, Africa has great opportunities to diversify mining. He highlighted that renewable energy is abundant on the continent.

 “This presents excellent potential for profits for both energy generators and miners as well as the ability to deliver real positive impact on the communities where it is put to use.”

Miles Suter, an active personality in the BTC community and lead at CashApp, visited one of sites in rural Kenya. Suter highlighted the renewable energy aspect of the project, as BTC mining has previously come under major scrutiny for its harsh environmental impact. 

This comes as BTC’s hash rate has declined over the past month, which allowed miners to regain losses after mining’s lowest revenue reports in the two years.

Related: Middle East and North Africa are fastest-growing crypto markets: Data

Crypto activity on the African continent has been gaining momentum over the last year as practical use cases for crypto and its technology continue to emerge.

This is so much so the case that the International Monetary Fund recently called for tighter crypto regulation in Africa.

Additionally, new partnerships have made cross-border payments possible between citizens in the United States, sending funds to Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya via the BTC Lightning Network.