- The Kingdom of Bhutan has revealed that it has been mining bitcoin using public funds
- A government official confirmed that the country has been using the country’s hydroelectricity for the operation
- The profits have gone towards subsidizing hardware and power expenses
The Kingdom of Bhutan has confirmed that it has been mining Bitcoin since 2020 following an investigation by Forbes. The outlet reported over the weekend that the country, which was recently revealed to have become the first to hold cryptocurrencies as part of its sovereign wealth investments, has been using its plentiful hydroelectricity to mine Bitcoin for the past three years or so. This means that the country joins El Salvador in the list of sovereign miners, beating the South American country by at least a year.
Bhutan Confirms Forbes Report
Bhutan’s public mining operation was confirmed in The Bhutanese on Saturday after Forbes got wind of it and pressed local sources for confirmation. A government official confirmed to The Bhutanese that the country had started Bitcoin mining “a few years ago” when bitcoin was priced at around $5,000 but clearly did not inform its citizens or international partners.
The official stated that the mining profits are utilized to subsidize hardware and power expenses, although Forbes’ attempts to gain further information through Bhutan’s Ministry of Finance did not solicit a response. However, its own investigations revealed that Bhutan is working with multiple Bitcoin mining companies and pools, with Bitdeer cited as a company known to be involved in talks with Bhutan over its operations (at the very least).
Forbes also compares that the Bhutan government had spoken to Bitdeer about a 100MW site, which would put it on par with certain sites in Russia and Paraguay.
Bhutan Taking Crypto Lead
Forbes recently reported on the fact that Bhutan owned tens of millions of dollars in bitcoin and ether through its sovereign wealth fund, Druk Holding & Investments, making it the first sovereign wealth fund to do so. With its Bitcoin mining operations now confirmed, this shows that the country is one of the most embedded in the crypto ecosystem, something that many will not have had on their 2023 crypto bingo cards.