As Block Inc. and a specialized venture capital firm Stillmark invest $2 million in community-focused business Gridless, Kenya is poised to increase its Bitcoin mining hashrate. The cash will support its expansion to set up Bitcoin mines throughout African markets.
In order to electrify the neighborhood, before using excess energy to protect the Bitcoin network, Gridless will construct more mining sites adjacent to sources of renewable energy.
The CEO of Gridless, Erik Hersman, stated that the company’s effort in helping renewable energy mini grid developers satisfies a need and enables such developers to serve thousands of households while also expanding more quickly and sustainably. He also emphasized the need for inexpensive electricity in Africa.
The company partners with important energy providers like hydroelectric experts HydroBox to launch at least three operational facilities, with plans to further expand into East Africa. The company constructs and operates data centers in rural areas lacking access to reliable electricity. The partnership between Gridless and HydroBox gives the energy producer access to 24-hour electricity, making energy production practical.
According to Gridless, it is impossible to generate a return on investment without an anchor tenant. A mining operation offers a baseload minimum against which power producers can make plans.
Hersman also noted the abundance of renewable energy in Africa, which offers great potential for financial gain for both energy producers and miners as well as the chance to have a significant positive influence on the communities where it is used.
“Renewable energy is abundant on the continent. This presents an excellent potential for profits for both energy generators and miners as well as the ability to deliver a real positive impact on the communities where it is put to use.”
In 2020, hydropower sources made up 65% of Africa’s mix of renewable energy, according to Statista. The continent also possesses 6,500 MW of wind power and roughly 11,4 MW of solar power. Since the Kenyan government recently lowered regulatory hurdles for the renewables sector, Kenya has become the continent’s leader in the generation of geothermal energy.
The often-overlooked African continent has been attempting to establish itself as a major player in the cryptocurrency industry. Three nations—Nigeria, Kenya, and the Republic of Congo (CAR)—have gained attention for embracing cryptocurrencies; the CAR even declared Bitcoin to be legal tender.
Since many African nations are experiencing hyperinflation and their fiat currencies are frequently linked to stronger ones, cryptocurrency appears to be a viable alternative to their declining fiat currencies. However, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cautioned African nations about their high crypto adoption rates to prohibit or deter criminals from exploiting crypto assets held by African exchanges and people.