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Can Africa’s Bitcoin mining be boosted by solar power?

A closer look at the region reveals that many in the West are underestimating Africa's potential as a blockchain innovation hub.

by Web3Africa

A closer look at the region reveals that many in the West are underestimating Africa’s potential as a blockchain innovation hub. At the end of last month, South Africa hosted the Blockchain Africa Conference. At around the same time, the Kenyan government established a task team to investigate the implications of the technology. In addition to Nigeria, Sudan, and Algeria, there are a number of additional countries in Africa that are developing their own blockchain communities. Bitcoin mining

Growing connections and advancements in computer science — particularly at Ugandan schools like Makerere University — reveal that the African blockchain ecosystem is clearly establishing agency, despite the hurdles.

In addition, it has the potential to have a significant influence on the local economy and community. Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said, “So [blockchain] is not only about saving money, it is also about generating greater transparency, encouraging more accountability, and ultimately, delivering a better life for every person.”

Cryptocurrency mining is a game-changer for many people. The area has seen a rise in the number of communities. Though it’s difficult to see how bitcoin mining can be sustained on the continent when the world average uses more electricity than the majority of African nations (only South Africa, Egypt, and Algeria use more). Solar power, on the other hand, may be the driving reason behind the rise of bitcoin mining in Africa. Here’s how to do it.

To mine bitcoin in quantity, bitcoin mining farms have appeared throughout the globe. Despite the fact that Egypt’s sweltering environment makes it seem like an unlikely location for bitcoin mining, a thriving underground society has emerged.

Bitcoin Africa reports that many miners avoid the limelight because they are afraid of being prosecuted for mining with illegally obtained foreign money. In spite of this, bitcoin mining rigs continue to proliferate in Cairo. As a result of the low cost of power, there has been a surge in demand. Mining profits increase as a result of decreased operating costs paid in local currency.

Other nations have Bitcoin mining operations as well. In 2016, Ghana Dot Com (GDC), an IT software business, launched what it claims to be the country’s first bitcoin mine. (Network Computer Systems, which brought the internet to Ghana in 1993, is a descendent of GDC.) Bitmart, a South African hardware shop that specializes in bitcoin mining, opened its doors in 2018. Nigeria, Gambia, Uganda, and Ethiopia are also home to active communities.

There has been a considerable amount of media attention given to the mining facility in Eugene Mutai’s residence in Nairobi, Kenya. He told Bloomberg that bitcoin mining has leveled the playing field for him in the worldwide market. He’s made it to the middle class in Kenya despite not having a college degree.
Solar power as a viable alternative to mining

Because of the extreme heat, certain regions of Africa aren’t the best places to mine bitcoin. Ethiopia, for example, has an average annual temperature of 93 degrees Fahrenheit. About 600 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa lack access to power, which is even more concerning. Despite the fact that approximately 1 billion people in the area might acquire access to power by 2040, an estimated 530 million individuals would still be unable to do so owing to population expansion.

While each African nation has its own unique issues and solutions, solar power is emerging as a viable alternative in a number of these countries, and some solar projects are currently underway.

The Noor Midelt solar complex in Morocco, for example, generates 800 megawatts of electricity. Reuters reports that the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the European Union, and the European Investment Bank have all contributed to the projected $2.4 billion (€2 billion) project. On top of that, the Seychelles have now announced plans to build Africa’s first floating solar plant, which is estimated to generate 5.8 GWh of electricity yearly. South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Morocco, and Burkina Faso are just a few of the countries with massive solar farms. They aspire to one day export solar energy from the United States to Europe.

A large-scale implementation of this investment in energy infrastructure might lead to more sustainable bitcoin mining in Africa and so assist the continent’s economy grow.

Tam Hunt, author of an essay on Greentech Media, argues that using solar electricity to mine bitcoin might make financial sense. Insulation and building expenses may make solar electricity more cost-effective in regions where it is possible to build a large solar farm. Because there are no fuel expenses and consequently no volatility, the price of electricity is also known with reasonable confidence over time.”

Using solar power to mine bitcoins in Africa would not only help the sector grow, but it will also allow more Africans to participate in the global market. Bitcoin mining is allowing many Africans to rise out of poverty, rather than being stifled by an overvalued currency or unstable local tenders. With the addition of solar electricity, this might be a really sustainable advancement for both economies and people. There is, after all, a pressing need for it in areas of Africa. Globally, bitcoin mining’s electricity needs are just unsustainable. Solar power, on the other hand, might be the solution in Africa, where access to energy is already difficult.

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