Bobos & Wojaks

Get rich or die tryin

Crypto Mining Revived Costa Rican Hydro Plants

A little river in the middle of coffee plantations, sugar cane fields, and a forest in Costa Rica gives energy to a hydroelectric power plant that feeds hundreds of computers connected up to the bitcoin mining operation.

Over 650 machines from 150 customers run continuously from eight containers fueled by the plant adjacent to the Poas River, 35 kilometres (22 miles) from San Jose, the capital of a country that gets nearly all of its energy from renewable sources.

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After 30 years, the plant was compelled to reinvent itself when the government ceased purchasing electricity during the pandemic due to excess power supply in the Central American country, where the state has a monopoly on energy distribution.

Eduardo Kooper, president of the family firm that owns the Data Center CR farm and the facility, said, “We had to pause activity for nine months, and exactly one year ago I heard about Bitcoin, blockchain and digital mining,”

“I was very sceptical at first, but we saw that this business consumes a lot of energy and we have a surplus.”

The hydroelectric corporation, which has three plants worth $13.5 million and a capacity of three Megawatts, committed $500,000 to host digital mining computers.

International bitcoin miners, according to Kooper, are searching for clean, affordable electricity and a stable internet connection, both of which Costa Rica has enough of. He did, however, say that Costa Rica’s government should be more aggressive in attempting to recruit more crypto mining companies, though he did not provide any specifics.

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The government did not respond to a request for comment.

Costa Rica lacks specific regulation for cryptocurrencies, unlike El Salvador, which became the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender in September 2021.

Costa Rica’s central bank stated that it is creating space for technological innovation in order for a Fintech industry to emerge and that it is continually monitoring developments.

“Installing it in this place is much more profitable than at home,” at almost half the cost, he calculated, after connecting his computer to the network at the river-powered plant.

Mauricio Rodriguez, a 31-year-old computer security engineer who began digital mining to earn additional money from home in 2021 with equipment valued at $7,000, is one of Data Center CR’s local customers so far.