Kenya wants to become Africa’s block reward mining hub and the country’s largest electricity producer is leading the charge. Known as KenGen PLC, the company is luring miners with cheap geothermal energy and claims it has already been approached by a number of miners from across Europe and the United States.
Speaking in a recent forum, the company’s acting director for geothermal development Peketsa Mwangi revealed that the company is out to make its geothermal hubs in Kenya’s rift valley a mining hub.
“We’ll have them here because we have the space and the power is near, which helps with stability,” she stated, referring to the company’s main geothermal power station in Naivasha, a town 76 km north west of the capital Nairobi, as reported by local newspaper The Standard.
Kenya is Africa’s top geothermal producer with an installed capacity of 863MW. Most of this is supplied by KenGen. However, the country has the potential to pump out over 10,000MW of geothermal energy along its rift valley region, most of which is untapped. It’s this capacity that KenGen is hoping to utilize for block reward mining.
As Mwangi revealed, the company has already been approached by miners who want to set up shop in the East African country.
“Their power requests vary, some of them had asked to start with 20MW to be later graduated… crypto mining is very energy-intensive,” the executive said.
So far, Africa has not been a significant player in the block reward mining industry. According to data by the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Alternative Finance, Libya is Africa’s largest block reward mining destination, but it only contributes a paltry 0.14% of the BTC hashrate. Egypt accounts for 0.02% while South Africa contributes 0.01%, with mining activities in other countries being too small to be documented.
Kenya hasn’t reported any significant mining operations, and the ambiguous regulatory stance taken by the government regarding mining hasn’t helped things either. There have, however, been several small scale digital asset enthusiasts who have established mining operations in the East African nation.
The lack of miners in Kenya greatly contrasts the country’s aggressive adoption of digital assets. As CoinGeek reported, the country has ranked top globally for the past two years for peer-to-peer trading volume according to Chainalysis. This is despite the government and the central bank discouraging Kenyans from taking to digital assets which they claim are volatile and have no inherent value.
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