Costa Rica hydro plant gets new lease on life from crypto mining

SAN PEDRO DE POAS, Costa Rica, Jan 11 (Reuters) – A small river in the midst of espresso plantations, sugar cane fields and a forest offers power to a hydroelectric energy plant in Costa Rica that feeds tons of of computer systems wired as much as the cryptocurrency mining enterprise.

More than 650 machines from 150 clients function continuous from eight containers powered by the plant subsequent to the Poas River, 35 kilometers (22 miles) from San Jose, the capital of a rustic that generates almost all its power from inexperienced sources.

The plant was compelled to reinvent itself after 30 years as a result of the federal government stopped shopping for electrical energy through the pandemic resulting from surplus energy provide within the Central American nation, the place the state has a monopoly on power distribution.

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“We needed to pause exercise for 9 months, and precisely one 12 months in the past I heard about Bitcoin, blockchain and digital mining,” mentioned Eduardo Kooper, president of the household enterprise that owns the 60-hectare farm Data Center CR and the plant.

“I used to be very skeptical at first, however we noticed that this enterprise consumes a number of power and we have now a surplus.”

The hydroelectric firm, with its three vegetation valued at $13.5 million and a 3 Megawatt capability, invested $500,000 to enterprise into internet hosting digital mining computer systems.

Eduardo Kopper, proprietor of Data Center CR, works within the knowledge middle on the Poas I hydroelectric plant that gives the power to the computer systems, in Alajuela, Costa Rica January 8, 2022. Picture taken January 8, 2022. REUTERS/Mayela Lopez

Kooper mentioned worldwide cryptocurrency miners are in search of clear, low-cost power and a secure web connection, which Costa Rica has loads of. However, he mentioned Costa Rica’s authorities ought to be extra aggressive about attempting to draw extra crypto mining enterprise, though he gave no specifics.

The authorities didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Costa Rica lacks particular regulation for cryptocurrencies, in contrast to El Salvador, which turned the primary nation on this planet to undertake Bitcoin as authorized tender in September 2021. learn extra

Costa Rica’s central financial institution mentioned it was offering house for technological innovation to permit a Fintech trade to take form, and was continually monitoring developments.

So far all Data Center CR clients are native, equivalent to Mauricio Rodriguez, a 31-year-old pc safety engineer who entered digital mining to earn more money from dwelling in 2021 with tools valued at $7,000.

“Installing it on this place is way more worthwhile than at dwelling,” at nearly half the associated fee, he calculated, after connecting his pc to the community on the river-powered plant.

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Reporting by Alvaro Murillo
Writing by Valentine Hilaire; Editing by David Gregorio

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

https://www.reuters.com/expertise/costa-rica-hydro-plant-gets-new-lease-life-crypto-mining-2022-01-11/

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