KenGen, a hydroelectric power generation company based in Kenya is looking to offer surplus energy produced to Bitcoin miners. The Kenya Electricity Generating Company PLC (KenGen) produces more than 75% of all power usage in the country. This move comes just weeks after the Central African Republic made Bitcoin a legal tender.
KenGen Director of Geothermal Development, Peketsa Mwangi said that crypto mining is an energy-intensive operation. Therefore, the extra energy will be greatly beneficial to both local and foreign miners. However, KenGen requires all miners to set up their mining rigs at the KenGen geothermal headquarters in Olkaria, Naivasha. This is about 123km from Nairobi, the capital city of the country.
Can Kenya Become The Bitcoin Capital of Africa?
The move will see a flurry of crypto activity in the country. Foreign digital investors might even consider investing in the country as they speculate it becoming the largest crypto hub in Africa. CAR is already facing opposition from the World Bank, and nothing less of this criticism is expected for Kenya.
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has already begun research on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). However, nothing tangible has come of it yet. KenGen is a government company and hence, this move might be indicating some measure of support from the government for crypto.
On the flip side, the condition that all miners must perform their operation on-site is rather suspicious. “We’ll have them here because we have the space and the power is near, which helps with stability.”, says Peketsa.
Going off on a tangent, Nigeria feigned support for crypto for years, until February 8, 2021, when they banned it. They further went ahead to create their own digital currency, the e-Naira. Will something of this sort happen in Kenya? Only time will tell.
This move echoes back to how El Salvador is using energy from a volcano to mine Bitcoin for the nation. While El Salvador and Kenya are worlds apart in terms of governing structure and economy, the two can be commended for being at the forefront of positive crypto adoption.
Vincent Munene is a freelance writer and a great blockchain enthusiast. Blockchain has changed his life in terms of financial freedom and in return, he likes to educate people and keep them up to date on everything blockchain. He is a Biochemist by profession and also loves to play the piano.