Bhutan’s investment arm and Nasdaq-listed company Bitdeer Technologies Group plan to seek investors for a fund worth up to $500 million that will be used to develop green crypto mining in the Himalayan kingdom.
Mining is the least risky way for Bhutan to tap crypto opportunities and for now the nation will focus on Bitcoin, Ujjwal Deep Dahal, the chief executive officer of the investment arm, Druk Holding & Investments, said.
Bitcoin miners race to solve complex mathematical puzzles using energy-hungry computing rigs, earning new supply of the token in return. That’s led to criticism of the environmental fallout when dirty fuels supply the power.
Singapore-based Bitdeer, owned by Chinese entrepreneur Jihan Wu, is one of the top crypto miners by computer power and has one of the largest centers in Texas. The firm began trading on the Nasdaq last month after a long-delayed merger with a special purpose acquisition company finally closed.
Bitdeer expects to set up a 100-megawatt operation in Bhutan, with construction slated to start in the second quarter and be completed in July through September, a regulatory filing shows.
Druk ventured into crypto mining under a “sandbox” approach when Bitcoin was at about $5,000, Dahal said. It also had some investments with the now bankrupt US digital-asset lenders BlockFi Inc. and Celsius Network LLC but they were a small part of Druk’s portfolio and have been “settled,” Dahal added.
Bhutan’s foray into the volatile and sometimes scandalous world of crypto is notable given that the nation is famed for using a “Gross National Happiness” index to gauge economic success. The gauge takes into account elements such as psychological wellbeing and ecological diversity to measure the standard of living.