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Bhutan, the small Himalayan nation known for its Gross National Happiness index, is boldly stepping into the world of cryptocurrency. As part of their ambitions to modernize their economy, they are partnering with Singapore-based Bitdeer Technologies Group, a company listed on Nasdaq, to establish a massive Bitcoin mining operation.

Partnering with Bitdeer Technologies for Bitcoin Mining

Under this collaboration, the aim is to construct a 600 megawatt Bitcoin mining farm. Bitdeer had outlined plans to set up a closed-end fund at the end of May with a target to collect $500 million from global investors to fund this venture. A high-ranking individual close to the project validated that the fundraising initiative has indeed commenced as scheduled, as reported by Nikkei Asia.

The Geographical Challenges and Power Opportunities

Despite Bhutan’s geographical hindrances and connectivity hurdles due to its landlocked and mountainous terrain, Ujjwal Deep Dahal, CEO of Druk Holding and Investments (DHI), the government’s investment agency in alliance with Bitdeer, sees potential. He explains, “Our green and relatively inexpensive power offers a prospect to invest in digital assets to construct a more interconnected and sustainable economy.”

Dahal further notes, “By doing this, we will augment local understanding and engagement in the swiftly changing technology environment and empower our citizens to take part in the global economy right here from Bhutan.”

Economic Recovery Through Crypto Mining

The decision to venture into cryptocurrency mining, a notably unstable and contentious industry, comes while the nation is still healing from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic reduced the economy by 10% in 2020. The nation’s foreign currency reserves have dropped, nonperforming loans in the manufacturing and tourism sectors have escalated, and youth unemployment hit 29% last year.

These circumstances have cast a gloom over Bhutan’s previously touted “development success story,” as phrased by the World Bank. Last year, an estimated 12.4% of the nearly 786,000 population lived below the national poverty line, an increase from 8.2% in 2017, based on government surveys.

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