Congo Virunga National Park Bet Big On Bitcoin To Maintain
- Following the collapse of tourism, the revenue for the Congo Virunga National Park decreased.
- The solution was to start mining Bitcoins. The plant has already been built, and there are plans to fight to add to the energy network.
- Additionally, Virunga’s gorillas are an endangered species, for which the park partnered with NFT project Cyber Kongz to provide the park with an additional $1.2 million by auctioning off the gorilla NFT at Christie’s.
According to Technology Review, Congo Virunga National Park has decided to use Virunga’s river delta plant to power $200,000 worth of Bitcoin mining equipment.
Bitcoin is typically not linked to environmental protection or local economic growth. In contrast, it is well renowned for the reverse. However, it’s a part of a bigger strategy to utilize Virunga’s priceless natural resources for the good of the park and the residents. Even though this mine’s activities are unusual, they are both profitable and environmentally friendly.
The park and other infrastructure projects, such as the construction of roads and pumping stations, have both been made possible using the money raised through the selling of Bitcoin. Other hydroelectric facilities in the park provide energy to help small companies grow elsewhere.
The mine itself is a fortunate coincidence, but according to Emmanuel de Merode, the park’s 52-year-old director, this is how you create a sustainable economy dependent on the park’s resources. He explains:
“We built the power plant and figured we’d build the network fought. Then we had to shut down tourism in 2018 because of kidnappings [by rebels]. Then in 2019, we had to shut down tourism because of Ebola. And 2020—the rest is history with covid. For four years, all of our tourism revenue—it used to be 40% of park revenue—it collapsed.”
The solution was to start mining Bitcoins. De Merode and his park coworkers made the decision to use Virunga’s river-run hydro plant to power Bitcoin mining machines worth $200,000. The plant was already constructed, and efforts to expand the electricity network had been halted.
The plant has already been built, and plans are to fight to add to the energy network. By launching the Bitcoin mining project, park superintendent de Merode’s team hopes to make some profit to compensate for the shortfall in revenue while providing a viable way to use its regional resources to benefit the park and local residents.
The mining equipment was provided by cryptocurrency investor Sébastien Gouspillou. Additionally, Virunga’s gorillas are an endangered species, for which the park partnered with NFT project CyberKongz to provide the park with an additional $1.2 million by auctioning off the gorilla NFT at Christie’s.
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