When the Bhutan Kingdom gets mentioned in a conversation what usually comes to people’s minds are the Himalayas, the Buddhist culture, green energy, and tourism but certainly not cryptocurrency.
Unbeknownst to people, this small, peaceful, landlocked country in the eastern Himalayas, bordered by India to the south and China to the north has been mining Bitcoin. The revelation came as quite a shock to everyone as you would imagine.
You could imagine the wave it created on the internet when the world got to know that this country known for its conservationist lifestyle is caught up with the cryptocurrency space and has been making some BItcoin gains.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BHUTAN KINGDOM
Bhutan’s history dates back to the 8th century, when Guru Rinpoche, a revered Buddhist master, introduced Buddhism to the country. Druk Desis, or religious and secular leaders, ruled Bhutan throughout the centuries that followed. Ugyen Wangchuck’s descendants have then ruled Bhutan since 1907 when he was crowned monarch.
The Bhutanese economy began to develop in the 1950s, with a particular focus on hydropower. A limited number of tourists were allowed into the country until the 1990s, as the country began to open to tourism in the 1970s.
The Bhutan Kingdom’s hydropower is so efficient that it produces massive excess of power generated. It only made sense for the government to channel the excess hydropower to something else. Preferably, something that will boost the economy of the country.
The exact date when the country started mining Bitcoin is not clear. But sources indicate that the country started mining Bitcoin when the crypto was at $5,000.
Bitcoin recorded such a figure back in 2019. It’d be safe to assume that the Bhutan Kingdom has been quietly mining Bitcoin since 2019.
Druk Holding and Investments (DHI), which acts as the country’s investment arm stated that it is not buying or selling any digital assets, but rather mining Bitcoin with clean energy reserve that comes from the hydropower.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR THE COUNTRY
This revelation means that the Bhutan Kingdom joins El Salvador as the only country with state-run crypto mining rigs. The Bhutan Kingdom may see more use of crypto in its government.
While most governments are putting a lot of restrictions on cryptocurrency and its usage, the Bhutan Kingdom may likely take a different approach and make the country a safe haven for the use of crypto in day-to-day activities.
It could potentially reduce the reliance on cash and promote financial inclusion. For example, it could enable people who do not have access to traditional banking services to participate in the global economy and make transactions easily and securely.
You could say that the Bhutan Kingdom took “building in silence” to a whole new level. Not a lot of people expected that the country was mining Bitcoin with its energy reserve, hence, the news came as a shock to the whole world.
Regardless, it is a wonderful development coming from a country that is seen as mostly a conservationist and we may be in for more surprise since the country has no issues with crypto right now.