KenGen, Kenya’s state-owned power company, has put out a call to Bitcoin miners. The utility company has now issued an open invitation to Bitcoin miners to come set up operations in Kenya and help it meet its growing power needs.
Kengen is offering competitive rates for power consumption and inviting applications from local miners to set up shop within its facilities. Currently, the company houses no known Bitcoin mining operations.
KenGen’s call for miners comes after the nation’s government announced plans to develop a blockchain-based system for managing its power sector. The blockchain will be used to track how much power is generated, how much is consumed, and how much is available for sale between Kenya’s power utility and its national grid operator.
KenGen is offering attractive rates for those who do so and have also stated that they will be amenable to negotiating with potential clients who wish to purchase electricity from them directly rather than engaging in mining activities themselves.
KenGen says the company has been approached by Bitcoin miners who want to set up in Kenya, but they want them to do so in a way that benefits both KenGen and the companies themselves.
KenGen asks applicants to provide their name, email address, phone number, and details about their company or organization (including size), what equipment they plan to use, and how much power they anticipate needing from KenGen’s grid.
They should also include how much money they’re willing to invest in the project (including any financial guarantees). Additionally, they should indicate how long it’ll take them to generate revenue from mining operations and whether or not they’ve been involved in any other cryptocurrency projects before.
KenGen claims 86% of its energy is generated from renewable sources, mostly geothermal from pockets of ground source heat in the Great Rift Valley. It is currently running at a maximum generating capacity of 863 MW and has been looking for ways to increase that capacity in order to meet the country’s growing power demand. It plans to add over 1 GW of hydroelectric capacity in the next two years. It has already made progress on this front by increasing its generating capacity by over 200 MW in recent years. Kengen plans on expanding its capacity soon and hopes partnering with Bitcoin miners will help them achieve their goal.
Crypto adoption in Kenya
Crypto adoption in Kenya has been growing steadily over the last few years, with more companies accepting payments in cryptocurrencies for goods and services offered. In 2017, BitPesa became the first company in East Africa to launch a crypto-to-fiat money transfer service that allows users to send money back home using Bitcoin or M-Pesa as payment methods.
Kenya has been making strides toward becoming Africa’s Silicon Valley in recent years; however, the state still faces many challenges when it comes to blockchain adoption. For example, some Kenyan banks have banned customers from using credit cards to buy cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
They fear losing business due to high volatility rates associated with crypto trading markets. Last year, the Central Bank of Kenya warned against using cryptocurrencies as payment methods and that they were not legal tender.
Despite these setbacks, there is still hope for crypto adoption in Kenya—particularly because of its strong solar power resources and high demand for electricity throughout East Africa. Moreover, with an estimated 12 million people aged between 15 and 24 years, Kenya is a digital generation whose adoption of emerging technologies such as blockchain is already rising.
KenGen’s call comes when many African nations are looking into Blockchain technology and how it can be used to improve governance processes while also boosting economic growth.
Tanzania has already started exploring ways cryptocurrency could help improve its economy while also helping reduce poverty levels among citizens living in rural areas where access to financial services is limited or non-existent.