The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), the third largest of Pakistan’s four semi-autonomous provinces, is setting up two state-backed bitcoin mining farms, local media reported last week.
Ziaullah Bangash, advisor to the chief minister of KP on Science and Information Technology, said the provincial parliament passed a bill allowing the KP government to use its own money to establish the mining facilities.
The province, which has since legalized crypto mining, will be mining bitcoin (BTC) for profit, BOL News, a local media organization, reported. No details were given about the capacity of the mining farms nor the funds that the state intends to invest in the project. This particular province has previously advocated friendly crypto laws in Pakistan.
According to Bangash, the KP Assembly also passed a separate no-objection certificate allowing individuals to mine cryptocurrency and issue their own digital assets. The development coincided with the launch of a private bitcoin mining farm by Waqar Zaka, a long-time crypto enthusiast who has worked to develop the Pakistani crypto industry.
“After years of struggle, I am launching the biggest crypto mining farm in KPK where you all can invest & earn,” Zaka said in a tweet. He thanked Bangash for his legal backing. Replying, Bangash stated that “in future, the help of Waqar Zaka will be sought” in the KP administration’s crypto mining plans.
Profits from bitcoin mining may help prop-up Pakistan’s ailing economy, but KP must first overcome the country’s long-running electricity crisis. Pakistan is facing severe electricity shortages, with power cuts a common occurrence.
Last Saturday, the entire country was thrown into darkness, the Financial Times reports. Authorities blamed the blackouts on a “technical fault” at one of the country’s main power plants in the south. Pakistan only started to restore power in bits on Sunday.
Now BTC mining — the process by which new bitcoins are created using sophisticated, super-computers — is not only an energy-intensive venture but also one that demands consistent power supply. Situated in north-western Pakistan, a mountainous, cool region along the border with Afghanistan, KP might have the best weather for bitcoin mining. But will it have enough energy to sustain a profitable operation?
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