Plans for two "cryptocurrency mining farms" to be powered by hydroelectric plants have been unveiled by a province of Pakistan in a bid to capitalize on the international frenzy of recent months.
The announcement comes at a time when the price of Bitcoin is hitting record levels, following the decision of Elon Musk and other investors to throw money into the cryptocurrency, as well as the announcement of the American bank Morgan Stanley that it will give its customers access to Bitcoin investments.
The so-called mining farms are large and expensive data centers that compete with each other to process transactions with cryptocurrencies. They consume huge amounts of energy and are usually built in areas with low electricity prices.
At a time when neighboring India is considering banning cryptocurrencies, which are not controlled by a central bank and are often used for illegal activities, Pakistan has set up a federal commission to draft a new cryptocurrency policy, Reuters reports.
"We have been approached by various investors and we want to invite them to (province) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, to make money and make a profit in the province," Zia Ula Bangas, a local government science and technology adviser, told the agency.
Today, cryptocurrency mining and trading are moving in gray legal waters in Pakistan, which should present a clear plan to legalize the industry.
Nevertheless, both mining and cryptocurrency trading are booming in Pakistan, with applications such as Binance and Coinbase being on the list of the most popular apps in the country.
"Only the government is not involved at the moment," Bangas said.