The plant was forced to reinvent itself after 30 years because the government stopped buying electricity during the pandemic due to surplus power supply in the Central American country, where the state has a monopoly on energy distribution.
“We had to pause activity for nine months, and exactly one year ago, I heard about Bitcoin, blockchain and digital mining,” said Eduardo Kooper, president of the family business that owns the 60-hectare farm Data Center CR and the plant.
With its three plants valued at $13.5 million and a three Megawatt capacity, the hydroelectric company invested $500,000 to venture into hosting digital mining computers. Kooper said international cryptocurrency miners are looking for clean, cheap energy and a stable internet connection, which Costa Rica has plenty of. However, he said Costa Rica’s government should be more aggressive about trying to attract more crypto mining businesses, although he gave no specifics.
The government did not respond to a request for comment. Costa Rica lacks specific regulation for cryptocurrencies, unlike El Salvador, which became the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender in September 2021.