UPDATE: On August 2, 2021, Saudi Aramco responded to Finbold’s request for the comment about the company venturing into Bitcoin mining. The official statement is as follows: “With reference to recent reports claiming that the Company will embark on Bitcoin mining activities, Aramco confirms that these claims are completely false and inaccurate.”
Saudi Aramco, the third-largest company in the world, is reportedly planning to jump into the cryptocurrency bandwagon.
Citing information provided by Brazilian Bitcoin miner Ray Nasser during an interview on the Bitconheiros YouTube channel, Investing.com reported that the Middle East oil giant is interested in mining Bitcoin.
“We are negotiating with Aramco. All black liquid [oil] that comes out of the desert belongs to this company. All the flared gas they’re not using, and that’s public information, I can tell you, it’s enough to ‘power up’ half of the Bitcoin network today, from this company alone,” Nasser reportedly said.
Generating electricity for Bitcoin mining
The report added that the company could use the excess gas from oil production for mining digital assets, so instead of disposing of the by-product of oil mining, Aramco can use it for money-earning operations.
“Aramco needs to burn this flared gas. She needs to get rid of this gas that is a by-product of their oil mining, they do. What if you find a way to make money while doing this?”
Aramco has not yet issued any statement about venturing into Bitcoin mining. Finbold.com has contacted the company and is currently waiting for it to confirm the report.
Aramco and blockchain
Aramco already takes advantage of blockchain, the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies, to improve its operational efficiency, safety and to reduce costs, according to Arab News. The firm has already invested in two blockchain platforms, Data Gumbo and VAKT, to eliminate its paper-based processes.
“Aramco is investing significant amounts in blockchain technology and is working closely with its business partners to encourage and prepare them for adopting the technology. Aramco deployed its corporate blockchain platform in partnership with IBM, which enables Aramco to scale up its blockchain solutions,” an Aramco spokesperson said.
Gazprom’s crypto mining operations
Russia’s Gazprom, the world’s 10th-biggest oil producer, is also into crypto mining operations. In December 2020, the state-owned firm reported the successful pilot testing of using gas, which would otherwise be flared and release significant amounts of Earth-warming greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, to generate electricity for mining cryptocurrency.
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