Marathon Digital enters renewable energy partnership with Kenyan gov’t

Bitcoin mining giant Marathon Digital recently announced a new partnership with Kenya’s Ministry of Energy and Petroleum (MOEP) to develop the country’s already thriving renewable energy sector.

The partnership will focus on exchanging technical knowledge and research, policy ideas, investment strategies, and the development of critical energy infrastructure.

In the wake of the newly inked collaboration, Marathon Digital CEO Fred Thiel noted the advantages of fostering such a relationship with Kenya’s Ministry of Energy and Petroleum:

“This agreement with the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum is a pivotal moment for our business as it provides us with a clear framework to pursue opportunities across the Republic of Kenya. It demonstrates the innovative approach that Kenya is taking to optimize their energy usage and to enhance their technological infrastructure.”

According to the International Trade Administration (ITA), more than 80% of Kenya’s electricity is generated through renewable energy sources.

Kenya’s renewable energy sector uses a mixture of wind, solar, hydroelectric power, and geothermal energy to provide power to the grid, with geothermal energy contributing the largest amount of power to the country’s electrical infrastructure.

The ITA also noted that Kenya is one of the world’s lowest-cost geothermal energy producers and a prime candidate for solar energy generation due to the ample amounts of sunlight the African country receives every year.

A pie chart breaking down Kenya’s renewable energy sector by method of generation. Source: International Trade Administration

MOEP’s partnership with Marathon Digital marks a surprising shift for Kenya’s government, which has been exploring avenues to regulate digital assets, yet has been somewhat cautious, if not outright hostile, toward the adoption of novel blockchain and cryptocurrency projects.

After a series of recommendations from government agencies and officials, the government of Kenya banned Worldcoin from operating in the country for one year in September of 2023.

The government cited privacy concerns, a lack of transparency, and security issues with Worldcoin’s collection of biometric data as the primary drivers behind the ban.

Worldcoin may be able to resume operations in Kenya after the one-year ban has been lifted, but it must reapply and gain regulatory approval from Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority before offering its services in the country again.

Additionally, the project must complete a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA), a state-administered data security workshop, before restarting its operations in Kenya.

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