Juanjo Benitez Rickmann: Paraguay has a large margin of power for mining bitcoin

Key facts:

The local hydro-electric power generate up to 8,800 MW, and the country uses only 3,300 MW.The creation of a policy could encourage the birth of a mining industry of digital.When speaking of the mining of bitcoin the first point to analyze is the energy consumption. It is a crucial element since the equipment must operate without interruption 24 hours a day and be connected to the internet. There are countries in which this activity of the criptoeconomía is more developed than in others due to various factors such as the weather, the cost of electricity and the regulations.In Paraguay, for example, there is a surplus of energy due to the production of hydroelectric binational Itaipú (Paraguay-Brazil) and Yacyretá (Paraguay-Argentina), however, there is still no large-scale development to encourage the mining of bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. In the first installation both countries share 14,000 MW and in the second to 3,200 MW. That is to say, only in these two plants the country has 8,600 MW, of which only consumes 3,300 MW. Another center, the acaray rivers, adds another 200 MW to complete 8,800 MW of generación.De according to the Ministry of Public Works and Communications, the country has an installed capacity to produce about 60,000 GWh/year, one of the largest in the world in terms of generation per capita. Aware of this panorama, the government seeks to monetize the surplus of energy, and has offered in the past to sell electricity to various types of businesses, including those in mining cryptocurrencies.To gain more insight about these points, Breaking News contacted Juanjo Benitez Rickmann, CEO of Digital Assets, a startup dedicated to the management of projects of mining of bitcoin, who pointed out that if in Paraguay establishes a clear regulation, the potential for developing the mining digital is great. The entrepreneur is also a partner of the house of change Cripex and founder of an initiative called Home Bitcoin in Asuncion, a project that seeks to promote education on the main criptomoneda in this country.What is the current landscape of the criptoecosistema in Paraguay? How many homes do change exist, what is the volume handled at the Cripex?The current picture is very encouraging, there are more and more people begin to use cryptocurrencies in Paraguay, whether to send money to a relative abroad, buy a property or pay for services. Launched two exchange houses to the market which Cripex.com.py is continuous operational, despite the obstacles of the banking system for non-stop operate, since they have closed the bank accounts. Cripex has around 500 registered customers that regularly operate.Paraguay exhibits a potential for mining the digital with the surplus of electric energy from the dam acaray rivers, Itaipú, and Yacyretá what both are used for minar cryptocurrencies? what is the capacity of mining?Paraguay has a great potential for foreign investment in mining cryptocurrencies if it is that is leading in the region and creates a regulatory framework that is of calm and confidence to the investors. Currently, it is estimated that about 50 MW are used for this industry. The hydroelectric power that it has generated to 8,800 MW, of which the country uses only 3,300 MW, as you can see there is a wide margin to sell the surplus energy to the industry blockchain.At present what is the cost in Paraguay’s MW/hour for the mining cryptocurrencies?

The cost is about USD $ 50 MW/h.In June of 2019 the National Administration of Electricity put up for sale energy for different types of businesses that need high demand. It was noted that there was a group of Korean mining, non-identified interested party Is established an agreement to install these farms?Until the moment there is no information about it. I think that the only way that a group of investors and large come to be installed in the country is when there is a policy at least to be able to operate, then the rules the banks will have to open bank accounts in these industries to make the payment of the energy to the WALK, because it is impossible to handle large sums of money in cash for the operations of the business.Although the Central Bank of Paraguay has said that bitcoin has no backing or regulation, the country has maintained a position perhaps neutral about it what is your reading?Up to now, there is a consensus to take bitcoin as a digital asset. So companies and individuals should include in its financial statements as an asset. We believe that later we will analyze in moving forward with a bill that encompasses various government offices such as Customs, SET (Secretary of Taxation) MITIC (Ministry of Technologies and Information and Communication), among others.In the absence of formal regulations what has been the relationship between the banking sector and exchange houses of cryptocurrencies? how do you perform upgrades? how has been the case of Cripex?There is a great ignorance about the cryptocurrencies. The banks opened accounts to the exchange companies, but then closed just because it does not exist a regulation. We are taking the first steps with the initiative of the SEPRELAD (Secretariat for the prevention of Money Laundering and Property) to launch a policy. I think that would help a lot to the sector.Juanjo Benitez, right, with Andreas Antonopoulos at the recent LaBitConf, held in Uruguay. Image: Courtesy of Juanjo Benitez Rickmann.The government through the SEPRELAD is placing the magnifying glass on the cryptocurrencies what measures could be applied?

More than anything, will begin to register all of the related companies to be able to take measures on the control of the operations from the point of view of prevention of money-laundering. This will help to establish clear rules that will allow the companies to work freely in compliance with the requirements of this government office.Since Digital Assets, it provides advice and the implementation of infrastructure to undermine what they do only for bitcoin, or move between several criptos? how does the business model?From bitcoin.com.py we offer hosting of mining bitcoins exclusively. We provide hosting of equipment of customers in our data center. Customers can bring their equipment or we can buy the equipment for the clients and we manage us, making the maintenance of the equipment. We have guards 24 hours and a team of professional engineers who perform the monitoring tasks, of the same.After the establishment of Home Bitcoin on Assumption what types of activities do they carry out? what have been the results?Usually we do meetups on a monthly basis. We also met with many people who want to start to dabble in this industry. Then we advise them on everything related.Paraguay does not currently have atms assets of cryptocurrencies is there any enterprise with interest in 2020?

The first atm was launched in 2014 in Paraguay and was operating for about 2 years. More than anything, had a role educational. There are currently no atms in the country.How many establishments accept bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies as a form of payment?

Very few really. In these days it is launching a partnership between Cripex and High Flight is a travel agency that will begin accepting payments in bitcoin from this 2020.How many initiatives with blockchains exist in Paraguay?Still very few, but we believe that this year we will have great news.

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