Gondo is a village located in the Swiss Alps, near the border with Italy. The community is inhabited by around 40 people and it was known in the past for the exploitation of gold. The gold mining was abandoned a long time ago, but some recent projects involving cryptocurrencies might revive the mining activities in the village and its surroundings.
According to a reportage made by Swissinfo, Gondo is preparing to profile itself as an international center for cryptocurrency mining. A Swiss mining company called Alpine Mining has its headquarters in the village. The company operates on the market since last year and its objective is to become one of the biggest mines in the world, along with providing cloud services.
Alpine Mining chose Gondo for its headquarters because of its geographical location. The steep mountains around the village provide natural cooling of the area, creating a good climate for the operation of the mining rigs. There is also a hydroelectric plant in the vicinity to provide the electricity necessary for the mining activities.
Ludovic Thomas, the co-founder of Alpine Mining, along with Christophe Lillo, said Gondo offers the most ecological renewable energy and also the cheapest one. This is why the mining operations in the village could present a great business opportunity. Thomas said: “Gondo provides a sustainable energy source that respects the environment at an attractive price.”
The mining company is currently negotiating with other hydroelectric plants to expand its services and infrastructure, since the company’s headquarters are currently located in the municipal building of Gondo. Likewise, the expansion of the mining operations is consuming one third of the total electricity consumed by the village, which means it would soon need to construct its own building, along with a second transformator. The company expects an income of around one million dollars in the first year of operation.
Roland Squaratti, the mayor of Gondo, thinks the cryptocurrency mining could help with the resettlement of Gondo. The village was practically abandoned in 2000, after a landslide killed 13 people and destroyed eight buildings. The young people from the village moved to bigger towns and cities in search of better opportunities.
Squaratti has faith that the cryptocurrencies are the future of the financial systems and thinks of them as a new way of extracting gold from the area around Gondo.
Gondo already has six requests from different mining farms interested in operating out of the village. All of them are interested in the cheap energy offered by the hydroelectric plants. However, the small village does not have enough space to receive the same quantity of miners and workers as some other villages in the canton, which is one of the biggest problems when it comes to the development of the cryptocurrency mining projects in Gondo.
Alpine Mining is dedicated to cryptocurrency mining and cloud services. The company is mining Ethereum and other coins, with the mining operations consuming up to 350 volts per hour.
Ludovic Thomas thinks the company’s project could have a significant success, thanks to Gondo. This is not only due to the low price of electricity in the area, but also because of the political and judicial stability offered by Switzerland in this sector.
This is a reality which cannot be found in other countries, such as China or Venezuela, whose miners, due to the high costs of electricity and the criminalization of the cryptocurrency mining activities, had to move to other countries with more favorable conditions for their mining operations.
Thomas said: “Some of the largest cryptographic in the world are in China. However, having in mind they use fossil fuels for their operations, they could be shut down at any moment by the authorities. In Switzerland, the mining of cryptocurrencies costs more, but their environmental credentials and stability are priceless.”
Some other villages around the world are adopting this technology to solve their problems and to bring prosperity to their inhabitants. One of them is Hull, a village from the United Kingdom that developed its own cryptocurrency to improve its economy.