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Argentina Presidential Candidate Proposes Mining Bitcoin With Residual Natural Gas, Faces Skepticism

Sujha Sundararajan
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: Pixabay

Argentina’s presidential hopeful Sergio Massa unveiled plans to utilize excess natural gas from the Vaca Muerta oil fields to mine Bitcoin. However, following his proposal, the local crypto community opposed the government’s direct involvement in Bitcoin (BTC) mining.

In late October, Massa proposed plans to use surplus gas from Vaca Muerta Formation commonly known as ‘Dead Cow.’ The plant is well known as the host rock for major deposits of shale oil and shale gas.

The proposal was presented by computer scientist Santiago Siri in a meeting last week with Massa, the Minister of Economy. The meeting, shared on Instagram, received a large amount of criticism, raising red flags on other social media.

According to a report by local media criptonoticias, Siri discussed Bitcoin characteristics, including the projection of it as digital gold. He also highlighted that Bitcoin is a deflationary currency with only 21 million units in circulation.

Massa was receptive to mining bitcoin using residual gas from Vaca Muerta, during the call.

Growing Skepticisms

The meeting followed growing criticisms from the local crypto community, particularly after Siri presented a prototype of Argentina’s CBDC. Critics from the community posted on social media, comparing the CBDC to UBI, a token launched by the Argentine scientist. Apparently, it lost 99% of its value within 24 hours of its launch in 2021.

A Venezuelan developer Francisco Calderón wrote on X (Twitter) which translates to, “God raises them and they get together.” The developer also posted a meme that called the meeting a “rug pull.”

Another user raised “bigger red flags” as a warning sign on Twitter, in response to the Massa-Siri meeting.

Massa spoke to local media on Oct. 27 regarding the crypto mining, taking advantage of Vaca Muerta’s resources.

Opposing State’s Intervene in Crypto Mining

The topic had become a point for a discussion on Nov. 1 in X-Spaces, joined by speakers including Bitcoin miners. Per the discussion, they see that Bitcoin mining should not be managed by the State.

Miners also quoted some of the challenges of a mining site at Vaca Muerta, including the consumption of electricity energy. They also stressed the expensive infrastructure that requires a good Internet connection.

According to José María Sarasola, CEO of Cryptogranjas, a mining startup in the Vaca Muerta area, excess gas “means that the well has to be closed.” The startup uses pig, cow excrement and other organic and industrial waste to produce energy for digital mining.

“Right there Bitcoin appears as the perfect partner. This gas has no way of being used because it cannot be vented and through mining, it can be reused by consuming it, without having to release it into the atmosphere.”