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Armenia’s ECOS Adds 60 Megawatts Of Capacity To Its Power Plant-Based Facility

ECOS Free Economic Zone, the Armenia-based digital platform, has added 60 megawatts (MW) of capacity to its power plant-based facility, operating since 2018. Situated at one of the hydroelectric plants on the Hrazdan river, the mining facility gets its electricity supply directly from the high-voltage grid and uses the site’s infrastructure to power containers.

It has been reported that the platform’s representatives noted that ECOS could expand to an additional 200MW of clean electricity. For comparison, the Berlin Geothermal plant in El Salvador gives away 1.5MW of the 102MW it produces to crypto miners, while the Greenidge Generation near the shore of Seneca Lake in the State of New York should have produced about 44MW.

However, given the controversial developments with crypto mining regulation in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region — countries of the former Soviet Union — perhaps it is high time to assess the industrial potential of this post-Soviet republic, towering 1,850 meters above sea level.

The report said that the most certain fact about Armenia regarding crypto is that we don’t get much information from the country. In 2018, the Armenian Blockchain Association joined its counterparts from Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Russia, China, and South Korea in filing a joint lawsuit against tech goliaths such as Google, Twitter, and Facebook for banning crypto-related advertising.

Likewise, the lawsuit’s further destiny is unclear, though the restrictions on crypto ads have been uplifted at least to some extent in recent years. The same year, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and other top officials reportedly attended the opening ceremony of a new mining farm touting itself as one of the world’s largest. By local media estimates, around $50 million had been invested in the creation of the farm with 3,000 Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) mining machines and a planned capacity of 120,000 in the future.

The farm is a joint venture by major Armenian conglomerate Multi Group, founded by businessman and politician Gagik Tsarukyan and controversial international mining firm Omnia Tech. No updates about the work of the farm have hit the media radar since the very opening press releases. Perhaps the most important and publicly visible development in the country of three million was the failure of efforts to form a shared stance regarding cryptocurrency regulations by the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).

In 2021, a high official from EAEU revealed that member states did not support a recent initiative for a uniform cryptocurrency regulatory framework within the union. While no insights on what exact members sabotaged a project are available, the failure itself will have a long-lasting impact on the whole region, as the EAEU includes not only Armenia and Belarus but also such mining heavyweights as Russia and Kazakhstan.

While there are no traces of the existing legislative framework on crypto in the country (and no prohibition as well), Armenia stepped on its regulatory path back in 2017 by forming a committee on blockchain technologies.

Thus, in 2018, the local Ministry of Finance launched a working group called JAF Crypto Market Intelligence Unit (JAF CMIU), whose task was to study possible regulatory scenarios. That same year, a special Free Economic Zone (ECOS) was established by the government decree to help attract and develop blockchain and crypto startups.

Source: Cointelegraph



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