Aramco douses cold oil on Bitcoin advocates’ hopes it will start mining crypto

August 2, 2021, 1:43 PM UTC

Saudi Arabia’s state-owned petrochemicals giant Aramco shot down speculation it might begin mining bitcoin in the future, dealing a blow to advocates desperately in need of good news to prop up the cryptocurrency’s price. 

In widely reported comments on crypto fan sites, Brazilian investor Ray Nasser said negotiations were ongoing with the world’s largest oil company by market value over whether to use some of its excess energy reserves to support and maintain the blockchain, earning Bitcoin as compensation. 

“With reference to recent reports claiming that the company will embark on Bitcoin mining activities, Aramco confirms that these claims are completely false and inaccurate,” the Dhahran-based group said in a statement on Monday

Nasser had argued Aramco needed to find an economic use for the natural gas it normally burns off prior to oil extraction, a common process called “flaring”. Instead of wasting this energy, it could be harnessed to perform proof-of-work computations that could power half the Bitcoin network.

Bitcoin bulls have struggled recently following a string of negative publicity on everything from the coal-fired electricity it gobbles up and Tesla backtracking from its use to regulatory attacks on popular crypto platforms like Binance

Since its peak of nearly $63,600 in April, Bitcoin has entered a bear market. On Monday, the digital token traded just shy of the $40,000 mark. 

Recently advocates including Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and tech investment guru Cathy Wood hosted an online forum to drum up support for their beloved cryptocurrency, inviting Tesla CEO Elon Musk to explain his sudden concerns.

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