More than 100 years ago the Swiss village of Gondo was a haven for gold diggers. Here in the 19th century gold was mined on a large scale. But all this remained in the past. However, these days the tiny Alpine all also attracted miners, but the “digital gold”.
Mountain village in Switzerland, as in the rest of Europe, has for many years suffered from the outflow of the population. Gondo is no exception. The population is approximately 50 people. But thanks to cheap electricity village in the Swiss Alps became part of the “cryptocurrency boom.”
“It’s very interesting from a historical point of view. We used to be famous all over the world due to the gold mines…Now there’s a new “breed” of miners,” – said the Deputy Chairman Gondo Paul Fuchs, referring to a group of young people who have settled in a secret safe bunker in Gondo.
“What we do is very similar to the “gold rush” in the old days,” said 26-year-old Executive Director of the Alpine Mining Louis Thomas. Thomas says that cheap energy, cheap rent and a cool Alpine climate were the main reasons to settle in Gondo.
Fuchs admitted that had no idea what he was talking about Thomas and his business partners, when asked permission to start their mining operation in Gondo. “I had never heard the word Blockchain, said Fuchs, – I had to Google”.
Now, Thomas plans to expand mining activities in the Alpine village, who with open arms welcomes new industry. In October 2000, Gondo was “cut in half” a powerful landslide with a width of 40 m after three days of incessant rain. Then it was destroyed many buildings and killed 13 people. After this catastrophe, Gondo struggles to survive in a village where there is almost no tourism, serves as a pit stop for truckers. Today Gondo was able to attract to itself a computer center, providing it with cheap electricity and the ability to place the server farm in a cool bunkers of the old, decommissioned complex of civil defense.
The inhabitants of Gondo happy that cryptocurrency miners have joined their community. Thomas says that they “are happy to see young people happy that life is coming back.”
According to Fuchs, Alpine Mining inspired him to open the only restaurant in the village. Fuchs also added a number of other cryptocurrency companies would like to settle in Gondo.
However, Gondo might not be able to meet the growing needs of Alpine Mining. According to Thomas, his company plans to expand, but at the moment the village has only one transformer, and to build a new one will take months. So Alpine Mining is looking for an alternative site in the Swiss Alps:
“Mining is often compared with the gold fever. Now – cryptocurrency fever,” says Thomas.
The village is unable to fully meet the needs of visitors miners, but who knows, maybe in the future Gondo will open the door to mining farms and will once again be known throughout the world.