crypto-mining on farms UAE-themetaeconomist

Why UAE decided to ban crypto-mining on farms and agricolture

27 May 2024

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The Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority has told local farmers that their farms cannot be used as a site for crypto-mining. The Abu Dhabi Agriculture Authority has issued a notice banning cryptocurrency mining on farms. The UAE government body stated that this activity is considered "an improper use of the farm for purposes other than those intended." Furthermore, anyone caught violating this law would face fines of up to 10,000 dirhams, equivalent to approximately $2,700.

Crypto-mining at a glance

Cryptocurrency mining is a process that enables users to earn crypto-assets by confirming transactions on blockchain networks that use a Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism. In this system, miners compete to solve extremely complex mathematical puzzles, a process that requires substantial computational power and energy. These puzzles are integral to validating and securing transactions on the network. Once a miner successfully solves a puzzle, they add a new block to the blockchain and are rewarded with a specific amount of newly minted cryptocurrency. This reward incentivizes miners to continue contributing their computational resources to maintain the network’s security and integrity.

Although cryptocurrency mining is prohibited on farms, the UAE is generally a crypto-mining friendly jurisdiction. In fact, data from 2023 shows that the UAE's Bitcoin mining capacity was approximately 400 megawatts, which accounted for about 4% of the global hash rate. This indicates a significant presence in the global cryptocurrency mining industry, reflecting the UAE's supportive stance towards this activity.

Blockchain for Agrifood Sector

The technological acceleration of this historical moment has a pervasive socio-economic impact and is changing technological and cultural paradigms, involving the production system in all its forms. Those who produce, those who transform, those who distribute, those who sell and those who consume are increasingly brought together thanks to the infosphere.
Agriculture and technology, two apparently distant worlds, are in reality profoundly interconnected.
Complex technology such as blockchain can have various areas of application in the agrifood world:

  • supporting farmers on insurance payments in the event of climate damage
  • protect properties following land registration
  • trace the origin of products to avoid illegal trade
  • monitor, verify and report on the environmental sustainability of certain projects
  • bring greater transparency in agricultural supply chains.

SOURCE: CoinDesk

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