The world's largest oil producer, Saudi Aramco, made the headlines after reports claimed the oil giant would soon start mining Bitcoin, which is a hot commodity in the cryptocurrency network. The rumours about Aramco starting Bitcoin mining garnered global interest, to such a scale that the oil conglomerate had to issue a statement to set the record straight.
It all started off with a recent interview with Brazilian bitcoin miner Ray Nasser, where he claimed that negotiations were ongoing with Aramco to get the oil giant involved in Bitcoin mining activities. Nasser claimed the natural gas Aramco burns off prior to oil extraction through the process of flaring could be used for Bitcoin mining.
"We are negotiating with Aramco. All black liquid [oil] that comes out of the desert belongs to this company. All the flared gas they're not using, and that's public information, I can tell you, it's enough to 'power up' half of the bitcoin network today, from this company alone," Nasser had reportedly said.
Since Aramco's links to blockchain aren't a secret, including investment of $5 million in blockchain-based oil trading company Vakt, and its subsidiary being a part of a $6 million deal with Data Gumbo Corp for developing a commercial blockchain network, Nasser's remarks spread like wildfire.
Mining Bitcoins requires a massive amount of energy, which Aramco has in abundance. Seeing how the news of Aramco starting Bitcoin mining spread, the oil giant issued a statement to dismiss those rumours.
"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," said the Dhahran-based group.
Moreover, the links between Aramco's investments in blockchain as a technology has nothing to do with Bitcoin or cryptocurrency in general. It uses blockchain tech to standardise business processes with the aim to increase efficiency and reduce costs. The investments in Data Gumbo and Vakt help Aramco in the management and automation of new contracts and invoices.
Hence, International Business Times has arrived at the conclusion that the rumours about Aramco starting Bitcoin mining are false.