22 year old Ahmad Abu Daher, based in Lebanon, and his team of more than 40 Lebanese and Syrian employees, earn $20,000 by working around the clock to man thousands of Bitcoin mining machines across the country, CNBC reports.
“We can’t sleep. We can’t have any break,” Abu Daher told CNBC. “All of my team are still awake. They don’t sleep. Our shift is working 16 hours per day, and sometimes, up to 18 or 19 hours.”
According to CNBC, the local currency has lost more than 95% of its value since 2019, the minimum wage has plunged to $17 a month, pensions are virtually worthless, and bank account balances are just numbers on paper. Banks close without warning and ATMs are often either out of cash or entirely offline from nationwide blackouts. When locals are able to gain access to their accounts, many tell CNBC that they have grown accustomed to withdrawing money at 15% of its original worth.
Against this backdrop, Abu Daher jumped into the crypto mining business a little over two years ago. He and a friend began with three machines running on hydroelectric power in Zaarouriyeh, a town 30 miles south of Beirut in the Chouf Mountains.
“When we started, it was our great idea to make money while sleeping or eating,” said Abu Daher. Nowadays, Abu Daher says he is online 20 hours a day.