Saudi Aramco, one of the largest companies in the world, is rumored to be investing in a Bitcoin mining operation. Saudi Aramco is an oil company that is 98.5% owned by the government of Saudi Arabia.
Currently, Saudi Aramco burns "flare gas," unwanted gas by-products of the oil refining process. Bitcoin blogger, Ray Nasser, believes the company will use this flare gas to generate electricity for mining Bitcoin. He claims that Saudi Aramco burns enough flare gas to power half the Bitcoin network. Several other gas companies have already begun to generate electricity intended for cryptocurrency mining using similar processes.
Saudi Aramco has denied that it will mine cryptocurrency. Historically, Saudi policy has been restrictive of cryptocurrency.
Today, most Bitcoin miners are believed to be in China, and China has massive influence on the Bitcoin economy. The Saudis could potentially dominate the Bitcoin network and alter the worldwide cryptocurrency economy. And they can do it with gas they burn to get rid of and technology in use at other companies.