Iceland has become the premier hotspot for cryptocurrency mining, more specifically Bitcoin, and the countries officials are now in a panic. With its cool temperatures, it makes it the perfect location to keep these hot data mining centers cool, without the need for extra air conditioning. While Bitcoin’s price has been on the decline within’ the past few months many companies have seen the island as the holy grail to mine the remaining digital tokens. They are equating it as the 21st century ‘gold rush’ as many companies have flooded the country in hopes of starting their own mining data centers.
However, Iceland’s electricity grid has been severely stretched and are not equipped to handle the amount of electricity that is needed for all the mining. The country produces 80 percent of its energy within hydroelectric stations, compared to the U.S that is only 6 percent. A single bitcoin mining transaction takes up the same amount of energy as a single household in the U.S for a whole week. Back in November, all Bitcoin mining operations used more power than about 160 countries, combined.
The country has been denying many cryptocurrency mining projects into the country because if they were to take them all, mining would leave the country desolate. All cryptocurrency mining devices are estimated to take up around 840-gigawatt hours of electricity this year and all of Iceland’s homes use around 700-gigawatt hours per year. Johann Snorri Sigurbergsson, a business development manager at HS Orka, spoke to the Washington Post and told them that every day for the past six months he’s received a call from a foreign company wanting to set up shop in Iceland.
Will the island run out of power? Not if its government officials have any say in it. The appeal is cheap renewable energy and prime cryptocurrency mining conditions but its countries citizens must come first. These data mining centers don’t provide enough jobs to the economy to actually boost its growth.
Where do you think the next great country would be to mine cryptocurrency?
Featured Image: IBT