Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Iceland Could Use More Energy Mining Bitcoin Than Powering Homes in 2018

Iceland May Introduce Bitcoin Mining Tax to Counter Soaring Energy Consumption Icelandic Lawmaker Floats Bitcoin Mining Tax
Ellis Copeland | 15 February, 2018, 13:43

As reported by the BBC, Sigurbergsson says the country faces an "exponential" rise in Bitcoin mining that'll exceed the electricity use of Iceland's homes this year.

With its cold climate and cheap (and renewable) geothermal and hydro power, Iceland is becoming rather interesting for crypto currency miners pushing energy demand particularly in the last few months. "It's kind of obvious that if a substantial part of the bitcoin mining network is in one country, then that country is a juicy target for electronic attacks", he continued.

Johann Snorri Sigurbergsson a manager at energy firm Hitaveita Sudurnesja said "If all these projects are realised, we won't have enough energy for it", and that if they accepted all companies wanting to build data centers in Iceland, they simply would not have enough power.

Mining bitcoin - the process of confirming transactions across the blockchain - is an incredibly energy-consuming process.

The growth of Bitcoin since its inception has led to the need for more bitcoin mining and the demand for more data centers to do the mining.

According to Sigurbergsson's estimations, Bitcoin mining in the country uses more power than all of Iceland's homes, combined.

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Iceland has a small population, of around 340,000 people. What's more, one of the fundamental attractions of Iceland as a mining base is its frosty atmosphere that gives natural cooling to the PC servers.

The bitcoin rush may have come as a surprise to locals in sleepy Icelandic towns that are suddenly bustling with cryptocurrency technicians, but there's a simple explanation to scientists. "The value-to-Iceland/value-generated ratio is virtually zero". He reports that he had just met with a mining company wanting to buy 18 megawatts.

The AP story said that McCarthy was starting to think about whether bitcoin firms should be taxed as a result.

'We are spending tens or maybe hundreds of megawatts on producing something that has no tangible existence and no real use for humans outside the realm of financial speculation, ' he said.

"These companies are not doing that and we might want to ask ourselves whether they should".

They are the source of the Icelandic bitcoin miners' income - a revenue source many Icelanders are still not quite sure what to make of, especially if the lights start flickering.

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