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Iceland to use more electricity to mine bitcoin than to power houses

IcelandLydur Skulason/Flickr, CC

  • Iceland will likely use more electricity in the next
    year to mine bitcoin than it uses to power every single home in
    the country. 
  • Bitcoin mining is booming in Iceland, and energy
    providers are worried they won’t be able to power new
    mining companies.
  • Iceland’s cool weather, cheap energy and super-fast
    networks have made the country a popular home for bitcoin
  • Members of the government have proposed taxing
    profits made by bitcoin mining companies. 

Iceland may soon use more electricity to mine bitcoin than it
uses to power every home, according to an Icelandic energy

The energy used by Iceland’s bitcoin mining market is
experiencing “exponential growth,” and data centers may use more
energy than all of the country’s homes in 2018, Johann
Snorri Sigurbergsson from Icelandic energy company HS Orka
told the BBC.

Sigurbergsson also said HR Orka “won’t have enough energy”
to power numerous new data centers that have been

Bitcoin mining
 occurs when 
computers verify
existing bitcoin transactions by solving complex mathematical
problems, and then receive bitcoin as a reward.

Sigurbergsson told the BBC he estimates Iceland’s bitcoin mining
tools currently use around 840 gigawatt hours of electricity to
power computers and cooling systems each year, while most of the
country’s homes use around 700 gigawatt hours.

Iceland is a popular crypto mining destination

Bitcoin mining
thrives in Iceland
, where energy is cheap, and internet
connections use
super fast fiber-optic networks

Additionally, Iceland’s cold climate plays an important role in
ensuring crypto utilities don’t overheat. Mining hardware
generates large amounts of heat, and Iceland’s year-round cool
weather saves companies from additional temperature control

But the centers still use huge amounts of electricity.

Genesis Mining, one of the largest crypto miners in
Iceland, has opened three mining facilities in Iceland and in
CEO Marco Streng speculated the
 may be one of the biggest single users of
power in the country. 

The rise of crypto mining in the country has prompted government
members to consider steps to tax the industry.

“Under normal circumstances, companies that are creating
value in Iceland pay a certain amount of tax to the government,”
Smari McCarthy, a member of Iceland’s Pirate Party, told the
Associated Press
. “These companies are not doing that, and we
might want to ask ourselves whether they should.”

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