Crypto Mining Sites in Iceland to use More Energy than Households this Year

Feb 13, 2018 at 12:51

A report from the Associated Press (AP) said that Iceland will consume more energy for crypto mining than household use this year.

In an interview, Johan Snorri Sigurbergsson from Hitaveita Sudurnesja, a local energy firm, predicts that Iceland’s cryptocurrency mining energy consumption will double this year to 100 megawatts (MW), way above the power expected to be utilized by 340,000 residents of the country.

The official told AP that he did not predicted the trend four months ago but was changed with recent surge in price of Bitcoin.

Sigurbergsson also claimed that he had just met with a crypto mining company wanting to buy as much as 18 MW worth of power.

It can be noted that Bitcoin mining hardware requires a large amount of energy to perform calculations in finding hashes which gives the miner a Bitcoin reward. At present, some alternatives being proposed to lessen the big power consumption of the process include the use of proof-of-stake system rather than proof-of-work as well as utilizing power from renewable energy sources.

The influx of crypto mining companies in Iceland may be traced to the country’s advantage of having a naturally cold climate and access to geothermal and hydroelectric power plants.

Three of the biggest Bitcoin mining sites in Iceland are located in Keflavik, a coastal town where walls are open allowing cold wind to naturally cool down the mining hardware.

On the other hand, Smari McCarthy of Iceland’s Pirate Party mulls on the possibility of taxing any profits made by Bitcoin mining.

“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. That can’t be good,” she stated in an interview with AP.

In the United States, mining companies have also began moving to Washington in order to benefit from the state’s cheaper electricity.