Bitcoin Iceland's Primary Energy User This Year Over Homes

Alicia Cross
February 15, 2018

According to Iceland's National Energy Authority, the household energy utilization of Iceland is 340,000, which is not as much as the mining energy utilization.

"If all these projects are realised, we won't have enough energy for it", Sigurbergsson tells the BBC.

"There was a lot of talk about data centers in Iceland about five years ago, but it was a slow start", Johann Snorri Sigurbergsson, a spokesman for Icelandic energy producer HS Orka, told The Washington Post.

Data centres that are mining bitcoin receive small rewards when the programs they run solve complex mathematical problems, generating revenue.

Iceland has become one of the most attractive places for virtual currency mining companies to open shop given the island's abundance of renewable energy - geothermal and hydroelectric energy account for nearly 100% of Iceland's electricity production.

Bitcoin mining refers to the work done by computers connected to the global Bitcoin network.

That could cause problems, though, as officials warn they won't have sufficient energy to supply the number of proposed Bitcoin mining centers (if those facilities do indeed open).

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By contrast, he estimated that Iceland's homes use around 700 gigawatt hours every year.

Nevertheless, the value of thriving mining industry for the country is quite a disputable issue as for mining neither a huge staff no large capital investments are needed.

"The value to virtually zero".

Some have questioned how beneficial the rise of the crypto-currency mining will be to Iceland.

Iceland has become a haven for cryptocurrency miners in part because of its cheap electricity. As the mining companies have been developing in the North Atlantic island, Smari McCarthy, a lawmaker from Iceland's Pirate Party, has come up with an idea to tax the profits of bitcoin mines.

It has previously been reported that the electricity demand of the world's total combined Bitcoin mining operations may now exceed the energy use of the Republic of Ireland, though this calculation may not be entirely accurate. The country is fielding several proposals for new data centers, which could increase Bitcoin-related energy use even more. "These companies are not doing that, and we might want to ask ourselves whether they should".

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