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Bitcoin mining fuelled by geothermal power in Iceland to create new gold rush?

Bitcoin farm computers, Keflavik/ Iceland (source: AP/ YouTube, screenshot)
Alexander Richter 12 Feb 2018

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.

Blasted all over the Internet today, you will find an article on a “New Gold Rush” in Iceland stating that energy demand is soaring in Iceland due to bitcoin mining.

The article reports that interest has increased largely on virtual currency mining in Iceland. With being said that energy consumption could double to 100 MW this year, that means that already today around 50 MW of installed capacity is only working to keep powerful computers operating.

With the recent skyrocketing of the price of bitcoins, interest has exploded. Currently there are three bitcoin farms operating near the international airport of Iceland in Keflavik.

So with 30% of the country’s electricity coming from geothermal power, the country’s geothermal resources are fuelling bitcoin mining.

But there are also critical voices. It is likely that the main reason for these computer farms are coming here are mostly for the price and maybe the cooler climate as this makes cooling these machines cheaper. If they are here for the “green” and “renewable” energy label is the question.

With these computers operating essentially without much staff around it is also the question if the country might not impose new taxes to somewhat steer this new industry taking a foothole in Iceland.

Source: Decatur Daily (AP)