Iceland is experiencing an exponential rise in Bitcoin mining. As a result, energy use at Bitcoin mining data centres is thought likely to exceed that of all homes in the country, as reported by a spokesperson for Icelandic energy firm HS Orka.
Bitcoin mining involves computers connected to the global Bitcoin network and solving complex mathematical problems, a process which validates transactions between users of the crypto-currency.
Johann Snorri Sigurbergsson at HS Orka expects Bitcoin mining operations to use approximately 840 gigawatt hours of electricity, exceeding the demands of Iceland’s 340,000 population by 140 GWh a year.
As the crypto-currency mining industry continues to grow worldwide - and with the launch of The Moonlite Project, a large data centre that will mine crypto-currencies in Iceland - the questioning of providing energy for the industry will become more important.
Iceland’s energy is nearly 100% from renewable sources, but balancing demands on it remains an important factor in its sustainability.
Beyond energy, what will the rise of crypto-currency mining be on economies? It requires almost no staff, very little capital investments and mostly leaves no taxes.