Iceland’s bitcoin mines ‘could pinch all the power’

  Iceland could use more electricity on bitcoin mining than on supplying the entire country’s homes in 2018. The Associated Press has reported Johann Snorri Sigurbergsson, Director of Business Development […]

By Jonny Bairstow
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Iceland could use more electricity on bitcoin mining than on supplying the entire country’s homes in 2018.

The Associated Press has reported Johann Snorri Sigurbergsson, Director of Business Development at energy firm HS Orka, said if all the mining firms wanting to get involved actually manage to do so, there won’t be enough energy to go around.

Mr Sigurbergsson said bitcoin mining operations use around 840GWh of electricity to supply data centre computers and cooling systems, with the country’s homes using around 700GWh every year.

The nation of 340,000 people has become popular with new data centre developers in recent years – many of these are looking to use computers to mine cryptocurrencies.

This involves solving mathematical problems and by doing so validating transactions between users. This unlocks a small reward that can prove lucrative when repeated at scale.

The data centres use a lot of power to keep cool and those wanting to tout their green credentials often choose Iceland as a location, where almost all energy comes from clean sources.

He added: “I don’t see it stopping quite yet.

“I’m getting a lot of calls, visits from potential investors or companies wanting to build data centres in Iceland.”