Iceland's bitcoin mines 'could pinch all the power'

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Iceland's bitcoin mines 'could pinch all the power'

Iceland has a small population, of around 340,000 people.

The computers that do this validation work receive small Bitcoin rewards for their trouble, making it a lucrative exercise, especially when done at a large scale.

It turns out that energy consumption associated with Bitcoin mining has been on the rise recently, and if this particular trend persists, consumption will doubly to almost 100 megawatts in 2018. That's why miners here can find quite affordable conditions for their activity as well as super fast fiber-optic networks that are used for internet connections. That and the cold climate make it a flawless location for new data-mining centers filled with servers in danger of overheating.

He said that bitcoin mining will require about 840 gigawatt hours of electricity this year. If Iceland approved all of the proposed Bitcoin mining projects, there simply wouldn't be enough electricity to supply them all.

"Under normal circumstances, companies that are creating value in Iceland pay a certain amount of tax to the government", McCarthy explained.

Regardless of the potential profits, McCarthy is unsure about what Bitcoin mining can bring to Iceland, AP reported.

Bitcoin mining company Genesis Minining's manager Helmut Rauth, however, takes an unsurprisingly different viewpoint, claiming that, "What we are doing here is like gold mining".

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.

Companies have flooded Iceland with requests to open new data centers to "mine" cryptocurrencies in recent months, even as concerns mount that the country may have to slow down investments amid an increasingly stretched electricity generation capacity.

But many other analysts say the real figure is likely smaller, and several experts recently told The Washington Post that bitcoin - now the world's biggest cryptocurrency - used no more than 0.14 percent of the world's generated electricity, as of last December.

Iceland, whose electricity is nearly entirely produced from renewable sources (hydro and geothermal), might tax the profits of the cryptocurrency miners in the country, as per a comment of Smari McCarthy, an MP from the Pirate Party, quoted by AP.

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