The small island nation in the Northern Sea, Iceland, is expected to utilize more energy in Bitcoin mining this year than in powering its citizens’ households.
Because of the fine line that mining operations walk for profitability, cheap and plentiful electricity is a big draw card. Iceland, with its abundance of geothermal and hydroelectric power, is becoming a mining hotspot.
Doubling the power requirements
Johann Snorri Sigurbergsson, business development manager at the energy company Hitaveita Sudurnesja, has put a prediction that Iceland’s energy consumption through cryptocurrency mining could reach around 100 megawatts this year, which is double what its average is currently.
That figure is more than the entire island’s household requirements for power according to Iceland’s National Energy Authority. Iceland’s population is around 340,000.
This notion of such a power demand on the small nation was unfathomable just a few months ago, but the price and demand of Bitcoin as well as other cryptocurrencies, has seen a major spike in demand.
“Four months ago, I could not have predicted this trend, but then Bitcoin skyrocketed and we got a lot more emails,’ Sigurbergsson said at the Svartsengi geothermal energy plant. “Just today, I came from a meeting with a mining company seeking to buy 18 megawatts,” he added.
Iceland has been set out as a mining destination for a number of reasons. Notably, it has a cool climate which aids in the cooling of the equipment used to mine, also helping cut costs.
Additionally, the energy cost on Iceland is both low and green, an issue that is starting to plague miners as many question the cost to the environment of the burgeoning Bitcoin ecosystem.