Power resources in Iceland are being used up by an “exponential” increase in Bitcoin mining, said a spokesman for Icelandic energy firm HS Orka.
And according to Johann Snorri Sigurbergsson, the electricity that would be consumed by all of the homes in Iceland in 2018 is likely to be dwarfed by the energy that would likely to be used up by the Bitcoin mining data centres.
There are many enthusiasts who want to join the mining business, he said.
“If all these projects are realised, we won’t have enough energy for it,” he told the BBC in ab interview.
There are only about 340,000 people who are permanent residents of the country.
however, there has been a steady increase in the number of high end data centers tat have come up in the country and most of them have the intention of giving a slip to the green credentials n recent years. In Iceland, almost all of the energy is generated from renewable sources.
Mining of bitcoin is the cat where complex problems are solved with the help of very powerful computers resulting in the computer owner being rewarded with a bitcoin. These computers are linked to a global network of bitcoin mining and trading computers. The result of solving of the problems is validated by transaction conducted by the users of the virtual currency. This mining has become a lucrative activity given the astronomical value of some of the virtual currencies like bitcoin. it brings in a sizable amount of money when done on a large scale with the sue of multiple high-powered computers.
“What we’re seeing now is… you can almost call it exponential growth, I think, in the [energy] consumption of data centres,” said Mr Sigurbergsson.
For example, about 840 gigawatt hours of electricity is expected to be to be supplied to the data centre computers and cooling systems which are engaged in the act of bitcoin mining, he added.
In comparison, only about 700 700 gigawatt hours of energy is used up every year by all of the homes in Iceland, he estimated.
“I don’t see it stopping quite yet,” added Mr Sigurbergsson, referring to data centre projects.
“I’m getting a lot of calls, visits from potential investors or companies wanting to build data centres in Iceland.”
The country would not be able to supply all pf the proposed data centers because there would be so many of them.
Only those companies that were agreeable to get into deals with his company for the long-term of at least a few years or more would be serviced, he added.
He added that there simply would not be adequate electricity to supply to data centers if Iceland approved all of the proposed Bitcoin mining ventures.
There have been reports that the total demand for energy for activities related to mining of bitcoin throughout the world is now more than the energy that is used by the Republic of Ireland.
(Adapted from BBC.com)