Recently, Iceland has seen a major surge in Bitcoin mining, which is so massive that it is presently gorging itself of power resources, according to a spokesman for HS Orka. However, the bigger issue is that there will not be enough energy to sustain the demand, according to Johann Snorri Sigurbergsson. Consumers are rapidly beginning to realize that the profit available to cryptocurrency is something that they want to get involved it. However, with this realization, the energy needed for mining is expected to surpass the amount that is used for all the homes in Iceland.
Even though the population of Iceland barely surpasses 300,000, the increase of new data centers by consumers that want to have green credentials has been substantial. Almost all the energy comes from renewable resources. The computers that perform the mining have to solve multiple mathematical equations, validating each of the transactions that consumers find on the blockchain.
Sigurbergsson is calling the changes in energy and consumer interest “exponential growth,” concerning the energy consumption made by data centers. However, as this process continues, the mining operations could need up to 840-gigawatt hours of electricity, compared to the 700-gigawatt hours used by local homes every year. Based on the current data, there does not appear to be an end in sight. According to Sigurbergsson, there has already been a lot of interest from other companies wishing to establish their own data centers in Iceland.
Despite the continued interest in these new establishments, there does not appear to be room to accommodate all of them. However, the inclusion of them would bring a lot of profit, considering that each of these companies wants to have a long-term contract. Unfortunately, there just is not enough room to do so.
The recent Moonlite Project increased the mining industry in Iceland, offering a large data center that a variety of platforms can be used to mine. The center will not open until later in the year, and the starting capacity will only be about 15 megawatts. This limit is expected to raise in the future, but the website does not indicate how much more that it will go up. However, one concern that arises is that the use of a cryptocurrency mining project will not bring in much revenue to Iceland’s economy at all. According to Smari McCarthy of the Icelandic parliament for the Pirate Party, “The value to Iceland… is virtually zero.”
Some calculations indicate that the total usage of the bitcoin operations around the world could easily surpass the energy used in the Republic of Ireland, but there’s little validation to that estimate. Regardless of the current usage, the continuing incline of cryptocurrency campaigns will demand more resources in one way or another.