Bitcoin Mining Activity May Have Helped To Create An Unexpected Revolution In Iceland
Iceland has been the home of many cryptocurrency miners. Why? Because they are attracted by the cool climate and the cheap energy cost in the country, which has led some companies to start businesses there.
It is no secret that Bitcoin miners are considered to be somewhat predatory as they spend nearly as much energy as all of Iceland’s households combined in mining but it looks like there is a way that they might be helping the community after all.
Iceland is starting to look at other activities that use the same kind of infrastructure that Bitcoin mining does like deep learning applications and self driving cars or automatic translators.
“Bitcoin won’t be here far into the future”, Affirms HD Orka Power Plant Manager
Johann Snorri Sigurbergsson, business development manager at the HD Orka Power Plant, believes that Bitcoin does not have a future in Iceland but the installations that generate the energy that Bitcoin uses do.
According to him, the data centers that Bitcoin miners use can be new technology incubators in the future after the “Bitcoin fad” passes. Iceland believes that Bitcoin will consume more than 100 megawatts in energy until the end of the year.
An Economic Puzzle
Not everybody likes Bitcoin in Iceland. The presidential candidate Andri Snaer Magnason compared crypto mining to Cryptonite for Superman and stated that it is evil and a stupid way to waste energy. Even with its detractors, the truth is that the cheap energy cost in the country is certainly helping many companies that are very power intensive, as it the case of aluminum smelting companies.
Icelanders are somewhat wary of supporting risky industries since they already have memories of the banking meltdown in 2008, which drove the country into the arms of the International Monetary Fund and it only recently was able to pay its debts back.
On the other hand, it is clear that Iceland has to diversify its economy and rely less on fishing, aluminum smelting and tourism and, as it is already having a problem with lacking workers, the country could use some less labor intensive industries and this is where the data centers that were created for Bitcoin could be useful for other things.
The Next Revolution In Iceland?
According to specialists, the data centers could prove useful after Bitcoin mining is no more their main activity (since the price is dropping, a lot of people believe that Bitcoin will not have a future). At the moment, there is less supply than demand for data centers, but in the near future there is a great chance that these data centers can represent a huge growth in the economy of Iceland.
It looks that, after all, Bitcoin mining did have an interesting and positive effect on the economy of Iceland.