Iceland Will Use More Power Mining Bitcoin than Powering Homes This Year

first_imgStay on target Sooooo, bitcoins. Big thing, rapidly losing value, possibly a scam. Also, it seems that Iceland — a whole country, I’ll remind you — might well use more power making Bitcoins in 2018 than is used for actually lighting and running homes. So that’s… definitely something.There have been some indications that the power use of cryptocurrency miners has gown dramatically. And anyone who has lived with a coin miner (insert long, sustained, agonized groan) knows that these people and their mining set-ups tend to sap a whole bunch of juice. Some articles have even suggested that miners consume more power than whole countries. While that sounded a bit farfetched before, new data says that might be an exceptionally low estimate.To that end, HS Orka, an Icelandic power company, believes that cryptocurrency miners will eclipse the total power draw of the 340,000 people who live in Iceland.“What we’re seeing now is…you can almost call it exponential growth, I think, in the [energy] consumption of data centers,” Johann Snorri Sigurbergsson, a spokesperson for the firm, told the BBC.Given that all residential usage typically hits about 700 GWh of electricity each year, this doesn’t seem like it would be a big issue. Iceland generates more than 20 times each year, with the bulk going to industry. Still, if you reframe that a little as a 5% spike in power consumption practically over night, that could lead to big problems.“If all these projects are realized, we won’t have enough energy for it,” Sigurbergsson said, commenting on the construction of new crypto-mining data centers. The problem, of course, is that while it’s rather simple to buy a bunch of computers, it’s much, much, MUCH harder to build power plants. In some cases, new power facilities can take upwards of ten years to construct. They are massive building, for one, that can have a major impact on the environment, need to be wired into the grid, and contain many miles of sensitive electronics, circuits, wires, etc. That doesn’t just crop up over night..Complicating that matter further is the degree to which Iceland is powered by green energy. Nearly 100% of all of Iceland’s energy comes from renewables. That’s great, especially compared to carbon-cranking nations like China or the US, but it’s also not without its own consequences.“Hydro plants change aquatic ecosystems. Geothermal plants cool surrounding ground. Small negatives compared to, say, coal, but still not neutral,” Pirate Party representative Smári McCarthy wrote. “Cryptocurrency mining requires almost no staff, very little in capital investments, and mostly leaves no taxes either. The value to Iceland…is virtually zero.” Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.center_img Cops Raid Suspected Pot House, Find Cryptomining Operation InsteadBitcoin Bomb Threat Scam Disrupts Businesses Across US, Canada last_img read more