The tiny European country of Iceland has been a haven for Bitcoin mining, for almost a decade now since the whole crypto craze became a thing. The tiny island nation is sadly planning to slow down crypto mining processes in the country as it seeks to control the accelerating demand for energy.
The countries authorities put in place measures that would see miners pay higher electricity bills last year, in a bid to cover for their high energy consumption. Since then though, a grass roots movement in the country has taken cognizance of, and spread awareness on how expanding crypto mining activities could harm the tiny island country’s environment.
Bitcoin miners are beginning to get the side-eye in the country, with many locals increasingly seeing them as a threat to the country’s magnificent and largely unpolluted countryside. Environmentalists, researchers, and activists are also rising up by the day to express strong opposition to what was initially seen as a potential job creating industry.
Bitcoin miners on their part seem to have largely turned a deaf ear to all this. They have shown little signs that they intend to slow down. These miners leverage on the country’s buzzing geothermal activity. The buzzing geothermal activity in the tiny country makes geothermal power generation quite easy and cheap in comparison to global electricity prices. This has made Iceland into a mecca of sorts in the eyes of Bitcoin miners who not only leverage the cheap power, but also the cool temperatures in the country; that make cooling mining rigs much easier and cheaper.
Crypto enthusiasts and miners have for a long time held the position that leveraging renewable energy cancelled out the talking point that Bitcoin mining was bad for the environment, and left a large carbon footprint. Icelandic environmentalists are however now clapping back on this notion by stating that Bitcoin mining activities were leading to an expansion in geothermal and hydroelectric power generation.
According to these environmentalists, these expanding power generation activities were messing up the country’s landscape and topography. The problem for Icelandic environmentalists is that mining activities look set to continue and grow even further. This is because the profit margin for mining is quite thin due to the current low prices, and this is prompting miners to expand their volumes of production.
What becomes of the tug of war between miners and Icelandic environmentalists remains to be seen. Even with rising opposition from activists, and environmentalists, Iceland may yet play host to Chinese miners who have been evicted from the country, if they also seek to benefit from the country’s geothermal power and cool temperatures.
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