Bitcoin mining is expected to double Iceland's energy consumption to around 100 megawatts this year, which amounts to more than what households on the island nation of 340,000 consume, Metro News reported yesterday, quoting Iceland's National Energy Authority.
According to commentators, Iceland may introduce a Bitcoin mining tax to rein in the crypto currency business.
Bitcoin mining requires a great deal of computing power, which in turn needs huge amounts of electricity to solve the mathematical puzzles that reward miners with crypto currency.
Bitcoin has already been banned in China and South Korea due to problems with a lack of control over fraud and money laundering, and in the case of China, concern over the amount of power that the activity sucks from the electricity grid.
With Iceland emerging as one of the most popular destinations for Bitcoin mining, authorities in the country are concerned as large crypto currency miners seek to take advantage of the island's abundant geothermal and hydroelectric power plants.
In 2014, Oilprice.com found Iceland to be "the world's top energy glutton," as it used more kilograms of oil equivalent per capita than any other nation on earth. According to commentators, with most of Iceland's energy coming from hydroelectric and geothermal power, Icelanders are among the planet's least energy-conscious people.
According to commentators, Iceland is among a few nations that provide access to affordable electricity these days and is one of the best places for renewable energy. It is therefore not surprising that many Bitcoin mining firms have set up shop in the country over the years.
According to analysts, with low electricity tariffs and a cold climate, Iceland is in a prime position when it comes to crypto currency mining. Thankfully, the region has an abundance of renewable energy to ensure this trend is manageable, for the time being.
According to commentators, Bitcoin mining may be taxed in the future and Pirate Party's Smari McCarthy has already suggested the measure. Whether or not this will become an official law, is a different matter altogether.