Bitcoin mining in Iceland has overtaken residential energy needs as power usage tops 800 Gigawatt hours. This pales in comparison to residential power usage which barely exceeds 700 Gigawatts hours despite over 300 000 residents making use of energy around the country.
Iceland has become the home of bitcoin mining considering its climate and cheap energy allow for maximum profits for operators. Due to the energy intensive process, the hardware used to mine crypto can get extremely heated with temps on many boards averaging well over 70oc. Only with sufficient cooling can these chips mine bitcoin/crypto without being destroyed themselves. Furthermore, the country also remains lax on crypto laws compared to china and other Asian countries which have been indiscriminately shutting down mines or driving energy prices up.
Bitcoin mining is a extremely intensive processes requiring huge amounts of energy. Despite specialized chips being developed and ASIC technology improving in architecture, the process has been likened to mining gold by many. Similar to gold panning, bitcoin mining used to be a process where your hardware would be taxed with solving mathematical calculations in order to find a block. A block would reward the finder 25 bitcoin ( at the time of writing).
As it becomes apparent that bitcoin is exploding in Iceland, some have begun to question tax free nature of crypto mining. The Pirate party have become the biggest opponents, as according to their philosophy bitcoin mining is directly contributing to the GDP and all programs generating revenue should be taxed accordingly.
To conclude, bitcoin mining is becoming a huge industry in the northern hemisphere as the far east cracks down on operations. With a huge mining network comes a even bigger energy cost, and with over 840 Gigawatt hours being used in Iceland alone, bitcoin mining has been classed as one of the industries with the highest pollution.