Bitcoin fever and cryptocurrencies have made Iceland a paradise for miners . However, this is on track to become a problem for the national energy industry. According to an electric company in 2018, miners will consume more energy than all residents of Iceland.
Iceland is a country of almost 340,000 inhabitants, and all the electric power used in the country is renewable. According to Johann Snorri Sigurbergsson, one of the directors of the electric power company HS Orka (formerly part of Hitaveita Sudurnesja), the calculations of his company estimate that before the end of 2018 the miners will consume about 100 Megawatts.
Residential electric power consumption in Iceland is just over 700 Gigawatt hours per year, but the cryptocurrency mining industry such as Bitcoin is close to surpassing it (estimated to exceed 800 Gigawatt hours in the coming months), which could cause an energy crisis in the country.
Speaking to AP , Sigurbergsson said: “Four months ago I could not have imagined that we would reach this trend, but at that time the price of Bitcoin skyrocketed and we received many more requests. Just hours ago I met with a mining company that wants to buy 18 Megawatts. “
Sigurbergsson also told the BBC that if all these new projects of mining companies are carried out, the country will not have the energy to supply them.
The price of Bitcoin has plummeted during the month of January, but that has not prevented more and more companies from betting heavily on cryptocurrency mining, although authorities in Iceland consider taking some measures against this increasingly popular industry.