With its cold climate and low-cost electricity, Iceland has attracted many interested in crypto who scented their great mining opportunity on the windy island at the Arctic Circle. December last year, the Icelandic mining business continues to slacken. Experts now see the next and possibly longer lasting hype coming: the development of blockchain technology.
Iceland’s largest data center provider Advania faced huge demand from abroad last December. The cold climate and cheap electricity that Iceland derives 98 percent from geothermal energy, attracted many miners to the island. As the news portal Red Herring reported on September 23, Bitcoin’s plummeting and several thefts stealing mining computers soon put a stop to the mining euphoria. Instead of turning completely away from modern technology, many Icelandic companies are now focusing on developing the blockchain.
As a manager of Advania pointed out to Red Herring, he had seen many “cowboys” who only came to Iceland because of the mining and consequently quickly disappeared again. In particular, the favorable electricity made the island the ideal location for bitcoin mining. While the PUE, a measure of the energy efficiency of a data center, is 1.78 in the European average, it is only 1.03 in Iceland. This makes Iceland nearly twice as cost efficient as many of its continental neighbors. Therefore, it is not surprising that numerous international mining companies such as BitFury and Genesis scented very cheap mining opportunities on the cold island.
Where a lot of money is suspected, inventive criminals are not far off. So it came at the beginning of the year to several thefts of mining computers. Some of them could even have made it to China.