One of the major costs involved in mining cryptocurrencies is the power. Aside from that, miners expect low temperatures for cooling the servers. The miners see these two as key aspects and are ready to shift wherever they find the costing is very effective. Therefore, they are ready to dump Iceland, which is a major attraction for miners, and turn towards Norway and Sweden where the digital currency miners could get cheap power. The move does not surprise as an economist during a recent World Economic Forum stated that the amount of power used to mine a virtual currency is equal to a country’s requirement indicating the importance of cost in the segment.
Commercial Power Prices
Currently, Iceland is regarded as the most popular location in the European Union for miners of virtual currencies. This included bitcoin and Ethereum, the top two market value cryptocurrencies. The average cost of power per kilowatt-hour is about eleven euro cents in Europe. As far as Iceland, it is offering about eight euro cents to miners. If this is cheaper than the average, Norway and Sweden are offering further cheaper electricity.
Commercial power prices in Sweden were reported to be about 6.5 euro cents whereas Norway charges 7.1 euro cents per kilowatt-hour. Therefore, miners preferring these countries will not surprise anyone. Also, the cryptocurrency miners’ move would be welcomed by the dominant utilities in the two countries, i.e., Vattenfall in Sweden and Statkraft in Norway.
According to itnews.com, the state-run utility firms think that the power supply to miners of digital currency is only a small part of their current business. However, they view it as an opportunity to attract more miners of other virtual currencies to their countries. The mining process is not an easy one and energy intensive one since miners plug thousands of servers at a single point in time to get the computing power to make digital currencies. Also, it involves solving mathematical equations.
Bitcoin miners are expected to use approximately 130 terawatt hours of power this year. This is equal to the power consumption of Argentina and the estimated global usage of electric vehicles by the mid-2020s. HIVE Blockchain Technologies director and co-founder of Canadian group, Olivier Roussy Newton, indicated that his company commenced mining of ethereum in Sweden since January.
Global Hunt to Get More Power
The Canadian firm also disclosed that it was looking to get as much power as possible. The company is looking for 17.4 megawatts of power in Sweden for mining cryptocurrencies. The firm also indicated that it has funds to take an additional 26.8 MW of power by September. HIVE is also mindful of its requirement and agreed to acquire a data center firm, Kolos Norway, for $9.9 million only last month.
This is not the only firm to enter Norway. An American miner, Bitfury, also launched a fresh mining data center in Norway for $35 million. It would need 350-gigawatt hours of pure, clean energy from Helgeland Kraft, a domestic renewable energy provider. Bitfury’s director, Bill Tai, disclosed that it was also looking at the possibility of China to mine cryptocurrency due to cheap hydropower availability.