Iceland’s Bitcoin Mining Industry Losing Allure, Interest Now Shifting to Core Blockchain Technology
Iceland has been a hotbed for bitcoin and other cryptocurrency miners due to its very cold climate and the availability of cheap power supply. However, 2018 has seen a shift of interest from bitcoin mining to core blockchain ventures in the country, partly due to the slump in the price of bitcoin, reported Red Herring on September 23, 2018.
Move over Bitcoin, Blockchain Technology is the New Cool
While 2017 was a great year for bitcoin and other cryptos, with the price of bitcoin reaching an all-time high of nearly $20,000, 2018 has been an entirely different story for the cryptocurrency markets in general, with the bears taking away a significant chunk of last year’s crypto gains.
Per a Red Herring report, Advania, Iceland’s biggest data center became home to foreigners from all parts of the world, looking to take advantage of the country’s highly crypto-friendly metrics last year, but things are no longer the way they used to be.
With a population of fewer than 1 million people, a highly efficient power supply almost entirely generated from geothermal energy and a cold climate good for cooling down even the hottest ASICs bitcoin mining equipment, Iceland is arguably the most profitable state for bitcoin mining activities in the world.
Icelanders Lose Interest in Crypto Mining
Per sources close to the matter, the pent-up interest in cryptocurrency mining operations experienced in 2017 has waned significantly, with many crypto enthusiasts and service providers focusing on ‘pure blockchain businesses.’
Commenting on the situation, Halldor Jorgensson, chairman of Borealis Data Center located outside the Keflavik International Airport, noted that last year, especially towards the end of the year, he barely had time for even himself due to the phenomenal demand for space at his data center.
However, all the bitcoin craze has significantly cooled off, with demand shifting towards pure distributed ledger technology (DLT) ventures. In his words:
“So you could say that the bitcoin wave, the big wave of bitcoin demand, has helped us to build out really fast, because there were really aggressively interested investors who wanted to do things and we managed to do the build-out.”
While Iceland remains an attractive region for crypto-linked businesses, some officials have voiced concerns that the nation’s economy could collapse with the crypto verse if anything goes wrong.
Earlier in June 2018, BTCManager reported that Iceland’s finance minister, Bjarni Benediktsson had stated categorically that the nation’s over-reliance on cryptocurrency mining is a huge risk.