Icelandic Prime Minister attacks cryptocurrency mining

While Iceland is a major location for Bitcoin (BTC) mining, the country's Prime Minister recently criticized the practice. What does she criticize about mining?

Iceland: Prime Minister criticizes Bitcoin mining

In an interview with the Financial Times, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, the Prime Minister of Iceland, attacked Bitcoin (BTC) mining particularly important in the country.

Indeed, the island state, due to its atypical geography, is highly dependent on imports and while the global geopolitical climate is becoming increasingly tense, the political party in place seeks to gain self-sufficiency:

“It's not really easy being a farmer in Iceland. They're not really big fields. You know, we have glaciers that cover a large part of the country. But it is an important part of our strategy for security and safety in this world. »

Thus, it is in this context that the politician chose her angle of attack towards Bitcoin mining, which is indeed particularly present on the island.

👉 To go further — What is really happening with the energy consumption of Bitcoin (BTC)?

Katrín Jakobsdóttir then draws a parallel with fish processing factories which would have been forced to use oil generators during winter shortages, where mining would consume the green energy produced by the country :

blockquote icon

“Bitcoin is a global problem… but data centers in Iceland use a significant portion of our green energy. »

That Bitcoin mining consumes energy, we cannot deny. On the other hand, it is necessary to study the question from different angles.

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Is Bitcoin really THE problem?

First, let us recall that when electricity is produced at point A, the network must be sufficiently developed to transport this energy to point B. However, in her argument, the minister does not specify whether fish processing plants taken as an example are located in a region capable of being served by the renewable energy that Bitcoin is supposed to steal.

In reality, since electricity is the main expense of a mining farm, its operator has every interest in going where it is cheaper. Thus, when a miner chooses to set up near a dam, it is because the latter produces surpluses locally which would otherwise be wasted because they could not be transported properly.

Several initiatives thus highlight cases where production surpluses are made profitable through mining, such as TEPCO, the largest electricity producer in Japan, with its startup Agile Energy X.

👉 Also in the news — Spot Bitcoin ETFs record their first week in the negative, why?

On the other hand, we can emphasize that the usual clichés about Bitcoin mining tend to come back to the forefront when cryptocurrencies start to gain popularity again as is the case currently. It is then a matter of sorting out facts and political discourse on this complex issue.

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Source: Financial Times

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