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Iceland Cracks Down on Crypto Miners Due to Their Increased Appetite for Green Energy

Iceland would rather use green energy to grow corn than give it to Bitcoin miners  

In an interview by the Financial Times, Iceland's Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir has voiced a significant pivot in the nation's energy allocation, hinting at a strategic move away from the energy-intensive crypto mining industry. Iceland, celebrated for its leading per capita energy production through hydroelectric and geothermal means, has also been at the forefront of Bitcoin hashrate production globally. However, Jakobsdóttir's recent remarks underscore a preference for bolstering food production over continuing to power the crypto mining sector.

The Prime Minister's perspective emerges from concerns that data centers, critical for crypto mining, consume a substantial portion of Iceland's renewable energy resources. 

Jakobsdóttir stated:

"Bitcoin is an issue worldwide... but data centers in Iceland use a significant share of our green energy," 

This shift aims not only to direct renewable energy towards nourishing Iceland's households and various industries but also to mitigate reliance on imported food, enhancing the nation's self-sufficiency.

Luxor's research suggests a looming stagnation in the growth of Iceland's crypto mining due to escalating electricity demand and a lull in power plant development. 

Global dynamics of crypto mining

As Iceland reevaluates its commitment to crypto mining amidst energy scarcity and strategic shifts towards agriculture, the international landscape is witnessing a surge in demand for last-generation miners, especially from regions boasting lower electricity costs.

This transition is underscored by a Bloomberg report detailing the exodus of older Bitcoin miners from the United States to mining hubs in Africa and South America. The report emphasizes the migration of approximately 600,000 Bitmain Antminer s19 series miners, once valued at up to $11,500 each, now poised to change hands for roughly $350 in the wake of Bitcoin's block reward halving.

Such global dynamics reflect a broader trend away from traditional crypto powerhouses like China and Iceland towards new frontiers in crypto mining. Ethiopia, with its appealing energy costs but noted political instability, has emerged as a focal point for Chinese miners. This next wave of crypto mining development, expanding into South America and Africa, signifies a shifting paradigm in the quest for cost-effective energy solutions.