Icelandic Farmers Taking Up Cryptocurrency Mining - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icelandic Farmers Taking Up Cryptocurrency Mining

Published October 23, 2018

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Art Bicnick

A mathematics teacher in Iceland has devised a clever method of mining for cryptocurrency that is not only greener than most mining operations; it also benefits the country’s farmers.

Wired reports Krista Hannesdóttir of Sandgerði has devised a fairly simple mining practice that benefits all parties involved. Namely, utilising surplus electricity to power mining computers, which are stored on a farm, such as in a barn or shed. The machines, while mining the currency, keep the structure warm. To wit:

“She pays farmers for their excess geothermal energy, installs crypto mining equipment and uses the machines’ excess power for other uses, like heating. ‘Farmers have a lot of storage space, so it’s easier for us to move our equipment to their location,’ she says. ‘You can also heat up the storage space, which is quite clean. So generally speaking, it’s reducing rent, and reducing energy cost.'”

The farmers are keeping the operation low key, because the plan “threatens to jeopardise subsidies they receive for geothermal energy use, and the legality of the whole operation is unclear.” In addition, Jason Scott Katz, a cryptocurrency expert in Iceland who has spoken with Grapevine at length about mining in Iceland, believes miners should pay their dues to the community they get power from.

“We should tax the miners in the cryptocurrency they’re mining,” he told Wired. “That’s way out there but it would be interesting. Or some sort of consumption tax on the electricity because now they’re thinking of damming more places for the miners.”

The article in full can be read here.

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