Many of us know Iceland as the North Atlantic nation on the edge of the Arctic Circle. With it scenic vistas and isolated culture, the Icelandic region has become a popular tourist destination among those fascinated about what exists in these parts.
Iceland has long been a nation of volcanic activity, fueling an embarrassment of riches in terms of renewable energy. It's also a nation of perma cool temperatures and robust data connections, factors that are fueling commerce on both ends of the Atlantic.
Data server farms dot the landscape, infusing the 40,000 square mile country with plums of steam and processing power for a varied number of uses. Here it has become is a perpetual land of "milk and honey" for companies seeking to house power-consuming, heat generating machines. It is for this reason that bitcoin related companies seeking significant energy savings and a the opportunity to build their eco-friendly repute through a reduced carbon footprint are steadily migrating to Iceland
Bitcoin mining operations are the engine of the digital currency movement. This infrastructure expends enormous amounts of energy through the tackling of complex mathematical equasions. These algorithms become increasing more complex and demanding on the power grid as growing number of computers join the blockchain network.
Because the computing power necessary to generate bitcoins are growing exponentially, mining companies are migrating en masse to Iceland to reduce operating costs and boost profits in a uber hot business environment. Here they are able to mitigate disadvantages found in warmer climates where significant costs are borne from expensive air conditioners. And in an industry where reliability is critical, these company's can capitalize on the county's repute for having one of the most consistent power grids in the world.
The New Frontier
Verne Global, a 100 percent carbon neutral, renewable powered data center, in one of a growing number of companies that's tapped into the country's greatest advantage: A hydroelectric and geothermal dual energy source that is unmatched anywhere on the planet. Digital BTC, an innovative software solutions company in the global digital payment space and the first virtuial currency company listed on a major stock exchange, enetered a partnership with Verne to set up mining rigs within the company's operation. Through this collaborative arrangement the goal is to create a positive return on investment off of Iceland's cheap, stable motherlode of renewable energy.
DigitalBTC is not the only mining company seeking to make good on this bounty. Switzerland-based mining firm Bitmine migrated from the Alps in the hopes of similar returns. As this trajectory of movement continues to grow, economies of scale suggests that Iceland and other similar locales will offer the only profitable environments in which to mine.
The Hidden Benefit of Privacy
Another advantage for Iceland: It's also considered by many to be the epicenter of global data privacy due to its strict laws. The Data Protection Act of 2000 provides strict protocols for the protection of private information. It addresses issues around where data resides and who has access to it, a key consideration for data farms seeking to ward off meddling governments and data breaches by rogue hackers.
Given all of the previously mentioned advantages, look for Iceland to become a major player on the crypto world stage in the years ahead. It's a cold, hard bet that you can count on amidst the meteoric rise of the bitcoin movement.
Michael Scott is a Denver-based writer specializing in feature stories targeting the intersection between free markets and social and economic freedom. He can be reached @biz_michael