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In the small town of Boden, which is also home to the Genesis Bitcoin mine, and in the nearby port city of Lulea, two huge plants are to be built by the end of the decade. The 15 terawatt-hours of electricity already generated annually by hydroelectric plants and the 10 terawatt-hours to be generated by Europe's soon-to-be largest onshore wind farm are not expected to be enough to meet demand.
The Nordic countries want to further expand their renewable electricity production. But this can only be done as easily as before in northern Sweden and Finland, says Botnen. In the more densely populated south as well as in Norway and Denmark land is now scarce and therefore more expensive.
Add to this the increasing integration of the northern and central European electricity markets. The NordLink cable now connects Norway with Germany, and more are planned. For Scandinavians, that means prices will go up. Philip Salter is confident that Sweden will remain an attractive location for Bitcoin miners.
Nevertheless, it is questionable to what extent the Scandinavian countries are making Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies greener at all. Mining expert Salter looks at the problem from the other side.
Not just in Scandinavia, but especially in developing countries. This is supported by the fact that wind and solar power plants are the cheapest sources of electricity that can be installed today.
Some of the best locations for this are in developing countries. But the truth is that Bitcoin mining increases electricity demand. And until more renewable electricity is generated, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will be run using fossil fuel energy.
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Conflicts 5 hours ago 5 hours ago. EU chief vows unwavering support for Ukraine. Conflicts 9 hours ago 9 hours ago min. Togo FM: 'We need to continue to help the people of Mali'. Conflicts 6 hours ago 6 hours ago min. More from Africa. Asia South Korea: Why support for nukes is on the rise. South Korea: Why support for nukes is on the rise. Read on to find out all this and more. To put it in the absolute simplest terms, cryptocurrency is a kind of digital money. Cryptocurrency is, however, totally digital.
Cryptocurrency was created in Japan in and was a bit of an accident. Nobody can really be sure who created cryptocurrency, so the creator is often referred to as Satoshi Nakamoto a possible name of someone working on the project that led to its creation.
Cryptocurrency was basically an accident or side effect of another project. The project was seeking to create a means for people to transfer money to each other using the internet. If you think about how transactions work at a bank, you move money from one account to another, and the bank makes a note of the activity in their records.
Blockchains basically perform transactions and record information. It takes a lot of computer processing power to do this. The computers performing these tasks are rewarded with portions of cryptocurrency based on how many tasks they have performed.
There are many entering the crypto market all the time, but below are a few of the major cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency and is, therefore, the oldest.
Litecoin is almost identical to Bitcoin. It was created by Charlie Lee, a Google employee, in and released via Github. Litecoin is nearly identical to Bitcoin in the way it works with just a few minor differences. Ethereum is actually a kind of blockchain. Ethereum has since maintained that the flaw in a third-party application that enabled this to happen has been fixed. Ripple entered the market in Their currency is called XRP, and their point of difference in the market is that they tend to cater more to those wanting to make international transfers with minimal or no fees.
Ripple also was the subject of some controversy in when two of its executives were sued by the U. Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly selling unregistered securities.
Source: Stellar. Stellar was launched in by the co-founder of Ripple, Jed McCaleb. It is making a name for itself in the world of international transfers and is doing quite well in Brazil, Asia and Africa. Source: Neo. The remaining 50 million will be released over the next 22 years. Cardano is a blockchain that was created by one of the co-founders of Ethereum, Charles Hoskinson. He left Ethereum after a dispute with fellow co-founder Vitalik Buterin.
Hoskin wanted Etherum to move away from the non-profit model and decided to leave and create his own blockchain. Source: IOTA. IOTA is both the name of a blockchain and the currency it provides. Cryptocurrencies are not recognised as legal tender in Iceland because the Icelandic Central Bank has issues with the fact that they are unregulated. One could argue that this is precisely the point of cryptocurrency in the first place.
The government has officially cautioned Icelanders against trading in cryptocurrencies, but this is expected of a nation that suffered a dramatic financial crisis in As with all Fintech activities, all those operating in cryptocurrencies and crypto-assets NFTs must adhere to the rules and regulations of trade prescribed by the Icelandic government.
The regulation around cryptocurrency is paying particular attention to possible money laundering and the use of cryptocurrencies to fund illegal activity.
The remaining 50 million will be released over the next 22 years. Cardano is a blockchain that was created by one of the co-founders of Ethereum, Charles Hoskinson. He left Ethereum after a dispute with fellow co-founder Vitalik Buterin. Hoskin wanted Etherum to move away from the non-profit model and decided to leave and create his own blockchain. Source: IOTA. IOTA is both the name of a blockchain and the currency it provides. Cryptocurrencies are not recognised as legal tender in Iceland because the Icelandic Central Bank has issues with the fact that they are unregulated.
One could argue that this is precisely the point of cryptocurrency in the first place. The government has officially cautioned Icelanders against trading in cryptocurrencies, but this is expected of a nation that suffered a dramatic financial crisis in As with all Fintech activities, all those operating in cryptocurrencies and crypto-assets NFTs must adhere to the rules and regulations of trade prescribed by the Icelandic government.
The regulation around cryptocurrency is paying particular attention to possible money laundering and the use of cryptocurrencies to fund illegal activity. One of the few things that definitely seems to be lower cost is electricity. Most of this comes from hydroelectricity and geothermal power. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Data centres require vast quantities of electricity to run and to keep their enormous processors from overheating.
Some are set up by locals, others are entirely foreign-owned operations, but bitcoin mining is big business in Iceland. Around the world, bitcoin mining facilities are turning to renewable energy sources for mining power , which makes countries like Iceland with a wealth of geothermal energy that much more enticing to set up activities in. There are Icelanders who have concerns about the amount of power required to sustain a bitcoin mining facility, but the average local is probably more intrigued by it than anything else.
As far as new trends go, Icelanders could very well be considered early adopters especially within their business culture. Their economy was devastated in the Global Financial Crisis, and as a result, they had to rebuild their entire finance sector from the ground up.
One benefit of this rebuilding is that they are able to look at new technologies, industries and ways of operating with a more open mind. Icelanders have had to take care of themselves for a really long time, and this has, in turn, made them very forward thinkers.
If cryptocurrency is the way forward, you will likely find that Icelanders will overwhelmingly support it. If you have now decided that Iceland is the place you would like to embark on your bitcoin adventure, Swapp Agency is actually able to help you out. Swapp Agency is also able to give you advice on the best way to approach certain areas of the industry to make sure you are following rules and regulations. The cryptocurrency revolution is well and truly in full swing.
If you were considering dipping your toe in the cryptocurrency boom in Iceland, now would be the perfect time to jump right in. We can assist you with various services in the Nordics. Send us a line and we will get back to you as soon as possible. What is Cryptocurrency? Bitcoin Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency and is, therefore, the oldest. Litecoin Litecoin is almost identical to Bitcoin. Ethereum Ethereum is actually a kind of blockchain. Ripple Source: Ripple.
Stellar Source: Stellar. NEO Source: Neo. Cardano Cardano is a blockchain that was created by one of the co-founders of Ethereum, Charles Hoskinson. X would establish their own Bitcoin mine.
To pull off the heist, Stefansson says, Mr. X assembled a motley crew of Icelandic men in their 20s, all of whom happened to know each other. None of them had a significant police record. Finally, there was the boss of the operationï¿½although who, exactly, that was remains a matter of dispute. While the courts have concluded that Stefansson organized the heist, he insists that he was directed by the shadowy Mr.
It was like an assignment. This is why I can call it my favorite case. By July , Stefansson had a Bitcoin wallet, burner phones, 10 tracker devices to attach to security vehicles, and rings of duct tape to silence any mouthy witnesses.
He communicated with his team via Telegram, a service that enables encrypted, self-destructing messages. A prosecutor later insisted that the page was proof of an organized crime ring, possibly international in scopeï¿½a claim that cracked the guys up. On the day I visited, several stern guards sat before giant split-screen security monitors, watching over every inch of the facilities, inside and out.
But at the time of the Big Bitcoin Heist, no one was there. On the night of December 5, , as flurries of sleet and snow buffeted Iceland, Stefansson and his crew broke into the Algrim Consulting data center at Asbru.
They stole Bitcoin computers, along with power sources, graphics cards, and assorted supplies. Five days later, on December 10, the Borealis Data Center told police that someone had tried and failed to break into their facility at Asbru, attempting to disable the alarm by gluing the security sensors. The police seemed slow to investigate, and the burgled companies preferred that the crimes stay quiet. Any talk of a heist would be bad for business. Stefansson and the rest of the gang might have stopped there.
They already had enough computers to set up their own small Bitcoin mine and enjoy the proceeds. But making money in cryptocurrency requires size and speed: It takes a lot of computing power to solve and package data, and the only people who get paid are the ones who crack the complex equations first. In Bitcoin mining, every second counts. Then Stefansson got a call from someone he had studied computer science with at the university. The warehouse at the local AVK Data Center suddenly needed more electricityï¿½a lot more electricityï¿½for something called Bitcoin.
Stefansson drove from Akureyri and studied the small metal building in the middle of nowhere. The mine was only six days old. The lone police officer patrolling the area had gone home for the night. And a window way up high had conveniently been left open, to let the frigid air cool the red-hot computers. This being Iceland, someone had even left a ladder nearby.
Stefansson asked Matthias Karlsson to buy a vehicle, and the conscientious day care worker came through with a cheap blue van, purchased on the Icelandic version of eBay. Ten days after their first job, Stefansson and Viktor the Cutie drove to the data center, where Stefansson climbed the ladder, slipped through the open window, and landed, catlike, on the concrete floor.
In their excitement, they took the fastest route: the Whale Fjord Tunnel, a 3. In court, the Cutie tried to use his love of tattoos as an alibi: A tattoo artist testified that Viktor had spent the entire night in bed with her. What came back wasï¿½ nothing. No data. Not even a connection. This would never happen in Iceland! The owner called the police, who reviewed footage from a CCTV camera at a nearby hardware store.
It clearly showed the used blue van Karlsson had bought. The police ran the plates and arrested Stefansson and Karlsson. In their gentle Icelandic style, they placed the suspects in dormitory-style cells in their hometowns, then brought them in for questioning.
The walls are covered with images of the Northern Lights and the buds of Icelandic flowers poking up through the snowy tundra. Ottensen was impressed with how nice the suspects seemed. He had no idea his information would lead to a burglary, and they used him. Questioned by police, Stefansson and Karlsson insisted that they had absolutely nothing to do with the burglary. But the Bitcoin thieves were far from finished.
While being detained in the Borgarnes investigation, Karlsson lost his job as a day care worker. Deep in debt, and with a child on the way, he blamed Stefansson. He was captured after he and his accomplices posted a photo on Instagram left. On the day after Christmas, cell phone records show, the gang drove together to the former naval base at Asbru to try their luck at hitting the Borealis Data Center a second time. This time they tried to climb through a window.
The alarm sounded, and they fled. But the gang was learning as they went. One night in late , a man named Ivar Gylfason received a strange phone call. Not long after, Gylfason was contacted by a relative of his ex-girlfriend.
The gang had presented him with a plan for repayment: Get Ivar to spill security details about the Advania mine and the interest on your debt will be forgiven. The relative offered Gylfason cash in exchange for information about the mine. When Gylfason declined, he was escorted into a dark Mazda outside his house. He recognized one of the men in the carï¿½Sindri Stefanssonï¿½who sat alongside a man wearing a hoodie, and another who spoke in a gruff Eastern European accent.
If he did not comply, they told him, he would be hurt. Over the course of two or three moonlit meetings, Gylfason told the gang everything he knew about the Advania data center: the location of the security cameras, the specifics of the anti-theft systems, how security shifts were organized. He also provided the thieves with guard uniforms and the alarm code.
On January 16, , the job commenced. Stefansson had been tracking the routine of the security guard who would be on duty that night.
But before he could make a move, the gang got a lucky break: The guard suddenly raced home, diverted by diarrhea, and never returned. With scarves covering their faces, Karlsson and his brother drove up and started loading the computers into their car. At first, police had little to go on. The computers were gone, and there was no way to trace if they were being used to mine cryptocurrency. So he and his team turned to more old-fashioned forms of technology: Using telephone data, rental car records, bank accounts, and wiretaps, they were able to connect the gang with Ivar Gylfason, the security guard they had blackmailed.
Only two weeks after the heist, the arrests began. Gylfason, apprehended at his home, confessed to his role. That same day, police arrested Karlsson and his brother. They also descended on Stefansson, who had sold his home and was preparing to move to Spain with his wife and kids. In a pocket of his jeans they found a crudely drawn map of the Advania data center. They also seized his iPhone, which was shipped to Holland to be unlocked.
Rental car forms showed he had rented the second car used in the Advania theft. Stefansson was thrown in solitary for a month and grilled repeatedly by police, who pressured him to reveal the location of the stolen computers. Officers from every police district in Iceland combed the island, searching for the computers. They fanned out in squad cars, boats, and helicopters. They followed leads as far away as China. They raided a Bitcoin mine owned by a Russian couple they suspected of being the thieves.
And they descended on buildings where electricity usage spiked to Bitcoin levels. Stefansson denied any involvement in the heists. But he had made a critical error.
His iPhone, unlocked by police, contained a road map of the crimes. The case might have ended there, an obscure series of crimes in a cold and remote country.
In Iceland, it is not a crime to stage a prison break: The law recognizes that inmates, like all human beings, are naturally entitled to freedom, and thus cannot be punished for seeking it. The prison staff advised Stefansson that, technically, he was a free man: The order had expired at 4 p.
By chance, Stefansson was on the same flight as Katrin Jakobsdottir, the prime minister of Iceland, who was sitting a few rows in front of him. The police, assisted by Interpol, mobilized in an international manhunt. But Stefansson managed to stay one step ahead.
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WebNov 4, ï¿½ï¿½ It was the fifth cryptocurrency data center in Iceland to be hit in two months. The total take: $2 million in tech gear. But the true value of the computers was far . WebDec 15, ï¿½ï¿½ Cryptocurrency Edited by NDTV Business Desk Updated: December 15, pm IST. Iceland's power company has turned away new bitcoin miners. A . WebThe Foundation educates the public, industry, and government on the benefits of the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. We organize outreach and marketing .