Norway Aims to Regulate Crypto Mining via Data Center Laws

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  • Norway has again revealed its initiative to propose new laws for the country’s data centers.
  • Norway Leads European Regulation of Data Centers Amid Concerns Over Cryptocurrency Mining

Norway is pioneering a comprehensive framework for regulating data center operations, setting a precedent in Europe. 

This initiative mandates the registration of individuals and organizations involved in data center governance and online server provision, aiming to gather crucial operational details such as ownership and services offered.

Ministers of Digitalization and Energy, Karianne Tung and Terje Aasland, emphasize the environmental goals behind these measures, particularly targeting energy-intensive activities like cryptocurrency mining. 

“[Crypto mining] is linked with large greenhouse gas emissions, and is an example of a type of business we do not want in Norway.”

The proposed bill compels data centers, including Bitcoin miners, to disclose extensive operational data, positioning Norway at the forefront of European regulation in this sector.

The regulations seek to equip local authorities with insights into data center operations, enabling informed decisions on approvals or rejections. 

Despite Norway’s appeal to Bitcoin miners due to abundant hydropower and low energy prices, Minister Aasland emphasizes the government’s stance against cryptocurrency mining, citing concerns over greenhouse gas emissions and responsible energy use.

If enacted, the legislation could impose greater scrutiny and regulatory hurdles on BTC miners in Norway, potentially impacting their ability to establish or expand operations. This move echoes similar efforts seen in other regions, signaling a global trend towards tighter oversight of cryptocurrency mining activities.

According to a 2023 report by local media outlet Dagsavisen, crypto mining firms in northern Norway consume almost as much electricity as the entire district of Lofoten. 

The allure of Norway for miners lies in its abundant hydropower resources, with the Nordic region ranking second globally in electricity generation per capita, sourced entirely from renewables. Moreover, the country boasts low energy prices, averaging between $10 and $50 per MWh (megawatt-hour) from 2013 to 2020.

As Norway shifts legislative attention towards data centers, concerns about Bitcoin mining have escalated, particularly in light of a cautionary note from 10x Research indicating that BTC miners might sell off as much as $5 billion post the upcoming halving event. 

Scheduled for April 20, the Bitcoin halving has led Markus Thielen, Head of Research at 10x Research, to speculate that the crypto markets might not see significant upward movement until October 2024.

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Aadrika Sharma
Aadrika Sharma

I enjoy writing and try to learn new things every passing day!

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