January 30, 2023

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The government wants to make life miserable for cryptocurrency factories – NRK Vestland

The Lefdal Mine Datacenter is located 700 meters inside the mountain and 60 meters below sea level.

In 2017, the old olive mine was transformed into the largest data center in Northern Europe, attracting companies with different interests, among others. German encryption company.

At the beginning of the new year, Ministers Ola Borten Moe (Sp) and Sigbjørn Gjelsvik (Sp) were invited to the same mine tunnels to Mark this step by the Norwegian supercomputer Sigma2.

Inside The Rock at its new address, the super machine must be safe from natural disasters, war, terrorism, fire, and robbery.

The move also marks a shift for a data center that will no longer be home to cryptocurrency mining.

We are constantly saying no to all orders as we understand that cryptocurrency is at the bottom, says Jørn Skaane, daily director of the Lefdal Mine Datacenter.

Encryption, he adds, “has ruined the reputation of the data center industry.”

There have been many unfortunate stories about cryptocurrencies. We don’t want to be a part of that, he says.

Sigma 2

Local government and county minister Sigbjørn Gjelsvik (Sp) started work on a revised data center strategy in the fall. Here with Ola Borten Moe (Sp) at Lefdal Mine Datacenter.

Photo: Asgir Rexnes

Energy mode takes up important energy resources

In May, the Center Party and the Labor Party said no to a motion in parliament for the Block the most demanding extraction of power of cryptocurrencies.

The rationale was that the government wanted to “avoid a specific Norwegian cryptocurrency ban,” and that it “presents a fundamental problem in discriminating against data centers based on a politically defined societal benefit.”

Then Municipal and County Minister Sigbjørn Gjelsvik (Sp) in the fall Work started With the revised data center strategy, there are still signs that crypto factories could play a role.

The minister explained that the energy situation is particularly demanding, and crypto mining consumes significant energy resources.

At the same time, Finance Minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum (Sp) made life for crypto mills more complicated when he abolished the electricity tax deduction for all data centres.

We see an increase in cryptocurrency mining in Norway. We need this power To the community, explained the Minister of Finance.


NRK
Explain

What is bitcoin?

Go to

This is Bitcoin

Bitcoin refers to the digital payment network and the unit of value in this network. Bitcoin is often referred to as the virtual currency or Cryptocurrency.

based on the blockchain

The network is digital, decentralized, and based on blockchain technology. Simplified explanation, this means that you can send bitcoin directly to the recipient, without the need for a bank.

Pros and Cons

Proponents of a cryptocurrency like bitcoin point to advantages such as lower transaction costs, accessibility, and anonymity. Critics point out that bitcoin is used for criminal activity, uses a lot of electricity and also that the exchange rate fluctuates a lot.

Source: The Great Norwegian Dictionary.

Here they balanced the digital currency with the official currency

We cannot waste energy on cryptocurrency

So the impression left was that a “uniquely Norwegian cryptocurrency ban” was not out of the question, symbolized by a bipartisan decision in December at Nordland County Council to introduce such a ban. the ban.

At Storting, Raudt, MDG, and SV lobbied to ban crypto factories.

By referring to it Swedish Norway’s Financial Supervisory Authority, which wants to ban “more energy-intensive mining of cryptocurrency,” Requested Lars Haltbrekken (SV) asked earlier this year what the Støre government is doing to “stop using Norwegian power to produce bitcoin, or at any rate significantly reduce that production?”

We don’t have electricity to waste mining cryptocurrency, says Geir Jørgensen at Rowdt.

Nothing is better than if this was caught by the government now.

Mine methods at the Livdal Mine Data Center

Analyzes have shown that it is difficult to distinguish between “good” and “not so good” activity in data centers. In order to “punish” cryptocurrency factories, the electricity tax deduction had to be completely abolished.

Photo: Lefdal Mine Datacenter

Politicians also did not like color television

Brønnøysund Register does not have its own business token for cryptocurrency mining. There is no requirement to report that you have mined cryptocurrency to the tax authorities.

Thus, the feedback from the business community is that it is difficult, purely methodologically, to distinguish between desirable and undesirable activity in data centers; that attempts to “deal with cryptocurrency” are too broad; Moreover, “nobody knows what kind of innovations will emerge from crypto mining.”

The final words belong to Niels Ola Widme, Director of Business Policy at Abelia.

We understand that politicians don’t like cryptocurrency. They didn’t like color TV either. What is certain is that the ban will hinder innovation in Norway.

He adds:

We hope the government will not prevent this, but we fear it will.

During the fall, the government held several meetings in which businessmen, parties in working life, and parts of civil society participated. The last meeting to register was on December 8.

Ballangen municipality and data center plans are covered in Nytt på Nytt.

The ministry will work to reduce cryptocurrency mining

Gon Karen Gegul (AP) is the Minister of State in charge of Digitalization and Electronic Communications in the Ministry of Local Government and Provincial Affairs.

She says the ministry is in the final stages of preparing a guidance document to help ensure that each municipality can articulate “what realistic expectations are for a potential data center construction” and that they “feel the industry is taking the challenges ‘very seriously'”.

For those anticipating a cryptocurrency ban, she has the following tribute:

The Norwegian private cryptocurrency ban will not be the result of a national strategy review.

But I can say as far as we are investigating various measures to reduce mining.