Many of us are familiar with Iceland, the sparsely populated North Atlantic nation on the Arctic Circle’s edge. Richly endowed with scenic vistas and a historically rich Viking legacy, the region continues to be a popular tourist destination for travelers throughout the world.

What’s little known about Iceland is its growing contribution to the cryptocurrency world. The country’s geographical makeup replete with massive amounts of renewable geothermal resources, make it an ideal home for crypto-mining operations seeking cheap, affordable energy and perma-cool temperatures.

Dotting the country’s 40,000 square miles are a growing number of data centers and mining farms. The appeal? An environment that offers robust energy savings and machine cooling opportunities for these industries. Genesis Mining is one such company that has a prominent presence in the country. It features the Enigma Ethereum Mine, arguably the world’s largest Ether mining operation — specifically built to support the Ethereum Project.

DigitalX, a software solutions company in the global digital payment space, also has a mining footprint in Iceland.  Their partnership with the renewable powered data center, Verne Global, lead to the creation of a major mining rigs platform in the country.

As mining and data center development continue to grow in popularity, Iceland remains well positioned to further capitalize off of this trend. With computing power requirements needed to generate bitcoin and other digital currencies expanding, the country will continue to appeal to mining operations seeking to reduce operating costs, boost profits and capitalize on the county’s reputation for consistent and reliable power grids.

And Then There’s AuroraCoin

Auora_CoinAuroracoin is a cryptocurrency that was birthed in 2014 amid the struggling economic fortunes and lingering financial malaise that rattled Iceland in 2008. Iceland’s banking system collapsed, wiping out the savings of thousands of citizens, pushing Icelanders into debt and leading to a significant number of defaults on mortgages. This resulted in a massive devaluation of the Króna and the resignation of key government leaders.

Based on a decentralized and independent monetary model untethered to the traditional banking, the Auroracoin struggled mightily during its early days — largely due to unrealistic expectation and uncertainties among Icelanders related to the government’s role in it. In 2014, Baldur Friggjar Óðinsson the mysterious Auroracoin founder had 10 percent of it distributed to Iceland’s population before he, himself went into hiding. This led to a rise in Auroracoin’s price to about $30 per coin overnight. The coin then experienced a major drop in price and for a time was viewed as a failed experiment.

On the backdrop the country’s economic resurgence over the past several years, the Auroracoin survived as a variant to bitcoin. Much of Auroracoin’s renewed interest can be attributed to the Auroracoin Foundation that was created in March of 2015 by a group of Icelandic people with a common vision for the coin’s impact on the Icelandic economy. The foundation purpose is to fuel Auroracoin’s development and adoption throughout the nation.  

According to CoinCap, Auroracoin has a supply of 8,658, 139 and a current market cap of $1,055,747.

The following link offers a short documentary on Auroracoin and its emerging influence on monetary thinking. Facilitated by cryptocurrency advocate Mikjall Hannes and featuring Pétur Árnason, chairman of the Auroracoin Foundation, this video delves into the historic context behind Auroracoin emergence and future implications for the Icelandic nation.

  • hannes

    great article michael, quite the read.
    – mikjáll hannes