HydroBTC: Sweden's Green Mining Oasis

Martin Walker
Aug 21, 2023 at 01:47 pm

Sweden has enthusiastically ushered in a new era with the advent of a hydro-powered Bitcoin mining data center, affectionately tied to the BTC ticker, currently standing at an impressive $25,996.

Genesis Digital Assets Limited (GDA), a prominent player in the mining and data center landscape boasting a robust global power generation capacity exceeding 400 MW, has marked its footprint in Sweden by unveiling a cutting-edge data center.

This strategic maneuver has been orchestrated in response to the nation's burgeoning treasure trove of renewable energy sources. Nestled in the northern extremities of Sweden, the data center's chosen location harmonizes perfectly with the omnipresent hydroelectric power that dominates the energy grid. Abdumalik Mirakhmedov, the visionary executive president and founder of GDA, graciously shared insights with Cointelegraph, revealing that this avant-garde data center is strategically situated in the vicinity of the illustrious Porjus Hydroelectric Power Station.

With an air of anticipation, Mirakhmedov divulged, “Given our close proximity to the hydroelectric power station, we are sanguine about achieving complete reliance on renewable energy sources for all our electricity requirements.” Anchored by an impressive total capacity clocking in at approximately 8 MW, this data center is poised to unleash a hash rate of roughly 155 PH/s (peta hashes per second), laying the groundwork for a formidable mining prowess. The intricate details provided by GDA to Cointelegraph unveiled a fascinating revelation: within the precincts of the Porjus data center, an assembly of 1,900 Bitcoin mining machines stand poised for action.

Mellerud's insights conveyed that the majority of Sweden's energy canvas is painted by the brushstrokes of nuclear and hydropower, particularly thriving in the northern pockets. Bearing witness to this, Mellerud further shared, "The abundance of renewable energy sources in Sweden paints a vivid tapestry, rendering it a global frontrunner in per capita electricity generation as of 2021."

GDA's calculated expansion echoes a larger trend that has begun to ripple across the Northern European Bitcoin mining landscape. Christian Anders, the ingenious architect behind BT.CX, a pioneering Swedish Bitcoin exchange tracing its origins to the early days of 2012, offered his astute observations regarding the mining panorama. Anders intimated that high energy costs have cast a shadow on the proliferation of Bitcoin mining. However, he was quick to underline that the Nordic territories occupy a unique echelon. Expounding upon this, Anders commented, "Sweden, Finland, and Norway luxuriate in an energy surplus, occasionally even witnessing negative energy prices, with a profound reliance on remote hydropower installations, thereby presenting distribution challenges."

The potent allure of untapped and renewable energy reserves has magnetized the Bitcoin mining community, for these resources often offer a financially prudent solution. Mirakhmedov added a resounding note to this symphony, asserting, "Sweden boasts an impressive arsenal of clean energy resources, a pivotal criterion that galvanizes our operational compass."

Porjus resides in Sweden's northernmost reaches, where renewable energy resources abound.Porjus resides in Sweden's northernmost reaches, where renewable energy resources abound.  

In an intriguing development, sentiments toward Bitcoin in some Scandinavian quarters remain a mixed bag. However, Anders shed light on the evolving mindset within energy conglomerates, elucidating, "The CEO of Sweden's energy behemoth, Vattenfall, has extended an olive branch to Bitcoin mining, acknowledging its role in grid stabilization." This innovative strategy of harmonizing electricity grids with the capabilities of Bitcoin miners is gaining momentum even across the shores of the United States.

Diligently expounding on this narrative, Tim Carra, the esteemed head of GDA's Nordic division, penned a missive to Cointelegraph. Carra highlighted, "With an abundant reservoir of energy resources, a fertile ground for innovation, and a formidable educational infrastructure nurturing a culture of invention, Sweden emerges as a veritable paradise for Bitcoin mining, carving its niche as one of the globe's most alluring mining hubs. Our commitment to this picturesque domain is resolute, and we anticipate further investments in this burgeoning region."

While GDA's energy production predominantly converges upon the landscapes of Texas, a domain where a singular facility devours 300 MW of electrical nourishment, the nascent Swedish venture complements a novel GDA installation in South Carolina. This serves as a testament to the untapped potential that beckons Bitcoin miners across diverse corners of the world. Stepping into the conversation, Anders chimed in with his perspectives, "The Iberian Peninsula, specifically Spain and Portugal, presents an enticing market. These locales access economical energy inflows from Africa and capitalize on domestic solar production, often resulting in sporadic rock-bottom prices. BT.CX is fostering partnerships with renewable Bitcoin miners, offering avenues to offset Bitcoin holdings."

As Anders aptly alluded, the act of birthing new Bitcoins demands substantial energy infusion. This revelation isn't lost on the European Central Bank, which highlighted the carbon footprint etched into Bitcoin mining. 

Data sourced from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance reveals that worldwide energy usage stands at around 25,000 terawatt-hours, as indicated by the International Energy Agency (IEA).Data sourced from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance reveals that worldwide energy usage stands at around 25,000 terawatt-hours, as indicated by the International Energy Agency (IEA).  

However, despite its portrayal as an energy-thirsty and carbon-intensive sector, the act of Bitcoin mining merely consumes a humble 149.95 Terawatt hours of electricity per annum, a fraction amounting to less than 0.7% of the global energy consumption tapestry. These findings, brought forth by the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance, shine a more balanced light on the matter.

In this ever-evolving backdrop, renewable energy sources, particularly the likes of hydroelectric power, continue to hold sway over the energy portfolio of global Bitcoin mining activities. In a neighboring narrative, Norway emerges as a noteworthy player, contributing around 1% of the Bitcoin hash rate, while proudly touting a 100% renewable energy status. This green energy ethos resonates in the newly minted GDA enterprise in Sweden.

As the curtain falls on this symphony of innovation and resourcefulness, Anders' parting words encapsulate the collective sentiment, "The influx of miners into the Nordic embrace within Europe, united by a common mission, is an exhilarating spectacle, poised to script new chapters in this enthralling journey."

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