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April 10, 2018

Cryptocurrency miners are moving to Norway and Sweden to take advantage of cheap hydro-electric energy and low temperatures to power and cool their servers, Reuters reports.

The energy prices are far below the European average of 11 cents, with one kilowatt hour costing 6.5 euro cents and 7.1 cents in Sweden and Norway respectively.

In Norway, hydropower accounts for over 99 percent of electricity production while in Sweden the number is about 40 percent with the same again from nuclear.

Canadian group HIVE Blockchain Technologies started mining Ethereum (ETH/USD) in Sweden in January. The company is expanding energy capacity for its crypto mining in Sweden to 17.4 megawatts, with funds available to ramp up a further 26.8 MW by September.

“We’re on a global hunt to secure as much power as we can,” its director Olivier Roussy Newton said.

US miner Bitfury that opened a new $35 million mining data center in Norway this March, will be buying 350 gigawatt hours of pure clean energy from local renewable energy provider Helgeland Kraft.

China’s Bitmain, the world’s largest Bitcoin (Bitcoin) miner which recently set up a unit in Switzerland, has also been investigating Sweden and Norway’s potential, Reuters quotes sources with knowledge of the matter as saying.

Norway and Sweden seem to have welcomed the business. Norway recently changed tax rules to exempt data centers from paying property taxes in a bid to attract foreign companies.

By Siranush Ghazanchyan

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