Norway, in the coming days, is regulating the operations of data centres within its jurisdiction. The aim is to identify energy-intensive operations like the ones pertaining to crypto mining and put a stop to them. Since Norway faces extreme cold weather conditions for a significant part of the year, the government there wishes to ensure that electricity disruptions do not affect heat distribution systems in the country. The Norway government also intends to minimise the negative impact of carbon emissions from crypto mining on the environment.

Norway’s new regulations are expected to bring more control over data centre businesses in the country. Crypto mining businesses running in Norway can expect a government crackdown as soon as the new regulations are brought in.

The country’s digitalisation and public governance minister Karianne Tung and energy minister Terje Aasland reportedly spoke about these plans this week. Norwegian publication VG was first to report this development earlier this week.

“This is a type of business we do not want in Norway,” a report by quoted Aasland as saying.

Crypto mining is a power-intensive process that requires advanced computers with a continuous supply of electricity. More often than not, crypto mining operations result in an overload on electricity networks, causing disruptions and meddling with the heat supply in cold regions like Norway. This causes major inconvenience to residents.

Over the last year, Norway reportedly emerged as one of Europe’s largest locations hosting crypto miners. The main incentive for miners to flock to Norway was the provision of affordable electricity.

An analysis by Arcane Research had said last year that Norwegian Bitcoin miners were generating almost one percent of the entire network’s hashrate. Norwegian authorities are thus taking measures to clamp down mining operations before the situation worsens.

As per research firm S&P Global, the energy used for BTC mining doubled in 2023 as several cryptocurrencies recorded hikes in their prices. As of 2024, Bitcoin mining operates on more than 16 gigawatts of power demand, responsible for around 80 megatonnes of annual carbon emissions, a recent report by Digieconomist said in March.

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