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Bitcoin energy use in Iceland set to overtake homes, says local firm

Bitcoin energy use in Iceland set to overtake homes, says local firm

Technology
Iceland is facing an "exponential" rise in Bitcoin mining that is gobbling up power resources, a spokesman for Icelandic energy firm HS Orka has said.This year, electricity use at Bitcoin mining data centres is likely to exceed that of all Iceland's homes, according to Johann Snorri Sigurbergsson.He said many potential customers were keen to get in on the act."If all these projects are realised, we won't have enough energy for it," he told the BBC.Mr Sigurbergsson's calculations were first reported by the Associated Press.Iceland has a small population, of around 340,000 people.But in recent years it has seen a marked increase in the number of new data centres, often built by firms wishing to tout green credentials. Nearly 100% of energy in Iceland comes from renewable sources.Bitcoin mini...
Energy riches fuel bitcoin craze for speculation-shy Iceland

Energy riches fuel bitcoin craze for speculation-shy Iceland

Technology
Iceland is expected to use more energy "mining" bitcoins and other virtual currencies this year than it uses to power its homes. With massive amounts of electricity needed to run the computers that create bitcoins, large virtual currency companies have established a base in the North Atlantic island nation blessed with an abundance of renewable energy. The new industry's relatively sudden growth prompted lawmaker Smari McCarthy of Iceland's Pirate Party to suggest taxing the profits of bitcoin mines. The initiative is likely to be well received by Icelanders, who are skeptical of speculative financial ventures after the country's catastrophic 2008 banking crash. "Under normal circumstances, companies that are creating value in Iceland pay a certain amount of tax to the government," McCart...
Lloyds Bank bans Bitcoin purchases on its credit cards

Lloyds Bank bans Bitcoin purchases on its credit cards

Business
Lloyds Banking Group has banned its customers from buying Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies on their credit cards.The ban, starting on Monday, applies to Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA customers. It will not apply to debit cards, only to the banking group's eight million credit card customers.The move follows a sharp fall in the value of digital currencies, prompting fears about people running up debts.Lloyds is concerned it could end up footing the bill for unpaid debts should the price continue to fall.Explaining the ban, a Lloyds spokeswoman said: "We continually review our products and procedures and this is part of that."Bitcoin ended last week down 30% at $ 8,291.87 - its worst week since April 2013 and far below the $ 19,000 it reached last November.However, the c...
Top banks suspend accounts of major Bitcoin exchanges in India

Top banks suspend accounts of major Bitcoin exchanges in India

Finance
MUMBAI: Top lenders including State Bank of India, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Yes Bank have suspended some accounts of major Bitcoin exchanges in India, suspecting dubious transactions, three people aware of the development said. The banks have also sought additional collateral from the promoters of these exchanges on their borrowings and have capped cash withdrawals from the few accounts that are still operational. "Since last month, banks have been asking for additional collateral with 1:1ratio," a person with knowledge of the matter said. The banks are scrutinising current accounts held by top Bitcoin exchanges, a second person said. Action has been initiated against the top 10 Bitcoin exchanges including Zebpay, Unocoin, CoinSecure and BtcxIndia, said four people aw...
Q&A: How is the growth of bitcoin affecting the environment?

Q&A: How is the growth of bitcoin affecting the environment?

Technology
The growth of bitcoin is fueling speculation and debate about the environmental impact of the collective energy needed to power the virtual currency in the era of climate change. Some questions and answers about the issue: ——— WHAT IS BITCOIN? Bitcoin is the most popular virtual currency in the world, and it has grown in value this year. It was created in 2009 as a new way of paying for things that would not be subject to central banks that are capable of devaluing currency. The sustainability concerns about bitcoin, voiced by economists and environmentalists, stem from the process of "mining" that is central to its existence. The "miners" use computers to make complex calculations that verify transactions in bitcoins. This uses a tremendous amount of energy via computers and server farms