Erik Weijers, a month ago

Iceland mines most BTC per capita

The people of Iceland are probably record holders without knowing it. No country in the world mines as much Bitcoin per capita. Perhaps unsurprisingly, as Iceland has an abundance of cheap, sustainably generated energy. 

The reason Iceland can hold such a high position is its abundance of per capita generated energy. The top five countries in terms of annual energy per capita:

  1. Iceland
  2. Norway
  3. Qatar
  4. Kuwait
  5. Sweden

Iceland leads by far: the second country on the list, Norway, accounts for only half of the energy produced per capita.

0.01 BTC per inhabitant per year

How rich do Icelanders get from their Bitcoin mining? Well, first of all, the BTC doesn't flow directly in their pockets. But let's just run some numbers. As we know, the Bitcoin protocol in this halving era issues 6.25 BTC per 10-minute block. That's 900 BTC per day, and about 330 thousand BTC per year. Of that, Iceland accounts for 1.3%, so about 4,270 BTC. That's about 0.011 BTC per inhabitant per year.

At the current price, that works out to about $275 per year per resident. That may not sound like a high amount. But do this for ten years and you're at 0.1 BTC per capita. What Bitcoin's price will be in ten years, we don't know - but hopefully a lot higher than now :)

100% sustainably generated

By the way, Icelanders need not worry about the possible environmental impact of their mining. 100% of the country's energy comes from renewable sources, which the country has in abundance. It is the reason the country also has a large aluminum smelting industry, which is very energy-intensive.

Roughly two-thirds of the energy produced in Iceland comes from hydropower and one-third from geothermal energy from volcanoes. So, although El Salvador has become famous in the Bitcoin community for mining with volcanic energy, Iceland has been quietly doing this for much longer! 


Recently, Jason Lowery's book came out: Softwar. It argues that it is in the interest of governments to mine Bitcoin. Why? Because in our world, the war for property is no longer fought only on the physical battlefield. Digital 'land' (Bitcoin) is conquered by digital warfare: Bitcoin mining. By the way, in Iceland, many international companies are mining, so here the Softwar theory does not yet apply.

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