NTC Services, a consulting firm that assists “data centre” companies looking to establish themselves in Norway, says it has lost a billion dollar client thanks to a recent budget decision by the Norwegian government authorizing an electricity rate hike to local cryptocurrency mining farms, e24 reports.
Starting January 1st, 2019, energy hungry mines turning out cryptocurrencies in Norway will lose a tax subsidy and see their energy costs go from 0.48 øre per kilowatt to 16.58 øre.
NTC’s Eric Vennemoe told e24 that he spent considerable time courting the billion dollar foreign client to set up shop in the Norwegian village of Tydal.
But following last week’s announcement, the coveted client is now seeking more hospital climes, possibly in Sweden.
“When this came from the government, our customer was regrettably scared away,” Vennemoe said.
Vennemoe claims that construction of the mine would have injected a billion dollars into the local economy.
“It was about one billion in investment. Everything was planned, and the data center should have been in operation as of July next year. Then the statement came from the government, and then it stopped the next day,” he said.
While setting up a substantial and competitive crypto mine can be costly, once running, crypto mines can generally be maintained by relatively few employees.
While trading cryptocurrencies has proven profitable for experienced speculators and manipulators on exchanges, many of the projects supposedly financed by the various hot new cryptographic coins and tokens have yet to produce the innovations they promised.
Many of the “dApps” (“decentralized applications”) built on Ethereum, for instance, still have few users and have so far failed to revolutionize the markets they serve.
Even Bitcoin, the world’s largest and arguably most secure blockchain is having a hard time graduating to “legitimacy” from its early use as the currency of choice for hackers and denizens of the Dark Net.
On November 18th, a Korean mining firm that issued its own cryptocurrency called “MicroBitcoin” announced that it had struck a deal with the government of Paraguay “guaranteeing” the company fifteen years of cheap electricity.
The company, Commons Foundation, also said the Paraguayan government- and, presumably, the country’s taxpayers- will furnish the company with “five 10,000m2 (a total of 50,000m2) areas of land for the mining centers and infrastructure,” as well as secure internet services and the creation of industry-friendly laws.
The vice-president of Paraguay also promises tax breaks in the Commons Foundation press release.
Back in Norway, the opposition liberal party Venstre has asked the government there to postpone the rate hike set to kick in in a mere 5 weeks.
Vennemoe called that move, “Better than nothing.”