Norway Wants to Restrict Crypto Mining by Regulating Data Centers, Lawmakers Say: Report

Energy-intensive crypto mining is an example of a type of business Norway does not want, Minister for Energy Terje Aasland reportedly said.

AccessTimeIconApr 15, 2024 at 1:24 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 15, 2024 at 1:27 p.m. UTC
  • Norway's government wants to restrict crypto mining in the country by regulating data centers, two lawmakers reportedly said.
  • The country has been pushing for crypto bans over energy concerns for some years.

Norway's government is introducing a law for data centers partly in an effort to block energy-intensive crypto mining in the country, according to a report by local news outlet VG that cited two lawmakers.

Digitalization Minister Karianne Tung and Minister for Energy Terje Aasland say the law will regulate the data-center industry for the first time, requiring operators of the centers to be registered with local regulators, the report said.

"The purpose is to regulate the industry in such a way that we can close the door on the projects we do not want," Tung reportedly said.

Both lawmakers agree they don't want cryptocurrency mining in the country, according to the publication.

"It is associated with large greenhouse-gas emissions and is an example of a type of business we do not want in Norway," Aasland is quoted as saying.

Crypto miners have set up in countries such as Norway and Sweden where renewable power sources, such as hydroelectric power, are in abundance.

A few years ago, Norway, which is not in the European Union, said it would back a bid by neighbor Sweden, which is, to try and ban crypto mining over energy concerns. The effort led to an unsuccessful push by some EU lawmaker groups to add a measure to the bloc's landmark crypto law known as Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA), limiting Bitcoin's (BTC) energy-intensive proof-of-work consensus mechanism in the bloc.

Sweden increased taxes for data centers last year, also in a bid to squeeze out crypto miners.

"This is an industry that has not been regulated at all. But will it be possible to supervise and control data centers," Tung reportedly said.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Sandali Handagama

Sandali Handagama is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for policy and regulations, EMEA. She does not own any crypto.