Many cryptocurrency investors have been reeling from Bitcoin’s declining price, which currently sits at around $4,259 at press time. It appears as though Bitcoin miners in Norway also have been dealt another blow, as the country is apparently looking to end electricity subsidies for Bitcoin mining facilities, according to Aftenposten, Norway’s largest printed newspaper. Bitcoin miners will now have to pay a standard electricity tax, starting January 2019.
The prices will rise exponentially, from .48 Norwegian krone per kilowatt to over 16 kroner per kilowatt. The move has been praised by one particular parliamentary representative, Lars Haltbrekken, of the Socialist Left Party (SLV). He argued that the subsidies Norway provided were not sustainable, stating:
“Norway cannot continue to provide huge tax incentives…Bitcoin requires a lot of energy and generates large greenhouse gas emissions globally.”
Jon Ramvi, a notable cryptocurrency figure in Norway and CEO of the blockchain advisory group Blockchangers, welcomed the decision. He pointed out that “less mining in Norway will reduce the prices of electricity for companies and people residing in Norway, meaning that we reap the benefits of these resources locally instead of giving it to Bitcoin miners.”
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However, not everyone believed that this was the right move. Industry interest group ICT (Information and Communications Technology) Norway condemned the decision. Specifically, ICT economist Roger Schjerva pointed out that the government did not consult the industry whatsoever, and argued that “the government is playing a gambling role with its credibility.”