Why has a chilly island in the north Atlantic become a crucial frontier in the occult, high-stakes world of crypto currency mining? An unremarkable looking cluster of sheds on the western cluster of the Nordic nation might just hold the answer. So join us today as we follow the money and take a peek inside Iceland’s insane bitcoin super mine.
About a decade ago the first proper ‘real world’ bitcoin transaction took place, when one Laszlo Hanyecz infamously purchased two hot and juicy Papa John’s pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins. Those 10,000 coins were only worth, at the time, around $40. Delicious as the pizzas no doubt were, if he’d only kept hold of those bitcoins they’d by now be worth somewhere north of 280 million dollars.
Created by a shadowy, mysterious figure – or perhaps group – going by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin is one of a number of cryptocurrencies that are created via computer processes which use raw mathematics and sheer computational horsepower to underwrite the value of transactions. As opposed to conventional monetary systems, which are backed by central banks, cryptocurrencies rely on the mathematical certitude of a decentralized ledger, known as a blockchain.