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New Legislation in Norway Targets Bitcoin Mining Operations

New Legislation in Norway Targets Bitcoin Mining Operations

Apr 15, 2024
Bitcoin Mining

New Legislation in Norway Targets Bitcoin Mining Operations

Norway's government has announced its intention to introduce legislation aimed at regulating the data-center industry, with a particular focus on curtailing the operations of Bitcoin mining within the country. This move was reported by the Norwegian news outlet VG, citing statements from two lawmakers, Digitalization Minister Karianne Tung and Minister for Energy Terje Aasland.

The forthcoming legislation will require data center operators to register with local regulators, marking the first time such an industry faces regulation in Norway. The key objective of this regulation is to allow the Norwegian government to selectively prevent specific types of projects that are deemed undesirable due to their 'environmental impact.'

Minister Karianne Tung elaborated on the government's stance, stating, "The purpose is to regulate the industry in such a way that we can close the door on the projects we do not want." Both Tung and Aasland have expressed a clear position against the presence of Bitcoin mining operations in the country.

"The industry has not been regulated at all. But will it be possible to supervise and control data centers," Tung is quoted as questioning the feasibility of oversight for such facilities.

Norway's stance on Bitcoin mining is not new. In the past, Norway supported a proposal by Sweden, an EU member state, to seek a ban on Bitcoin, citing energy consumption concerns. Despite the failure of certain EU lawmaker groups to integrate a measure targeting Bitcoin's proof-of-work consensus mechanism into the EU's Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation, the sentiment persists.

In a related move, Sweden increased taxes for data centers in the previous year, with the intent of pushing out Bitcoin miners from the country.

Minister Terje Aasland reinforced Norway's position by stating, "It is associated with large greenhouse-gas emissions and is an example of a type of business we do not want in Norway."

As the proposed legislation is set to enact its first-time industry regulations, the future of Bitcoin mining operations in Norway hangs in the balance. The potential impact on both local and international Bitcoin markets remains to be seen, as does the effectiveness of the proposed oversight and control measures.

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