Northern Bitcoin is taking crypto mining underground – literally.
Citing better security and climate, the group has partnered with Lefdal Data Centre to store mining machines deep within an old mineral mine.
Lefdal Data Centre is housed in an abandoned peridot mineral mine to the north of Bergen, Norway. It markets itself as a secure and eco-friendly alternative to above ground data storage, with more space and better cooling systems.
This is a unique approach to crypto mining that may gain traction as electricity costs rise and emission concerns grow. And for Northern Bitcoin, it’s clearly working.
The crypto mining group pays around $2,700 in costs per bitcoin, which is considerably cheaper than in other parts of the world according to Bitcoinist. Even in Norway, costs typically exceed $7,700.
While still in early stages of development, Northern Bitcoin hopes lower prices will bring investors flocking.
They aim “to build the most effective bitcoin mining pool in the world,” and with this partnership, Northern Bitcoin is well on its way!
Gemstones to Bitcoins
Lefdal was home to a booming peridot mineral mine in the 1970s and 80s. It was a remote operation in Norway’s wilderness, battered by the harsh northern climate and far from large cities.
The mine was abandoned in the 1990s when the peridot ran out, leaving behind deep shafts and tunnels stretching into a nearby mountain.
Lefdal could have been just another empty mine left to nature. But in 2011 Sindre Kvalheim, son of the old mine’s work director and CEO of LocalHost, proposed another option.
Could the underground maze be used as a data centre?
LocalHost teamed up with investors and petitioned then-Minister of Government Administration Heidi Grande Roys to grant funding for Lefdal’s refurbishment.
In an interview with DataCenterDynamics.com, Roys remembers struggling with government red tape.
“They needed some money, but most of all they needed a government official to sign on and say that this is okay.”
Regulators soon relented and after gaining government support, Localhost was contacted by IBM to make the project a reality.
Fast-forward 9 years and Lefdal Data Centre is up and running.
Speaking at DataCloud Nordic conference, Chief Marketing Officer Mats Andersson introduced the Lefdal Mine project to investors.
“We are expecting to attract many sorts of businesses to Lefdal Data Centre. We have a unique solution which accommodates different types of products.”
From bitcoin mining to data storage and servers, Andresson’s vision seems to be coming true.
The question is, will Northern Bitcoin do the same?
If they succeed, the world’s biggest bitcoin mining pool could soon be deep under a mountain in the Arctic Circle!
Liz is a Canadian journalist and writer for Bitcoin Australia. Connect with her on Twitter @Elizabeth_Utley, or on Linkedin as Elizabeth Utley.