Norwegian lawmakers have passed a law placing data reporting requirements on Norway’s data centers, intended to regulate the use of energy devoted to crypto mining operations—the biggest of which revolves around Bitcoin.

According to Digitalization Minister Karianne Tung and Energy Minister Terje Aasland, the government aims to close the door on crypto mining in general.

“The purpose is to regulate the industry in such a way that we can close the door on the projects we do not want,” said Tung, according to a local news report.

The new law—a first of its kind in Europe—requires data centers to register with the government, report who owns and manages it, and explain what services it offers. Aasland claimed that this will help the country direct its energy consumption towards “socially useful” services and infrastructure, among which crypto is not included.


“It is associated with large greenhouse gas emissions, and is an example of a type of business we do not want in Norway,” he said, with support from Tung.

Bitcoin mining is a global industry in which individuals and businesses race to “mine” new units of BTC using large fleets of power-hungry computer hardware. A 2022 report from Arcane Research suggested that Norway produced 0.77% of Bitcoin’s global hash rate—an outsized share compared to the country’s size—thanks to its ultra-cheap electricity costs that make local miners more competitive.

“They are not welcome in Norway,” Aasland continued. “We want serious actors who are important to society, and the society-serving computer industry is important to us.”

The Norwegian officials have received harsh backlash from mining industry experts, who say no part of Aasland’s claims about mining are backed up by data.


“Bitcoin mining has an ultra-high 55% sustainable energy usage, higher than any other global industry or major industrialized nation,” wrote CH4 Capital co-founder Daniel Batten to Twitter on Monday.

Furthermore, Bitcoin miners don’t emit greenhouse gasses themselves, but have secondary emissions from an underlying power source. Norway specifically is almost entirely powered by cheap, renewable hydroelectricity, which is part of what makes it attractive to Bitcoin miners in the first place.

“The ability for the state to decide who has a right to use energy and who does not is by definition discriminatory,” Batten added. “Aasland doesn't have a problem with people using power for watching porn (a much higher energy user), but he has a problem with people using energy for Bitcoin mining.”

Edited by Andrew Hayward

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