• Iceland is the world’s largest hash rate producer per capita.
• Environmental concerns have led to the Icelandic government turning away BTC miners.
• Mining in Iceland consumes around 120 megawatts of electricity, equating to a global hash rate of 1.3%.
Overview of Bitcoin Mining in Iceland
Iceland has become the world’s largest hash rate producer per capita due to its vast amounts of stranded hydro and geothermal energy. However, environmental concerns are making Iceland’s government turn BTC miners away. On 21 February, Bitcoin [BTC] mining researcher Jaran Mellerud published a report on the state of Bitcoin mining in Iceland.
According to Hashrate Index, Iceland has become one of Europe’s last Bitcoin mining havens. The island nation is most electricity-rich country in the world thanks to its volcanoes and waterfalls and it generates nearly twice as much as Norway, Europe’s largest Bitcoin mining hub.
In December 2021, National Iceland electrical company Landsvirkjun reduced the amount of power it will provide to certain industries including Bitcoin mining due to a series of issues such as a problem at a power station, low hydro-reservoir levels and accessing energy from an external supplier. This implies that potential for growth will most likely remain at current levels in foreseeable future.
Cloud Hashing Relocation
United Kingdom-based mining group Cloud Hashing relocated 100 miners to Iceland in 2013 and HydroMiner GmbH, an Austrian company raised approximately $2.8 million in its initial coin offering in November 2017 to install mining rigs directly at Icelandic power plants..
Network Hash Rate
The network hash rate reached an all-time high of 318 exahashes per second (EH/s) this week which had risen by 25% since beginning of year but now hovering just below those levels .
• The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom is cracking down on unregistered cryptocurrency ATMs.
• Potential connections between these ATMs and organized crime have been highlighted all over the world.
• Crypto businesses operating in the UK must register with the FCA for anti-money laundering purposes.
FCA Cracking Down On Unregistered Cryptocurrency ATMs
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom is taking action against unregistered cryptocurrency ATMs, due to potential connections between these machines and organized crime. As part of this effort, they entered and inspected several sites near Leeds, in the North of England, which were suspected of hosting illegally operated crypto ATMs. This joint investigation was conducted with local police forces, including the West Yorkshire Police’s Digital Intelligence and Investigation Unit.
Crypto Regulation In The UK
In March 2022, the FCA wrote to all crypto operators and hosts warning them about legal ramifications of operating crypto ATMs without their authorization. There is currently no specific law prohibiting crypto ATMs in the UK; however none have received FCA approval as of yet. Companies that do not follow mandated routes may face criminal penalties of up to two years in prison.
Money Laundering Regulations
Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at FCA said that crypto businesses operating in the UK must register with FCA for anti-money laundering purposes; as crypto products are currently unregulated and high risk. Detective Sergent Lindsay Brants from West Yorkshire police’s Force Cyber Team also issued cease and desist letters to operators who breach any regulations under money-laundering regulations.
The FCA will review evidence gathered during visits to sites suspected of hosting illegally operated crypto ATMs, then consider further enforcement actions based on what they find out during their inspection processs.. Any breach of regulations would lead to an investigation under money-laundering regulations.
It appears that harsher regulations may be implemented across board when it comes to cryptocurrencies in general in UK as well as stricter monitoring on unregistered cryptocurrency ATMS due to its connection with money laundering activities worldwide.. Operators are advised to use only registered companies or face possible imprisonment if found guilty by law enforcement authorities
• Polkadot’s weekly roundup included notable developments in its ecosystem, such as cross-chain interoperability and NFT creation.
• Santiment’s chart revealed that DOT’s NFT ecosystem witnessed growth after the announcement, with increased total NFT trade counts and trade volume in USD.
• Other updates include Subsocial using Crust Network to manage content storage and Bitgreen launching sustainability projects in Africa and Peru.
Polkadot Posts Weekly Roundup
Polkadot [DOT] posted its weekly roundup on 6 February, which mentioned all the notable developments that happened in its ecosystem during the last seven days. The developments were not only confined to Polkadot but also included updates for its parachains and other networks.
Lively Week of Developments
Stella Swap, Squid, and Axelar network joined forces to bring cross-chain interoperability to the Moonbeam ecosystem. This gave dApps built on Moonbeam access to new cross-chain functionality and improved user experience. Efinity also made an announcement that added value to Polkadot’s NFT ecosystem by allowing users to create their own NFT collections on Efinity using Polkadot. Subsocial, which is a web3 social protocol moving to Polkadot, revealed that developers building applications on Subsocial can use the Crust Network to manage content storage, ensuring users‘ content is secure and censorship-resistant. Moreover, Bitgreen, a sustainability L1 on Polkadot, launched a hydro project in Africa and a conservation project in Peru.
Metrics Support DOT
Santiment’s chart followed the trajectory of Polkadot’s announcements as it revealed growth in DOT’s NFT ecosystem with increased total NFT trade counts and trade volume in USD post the aforementioned announcement. This helped increase DOT’s value as investors took notice of these metrics supporting it.
NFT Space Witnesses Growth
PolkaDot’s NFT space witnessed growth following these developments along with increasing values of DOT due to supportive metrics associated with them. This marks positive progress for PolkaDots growing network of resources as more platforms join hands with it for better interoperability between chains leading to improved user experience within ecosystems like Subsocial or through services like Stella Swap offering swap options across various chains with just one click .
To conclude ,Polkdot had another busy week filled with progress across multiple projects leveraging its network resulting in further improvement of user experience ,while simultaneously helping increase value associated with DOT due to supportive metrics backing up development advances .
• In its assessment of NEAR Protocol’s [NEAR] performance in Q4 2022, cryptocurrency research firm Messari found that the network experienced a surge in user activity in the last three months of the tumultuous trading year.
• Between October and December 2022, daily active accounts on NEAR clinched an all-time high and daily transactions count on the network grew by 50% on a YoY basis.
• NEAR network recorded a spike in transactions despite having low transaction fees in Q4 2022, averaging at less than one cent.
Cryptocurrency research firm Messari recently released a report titled “State of NEAR Q4 2022” which detailed the performance of the NEAR Protocol in the fourth quarter of 2022. Despite the market decline in 2022, the report found that NEAR saw an uptick in user activity. This increase in user activity led to an all-time high in daily active accounts and a 50% increase in daily transactions when compared to the same period the year prior.
The report attributed the surge in user activity to the launch of Sweatcoin [SWEAT] as Sweat Economy in July. Within the 90-day period under consideration, transactions processed on NEAR totaled 41.71 million, a 2.4% growth from the 40.73 million transactions processed on the network in Q3. Notably, NEAR had low transaction fees in Q4 2022, averaging at less than one cent.
In addition, the total value locked (TVL) on the network experienced a 10% decrease quarter-over-quarter. However, Messari noted that this decrease was likely due to the overall bear market in the crypto market during the quarter.
Overall, the report found that despite the turbulent market conditions in Q4 2022, NEAR Protocol experienced a surge in user activity and an increase in transactions. This could indicate that the NEAR token might be due for a price reversal as the network continues to experience growth in user activity.