It's Green at The Top of World: Cold, Hard Bitcoin, Data Centers and Renewable Energy

Mike Allen
February 07, 2014

"It's becoming a story breaking weekly: a large corporation needs data center storage, they head for for the closest points in the lands of the Northern Lights. Facebook's ""Node Pole"" sits on the edge of the Arctic Circle, and one of the most creatively inspirational data centers Bahnhof's mountain fortress that looks like it was inspired by Greig's ""Hall of the Mountain King"", and just announced yesterday, KnCMiner (a company who generates the crypto-currency, virtual cash Bitcoin*) will build a 10MW data center just 20 miles north of Facebook's data center in Lulea, Sweden.

KnCMiner's center will reside inside the Arctic Circle in Boden, Sweden. Housed in a former army hangar, the massive facility's energy needs are basically taking care of for the company. Solar power, low-cost hydroelectric power and the cold allow for these ""mega data centers"" usually needed for the high-demand of Bitcoin mining, and the virtually endless data needs of Facebook, to flourish in the cold, while keeping costs of operations down.

According to KnCMiner's co-founder Sam Cole - ""the center will go live in the coming months and we plan to build an even bigger center situated nearby if talks with local authorities pan out.""

So why head for the pole? ""Our highly advanced technology consumes a lot of energy, so for us it was imminent to find a production site with access to renewable yet stable and safe energy.""

Although the highly volatile virtual cash, has garnered some bad press in the last weeks (Apple removed the most popular Bitcoin transfer app ""Blockchain"" from the iTunes App Store ((explanation - ""unresolved issue"" - still available for Android users)), and with the arrest of the CEO of BitInstant, Charlie Shrem for money laundering, may make the public wonder why continue building green infrastructure and massive green infrastructure for the controversial and unregulated currency? It may be that Bitcoin is not going away, at least not anytime soon, and with the use of green, renewable energy sources, company's like KnCMiner put a positive spin on the product of the public's desire for a universal and untraceable currency.

If Facebook, KnCMiner and a currently unnamed tech giant currently looking at a parcel of land in Estonia - the use of the Arctic Circle to keep our data cool is a trend about to take off. What will the ramifications be, well that's another story for another Friday.

*Bitcoin is a digital currency created, or ""mined,"" by computers through solving complex mathematical problems. Creator of the digital currency set the limit of Bitcoin at 21m.

The more of it is mined, the harder it becomes to mine more as the amount mined gets closer to the 21m ceiling."



    Mike Allen

    "It's becoming a story breaking weekly: a large corporation needs data center storage, they head for for the closest points in the lands of the Northern Lights. Facebook's ""Node Pole"" sits on the edge of the Arctic Circle, and one of the most creatively inspirational data centers Bahnhof's mountain fortress ...