Cryptocurrency has made quite an impression on the European community. Iceland, for example, now requires more energy to power its many bitcoin mining facilities than it does its residences, while Malta is home to many former Asian exchanges and cryptocurrency businesses.
The Summer, Ruined.
But for some European citizens, the introduction of bitcoin into their lives means the end of peace and quiet. In Norway, bitcoin mining company Kryptovault is facing a shutdown of its operations thanks to growing noise complaints from locals and an apparent lack of paperwork. The company, which has taken up residence in a former paper mill in Norway’s capital of Oslo, uses up to 40MW of power to steer a “digital army” of almost 10,000 computers, and these computers can mine several million Norwegian kroner’s worth of bitcoin in a week.
Unfortunately, financial promise isn’t enough to deter residents from giving up their thoughts of a calm and restful summer.
“The sound of the factory comes 24 hours-a-day, 365 days a year,” explains Trond Gulesto, a resident who lives close to Kryptovault’s primary facility. “Our summer has been ruined.”
The noise stems from the large fans staffers use to cool the operation’s mining computers. Residents have found themselves evacuating bedrooms closest to the venture’s headquarters and keeping their windows shut all day despite the sweltering heat.
The company was even the victim of an alleged bomb threat last week from a nearby individual who had had it with the noisy environment. They threatened to send explosives to the company in the mail granted things didn’t stop, and the noise quality didn’t improve.
“This is sabotage,” the threat read. “If you are expanding crypto mining and filling the country with noise, then you will be sabotaging the peace. I am threatening to send you some explosives.”
Kryptovault Isn’t Going Down Without a Fight
Kryptovault’s managing director Gjermund Hagesaeter later informed local law enforcement of the threat and told employees to remain cautious while carrying out their work-related duties.
“The threat has been reported to the police, and we are taking the whole issue very seriously indeed,” he commented. “We have also asked the police to assess whether any further action needs to be taken. The facility at Follum is in a fenced area, so it would be difficult for any intruder to gain access, but the one at Dale is far more accessible, so we have warned everyone to be on their toes.”
The Problems Don’t Stop with the Noise
As awful as this all sounds, noise isn’t Kryptovault’s biggest problem. Per to the local municipality, the mining company doesn’t have all its paperwork in order. In other words, executives do not possess the required permissions to extract cryptocurrency and have thus been operating illegally since last spring.
Arne Hellum, who handles the municipality’s construction cases, says that Kryptovault may be facing imminent shutdown granted it’s unable to gather all the necessary permits in time.
We Were Good in the Beginning…
Executives of Kryptovault insist that all their permits were “in order” when they first began conducting business. They also say they will fight any attempts to halt their operations while trying to obtain the missing permits. However, they do admit they their presence has been hard on locals, which they’re now looking to fix. The company says it is investing in noise-reduction equipment that would allegedly reduce the current levels from roughly 60 decibels to about 45.
Bitcoin mining has been the subject of controversy for several months following beliefs that operations require extensive amounts of energy, and thus potentially put the environment in harm’s way.