Norway’s government has signed off a request by Bitfury to build a data center in the country near the town of Mo I Rana. The data center will have a price tag of about $35 million (274 million kronor) and will bring around 30 new jobs to the area. No date was given for the completion of the data center.
Bitfury bills itself as a “leading full service blockchain technology company,” creating platforms based on blockchains that give companies the means to digitize their assets and to transact them over the Internet. The firm is behind the Lightning Network protocol, which promises to scale BTC “to billions of transactions per day” off chain using a network of micropayment channels.
Bitfury, with offices in San Francisco, Washington, DC, Amsterdam, Hong Kong and London, already operates two data centers, one in Iceland and the other in the Republic of Georgia.
In a new Medium post, Bitfury’s CEO Valery Vavilov touted the planned data center’s high efficiency and Norway’s importance as a center for blockchain technology growth. The data center is expected to run off of 350 gigawatts of power from 100% renewable sources that Bitfury will purchase from Helgeland Kraft, the energy supplier in the area. In light of the current atmosphere surrounding energy-hungry cryptocurrency mining operations, the data center will certainly raise a few eyebrows and cause repeated scrutiny to ensure that it is, in fact, energy efficient.
Vavilov went on to say, “Norway is a perfect match for Bitfury’s focus on innovation and growth. We look forward to identifying new customer relationships and designing the products and solutions they need to make their enterprises run more securely and efficiently.” Norway’s Minister of Trade and Industry Torbjørn Røe Isaksen supports the data center, saying that it represents a major breakthrough for Norwegian businesses.
Norway is no stranger to blockchain technology. In 2016, AiSpot, a Norwegian technology company, signed on with New York-based Loyyal to offer a customer rewards program. Loyyal is based on blockchain and smart contract technology, and offers loyalty and rewards platforms to businesses across many sectors. The AiSpot applications are designed to help local governments improve their retail and tourism programs in an effort to increase loyalty.
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