Tech 16 November 2018Dennis Wafula
Crypto mining firms skip Swedish town, leaving behind unpaid power bills
It’s been an eventful week for the cryptocurrency community in Norrbotten, Sweden, after two crypto mining operators decided to disappear, leaving a trail of unpaid bills.
Norrbotten has been a good environment for crypto startups looking to set up shop. The county has a cold climate that makes it a perfect place to mine cryptocurrencies. However, two operators—U.S. miner NGDC and Chasqui Tech—reportedly shut down their shops without giving notice to the investors and the community, according to Sveriges Radio.
Miami-based NGDC was the first to stop its operation in the municipality of Älvsbyn. According to reports, the company could no longer continue with its operation after Vattenfall, a Swedish electricity supplier, cut off its power. The company had not paid its electricity bill which amounted to SEK14 million (about $1.55 million). After the disconnection, the company went off grid.
Fredrik Sundin, lawyer for Vattenfall, said the utility company “will do what it can” to solve the issue. However, Helena Ohlund of the Älvsbyn municipal council said that efforts to contact the NGDC had borne no fruits.
Another mining company, Chasquit Tech, has also abandoned its mining farm in Kalix, Norrbotten County, according to the Swedish news outlet. The mining company skipped town after failing to pay its rental fees amounting to SEK500,000 ($55,000).
There have been many talks as to why these two, along with other companies, are leaving the Swedish environment. According to Patrick Ohlund, the chief executive officer of The Node Pole, the recent changes in the crypto space play a big part in the departures. He claims that the latest increase in electricity prices have hiked the operating costs for most companies, resulting in many startups to look for places with better and more accommodating policies.
He also believes that the cryptocurrency bear market is to be blamed. Many companies have been forced to cut down while others have had to shut down. Some of the remaining crypto companies are hanging on a thread causing them not to meet up their debts.
However, Ohlund still believes the cryptocurrency space in Sweden has great potential to grow. He estimates that in the coming days, the number of crypto startups in the region could double up to about 50 facilities.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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