Norway has now almost finally decided to legalize the mining of cryptocurrencies, because the Norwegian parliament rejected a corresponding ban proposal by a majority this week.
The planned mining ban, which was introduced as a bill by the Red Party, the Norwegian Communist Party, in March, was rejected by a large majority in the Norwegian Parliament this week. Only the Left Party, Red Party and Greens had spoken out in favor of the ban, but all other factions rejected the proposal.
Jaran Mellerud, an analyst at Arcane Research, tells Countelegraph that “these parties have not been able to enforce a sweeping ban on Bitcoin mining.” The expert adds:
“Since they lost this vote, the parties concerned will probably try to get their way by increasing the energy tax specifically for miners. Because that's the only political tool they have now."
Despite these efforts, crypto mining is already thriving in Norway, with the Scandinavian country now accounting for 1% of the world’s Bitcoin hashrate , largely due to the fact that mining companies here have particularly good and cheap access to renewable energy.
As the Norwegian Mellerud goes on to explain, “anti-bitcoin parties have long been trying to drive miners out of Norway by seeking higher energy taxes on mining or a total ban”.
"Fortunately, they have not been successful in doing so, and Parliament's recent decision to reject the mining ban may have given these attempts the final push."
Cointelegraph previously reported that Norway is something of a "green oasis" for Bitcoin miners, with plenty of excess hydroelectric power and cheap electricity prices, especially in the north of the country.
A kilowatt hour in northern Norway costs just 0.012 US dollars, which is "extremely cheap" in international comparison .According to Norwegian news portal E24, an “average household” in Norway pays US$0.015 per kilowatt-hour, although the mining industry benefits from reduced tax rates in some cases. However, Mellerud believes that a general increase in taxation for mining companies is unlikely in view of the most recent vote.