Mining bitcoins in the North of Sweden – the case of Boden and the Node Pole

Authors: Robert Wentrup*, CIBS, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Patrik Ström, CIBS, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, H. Richard Nakamura, CIBS, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg
Topics: Economic Geography, Cyberinfrastructure, Regional Geography
Keywords: bitcoin, economic geography, digital economy
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Grand Ballroom A, Sheraton, 5th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


There is a small place up in the far North of Sweden called Boden. With 15 000 inhabitants, scattered over a wide area, Boden, is part of a cluster initiative called the Node Pole. With financial backing from the region and local firms, Boden has the ambition to diversify its traditional mining business into new technology-intensive bitcoin mines, i.e. data centres of bitcoin production. The North of Sweden is in economic terms lagging in comparison with the rest of Sweden, and suffers from brain drain and a cold climate, but has partly survived thanks to its resourceful mines. As economic geographers we find it intriguing to see how this location favours bitcoin production, and how cold climate and possible other location advantages could be drivers for the region when engaging with one of the most world’s most advanced technologies. In this paper we discover how a periphery place like Boden is meshed into global eco-system of the bitcoin industry and how knowledge diffusion is organised between international locations in the bitcoin business and the emerging bitcoin mining sector in Boden.

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