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| October 22, 2018

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Energy companies drive stock market higher in early trading

September 25, 2018 |

Stocks are opening slightly higher as energy companies rise with oil prices. Facebook was down on the news that the founders of the social media company’s Instagram app are leaving.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 0.7% to $ 732.59 a barrel, its highest in about three months. Chevron gained 1%.

Facebook…


L.A. Times – Business

Stocks wobble; energy companies climb, but tech sector falls

September 13, 2018 |

U.S. stock indexes wobbled between gains and losses Wednesday, then finished with a split decision. Technology companies dropped, canceling out gains by energy companies.

Oil and gasoline prices continued to rise after a big gain the day before, and U.S. crude reached its highest price in two months….


L.A. Times – Business

50 Percent Energy Rate Hike for Crypto Miners Approved in Central Washington State

September 2, 2018 |

50 Percent Energy Rate Hike for Crypto Miners Approved in Central Washington State

The commissioners of a public utility district in central Washington State have unanimously approved a rate hike for cryptocurrency miners. The utility serves over 46,000 customers throughout the county. The cost increase starts at 15 percent beginning next year, 35 percent the following year, and 50 percent thereafter.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

Rate Hike for Crypto Miners Approved

50 Percent Energy Rate Hike for Crypto Miners Approved in Central Washington StateThe commissioners of the Grant County public utility district (PUD) in Washington State, on August 28, “unanimously approved the new Rate 17 for evolving industries,” according to the utility. Grant PUD serves over 46,000 customers throughout the county, its website states. PUDs are nonprofit, community-owned, governed utilities that provide electricity, water, wholesale telecommunications and sewer services.

The decision to raise the energy rates on crypto miners was made after “nearly a year of analysis, staff outreach to the county’s cryptocurrency firms and public comment on the new rate at every commission meeting since the rate’s initial proposal in early May,” the utility explained, elaborating:

Starting April 1, cryptocurrency miners and other ‘evolving-industry’ firms will pay the first of a three-year, graduated increase to a new, above-cost electric rate designed to protect Grant PUD from risk and preserve below-cost rates for core customers.

Mining Viewed as High-Risk

50 Percent Energy Rate Hike for Crypto Miners Approved in Central Washington StateAn industry falls under the Evolving Industry Class based on its risk, Grant PUD noted.

“At this time, all Grant PUD customers in the evolving-industry profile are miners of cryptocurrency, including bitcoin, each with very high energy demand,” the utility revealed. “Since summer 2017, Grant PUD has received new service inquiries for more than 2,000 megawatts of power — more than three times the electricity needed to power all Grant County homes, farms, businesses and industry. Approximately 75 percent of those requests are from cryptocurrency miners.”

Grant PUD detailed:

Rate 17 [Evolving Industry Class] customers will receive a 15-percent increase next year, a 35-percent increase in 2020 and a 50-percent increase in 2021, when the new rate will be fully in effect. Any new evolving-industry customers would come in at the rate-phase in effect at the time they begin operations

Furthermore, the utility added that “each annual increase will be calculated on the difference between what the evolving-industry customer is paying now (per kilowatt hour) and the higher, target rate.”

Tom Flint, a Grant PUD commissioner, told the miners who attended the meeting:

Your industry is unregulated and high-risk…This is the best way to ensure our ratepayers are not impacted by this unregulated, high-risk business.

What do you think of the new energy rate hike for crypto miners? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Grant PUD.


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The post 50 Percent Energy Rate Hike for Crypto Miners Approved in Central Washington State appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Bank, Energy Stocks Crimp the Dow

August 10, 2018 |

Stocks struggled to a mostly lower finish on Wall Street as losses for banks and energy stocks offset gains elsewhere in the market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 74 points, or 0.3%, to 25,509, while the Nasdaq composite rose 3 points to 7,891, and the S&P…
Newser

Stocks slip; oil prices weigh on energy companies

August 8, 2018 |

U.S. stocks are slightly lower Wednesday morning after a four-day winning streak brought the Standard & Poor’s 500 index to a six-month high. Energy companies are slipping along with oil prices. Wall Street is mainly focused on company earnings even after the United States said it will put new…


L.A. Times – Business

CNN

Pope urges oil and energy bosses to lead on environment

August 3, 2018 |

Pope Francis urged oil and energy industry executives to be leaders on the environment as he met with them Saturday in a first-of-its-kind conference at the Vatican.
CNN.com – RSS Channel – World

Stocks mixed in early trading as gains by banks and energy companies are offset by other losses

July 30, 2018 |

Stocks on Wall Street were off to a mixed start Monday as gains in banks and energy companies were offset by losses in other sectors.

Phone companies were also higher in early trading. AT&T rose 1.9%.

Company earnings were again a focus for investors.

Heavy machinery maker Caterpillar rose 1% after…


L.A. Times – Business

U.S. Calls Out China, Russia on North Korea Energy Caps, Urges U.N. Action

July 13, 2018 |

The Trump administration asked a U.N. panel to ban oil-product sales to North Korea this year, calling out China and Russia for exports Washington alleges have often been in violation of sanctions.
WSJ.com: What’s News Asia

Mainstream Media Claims Bitcoin Burns More Energy Than Ireland – Does It?

July 12, 2018 |

Mainstream Media Claims Bitcoin Burns More Energy Than Ireland – Does It?

A mainstream media assertion made recently implies that cryptocurrency is quite costly in terms of energy consumption. “Bitcoin has been alarming people for years,” the report notes, pointing to the amount of electricity used for its mining – almost as much as a small nation needs. But is that really so?

Also read: Japanese Internet Giant GMO Boosts Own Bitcoin Mining Output With 7nm Rigs

Bitcoin Said to Use ‘Almost’ as Much Electricity as Ireland

Mainstream Media Claims Bitcoin Burns More Energy Than Ireland – Does It?Mainstream media is often preoccupied with exploring and revealing the negative effects of cryptocurrencies. A common criticism towards Bitcoin is that its energy-intensive mining is too expensive for the planet.

The latest mention of this feature comes from a respectable outlet. In an article titled “Why bitcoin uses so much energy”, “The Economist explains” the reasons noting that “Bitcoin has been alarming people for years because of the amount of electricity needed to mint new virtual coinage.”

The magazine quotes Alex de Vries, a bitcoin specialist at PwC, who estimates that “the current global power consumption for the servers that run bitcoin’s software is a minimum of 2.55 gigawatts (GW), which amounts to energy consumption of 22 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year – almost the same as Ireland.” The piece adds that bitcoin miners consume more and more power with no signs of a slowdown. “Why does bitcoin require so much energy to make something that exists only electronically?” the Economist asks.

Let’s skip the lecture on how bitcoin transactions are recorded in the ledger, how “the miners’ race, known as ‘proof of work’, could be superseded by ‘proof of stake’,” and get straight to the point by asking in our turn – Does Bitcoin really spend as much electricity as Ireland, and what does “almost the same” consumption really mean?

Bitcoin Burns at Least One Malta Less Than Ireland

Mainstream Media Claims Bitcoin Burns More Energy Than Ireland – Does It?It seems the Economist got it wrong in two respects. Let’s take a look at the energy consumption of Ireland first. According to the data compiled in the CIA World Factbook, the country has used 25 TWh of electrical power in 2017, and over 26 TWh yearly between 2011 and 2014. Consumption, in this case, means the total electricity generated in the country, plus imports and minus exports, as quoted by Indexmundi. And according to Eurostat, Ireland is among the EU countries with the highest increase in gross energy consumption – 38% between 1990 and 2015, when it consumed almost 24 TWh.

The statistics reveal a difference of 3 TWh, if we use the 2017 data for reference, between the 22 TWh claimed in the article and what Éire actually consumed last year – 25 TWh. Using a similar comparison to illustrate the discrepancy, 3 TWh is more than what Malta or Andorra need in a year – 2 TWh and change, each. So, it’s safe to say that Bitcoin uses less electricity than Ireland by a substantial margin.

Mainstream Media Claims Bitcoin Burns More Energy Than Ireland – Does It?

Now, let’s talk about the financial side of things. Each mined BTC block currently generates 12.5 new bitcoins (the next halving will occur in 2020). A block of transactions takes 10 minutes to get mined, on average, which means approximately 1,800 bitcoins are minted each day. That translates into a daily BTC network reward of roughly a little more than $ 11 million (at the time of writing).

The reward should allow miners to cover their costs for electricity, but also all other expenses of their business – salaries, amortization, maintenance, rent and so on. Let’s not forget the electricity needed to power the cooling systems. Actually, the electrical energy consumed by cryptocurrency mining is believed to account for around half of all costs. Let’s assume that it’s half of the total reward, $ 5 or $ 6 million. Do you want to know how much the Irish consumers pay for their daily electricity consumption?

Last year, Eurostat revealed that Ireland has some of the most expensive electricity in Europe, actually the fourth highest rates in the EU, as of November, 2017. It has been reported that Irish customers pay an average of 23.1 cent per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity, which is 13% higher than the EU average. According to Eurostat, electricity prices for household consumers in Ireland were averaging €0.24 per kWh (~$ 0.28, with taxes) in the second half of 2017. The simple arithmetic shows the Republic has paid an average of $ 19 million dollars for electricity daily, last year.

Mainstream Media Claims Bitcoin Burns More Energy Than Ireland – Does It?

With the current state of crypto markets, it’s true that mining is getting less profitable, if not more expensive. According to a recent study, its profitability in different countries varies significantly. Using a Bitmain’s Antminer S9 at an energy consumption of 1.5 kWh earns about 0.0008 BTC in 24 hours and mining a single bitcoin requires approximately 45 MW of electricity. That means that in the Czech Republic, where electricity is priced at €0.06 per kWh (~$ 0.07), mining 1 BTC would cost around €3,000 (~$ 3,500). And in Germany or Italy, bitcoin mining is prohibitively expensive – it eats more than €6,500 ($ 7,500) per coin.

Do you think bitcoin mining is expensive, in terms of energy consumption and other costs? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.  


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Eurostat, CIA World Factbook, Index Mundi.


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The post Mainstream Media Claims Bitcoin Burns More Energy Than Ireland – Does It? appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Stocks rise, led by energy companies

July 10, 2018 |

Energy and industrial companies led stocks higher in early trading Tuesday on Wall Street following three straight days of gains for the market.

Exxon Mobil and Boeing each rose 1.2% in early trading. Energy companies benefited from a 1% increase in the price of crude oil.

PepsiCo rose 2% after…


L.A. Times – Business