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| March 25, 2018

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Europe's Archives -

Europe’s Defense Spending Continues to Miss Trump’s 2% Target

March 16, 2018 |

Most of Europe’s increased military spending hasn’t kept pace with resurgent economic growth, creating new hurdles for U.S. President Donald Trump’s push that all members must spend 2% of their economic output on defense. What’s News Europe

Europe’s Clocks Are Running Slow and Crypto Mining Is Being Blamed

March 9, 2018 |

Europe’s Clocks Are Running Slow and Crypto Mining Is Being Blamed

From wrecking the environment to making it harder to search for alien life, cryptocurrency mining has been blamed for a multitude of sins. But to cause time itself to slow down is a fresh charge and one which, on the surface, sounds impossible. Something strange is happening in Central Europe right now: clocks are running slow, and not by fractions of a second, but entire minutes. Could large scale crypto mining be responsible or is it being made a convenient scapegoat?

Also read: New Study Looks at the Cost to Mine BTC Across the Globe

Overclocked Miners May Be Slowing the Clocks

Ever since mid January, the Continental European Power System has been experiencing anomalies. This huge belt of 25 countries, running from Spain to Turkey and from Poland to the Netherlands, has been subject to “a continuous system frequency deviation from the mean value of 50 Hz” reports the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E). The location of the disturbance has been identified – Kosovo and Serbia – but the cause has not.

The power deviations that have been affecting electrical frequencies have had the weird knock-on effect of delaying clocks that calculate their time based on the frequency of the power system. As a result, these are running at “a delay of close to six minutes”. It’s unclear exactly how this slowdown manifests itself, over what period, and whether these clocks can be manually adjusted to show the correct time. What is clear is that the power drain responsible for this anomaly is huge: 113 GWh, which is equivalent to the power consumption of Greenland for six months. Central heating timers and oven clocks are among the systems affected.

Europe’s Clocks Are Running Slow and Crypto Mining Is Being Blamed
Red lines show the main power lines in the European region responsible

The Search for a Culprit Intensifies

ENTSO-E is clearly unhappy about the missing power and its strange side effects. In fact it’s seething, but is literally powerless to act. The situation, it acknowledges, is largely a political one that would require the cooperation of the countries suspected of causing the huge power drain. On the Swiss Grid website, the current deviation from 50 Hz can be viewed in real time. At the time of publication it was sitting at 49.970 Hz, causing a grid time deviation of 345 seconds. The site explains: “There are still many clocks which go by the frequency in the electricity grid. If the frequency is higher, they go faster. If the frequency is lower, they go more slowly.”

Europe’s Clocks Are Running Slow and Crypto Mining Is Being Blamed

The question of what could be siphoning off electricity on such a grand scale remains unresolved. It could be a top secret project involving a particle accelerator akin to the Large Hadron Collider. It could be government impropriety or incompetence. Or it could be crypto miners. Suspicions are falling on the latter option. Electricity rates in Serbia and Kosovo are among Europe’s cheapest, with the price of mining one bitcoin in these regions estimated to be $ 3,133, placing them on a par with China. “The first step [to resolving the issues] is to cease the deviation,” writes ENTSO-E. “The second step is to compensate for the missing amount of energy.” Crypto miners could yet be exonerated of all charges. But until the culprit can be identified, an enormous rogue mining operation remains a strong possibility.

Do you think crypto miners could be responsible for the power drain, or are they a convenient scapegoat? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Swiss Grid.

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The post Europe’s Clocks Are Running Slow and Crypto Mining Is Being Blamed appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Europe’s Fragile Center Takes New Blows

March 5, 2018 |

Europe’s year of electoral showdowns between mainstream and populist parties has ended with the establishment weakened in Germany and battered in Italy—and trouble brewing for both. What’s News Europe

Strong Economic Leadership Can Stem Europe’s Populist Tide

January 10, 2018 |

The European Union survived the great populist rebellion of 2017, but few believe the threat from antiestablishment euroskeptic parties has receded. What’s News Europe

What to Know About Europe’s Big New Mifid Rules

January 4, 2018 |

The EU rules are nearly eight years in the making and over a million paragraphs long. Their aims: Stopping finance companies from gouging investors and trying to halt future financial crashes. Here is what you need to know. What’s News Europe

Europe’s Separatists Sprout Old Colors

January 4, 2018 |

Europe, for centuries a patchwork of warring kingdoms and principalities, is again showing its colors. Today, resurgent nationalism and regionalism are evident in a mushrooming of historical local flags. What’s News Europe

Five Things to Know After Europe’s Central Banks Thursday

December 16, 2017 |

Four of Europe’s central banks announced policy decisions, the day following a fifth rate rise by the U.S. Federal Reserve, with promises of more to come in 2018. What’s News Europe

Europe’s Chances for a Wage Boom Look Slim

October 24, 2017 |

European Central Bank officials are watching wage growth as they plot a gradual retreat from easy money policies to boost the regional economy. But the pickup they’re looking for as a signal that Europe is returning to full health might not materialize. What’s News Europe

How Three Speeches Could Influence Europe’s Future

September 18, 2017 |

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s annual state of the union has put the spotlight on coming speeches from France’s Emmanuel Macron and the U.K.’s Theresa May. Mr. Juncker’s speech was as interesting for what it didn’t contain as much as what it did, writes Simon Nixon. What’s News Europe

Europe’s Ancient Ports Have New Infestation: Tourists

July 17, 2017 |

It all started with Venice. The Italian port city on the Adriatic Sea has seen its population dwindle since the 1950s as locals are forced out by what the BBC calls “hordes of cruise-ship visitors.” Nowadays, the problem of cruise ship tourist invasion has spilled over to many other ancient…