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| October 23, 2018

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Washington State Tosses Death Penalty

October 11, 2018 |

Washington’s Supreme Court struck down the state’s death penalty Thursday, ruling that it had been used in an arbitrary and racially discriminatory manner, the AP reports. Washington has had a moratorium on executions since 2014, but the ruling makes it the 20th state to do away with capital punishment. The…
Newser

Shots fired in standoff at Washington state car dealership

September 7, 2018 |

Police responding to a hostage situation Thursday night said a barricaded suspect opened fire at deputies from inside a Parkland business.
FOX News

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.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

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

Bitcoin News

Bitcoin Not Dead, Again: Washington Post Gets Schooled

August 16, 2018 |

Castle Island Ventures partner and cofounder of Coinmetrics.io, Nic Carter, has had quite enough. Made crazy by mainstream media misunderstanding, ignorance, and downright falsehoods regarding cryptocurrencies, he took to Medium, making the case for why Bitcoin is not dead, again.

Also read: Report: 15,000 Twitter Crypto Scam Giveaway Bots

“Bitcoin is Still a Total Disaster”

“I’m fed up with journalists who are either ignorant or unwilling to learn about cryptocurrency,” Mr. Carter began, “holding forth on its perceived weaknesses. However, there isn’t enough time in the day to rebut all of their nonsense, so I have to be selective.”

Nic Carter, partner at Castle Island Ventures, and cofounder of Coinmetrics.io, is obviously tired of journalists and their respective employers failing to understand cryptocurrency basics. The last straw, bringing his anger to a public boil, was a recent article written for The Washington Post’s Wonkblog Perspective, “Bitcoin is still a total disaster,” by Matt O’Brien. It attempts to make the case Bitcoin doesn’t work on any level, to any practical effect.

As Mr. Carter explains, Mr. O’Brien’s Wonkblog piece “relies on mistaken assumptions to paint a misleading picture of the world.” He takes the rant apart, claim by claim, beginning with whether or not bitcoin is a currency. This is a bone of contention within the community itself, so it should be noted Mr. Carter is referencing bitcoin core (BTC) and not bitcoin cash (BCH) in his arguments against the rant by Mr. O’Brien (though BTC and BCH carry similarities).

Mr. O’Brien’s first claim, first sentence really, is BTC’s lack of price stability, and thus this fact discounts it as a currency. Interestingly, and for reasons cited just above, Mr. Carter almost concedes the point, “This assumes that Bitcoin is a currency, and that the definition of currency is normative (‘x should do y’) as opposed to descriptive (‘things of type x have the qualities y and z’). I’d classify Bitcoin the protocol as a complete monetary system, and bitcoin the unit of value as a commodity money, which has the potential to become a gold-like reserve currency. Commodities fluctuate — that’s what they do.” Maybe BTC is more than one thing, seems to be Mr. Carter’s nuanced stance.

Journalists Do Not Understand Decentralization

Another assertion in the Washington Post rant had to do with volatility being baked-in to Bitcoin. Mr. Carter describes that accusation as “an odd rewrite of history, or more charitably, a very strange interpretation of bitcoin’s purpose. The impossible trinity tells that it’s impossible to have free capital flow, sovereign monetary policy, and a fixed exchange rate all at the same time. Bitcoin was designed with sovereign monetary policy and a free flow of capital. No one underwrites or backs Bitcoin, so it cannot be pegged to a real-world basket of goods. That’s the same with gold. Both have emergent monetary premia. This can’t be planned for — it just so happened that way. Needless to say, Satoshi didn’t design Bitcoin to be unstable, he wanted to solve the problem of double spends with digital cash such that it didn’t rely on a single validator. Its volatility is an emergent property, not a design objective.”

Mr. O’Brien also attempts to use BTC being decentralized as a bug rather than a feature. He writes in the Washington Post that “the only way to [validate transactions in such a scheme] would be for every member of that network to keep a record of every bitcoin transaction there had ever been — that way they knew who had bitcoin to spend — which would require a lot of computing power,” emphasis his.

“This is a common misconception,”  Mr. Carter answers, bent on correction. “PoW and mining ensures that the network deterministically converges to a shared history, without any subjectivity or off-chain coordination. The fact that the minted units have value means that miners are incentivized to behave appropriately in the short and medium term. And the fact that those units are worth $ x means that miners will pay anything up to $ x to obtain them. This is the source of the large quantities of computing power allocated to the network — the combination of efficient mining hardware and large amounts of value at stake.” Furthermore, the Post journalist confuses running nodes with mining, and with miners. Maintaining the ledger, as it were, is a bandwidth issue, a storage issue, and has nothing to do with mining.

The remainder of Nic Carter’s takedown of the Post reads similarly, and is worth a look. He tackles the issue of price manipulation by castigating, “Plain old manipulation? You really mean to tell me you think a $ 100b network was manipulated into existence?” As for its falling prey to the wealth effect, Mr. Carter counters with empirical data leading to how Bitcoin “is unique among monetary assets because it offers properties not instantiated by gold or the USD. There’s a reason people choose Bitcoin.” He also isn’t afraid to get financially technical, but ultimately finds, “The problem with this article is that the pundit in question has settled on a narrative — Bitcoin is a poor economic system — and then searched for various data points that confirm his view. Bitcoin is volatile, yes. It is an emerging commodity-money that is becoming financialized and growing from a small tribe of enthusiasts to a global user base. Of course it’s volatile. Growth is not linear. Only ‘fragilistas’ demand it to be so.”

Does Bitcoin need defending to the popular press? Let us know in the comments section below. 


Images via Pixabay.


Be sure to check out the podcast, Blockchain 2025; latest episode here. Want to create your own secure cold storage paper wallet? Check our tools section.

The post Bitcoin Not Dead, Again: Washington Post Gets Schooled appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Possible hijacking reported at SeaTac airport in Washington state

August 11, 2018 |

A mechanic at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has reportedly hijacked a plane, though reports are not yet confirmed by authorities.
FOX News

Spike Lee, John David Washington hope to spark conversation with ‘BlacKkKlansman’

August 10, 2018 |

Spike Lee has returned to the big screen in a major way with his new film “BlacKkKlansman,” a biographical crime story of based of the life of Ron Stallworth, the first African America cop to serve in a Colorado prescient in the 1970s, who teams up with his Jewish partner to infiltrate the Ku Klu Klan.
FOX News

Pelosi Pressures Ryan Over Putin Invite to Washington

July 20, 2018 |

A spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan says Russian President Vladimir Putin should not expect an invitation to address Congress if he visits Washington in the fall. Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong says “the only one talking about inviting Putin to address Congress is Nancy Pelosi,” a jab at the Democratic…
Newser

CNN

Trump is inviting Putin to Washington

July 20, 2018 |

President Donald Trump hopes to welcome Russian President Vladimir Putin in Washington this fall, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement Thursday.
CNN.com – RSS Channel – World

TMZ

Washington D.C. 4th of July Fireworks Are Costing More This Year

July 3, 2018 |

The government is shelling out more dough this year on the National Mall 4th of July Celebration when it comes to fireworks … $ 30k more, but it’s unclear if it’s getting a bigger bang for its buck. We got ahold of the National Park Service’s…

TMZ.com