The strange ways Bitcoin miners change rural counties
By Leo Zhang
Mar 9, 2018
Critics of Bitcoin often claim it is backed by "nothing but sentiment". Over the years this "digital gold" has spawned a massive industry reshaping many traditional industries. One of them in particular is local utilities. It is estimated that Bitcoin mining consumed 20 TWh of electricity in 2017. In the story below, Politico describes the real-world impact Bitcoin miners made on the rural areas.
"Across the three rural counties of the Mid-Columbia Basin—Chelan, Douglas and Grant—orchards and farm fields now share the rolling landscape with mines of every size, from industrial-scale facilities to repurposed warehouses to cargo containers and even backyard sheds."
"Advisory companies and even contract workers on freelance sites like Upwork and Fiverr offer services to compose white papers, while the fast-moving, speculative nature of cryptocurrency — and the fact that pretty much anyone with a bank account can invest — suggests that fewer people are evaluating them on their technical merits or even reading their white papers."
"Zhou revealed the proposed digital currency will be called DCEP, but not much else. It could be based on new blockchain technology, distributed ledger technology, or something that already exists, said 8BTC. Essentially the study of digital currencies isn’t to find new technical solutions for money, but how to make it easy for payments — convenience, rapidity, low-cost, secure, and with 'privacy protections'."
"Development of this carbon-free, combustion-free source of energy is now on a faster track toward realization, thanks to a collaboration between MIT and a new private company, Commonwealth Fusion Systems."
"As Amazon expands its banking reach, the greatest latent demand exists in countries such as India and Mexico, suggests Bain, where the banking experience, especially in branches, is time consuming and cumbersome and mobile banking is still nascent."
"This paper tells the story behind the rejuvenation of browser-based mining. It is centred on cryptojacking(also known as coinjacking and drive-by mining), a term coined to refer to the invisible use of a vulnerable user’s computational resources to mine cyptocurrencies."
"This report describes our investigation into the apparent use of Sandvine/Procera Networks Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) devices to deliver nation-state malware in Turkey and indirectly into Syria, and to covertly raise money through affiliate ads and cryptocurrency mining in Egypt."
"But the reality is more complicated. 'You’ll struggle to find any researcher who likes the term quantum supremacy,' says Simon Benjamin, a quantum expert at Oxford University. 'It’s very catchy, but it’s a bit confusing and oversells what quantum computers will be able to do.'"
"Don't dismiss the Optane 800P yet, though: It's an impressive piece of hardware that could give a boost to workstations or personal computers that do a lot of heavy lifting, whether using memory-intensive software like Adobe Creative Cloud products or playing games."
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