The strange ways Bitcoin miners change rural counties

Leo Zhang

By Leo Zhang

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.

Commentary

This is what happens when Bitcoin miners take over your town
(Politico, by Paul Roberts)

"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."

Want to make millions? Copy someone's cryptocurrency project
(BuzzFeed, by Ryan Mac)

"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."

The post-American world economy
(Foreign Affairs, by Adam S. Posen)

"If the United States continues its retreat from economic leadership, it will impose serious pain on the rest of the world—and on itself."

News

China's new digital currency is called DCEP-But what is it?
(Bitsonline, by Jon Southurst)

"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'."

MIT and newly formed company launch novel approach to fusion power
(MIT News, by David Chandler)

"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."

Bank of Amazon could woo 70 million U.S. customers within five years
(Finextra, by David Corcoran)

"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."

Technical

A first look at browser-based cryptojacking
(Shayan Eskandari, Andreas Leoutsarakos, Troy Mursch, Jeremy Clark)

"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."

OnTheRecord-Overt ASICBoost at Slush Pool (w/ Jan Čapek)

Bad Traffic
(The Citizen Lab, by Bill Marczak, Jakub Dalek, Sarah McKune, Adam Senft, John Scott-Railton, and Ron Deibert)

"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."

Google thinks it’s close to “quantum supremacy.” Here’s what that really means
(MIT Technology Review, by Martin Giles and Will Knight)

"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.'"

Intel's new Optane 800P SSD brings super fast storage at a hefty price
(TechRepublic, by Brandon Vigliarolo)

"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."

Update

Zcash released Weekly Update - March 9: pre-testnet activation testing of Overwinter; implementing a visual, public release/upgrade roadmap; planning 1.1.0; consolidating documentation; various community efforts. Forum

Sia tool that allows users to do a completely unattended install of Sia to a Linux server is available. Blog

Cardano researcher Mario Larangeira introduces Kaleidoscope & Royale, cryptographic protocols for securely playing poker, with the Kaleidoscope paper accepted to Financial Cryptography 2018.

Write-up on Cardano: “Cardano: A Scientific Approach to Cryptocurrencies” Crypto-News

Zencash swing wallet update is available for linux and windows users. Github

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