The US: Mining Superpower or Land of Ambiguity?

November 13, 2018 7:32 am



at Cryptonomos

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With over thousand of different ever-expanding interpretations of uses for blockchain and cryptocurrency, it’s not surprising that many governments are showing a keen focus to the digital currencies and associated operations. Today we are going to take a broad look at cryptomining in the US – one of the most discussed tech pioneer in the world. So, it’s time to ‘Make Americans Mine Again’!  

In March 2018, the United States Joint Economic Committee issued a report which officially endorses cryptocurrency and blockchain. However, for a layman miner, the US is one of the most complicated countries for getting involved in crypto mining.

As we’ve already mentioned in our recent post, the US is mired in the ambiguity of legal system. It means that each of the state has its own ‘crypto legislation’. Literally, give an inch here – your mining process flourishes, give an inch there – it’s feasible and forbidden. Thus, it cannot be said whether the process is completely dead in the country or not. It depends on the state one is going to deal with crypto in. 

To show the difference in the attitudes, let’s review several states. For instance, according to the variety of sources and rates, the most appropriate state for mining cryptocurrency in the US is Louisiana. Sandwiched between Mississippi and Texas, Louisiana has never been considered to be a safe haven for crypto miners, or indeed for anyone from the fintech sector.  Nevertheless, Louisiana has the cheapest energy rates in the entire country, when compared to other attractive regions including Idaho, Washington, Tennessee, and Arkansas.

Unfortunately, a fertile environment for mining makes many people lose their heads. Recently, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry opened a criminal investigation into his own office’s information technology department, including its recently ousted director, amid allegations that former staffers tapped state resources to mine Bitcoin. Among the terminated employees were a systems administrator, a help desk manager, a litigation support coordinator and a human resources employee. Despite the above, crypto still has a legal status in the state.

However, not every ‘Louisiana-like region’ in the US takes advantage of cheap energy rates. For example, Plattsburgh, New York, has become the first city in the US to ban cryptocurrency mining. A city council unanimously voted to impose the 18-month moratorium on Bitcoin mining to prevent miners from using the city’s cheap electricity.

With accordance to Plattsburgh mayor’s words, Plattsburgh has the “cheapest electricity in the world” where residents pay only 4.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. For the sake of comparison, the US average is a little over 10 cents per kilowatt-hour. Industrial enterprises, including mining companies, pay even less – just 2 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Nevertheless, the US attracts many large players on the mining market. The best evidence of this is the fact that 2 out of 5 largest mining facilities in the world are located in the US. Among them are $65-million Bcause LLC and Washington State-based Giga Watt mining facilities. The latter has more than 20k GPUs hosted. Noteworthy, team at Giga Watt designed so-called Giga Pods, a groundbreaking solution which takes advantage of mining hardware’s extremely high power density, avoids active cooling consumption, and saves power for high-efficiency computing.

The US legal framework is far from ‘united’ when it comes to crypto regulation. It’s true: while some ban, others endorse, and there’s no common logic about it. One thing is clear: the harmonization and unification of regulations across the country would create a stable and conducive environment for private users and crypto-related businesses. That’s what the US government needs to focus on. 

Next time we’ll take a closer look at the country’s most powerful rival in the mining market – China. Stay tuned for that!

2 thoughts on “The US: Mining Superpower or Land of Ambiguity?”

  1. Any chance you will write more about this? You’ve written a highly informative post though, so thank you!

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