Norway Revokes Mining Subsidies, Bitmain Opens Washington Facility
In mining news, Norway will revoke electricity subsidies currently available to cryptocurrency miners at the start of next year. Also, Bitmain has opened a 12 megawatt data center in East Wenatchee, Washington, and Bitfury has announced new additions to its advisory board and board of directors.
Norway to Revoke Electricity Subsidies to Miners
Norway’s government has moved to cease electricity subsidies that are currently available to cryptocurrency miners in its new state budget agreement. As a result, from January 2019 onward, the country’s miners will have to pay normal power rates.
Norwegian parliamentary representative Lars Haltbrekken cited stigma pertaining to the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining leading to criticism of the subsidy. He stated that Norway “can not continue to provide tax incentives for the most dirty form of cryptographic output as bitcoin.”
Roger Schjerva, chief economist at Ict Norway, highlighted his concern regarding the lack of industry consultation over the removal of the concessions. Schjerva asserted that the new budget has “changed framework conditions without discussion, consultation or dialogue with the industry,” adding “Norway scores high on rankings of political stability and predictable framework conditions, but now the government is gambling with [its] credibility.”
Bitmain Opens 12 MW Facility in Washington
Bitmain has opened a $20 million 12 megawatt data center near Wenatchee airport in Douglas County, Washington. The East Wenatchee facility is expected to employ 20 people.
Jeff Stearns, Bitmain’s director of operations for North America, stated that the company is “focused on the long-term” in spite of the cryptocurrency downtrend, adding: “I would say in this bear market situation, and I would call it that at this point in time, that really represents opportunity for a company such as ourselves.”
Evan Wendlandt, the Washington State Department of Commerce business development manager, described the opening of the facility as “a big win” for the region.
Former SEC Commissioner Joins Bitfury Advisory Board
Bitfury Group has announced the addition of former United States SEC member Annette Nazareth to the company’s advisory board. Nazareth’s role with the company will see her provide guidance regarding regulatory advancements, in addition to company growth and insight on the financial markets.
Bitfury also announced the addition of Antoine Dresch, the co-founder of Korelya Capital, to its board of directors.
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