December 3 – 9, 2018 | BC Hydro, Ethereum Fork & More Crypto News
3iQ Research Group consolidates the top five cryptoasset stories of interest
to investment advisors and our investors.
BC Hydro Welcomes Crypto Miners With Discounted Rates
December 3 – Canada may offer an attractive location for cryptocurrency miners due to its relatively green energy production, stable government, and cool climates which help save costs. Over the past year, cryptocurrency companies interested in mining within British Columbia have talked about adding almost 5,000 megawatts of energy to BC Hydro’s existing electrical load. When compared to BC Hydro’s current power generation, cryptocurrency mining would make up for approximately 40% of the total power it currently generates. While cryptocurrency companies have only materialized a fraction of that proposed energy usage, BC Hydro continues to attract new miners to the province by offering discounted rates on electricity usage.
Dina Matterson, a business development manager at BC Hydro, said that the crypto mining industry accounts for roughly half of the 10,000 megawatts of new load inquiries that BC Hydro has received over the last year. Some of the other potential new customers include liquefied natural gas (LNG) producers, marijuana growers, and data centres. “I know I’m keeping my eye on that bitcoin price,” said Dina Matterson, BC Hydro’s business development manager. BC Hydro expects to submit a proposal to the B.C. Utilities Commission as early as next year regarding a “load attraction rate”, which is an initial discount offered on electricity for new corporate customers that would include cryptocurrency companies. “This rate would help BC Hydro compete with clean jurisdictions that have lower power rates than us,” she said. “We need to get in the game.”
Ethereum Developers Propose Activation Point for Upcoming Hard Fork
December 7 – The Ethereum core developers have agreed to launch the “Constantinople” hard fork at block 7,080,000, as per a bi-weekly developer meeting held on December 7. The new agreement had followed a previous decision to delay the Constantinople fork for late January 2019 because of a “consensus issue” that had previously occurred during an upgrade trial in October. Assuming an average block of 14.3 seconds, and the number of remaining blocks around 234,431, the upgrade is likely to take place around January 14, 2019.
The Constantinople hard fork will include a number of Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) that will help ease the transition from proof-of-work (PoW) to the more “energy efficient” proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. In addition, the proposed upgrade will seek to delay the “difficulty bomb”, a name dubbed for a code fix that is designed to prompt frequent upgrades for 18 months. The changes will also seek to reduce the ether rewards from 3 ether to 2 ether per block.
Nasdaq Ventures, Fidelity, and Others Invest in Cryptocurrency Exchange ErisX
December 4 – The crypto exchange ErisX has recently raised $27.5 million USD from Fidelity Investments, Nasdaq Ventures, and several other investors in a recent funding round. The cryptocurrency exchange is set to offer spot trading for bitcoin, ether, and litecoin in addition to futures markets sometime next year, depending on regulatory approval. Other notable participants of the Series B funding round include Bitmain, ConsenSys, and Monex Group.
ErisX, which has also had prior backing from the major brokerage TD Ameritrade, has said that it aims to be a Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulated futures market and clearinghouse, but has yet to finalize its registration for the latter. “With increasing financial support from leading edge firms, ErisX stands to provide the most robust, secure and regulated digital asset offering available to both institutional and individual participants,” said Thomas Chippas, CEO of ErisX.
G20 Meeting Put Emphasis on Cryptocurrency Regulation
December 3 – The G20, the leading international forum of governments and central banks from the world’s 20 biggest economies, has decided to oversee and regulate the crypto industry. In a recent declaration released by the forum, the G20 will seek to combat money laundering and fraud in cryptocurrency and blockchain-related businesses. “We will regulate crypto-assets for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism in line with FATF standards and we will consider other responses as needed,” said the G20 Leaders’ Declaration.
Additionally, summit members noted that the present global financial infrastructure is becoming more digitized, and the G20 will have to take stronger measures to strengthen the inclusion of other non-participating regions. It remains unclear whether all member countries will consider following the proposed oversight of the crypto industry. While fraud and asset theft were discussed at the summit meeting, crypto theft was not specifically mentioned, and it remains unclear if member countries were referring to cryptocurrency or fiat theft when members discussed the topic.
Australia Gets First Fully Accredited Blockchain Course
December 6 – The Australian institute Blockchain Collective has announced a fully accredited blockchain course, titled the “Advanced Diploma of Applied Blockchain”. The advanced diploma will require eight modules, including six core modules and two electives. The course is Australia’s first blockchain-related program that is fully accredited by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). The accreditation will make it the first nationally-recognized blockchain course in Australia. Blockchain Collective, the institute behind the course, is an educational institute that offers blockchain-related courses which gives students the “knowledge and experience to apply blockchain frameworks to new and legacy business frameworks.”
“We are honored to bring accredited blockchain education to the Australian and International markets. This is just the tip of the iceberg with regard to implementing blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. I feel the timing is comparable to the World Wide Web in the early 1990s. And today, 55% of the world’s population has internet access and use it on a daily basis. Just imagine where we will be in the next 10-20 years, now there is an accredited course,” said Nathan Burns, the co-founder of Blockchain Collective.
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