The New Digital Gold Rush; in the USA?
What if I told you that one of the largest mining (digital mining) operations was located in the state of Washington USA? Would you believe it? But it does kind of make sense since the first actual gold rush was happening in the west of the United States as well. And just like years before, today you have entrepreneurs and blockchain or more so bitcoin enthusiasts flocking to a small city call Wenatchee in the state of Washington in northwest USA.
A Bitcoin mining boom has began in a small town named Wenatchee because of it's low power prices and cooler temperatures. We can mention a few reasons that made people move to a small town and pursue their bitcoin dreams. Well, let's think... Perhaps, they want to stay away from big cities bustle. Or more accurately in the case of Wenatchee, Washington people want to take advantage of the low energy costs and great weather. This could be the silicon valley of the digital currency world.
THE NEW VIRTUAL WEALTH BOOM
What we know is that a small town in Washington state that lies a few hours away from Seattle is becoming the center of cryptocurrency mining for the United States. It appears that the rural town of Wenatchee is experiencing a major Bitcoin mining boom as people are flocking to the area to start up operations.
The head of local power utility Steve Wright says that there are already a big amount of cryptominers in Wenatchee area. There are about 75 miners that have moved to the town in the last year or so. Steve says:
We’ve come from just a few people out there who have been knocking on the door all of a sudden to people who are banging on the door pretty loudly.
There are some fundamental reasons why miners have moved into this small town called Wenatchee.
The 1st reason is pretty clear. The power costs cheaper. Electricity is extremely cheap in the town almost 2 or 3 cents per kilowatt. Just so happens, there are plenty open hydroelectric power stations making electricity from the Columbia River.
Another reason why Wenatchee is a prime location is that it boasts cooler temperatures that keep the mining servers at the right temperature. To cap it all off, the town also has a tremendous internet capacity. While visiting the main "Giga Watt" farm in the town, CNBC reporter was amazed at the amount of power that was being generated from one section within one warehouse of the mining farm. One section of the warehouse generated the equivalent amount of power as 600 homes in the average US city. Yes, that is outrageous for the city that is challenged with this new influx of cryptominers.
If we consider power cost, internet capacity and average temperature together we can see that Wenatchee is a good place to start crypto mining. Besides, the major metropolis Seattle is only 3 hours away if you want to go there.
However, Steve Wright is worried about the area’s new status of a Bitcoin mining boom town. He says:
What we don’t want is people who come here to make a quick buck off of our low-cost electricity and then leave town and leave us holding the bag, and leave the people of this community holding the bag.
For a long term, miners want to find a place where they could have an opportunity to gain maximum profits by lower spends. So this is an advantage for the town to increase its taxes with growing industry.
This is a serious dilemma for the energy company. Like Steve mentioned, if the miners come in and the power company expands the wattage to support the miners and bring in more revenue to the city and region, what happens when the miners leave because the digital gold is not profitable anymore?
Here is the best argument that can be made for the increase in power stations and farms that can accommodate large transactions and computations. Artificial Intelligence(AI) and Augmented Reality(AR) systems require a healthy amount of power to run and keep running. In order to be in position to handle these developments in the future there will need to be the infrastructure. Thus, Wenatchee will not have to worry about building up for the future if they create the right environment now to facilitate for what is coming.
This is the future of computing and AI, AR, IoT, and all things decentralized will be implemented in more than just mining operations in the future. One thing I know is that if you stay ready you don't have to get ready when the time comes. This little city has the opportunity to lead the US into the future... isn't it about time?