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Douglas County Bucks the Trend in Washington State With Its Innovative Crypto Push

Douglas County Bucks the Trend In Washington State With Its Innovative Crypto Push

One Washington State region is bucking the trend by utilizing resources created during Bitcoin’s boom rather than scaling down as many other companies have chosen to do in recent months in the North-western state.

The state’s cool climate brought in a wave of investment at the height of Bitcoin’s dominance on cryptocurrency markets, many in search of cheap hydroelectricity for mining. The downturn has left many Northwest crypto-related companies overleveraged and feeling the pinch, some going out of business, with some counties raising electricity tariffs for Bitcoin miners.

Douglas County has taken their own unique approach to the problem, having already revealed its exciting plans to build a blockchain innovation campus. The Department of Commerce at Douglas County has reportedly agreed to release USD 50,000 in a bid to start its development.

Neighboring counties, such as Chelan and Grant, having now priced miners out of the market, have left a far more reasonably tariffed Douglas County reaping the benefits.  With Bitmain opening its USD 20 million mining project in East Wenatchee and the county trying to bring the mining operation GigaWatt back to life, the area is set for a blockchain revival. Lisa Parks, executive director of the Port of Douglas County is optimistic, and explains:

“There is more to the cryptocurrency story than the boom and the bust. We have some unique assets that make our region appealing… Let’s figure out a way to capitalize on it.”

 

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UK Government Awards Ofcom £700,000 Blockchain Research Grant

The UK‘s national telecommunications regulatory authority Ofcom has received a GBP 700,000 grant from the government to research a blockchain solution for management of the country’s landline telephone numbers.

Ofcom revealed details of the Regulators’ Pioneer Fund in a press release on Monday, outlining why the issue at hand requires such an investment. It cites that approximately 1 billion phone numbers in the UK are currently being actively used or reserved for use, with blocks of this data shared with telecoms operators that manage the movement of numbers according to whether or not they are in use.

A blockchain management system is said by Ofcom to potentially increase the overall efficiency of data sharing within the agency, while also providing UK telecoms clients with a better experience through improved management of nuisance and fraud calls. This also helps streamline the process of changing telephone numbers.

A new centralized data sharing platform was said in the press release to have failed the agency because it would simply be too expensive to develop; a blockchain option would be ”cost-effective and future-proof”.

Ofcom chief technology officer Mansoor Hanif said that the agency would pursue other areas that blockchain may be beneficial should this project prove a success, alongside sharing key learnings and best practices with other UK regulators.

He also expects communications businesses collaborating on the project or using the code to develop the necessary skills to pursue their own blockchain innovations, leading to further growth of the blockchain sector.

Ofcom has invited industry participants to trial the porting and management of telephone numbers utilizing blockchain and distributed ledger technology between now and the end of its testing stage in April 2020. A number of universities and third-party providers are expected to participate.

The research grant came from the Regulators’ Pioneer Fund of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

 

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