Douglas Country in Central Washington Gets Bullish on Blockchain Technology’s Economic Future
After many issues related to cryptocurrencies that affected central Washington, it seems that officials in Douglas County believe that the technology could bring prosperity to the region. According to a recent report released by The Bulletin, central Washington seems to be thinking about embracing Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
Back in 2017, Douglas County provided access to cheap hydropower energy that powered mining activities in the region. However, the benefits of mining activities dropped as well with the whole cryptocurrency industry during 2018.
Now, local officials are betting that blockchain technology could help the region to keep growing. The intention seems to be to create a new blockchain innovation campus for researchers to develop new tools and improvements in the space.
According to Lisa Parks, the executive director of the Port of Douglas County, said that there is more to the cryptocurrency story than the boom and the bust. The intention is to locate this campus on an old industrial site in the city of Rock Island.
Parks believes that the region has some unique assets that are appealing to the industry. Now, it is important to capitalize that. Here are some mining farms that settled their operations in the region after the Bitcoin boom and due to the cheap energy that can be found.
Due to the fact that miners were taking a lot of electricity, utility officials decided to roll out several restrictions on miners. One of the solutions was to increase power price for new miners. These new rates were so high that some of the analysts believed that it stopped miners to settle their operations in the country.
Bitmain, one of the largest mining companies in the crypto world, decided to open a $20 million mine in Douglas County that was located near the town of East Wentachee. This farm had more than 8,000 computers and consumed the same electricity as almost 4,800 homes.
Douglas County wants to leverage the power of its cheap electricity prices to attract new skilled and high-wage workers to the region. This would help the community to improve its living standards in the long term. This is also a way to enhance the local economy.
Malachi Salcido, a local mining pioneer, commented about it:
“What’s happening in the cryptocurrency market right now is simply speculation. My message is, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.”
The cryptocurrency mining industry has been severely affected by the bear market during 2018. Bitcoin has seen its hash rate drop during the last weeks of the year, falling almost 50% since its all-time high in August.
Miners have also been selling their mining computers due to the fact that it was already not profitable to keep mining digital assets with Bitcoin being traded under $6,000. At the time of writing this article, Bitcoin is being traded around $3,600 and it has a market cap of $63 billion.