Cloud mining service Coinmint has won approval to take over an abandoned smelter for Bitcoin mining operations on Tuesday, Jan. 30. As local news broadcaster WWNYTV reports Thursday along with local government documentation, lawmakers in upstate New York voted in favor of awarding subsidiary North Country Data Center (NCDC) 15 megawatts of low-cost power. This is subject to agreement of tariffs among members, stated the New York Power Authority Board of Trustees and New York State Canal Corporation Board of Directors. The operation should involve a $165 mln investment in infrastructure from Coinmint and the creation of 150 jobs for the population of nearest town Massena and the surrounding area (cointelegraph).
In a move that the government hopes will bring much needed economic relief, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro announced earlier this week that the pre-sale of the country’s new ‘petro’ cryptocurrency will begin on February 20. The ‘petro’ will be sold through an Initial Coin Offering. The total supply will be around 100 million ‘petro’, 38 million will be sold to institutional investors and the rest through a public sale. Experts estimate that the ‘petro’ token sale will be able to raise as much as $2.4 billion, making it one of the biggest token sales yet. The government is also planning to implement the new cryptocurrency into state ID for government subsidies and restricted food (bitcoinist).
According to a United States patent application filed on February 1st, UPS has plans to utilize Bitcoin as a method of payment for a new decentralized locker system. According to the patent’s abstract, UPS is constructing a “secure, computerized locker bank that is adapted to facilitate the payment for, and physical exchange of an item between entities who have brokered the sale of the item via a marketplace. The word “Bitcoin” appears throughout the patent application, indicating that the dominant cryptocurrency will likely be a viable method of payment (bitcoinist).
Qtum, a Blockchain project focused on Decentralized Applications (DApps), announced on Twitter, that the “first ever space-based Blockchain node,” made by Qtum, has been launched on a Chinese satellite. Qtum’s DApps are unique from those based on Ethereum because the platform uses the Unspent Transaction Output (UTXO) Blockchain model, enabling more lightweight smart contract interactions with mobile and IoT programs. Qtum is also partners with Spacechain, a space exploration initiative aimed at building an open source satellite network. Storing data in outer space would eliminate potential problems with government regulation (cointelegraph).
And lastly, among crypto assets with over $1 billion in invested value, Ripple’s XRP cryptocurrency may have been the biggest disappointment to newer investors, declining sharply amid heightened scrutiny after a period in which it gained traction for new investors. Still, XRP was far from alone in its sizable declines. Ripple declined 50% in January (coindesk).
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