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Gemini To Become First BitLicensed Exchange To Offer Trading in Zcash
The New York State Department of Financial Services has authorized Gemini Trust Company to offer trading of Zcash, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. Tyler Winklevoss, Chief Executive Officer of Gemini Trust Company, LCC said, “We are proud be the first licensed exchange in the world to offer Zcash trading and custody services and look forward to providing customers with a safe, secure, and regulated place to buy, sell, and store Zcash, an incredible new form of digital cash.”

Crypto Mining Company Coinmint Moving To Revamp 1,300 Acre Alcoa Plot
Once used for aluminum smelting, an Alcoa plant in Upstate New York is going to be converted into one of the world’s largest bitcoin mining centers. CNBC reports Coinmint said Tuesday it “would invest up to $700 million in the upstate New York location, which it expects to be the biggest bitcoin mining center in the world. The project will create an estimated 150 jobs over the next 18 months.”

Cryptocurrency Theft Malware Now An Economy Worth Millions
According to a new research report titled “Cryptocurrency Gold Rush on the Dark Web” by Carbon Black, the market for malware and tools designed for the theft of cryptocurrency is growing swiftly. ZDNet states, “The researchers estimate that over the past six months alone, a total of $1.1 billion has been stolen in cryptocurrency-related thefts, and approximately 12,000 marketplaces in the underbelly of the Internet are fueling this trend.”

Image courtesy of Carty Sewill, http://cartyisme.com/.

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DNotes Global Announces Its DNotes Digital Currency Is Now Listed For Trading On stocks.exchange
The recently upgraded version of DNotes will join major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ether, and Litecoin, as well as a host of altcoins that are actively traded on the exchange. “With DNotes 2.0, we’ve accelerated our push to achieve real adoption of digital currency on a global scale” says DNotes co-founder Alan Yong. “As part of that effort, DNotes has added a new blockchain transaction invoice system that attaches an invoice number to any DNotes transaction – something that was specifically designed to simplify digital currency adoption for merchants who might otherwise be forced to use third-party solutions to manage crypto transactions. We’ve also improved our CRISP savings program and will be adding other new features in the near future.”

Denmark Joins EU Blockchain Partnership
Denmark plans to implement blockchain in shipping. Brian Mikkelsen, the Danish Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, said Denmark will be “the first country in the world [to] use blockchain technology to register ships in the Danish ship registers.”

Slovenia Opens First Bitcoin City
Coingeek is featuring a story on the first ‘Bitcoin City. It’s located just outside of the Slovenian capital in Ljubljana. “The huge former shopping destination stretches over a massive 475,000 square metres and has over 500 retail stores. The complex dubbed ‘BTC City’ also received a boost of late when the country’s outgoing Prime Minister, Miro Cerar visited the site. He added a certain common touch to proceedings by buying a cup of coffee using a cryptocurrency payment gateway.”

GMO Unveils Japan’s First-Ever Bitcoin Mining Rig
CCN reports Tokyo-based tech services company GMO Internet has this week unveiled the first bitcoin mining rig wholly-developed by a Japanese company.

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Hospital Launches Cryptocurrency Addiction Rehab Clinic
A Scottish hospital has launched a crypto rehab unit and by all accounts, the calls are flooding in. “Cryptocurrency users can get hooked by the volatile fluctuation of prices online which creates a ‘high’ when they buy or trade a winning currency,” said Castle Craig Hospital in a press release. “This can be exciting but also addictive and, like gambling addiction, can be financially disastrous.” MarketWatch features a 10 question survey for you to determine if you’re a pathological cryptocurrency addict.

Venezuela Bans Crypto Mining Rigs From Entering the Country
Despite the Venezuelan government embracing cryptocurrency with open arms, reports BlockExplorer’s Tony Spilotro, the country has taken a stand against cryptocurrency mining, going as far as to ban related computer equipment from entering the country.

Trading App Startup Taylor Says All Funds Have Been Stolen In Cyberattack
Taylor, a smart cryptocurrency trading assistant, was robbed of all of their funds, ZDNet reports.
The attack is said to have taken place on Tuesday of last week. In a Medium blog post, the Taylor team said “all of our funds have been stolen. Not only the balance in ETH (2,578.98 ETH) but also the TAY tokens from the Team and Bounty pools.”

Blockchain NW, Seattle’s First Crypto Conference, Begins Next Week
Seattle’s first blockchain conference begins Tuesday, June 5. The event will feature 50+ speakers who specialize in blockchain business and technology. Special to this event is a Blockchain career fair set up to match Pacific Northwest employers and employees. And if there was any doubt, tickets can be purchased with cryptocurrency.

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Photo by Pok Rie from Pexels

In a highly-attended public hearing held on May 14, 2018, the Chelan County public utility district (PUD) approved a three-month extension of a moratorium on the approval of electric service for new cryptocurrency mining operations.  The low energy costs in the Mid-Columbia Basin have attracted cryptocurrency miners from as early as 2013.  However, when Bitcoin soared in value in late 2017, the region saw a large increase in inquiries and applications from cryptocurrency miners.   

The current moratorium in Chelan County was unanimously approved in March, with officials requesting time to review and assess the potential impacts of increased cryptocurrency mining and electricity demands within their communities.  Citing similar energy concerns, the City of Plattsburgh in New York became the first municipality to ban cryptocurrency mining in early March, enacting an 18-month moratorium on all cryptocurrency mining operations.

Chelan County is one of three rural Washington counties (Chelan, Douglas, and Grant) served by five hydroelectric dams operating in the Mid-Columbia Basin.  The dams generate approximately six times the amount of energy required by residents and businesses, allowing the PUDs to subsidize local energy cost by exporting the surplus energy at premium rates.  While cryptocurrency mining operations may bring economic value to the rural region of Chelan County and surrounding areas, residents are also concerned that the increased local demand for electricity will result in an increase in household energy costs.  

The availability of low-cost electricity has also attracted unauthorized mining operations to Chelan County and the Mid-Columbia Basin.  These operations are sometimes established in residential areas, where the infrastructure and equipment are not designed to support heavy loads of electricity.  Chelan County PUD cited the risks posed by these unauthorized operations in its initial announcement of the moratorium, emphasizing the health and safety risk to its staff and county residents.  Shortly after implementing the moratorium, the Chelan County PUD directed its staff to enforce compliance with the moratorium by imposing fees and fines, disconnecting service, and reporting the unauthorized use of energy to law enforcement as theft.  

While restrictions on cryptocurrency mining activity have primarily been implemented at a local level, governments could take steps to regulate mining activity at a larger scale.  In January, Bloomberg reported that China was discussing taking steps to regulate energy usage by cryptocurrency mining operations, a move that could have a large impact on the global mining industry.  Given the increased attention to the energy demands of proof-of-work cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, it seems likely that energy regulation will play an important role in the increasingly complex regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies.

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey: Bitcoin Should Be Native Currency of the Internet
Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey stood on stage at the Consensus conference, saying Bitcoin should be the cryptocurrency of the internet.

Adware Bundle Makes Chrome Invisible to Launch Cryptojacking Attacks
ZDNet reports, “CPU usage spikes up to 80 percent on infected machines.”

The SEC Launches Phony ICO Site to Promote Scam Awareness
In a bid to raise awareness of potential investment scams in the cryptocurrency space, BlockExplorer’s Tony Spilotro says the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of Investor Education and Advocacy have launched a fake website posing as a luxury travel firm kicking off the pre-sale portion of their initial coin offering (ICO).

Largest Bank in the Philippines Showcases Bitcoin Mining Equipment
The cryptocurrency world is buzzing upon the news The Philippines largest bank is dabbling in Bitcoin. NewsBTC reports, “UnionBank recently demonstrated its cryptocurrency miners at a business conference. That is an interesting development, considering how the world’s leading cryptocurrency is a legal tender in the country.”

PwC China Survey Finds That Most Companies Prefer to Investigate Blockchain Internally
Rebecca Campbell of BlockExplorer reports, “A joint survey by PwC and VeChain has found that most enterprises prefer to setup their own in-house research and development (R&D) teams to investigate the blockchain.”

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