In late July, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that virtual tokens, such as those sold by the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), are securities and therefore now subject to federal securities laws. While the SEC announcement recognized that not all blockchain-based tokens are necessarily securities — Ether is not a security, while the DAO tokens are — the announcement should be taken seriously by companies seeking to launch an initial coin offering (ICO) under U.S. jurisdiction.
Other countries have taken different regulatory approaches, on Medium, Andrew Keys, head of global business development with ConsenSys, reported that the Chinese Mint is “experimenting with the ERC 20 token standard and Ethereum smart contracts to digitize the RMB.” Keys noted that China’s Mint “also actively promotes blockchain technology in finance and related fields.”
As of September 4, China has taken a relatively firm stance against ICOs. However, this stance might be more characteristic of the Chinese government than catastrophic. According to Chinese financial magazine, Caixin, the Chinese regulators, the People’s Bank of China and China Securities Regulatory Commission, are currently deciding on how to handle ICOs. While permanent suspension is possible, until regulations are implemented, it’s assumed that the ban is temporary.
Geopolitics of Crypto Mining
Like the ICO world, crypto mining is dominated by China. Chinese mining pools are said to control more than 70 percent of Bitcoin’s total hashrate, if not more. There are two indisputable reasons for China’s dominance in the crypto mining industry. First, geopolitics: electricity in China is extremely cheap compared to other countries; and electricity costs are the most important factor in achieving a profitable mining operation. In industrial regions, electricity is either supplied by hydroelectric dams or subsidized by the government. Second, China maintains control of the majority of mining pools. The largest crypto mining pools ― collaborations where individuals or companies combine their hashrate to improve their chances of mining a block ― are all located in China.
The issue with China’s dominance in crypto mining is that combining pools in the same location could lead to centralization. If the bitcoin network becomes centralized its value as a decentralized ledger would essentially plummet. Russia and the United States do not have significant hashing power yet, but there is evidence their mining activity is growing.
The world’s first full-service mining solution provider
Nestled in Wenatchee, Washington, located close to a number of hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River, the Giga Watt Project is becoming a significant player in North American crypto mining.
Giga Watt is fueled by five megawatts of power dedicated to mining resources, with an additional 50 in development. The token-launch platform Cryptonomos supports their ambitious quest to revolutionize mining. Cryptonomos’ objective is to deliver turnkey services to Giga Watt, including token-launch structuring, book building, platform hosting, smart contract development, cybersecurity, financial management, and administration of investor and public relations. While Giga Watt’s initial token sale has ended, there is still time to join the endeavor.
To fulfill their ambitions, Giga Watt is building an enormous network. “With massive power at our disposal, we can begin issuing blockchain solutions that perform useful computing functionality. Imagining a global supercomputer that consumes a gigawatt of energy where each of our customers can participate is indeed exciting,” admitted Giga Watt CEO Dave Carlson. With such a massive power network at their disposal, Giga Watt’s mining operation could be unmatched by any other in the world.
At this time, the Giga Watt project has three units already in operation, which means that 2.25 mega watts are currently ready for tokenization, while the construction of new units continues. At the time of writing, 1.25 million WTT tokens have potential clients to whom capacities could be rented out. By September, three of Giga Watt’s state-of-the-art pods will be completed. Capacities are allocated to token holders on a first come, first served basis.