bitcoin

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In the last few years, rock-bottom electricity rates have attracted bitcoin miners and other virtual currency entrepreneurs to central Washington state. But in Chelan and Grant counties, that lure may be on the wane because of looming power price hikes.


Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

When the price of one bitcoin soared to almost $20,000 late last year, an influx of entrepreneurs and developers came to the Pacific Northwest in search of cheap hydropower to do bitcoin "mining."

But now cities, counties and utilities at the epicenter in central Washington are hitting the pause button. The cryptocurrency businesses bring tech jobs—but they are also electricity hogs.

Xiangfu / Wikimedia - tinyurl.com/ycjjtb63

A public utility in north central Washington state wants to root out a new kind of outlaw: the rogue bitcoin miner.

Tom Banse / NW News Network

A quartet of young companies from the Seattle area have raised tens of millions of dollars by tapping into a hot tech trend. They've invented new virtual currencies and sold digital coins to the public.

These token sales are largely unregulated and are sparking increasingly frequent government warnings.

Marko Ahtisaari / Flickr - tinyurl.com/z7gay8n

The price of bitcoin set another new all-time high Wednesday, shooting past $13,000. The meteoric rise in the value of bitcoin and lesser known virtual currencies is having a real world effect in the Pacific Northwest.

Entrepreneurs are bombarding the public utilities in Central Washington with requests for cheap hydropower to run bitcoin computers.

Marko Ahtisaari / Flickr - tinyurl.com/z7gay8n

Some players in an emerging technology industry in central Washington state are about to face higher electric bills. That’s because a major utility wants to protect itself from the uncertainties surrounding the trade in virtual currencies such as bitcoin.

Salcido Connection, Inc.

One of the Northwest’s selling points is its cheap hydropower. That’s why in recent years data centers have sprouted along the Columbia River in both Washington and Oregon.

But in north central Washington, an emerging power-hungry industry is meeting with some resistance. It involves the making and managing of the virtual currency called bitcoin.

Wikimedia

The group behind the initiative to legalize recreational marijuana in Oregon is now accepting bitcoin contributions.

Bellevue, Washington-based Expedia just announced that it will start accepting bitcoin for hotel bookings. The online travel site is embracing the volatile, virtual currency on what it calls a "test-and-learn" basis.

Rae Ellen Bichell / KPLU

The world's first Bitcoin ATM launched last year in Vancouver, Canada. Now there's also a physical place in the U.S. Northwest to buy and sell the virtual currency.

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