Local officials of the Douglas County in central Washington,
United States, have revealed that the county is looking to build a blockchain
innovation institute. The report was published on January 11 by local daily
newspaper The Seattle Times.

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Today – BTC / USD

As per the report, Douglas County has already been hosting a
sizeable crypto mining industry. Miners have been drawn to various counties in
central Washington in recent years because the region offers easy access to
cheaper electricity rates.

Douglas County Officials: Blockchain Could Power a Less
Volatile Sector

According to the Seattle Times,
local officials in the Douglas County hope that the Blockchain initiative can
power an industry with less volatility.
The Seattle Times quotes Lisa Parks, who serves as the executive director of
the Port of Douglas County:

“There is more than just the boom and bust to the



The endeavor in the
county has received a number of grants
and support including a $50,000 grant from the Douglas County Department of

Cheaper Access to Hydroelectricity Has Left Douglas
County With an Abundance of High-speed Computing

The county is known for previously been rich in
crypto-related local activity, and this
has left it with an abundance of crypto expertise and high-speed computing.
These coupled with the cheap energy access
constitutes a serious benefit for
developing Blockchain technology.

It is important to point out that not every county in
central Washington has been friendly
towards the Blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. We can recall from a
previous report by Cointelegraph in November 2018; the Chelan County Public Utility District in central Washington
is looking to implement a new energy pricing structure for crypto mining to
pass down the rates of an increase in demand for electricity.

Additionally, Ephrata, a city in Washington, reportedly
halted fresh mining developments for the
12 months after October last year. However, Douglas County didn’t increase its
power prices for new crypto miners sharply
and is looking forward to expanding the industry.

By November last year, leading crypto mining ASIC producer
Bitmain opened a $20 million facility in Douglas County. The new mining
facility will use about 12 megawatts of hydroelectricity. This amount of energy
will power at least 1,500 to nearly 4,800 homes.

According to the content published by the Seattle Times,
this trend is set to continue after major
Giga Watt a major crypto mining and blockchain firm filed for bankruptcy in the
same month of November last year. The firm is rumored
to be owing the Douglas County Public
Utility District $310,000.

Malaysian Government Remains Undecided Regarding
Legalizing Cryptocurrency

In other Blockchain and cryptocurrency reports, The
Malaysian government still remains
undecided regarding whether to legalize
crypto or not. This news was published by English-language local media the New
Straits Times on January 12.

When giving an answer to
a query about whether crypto assets are legal or illegal under the current
framework, the Malaysian is minister Khalid Abdul Samad, said:

“At the moment, our answer to this question is neither legal
or illegal. The situation remains unclear.”

Samad pointed out that although he was involved in the
Harapan Coin launch (a proposed political digital currency), he was not appointed as the finance minister. Hence, the matter doesn’t fall under his

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