Google will ban all cryptocurrency-related advertising of all types in June 2018, according to a recent update to their Financial Services policy.
The news of a crypto ad ban comes just days after crypto advertisers using Google Adwords noticed a drastic drop in the number of views of their advertisements, according to posts on the Adwords support pages. However, Google Adwords had at that time denied any change in their Financial Services regulations that would block cryptocurrency or Initial Coin Offering (ICO) related advertisements.
Under Google’s newly updated financial products policy, no advertisements for “cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice),” will be accepted.
A state employee at Florida’s Department of Citrus (FDoC) has been arrested for allegedly using official computers to mine cryptocurrencies.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has jailed Matthew McDermott, IT manager for the state government agency that oversees Florida’s citrus industry. He is reportedly being held pending trial, with bail set at $5,000.
The FDLE alleges that McDermott used computers in the department to mine cryptocurrencies including bitcoin and litecoin, and has charged him with grand theft and official misconduct, according to the report.
An investigation further indicated that the utility bill of the department had surged by over 40 percent from October 2017 to January 2018, as cryptocurrency mining requires significant amounts of electricity due to its high processing demands.
Proof of Work (PoW) mining operations, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, use a tremendous amount of energy and generate a tremendous amount of waste heat.
Qarnot is one of a number of growing companies that has found a way to turn that waste heat into controlled heating for the home or office.
The new Qarnot QC-1 “crypto heater” takes advantage of an obvious synergy: It makes use of the waste heat generated by mining crypto in the guise of an attractive space heater.
Spec wise, the QC-1 contains two GPUs: NITRO+ RADEON RX 580 8G 60 MH/s at 650W. Local electrical costs and climate are key determining factors with regard to recouping costs and making a profit; for example, if you are in a cold northern environment with cheap electricity like Quebec, then your costs to run it should be low enough (about $0.03 KWh USD) that the mining revenue should pay for the device in a few years.
The device mines Ethereum by default but can be configured to mine various other PoW-based cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin. A mobile app is available to monitor your account and configure the unit. The lack of fans or hard drives leads Qarnot to claim the system is “perfectly noiseless.”
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) are investigating two employees at the Bureau of Meteorology for allegedly using the bureau’s computers to mine cryptocurrencies, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reports today, March 8.
The AFP appeared at the Bureau of Meteorology last week, Feb. 28, with a search warrant and questioned two IT employees, one of whom has since gone on leave. ABC reports that no charges have yet been filed, and both the AFP and the Bureau of Meteorology have declined to comment pending the ongoing investigation.
Bank of America (BoA) has admitted to US regulators it may be “unable” to compete with the growing use of cryptocurrency.
In its annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this week, filed Feb. 22, the major US bank for the first time highlights cryptocurrency as an area that may cause it “substantial expenditure” as it tries to remain competitive.
“Our inability to adapt our products and services to evolving industry standards and consumer preferences could harm our business,” BoA states in the filing.
As banks worldwide eye the cryptocurrency phenomenon, direct interaction remains low. The lack of uptake formed a central reason why the European Central Bank confirmed it had opted for a hands-off approach to legislating the area earlier this month.
While BoA has sought to innovate in the sphere, receiving a patent for its proposed cryptocurrency exchange system in December 2017, it has come in for criticism more recently after blocking its clients from credit card purchases of cryptocurrency.
Seven of the largest crypto companies are forming a UK cryptocurrency trade body, bringing in the first self-regulation for the wild west sector worth £290 billion.
CryptoUK, whose members include the popular Coinbase exchange and trading platforms eToro and CryptoCompare, said it had produced the first code of conduct for the industry to abide by.
The companies said they hoped the regulations would form the first part of broader UK rules around volatile cryptocurrency trading.
Bitcoin’s rise last year has made it a popular phenomenon, with its value increasing to as much as $20,000 (£14,400) in December, before falling below $7,000 last week. While Bitcoin has made made some millionaires it has left many amateur investors out of pocket, while others have fallen victim of cryptocurrency scams.
CryptoUK chair Iqbal Gandham said there was a risk of “rogue operators”, but the new body had been established “to promote best practice and to work with government and regulators”.
Analysts are concerned that Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining centers are spending too much electricity, and that the process of verifying cryptocurrency transactions could worsen the global environment.
Justification of mining in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies
In December 2017, several analysts criticized the electricity consumption of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining centers, calling the mining process an “environmental disaster.” Earlier Cointelegraph reported that cryptocurrency mining will likely exceed electricity consumption of households in 2018.
Smari McCarthy of Iceland’s Pirate Party stated that excessive consumption for Bitcoin mining is not practical because the main use case of Bitcoin is for “financial speculation.”
“We are spending tens or maybe hundreds of megawatts on producing something that has no tangible existence and no real use for humans outside the realm of financial speculation. That can’t be good.”
If environmentalists and analysts perceive the main use case of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to be financial speculation, the consumption of a massive amount of electricity could be considered impractical. However, the main application of Bitcoin is not financial speculation. In countries wherein the underbanked struggle to gain access to financial services, Bitcoin operates as an efficient currency.
In Venezuela, for instance, local residents are using Bitcoin to order food, basic goods and medicine from outside of the country because the Venezuelan bolivar, the country’s national currency, has lost almost all of its value, and has become virtually worthless.
The crypto markets continued to mount a recovery this week, brushing aside fears of a possible lull ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday.
At the close of the seven-day session, the total value of all cryptocurrencies is being reported at $471 billion by data source CoinMarketCap, up 22.65 percent from $384 billion seen last Friday. During this period, the market capitalization was up 39 percent from the Feb. 6 low of $276 billion.
But while headlines may be dominated by bitcoin’s move above $10,000 again, the world’s first cryptocurrency isn’t actually the biggest gainer of the week.
Despite its 13.54 percent rise in prices, other large-cap cryptocurrencies (defined as those with over $1 billion in market cap), are perhaps most contributing to what could end up being a recovery from the market’s weak January performance.