The Seattle Times, a local daily newspaper outlet, reported that officials of Douglas County located in central Washington, U.S. are looking to build a blockchain innovation campus. The Douglas Country Department of Commerce will be providing $50,000 in funds for the blockchain project.
Multiple counties located in central Washington have been chosen by many crypto miners to set up their mining farms or rigs due to the cheap fee they pay for hydro-generated electricity. The decline in crypto’s performance during the year 2018 caused some mining facilities to shut down as they could no longer be financially supported by the industry. For example, a blockchain firm called Giga Watt announced its bankruptcy in November 2018, allegedly owing more than $310,000 to the Douglas County Public Utility District.
However, due to the previously active participation of miners, the county is now left with a significant amount of unused high-speed computing equipment and knowledge related to the blockchain industry. The county does not intend to waste these precious resources and plans to couple them with the county’s cheap electricity to develop blockchain technology for the purpose of powering a more robust industry.
According to the article, Lisa Parks, the executive director of the Port of Douglas County, stated that the county has “unique assets” that make the region more attractive to the crypto industry. Thus, they should explore ways to “capitalize” on their advantages in the industry.
Currently, the Port of Douglas County is reportedly reaching out to investors in hopes of utilising the facilities of Giga Watt which they now own for crypto mining or other applications that require high-speed computing power such as data analysing or developing artificial intelligence (AI).
It is worth mentioning that not all central Washington counties receive the crypto industry so well. In November 2018, a new electricity pricing structure was introduced to crypto miners by the Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD) that would increase electricity cost as demand for it increases. Additionally, the PUD also called for a moratorium on crypto mining when it was discovered that there were unauthorized mining activities being carried out.