The State of Montana funds company working on a ‘bitcoin processing center

Ter the first-ever reported case of a US State funding what looks to be a Bitcoin mining operation, Montana’s Governor recently announced that $416,000 wasgoed awarded to a “data center that provides blockchain security services for the bitcoin network.”

Governor Steve Bullock recently announced $1,124,030 ter economic development grants to assist Main Street businesses across Montana with creating 116 jobs, providing workforce training and developing plans for growth and expansion.

The funds are being awarded through the Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund (BSTF) and the Primary Sector Workforce Training Grant (WTG) programs at the Department of Commerce, Office of Tourism and Business Development.

“Missoula County received $416,000 of BSTF Job Creation funds to assist Project Spokane, LLC to expand, which will permit the company to create 65 fresh jobs ter Bonner. The BSTF funds will be used for purchase of equipment, machinery, furniture and software and for wage reimbursement.”

– The office of Montana Governor Steve Bullock

Very little information is available online about Project Spokane LLC, there is no webstek or voeling information available online. However, third-party commercial business reports that list the company generally agree that Project Spokane LLC is a privately held company listed te Greenwood Village, Colorado.

Some listings states that the company has “an annual revenue of $750,000 and employs a staff of approximately 6,” with business launch dates all listed ter early 2016. The company is often categorized under “IT &, Managed Service Providers,” while at least one directory has Project Spokane featured under “Service Management and Malware Remediation.”

However, ter July of 2016 Project Spokane LLC applied for a 7.2kV overhead power distribution line for a webpagina ter Montana, referred to spil “the old Bonner Mill Webpagina.” The application clarifies that the powerline is to serve “a fresh bit coin processing center,” which is to be located on a portion of the old mill webpagina. “The project’s electrical requirements exceed the current electrical service onsite,” states the application.

“All agreements are ter place with Northwestern Energy for the purchase and operation of the power poles and lines from the substation located westelijk of the Blackfoot Sea to the Project. Ter order to fulfill the agreement, a fresh medium voltage distribution line is required to be constructed across the Blackfoot Sea.”

– Rights of Way Applications 17412

Bitcoin mining operations are power greedy businesses, and often run where power is cheap. According to the US federal Energy Information Administration, Montana has middle-of-the-road commercial electro-therapy rates, averaging $Ten.04 vanaf kilowatt-hour (kWh). That price puts it very close to the national median for the US.

However, te the county where Project Spokane is setting up shop, there is a local energy cooperative that charges large commercial installations spil little spil $0.0436 vanaf kWh, which would make bitcoin mining utterly profitable.

For comparison, te Washington State, where John McAfee has set up the Bitcoin mine for MGT Capital, the industrial average is the lowest ter the nation, $Four.54 vanaf kWh. McAfee has stated, however, that he’s using a nearby hydroelectric stuw to inexpensively generate the electric current and cool his mining equipment. His effective energy rate is still unknown.

“The contant flow chance te the Bitcoin market provides tremendous financial benefit to our operations and balance sheet. At our current output, wij believe MGT is one of the top five Bitcoin miners ter the U.S., and wij believe our very first quarter 2018 purpose of Ten PetaHash for this facility would place MGT te a leadership position ter the global Bitcoin network.”

Albeit Montana is the very first state to fund a Bitcoin company, a few other States have attempted or run initiatives and programs to boost blockchain technology use. The very first attempt wasgoed te 2015, when Fresh Jersey attempted to launch the ambitious “Digital Currency Jobs Creation Act,” which wasgoed proposed to give Bitcoin and other digital currency businesses a tax pauze and attract them to the state. The program wasgoed formed te the wake of the infamous BitLicense across the sea ter Fresh York. However, the bill has bot introduced to the NJ Senate several times and failed to build up any traction.

Delaware also drafted a bill te 2015, which has passed the Senate but is being held up by the state’s legal review process. The state a popular destination for business incorporation, and wants to use a blockchain spil the primary means to create and manage corporate records. The bill is expected to be enacted sometime this year.

Te the meantime, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced the Illinois Blockchain Initiative te November. The initiative wasgoed created to investigate the benefits of Blockchains used at the state level. Secretary Bryan Schneider states that his department “would like to educate ourselves on the technology spil well spil its societal, economic and legal implications.” Learning about the technology before regulating it stated aim.

On the federal level, spending towards blockchain research has bot an order of magnitude larger. Ter July 2015, the US National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded US$Three million to the “Initiative for Cryptocurrency and Contracts” (IC3). The three-University initiative consists of a team from Cornell, the University of Maryland, and UC Berkeley. Focusing on brainy contracts and developing “new cryptocurrency systems that address ache points attributed to Bitcoin,” the program is also helping to “establish cryptocurrency spil a vooraanstaand research area, and make a big influence ter shaping the future of financial transactions and e-commerce,” according to the principal investigator, Elane Shi.

Ter January of this year, the NSF commenced looking for teams to fund with spil much spil US$8.Five million. “Solutions such spil the introduction of blockchain technology are needed to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of gegevens spil it traverses numerous environments such spil mobile, cloud, campus, and Internet networks,” states the NSF.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has also bot funding blockchain technology projects, to the tune of US$Two.25 million so far. Through its Petite Business Innovation Research program, the DHS has bot learning about Blockchain Forensics, the method of tracking transactions and identifying relationships across the blockchain. BlockCypher is a forensics company, and the largest recipient of funds from the DHS to date. Ram laboratories has also received funding, spil has a custom-built blockchain solutions provider called DigitalBazaar, and the identity solution Evernym.

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