US Election Commission Says Crypto Mining For Political Campaigns Is ‘Permissible’

The U.S. Federal Election Commission (FEC) has released a new draft opinion that clears the way for people to mine cryptocurrencies as a way to support their preferred candidates.

In a memorandum dated Nov. 13, attorneys with the FEC responded to a proposal submitted in September by OsiaNetwork LLC, which at the time asked if individuals would be able to provide their computers’ processing power to mine cryptocurrencies.

Funds raised through this method would be used to support political committees, though OsiaNetwork sought to designate such activities as a form of volunteering – something the FEC isn’t signing off on at this time.

According to the letter, the FEC has concluded that while the proposal “is permissible” under both the campaign act and its own regulations, “it does not fall within the volunteer internet activities exception, and would result in contributions from both the individuals and the OsiaNetwork to the participating political committees.”

In other words, while OsiaNetwork can set up a mining pool, any donations made to political campaigns with those proceeds would count as a contribution both from the miners participating as well as the startup itself.

The ruling – though preliminary – represents mixed bag for the startup: in its original request, OsiaNetwork stated in particularthat “the term ‘contribution’ does not include the value of services provided without compensation” by volunteers.

As the advisory opinion explains, the Federal Election Campaign Act requires a communication element for contributions conducted online to be defined as a proper “internet activity.”

It goes on to state:

“Because participation in OsiaNetwork’s cryptocurrency mining pool does not constitute an ‘internet activity’ as defined in the regulation due to the lack of a communicative element, the use of an individual’s computer and internet access to participate in the mining pool would not fall within the exemption regardless of the fact that computers and means of internet access are included in the definition of ‘equipment and services.’”

Moreover, because the mining pool would be operated through OsiaNetwork, the fundraising activities would in effect be similar to if a political committee raised funds through volunteers by way of a third-party vendor. In other words, the vendor (in this case OsiaNetwork) would be contributing alongside the miners.

The opinion went on to note that any contributions OsiaNetwork makes to a political campaign in excess of what individuals contributed through providing computing power should be treated as donations through a partnership under existing law.

The FEC’s commissioners will vote on the opinion on Dec. 19, 2018.

Legal counsel for OsiaNetwork LLC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Photo via Shutterstock.

Source: Coindesk


After Pulling Stunts on Warren Buffet and Jamie Dimon, Genesis Mining – the World’s Leading Cloud Mining Company, Does It Again!

Genesis Mining has made a name for itself in the crypto industry as one of the leading, and a reliable mining contracts provider. While the platform has got a strong following of crypto-miners, enthusiasts, and professionals, it is also known to take initiatives towards creating awareness about cryptocurrencies, their underlying blockchain technology, cryptocurrency mining and more. The educational and promotional campaigns run by Genesis Mining so far has been appreciated by the masses.

The first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin was introduced by Satoshi Nakamoto as a whitepaper in 2008. A decade after, the world now has a robust crypto-ecosystem comprised of hundreds, if not thousands of platforms with their unique tokens and blockchains.  Genesis Mining decided to showcase the success of the cryptocurrency technology and its ever-growing footprint in the global financial industry with a witty campaign drawn around the Halloween theme.

“Scaring the financial industry since Halloween 2008.”

In the past few years, the traditional financial institutions have classified cryptocurrencies as a threat to their business models, mainly due to the decentralized, global nature of Bitcoin and others. Some of the other factors that weighs against financial institutions include speed and costs associated with transactions made over blockchain. Through its campaign, Genesis Mining decided to remind the very sector of the 10-year-old nightmare, that started the day Bitcoin Whitepaper was published by Satoshi Nakamoto. The Genesis Mining Halloween message was displayed during the World Crypto Con in Las Vegas.

Like always, the campaigned caught a lot of eyeballs and praises. Displayed boldly on a truck, the message got over 900,000 impressions with some leading personalities like Steve McGary of HackCrypto tweeting it to their followers.

The event itself was organized at the world-famous Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. World Crypto Con attracted who’s who from the industry like Bitcoin Foundation member Charlie Shrem, LiteCoin Founder Charlie Lee, Stan Larimer etc., who were also among the speakers at the event.

A Continuing Trend

This is not the first time Genesis Mining’s stunt was well-received. A couple of years back, the company launched its #ExploreBitcoin campaign to create mainstream awareness about Bitcoin. As a part of this campaign, Genesis Mining bought display on many billboards and taxicabs across the United States.

On the occasion of the Miami Bitcoin Conference, the company also went ahead to deploy a massive mobile billboard criticizing JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon for his comments about cryptocurrencies. The billboard, referring to the perceived threat of Bitcoin by the bankers read:

“You’re Right, Jamie. Bitcoin will eat your lunch.”

The Consensus Conference in New York City witnessed the #BankersAgainstBitcoin protest, with Genesis Mining hiring actors to present a future scenario where bankers might go on strike fearing loss of jobs due to increased adoption of cryptocurrencies among the masses as they attempt to overcome the costly centralized banking services.

Genesis Mining also took on investment guru Warren Buffet, asking him not to belittle the cryptocurrency just because he doesn’t understand it. The billboard saying “Warren, you said you were wrong about Google and Amazon. Maybe you’re wrong about Bitcoin?” was put up in response to the statement “[Bitcoin] is probably rat poison squared” by Buffet.

Genesis Mining has been a vocal advocate of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, and unlike other companies in the industry, it has pulled out all the stops to send a strong message across to those fueling negative sentiments towards the revolutionary technology and financial asset.

Photo via Shutterstock.

Source: Newsbtc


Rural Washington County Utility Proposes Increased Electricity Costs for Crypto Miners

Washington’s Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD) has proposed a new electricity pricing structure for cryptocurrency miners meant to pass down the cost of increased electricity demand, Central Washington radio station KPQ reported Nov. 14.

The article cites Lindsey Mohns, the Customer Utilities Rate Adviser, explaining the difference between the current and proposed electricity pricing systems, noting that the rate structure is “built the same was as the existing rate structure that cryptocurrency miners are paying right now”:

“What this new rate structure (Schedule 36) does is brings into it a market consideration on the energy price because we will have to purchase power on the market to serve the variable load associated with cryptocurrency.”

The Public Information Officer of Chelan PUD, Kimberlee Craig, explained that the district “is addressing (the rate structure) in a way that captures the cost and protects the investment for the customers that are already here and invested greatly in our system.”

According to KPQ, by “investments” Craig was referring to PUD’s fixed expenses, including covering the “the accelerated cost of infrastructure investment in our system.”

On Nov. 7, when the Chelan DUP unveiled the proposed new pricing system, “many members of the cryptocurrency community expressed their displeasure at the proposed increased costs,” according to KQP.

In April, the Chelan PUD reported that it had caught unauthorized cryptocurrency miners and ordered the staff to enforce a moratorium on cryptocurrency mining. Chelan county’s ban on crypto mining isn’t the only such development in Washington, as the city of Ephrata has also recently imposed a one year ban on new cryptocurrency operations.

There have been similar moratoriums internationally, with the Quebec government lifting its temporary ban on electricity sale to miners at the end of May.