“We are in a completely different situation in the power market now than when the reduced rate for data centers was introduced in 2016,” said Norway's finance minister.
Trygve Slagsvold Vedum, the finance minister of Norway, has suggested the government abolish a scheme that allows crypto data centers to pay a reduced rate on electricity.
In an Oct. 6 announcement, the government of Norway proposed that data centers operating in the country be subject to the same electricity tax rates as other industries, representing a potential change in policy for Bitcoin miners. According to the government, the reduced rate should be phased out as the demand for electricity was rising in certain areas.
“We are in a completely different situation in the power market now than when the reduced rate for data centers was introduced in 2016,” said the finance minister. “In many places, the power supply is now under pressure, which causes prices to rise. At the same time, we are seeing an increase in cryptocurrency mining in Norway. We need this power for the community.”
In May, Norway’s Parliament rejected a proposal to ban crypto mining first introduced by the country’s Red Party. Jaran Mellerud, an analyst at Arcane Research, told Cointelegraph at the time that Norway’s political parties would “likely make one more attempt at increasing the power tax specifically for miners” with an outright ban unlikely to happen.
Many BTC mining firms currently operate in Norway, using 100% renewable energy sources and contributing 0.74% of the global Bitcoin hash rate, according to data from the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index. However, many residents of the Sortland municipality in the north of the country have complained about noise pollution from miners — echoing concerns from lawmakers in the United States.
The proposed elimination of the miner electricity tax rate came following Vedum’s presentation of Norway’s national budget for 2023. According to the finance minister, subjecting miners to standard electricity tax rates could bring in more than $14 million in revenue.
The warrant for Yoo Mo, the head of the business team of Terraform Labs, has reportedly been dismissed less than 48 hours after it had been issued.
According to an Oct. 6 report from South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, Judge Hong Jin-Pyo of the Seoul Southern District Court said it was difficult to see the “necessity and significance” of arresting Yoo. The prosecutor's office in the same jurisdiction reportedly issued a bench warrant for the Terraform Labs executive on Oct. 5 for charges that included violating the Capital Markets Act and fraud by manipulating the price of TerraUSD (UST) — now TerraUSD Classic (USTC).
The judge reportedly considered the fact that Yoo had a residence and family ties in South Korea and was already barred from leaving the country in his decision. In addition, he questioned whether the LUNA token qualified as an “investment contract security” under Korea’s Capital Market Act. Yoo has reportedly not disputed his involvement in operating and managing one of Terra’s automated bot programs, which were at the center of the scandal.
Yoo was the first individual to have potentially faced charges after the collapse of Terra in May. Prosecutors have the option of reapplying for an arrest warrant.
In September, a South Korean court issued an arrest warrant for Terra co-founder Do Kwon, followed by Interpol adding his name to its Red Notice list. At the time of publication, Kwon’s whereabouts were unknown. Reports have suggested the Terra co-founder may have left Singapore, but South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs ordered him to surrender his passport by Oct. 20 or risk having the international travel document voided.
The case against Kwon and Terra has had many legal implications for businesses in the crypto space. In September, the deputy minister of Indonesia’s Ministry of Trade proposed requiring two-thirds of the directors and commissioners at crypto firms to be citizens, reportedly to prevent them “from fleeing the country if any problem arises.”
Decentralized Ethereum scaling platform, Polygon, has announced a partnership with the Ocean Conservation Exploration and Education Foundation (OCEEF) to promote ocean literacy through new creative, entertaining and engaging ways to give people exposure to deep underwater missions.
Polygon shared that the aim of this collaboration is to offer interactive experiences via a governance platform where participants can help in making key decisions surrounding the RV Odyssey — one of the most advanced ocean research vessels around the globe. Participants will be able to explore the state-of-the-art research vessel via immersive and interactive experiences in the Metaverse.
The partnership intends to allow participants to play a key role in deciding the vessel’s future itinerary, research and even engage in the missions on board through the metaverse and other Web3 tools.
At the Green Blockchain Summit 2.0 hosted by Polygon, OCEEF ounder Alex Moukas said:
“Using our Polygon partnership and its carbon-neutral tech as a launchpad, we will be using technology to democratize access to the vessel through multiple Web3 platforms as well as provide participants with the ability to help decide the vessel's future itinerary and research.”
OCEEF will also allow groups of students to join their teams for different missions and dives. These opportunities will be made available through nonfungible tokens (NFTs) which would go toward funding the project.
Sandeep Nailwal, the co-founder of Polygon, spoke on the subject, saying:
“Being able to facilitate a global endeavor such as the one that OCEEF is undertaking is very humbling. I know that our technology is up to the task of bringing these types of immersive, educational, and change-making experiences to people all over the globe.”
In April, Polygon’s core team committed to becoming carbon negative by the end of the year and dedicated $20 million to climate-related projects. Since then, Polygon claimed to have achieved carbon-neutral status, eliminating 104,794 metric tons of greenhouse gasses, more than the entirety of the network’s CO2 debt since inception.
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