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Could cryptomining land you in hot water with telcos?

Posted: 19 February 2018 2:35 pm
News

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A New York resident has been warned by the US communications regulator that he is causing "harmful interference" to T-Mobile. Modified mining gear could land you in hot water.

It turns out that electricity regulators aren't the only ones concerned about the impact of bitcoin mining. The US communications regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued an official notice to one Victor Rosario, saying his Antminer mining device was producing "radio emissions in the 700 MHz band". The frequency is assigned to T-Mobile.

As a result, it is alleged the transmission interfered with the operation of T-Mobile's cellular phone network.

An investigation revealed that the offending transmissions were coming from an Antminer s5 Bitcoin Miner.

Rosario was informed that if he didn't stop, he could be subject to "severe penalties, including, but not limited to, substantial monetary fines, in rem arrest action to seize the offending radio".

He has been given 20 days to respond to the notice issued by the FCC.

Interestingly, the notice says that Antminer devices are generally compliant with FCC regulations. So, it is suggested some people are modifying devices, presumably to increase their mining efficiency. The FCC is specific in saying Rosario's device is a problem, not all Antminer devices.

As bitcoin becomes increasingly difficult to mine, owing to the design of the currency and the balance between the energy cost to produce more coins and the value of coins, people will look for new ways to harvest coins. So, we can expect people to set up mining operations in places like Iceland, where cooling costs are low and in specific countries and other locales where power prices are low.

With the cost of cryptocurrency mining varying from under US$1000 to over US$10,000, depending on where in the world you are, miners will continue to look for ways to increase their yield. And that will lead to some players, like Rosario, taking steps to make their mining kit more powerful or efficient, possibly rousing the ire of local authorities and regulators.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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