In late July, reports began to spread about the California government’s ban on high-powered computers. By Monday, July 26th, many publications were publishing stories on the progressive state’s ‘ban on gaming computers’, and the stories attributed the new regulation to the state’s aggressive climate policy. After using many incentives to push people to buy electric vehicles over the past few years, progressives in California’s government recently told citizens to limit the charging of their vehicles due to energy restrictions, making them appear extremely foolish and hypocritical.
Over the past few days, customers began to notice that some high-end Dell computers (AlienWare) had a new disclaimer:
“This product cannot be shipped to the states of California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, or Washington, due to power consumption regulations adopted by those states. Any orders placed that are bound for those states will be canceled”
You’ll notice that all of the aforementioned states are controlled by extremely progressive socialist governments.
For the past few years, the growing cohort of ‘gamers’ have been using and building their own computers in order to play their video games at the highest possible level. These computers have extremely quick graphics cards and extremely powerful processors. They surely do consume a higher amount of energy than standard computers. However, gaming computers are not the only ones that consume massive amounts of energy.
A much newer phenomenon is ‘mining’ for cryptocurrencies. Using automated processes such as solving problems and/or utilizing algorithms to discover some finite numbers or calculations which represent a certain amount of a cryptocurrency (1 bitcoin, for instance), miners can earn cryptocurrency using their computers. This activity has also grown into a fairly large endeavor over the past few years. Many hi-tech crypto aficionados have been competing with each other by building their own mining rigs in their homes, often including fans to keep the computers from overheating. A mining computer that could mine one bitcoin per week, for instance, could essentially produce around $40,000 of value for the miner each week. It’s easy to see why governments would wish to disrupt this from happening.
First, any time value is being produced or exchanged, the criminals who comprise the government must take a large cut, amounting to anywhere from 1-50% of the value. Miners generally are not taxed, which makes government officials quite upset.
Second, cryptocurrency presents the ultimate challenge to the government’s authority. Currencies like BTC, BCH, Dash, Monero, and others allow people to trade their labor and products for value without the government knowing about it. For years, politicians have been working on ways to clamp down on the production, proliferation, and exchange of cryptocurrencies. They gave Ross Ulbricht the longest prison sentence in the history of humanity for the crime of operating an online marketplace like Amazon that accepted Bitcoin and respected the privacy of its users.
Immediately after California made the decision, five other leftist states followed suit. It’s only a matter of time before this policy spreads to every state or is enacted on a federal level.
Interestingly, the ban only applies to home computers; not to large business-owned servers. Massive Silicon Valley companies that mined for cryptocurrencies would not be affected by this new regulation.
While this new policy does not totally eliminate all crypto transactions, it does severely limit the ability of tens of millions of Americans to mine for crypto.