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Weekly Flip Thru: US Gets First Nuclear-Powered Bitcoin Mine, EU Lawmakers Back Tighter Crypto Regulation for Banks

Cover Image for Weekly Flip Thru: US Gets First Nuclear-Powered Bitcoin Mine, EU Lawmakers Back Tighter Crypto Regulation for Banks

If you're part of the crypto crowd, you might have felt something in recent weeks that was rare during the previous 6 months: momentum! Bitcoin stuck around the $23,000 mark as the end of January approached, shrugging off stalls across the DeFi sector, lingering inflation, and a serious hangover from the November 2022 FTX fiasco.

In other relevant crypto news, a global report from a major crypto platform indicated that 2022 was still a substantial year for crypto growth. Also, the United States will be getting its first nuclear-powered bitcoin mining operation in 2023. Looking outside North America, lawmakers in the European Union are aiming to tighten crypto banking regulations, and a podcast launches that pays you in bitcoin for listening. Yup, that’s a thing.

Here are the top crypto news stories for the week of January 30, 2023.

Crypto Ownership Grows Globally Despite Crypto Winter (Report)

Thought 2022 was the year crypto tanked? Think again. A global report from found that crypto ownership increased by 39% in 2022. The hottest digital asset of the year was bitcoin (BTC), which grew from 183 million to 219 million owners from January to December 2022. That 20% growth is impressive on its own, but let's not forget ethereum (ETH) owners!

Interest in the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap surged 234%, growing from 24 million owners to 87 million owners over 2022, with most of the purchase volume taking place when the Ethereum network merged from a proof of work to a proof of stake consensus mechanism in September of 2022. Securing a greener, cleaner carbon footprint (along with several other technical upgrades to the blockchain’s infrastructure) was enough to spike ETH acquisition by as much as 40% from July to September 2022.

United States Gets First Nuclear-Powered Bitcoin Mining Operation (Yahoo! Finance)

Yes, you read that right. The United States is getting its first bitcoin mining operation that’s fueled by nuclear energy in 2023, courtesy of independent energy producer Talen Energy and its subsidiary Cumulus Data. The Cumulus Susquehanna data center plans to come online in Q1 of 2023 with a 300,000-square-foot facility that runs on power generated at the adjacent nuclear power plant that’s operated by Talen Energy.

The debate over the sustainability of bitcoin mining has been a long-running sticking point among environmental activists. Novel solutions to reduce the carbon footprint of cryptocurrency mining do exist, however, with some companies offering all-in-one mining rigs that can be powered by solar energy. The approach by the Cumulus Susquehanna data center might achieve a carbon-neutral status because it sits directly next to infrastructure generating 2.5 GW of nuclear energy and doesn’t rely on utility companies that also distribute energy to homes, businesses, and public buildings.

An App that Lets You Earn Bitcoin for Listening to Podcasts (Decrypt)

Listen and learn? Why not listen and earn bitcoin? That’s the idea driving the listen-to-earn model which pays podcast listeners on an app called Fountain for their first hour of listening. Fountain is attempting to turn the traditional ad-supported podcasting model on its ear. For voracious podcast listeners who consume many hours of content during commutes or cardio workouts, the potential to earn bitcoin just for tuning in may have a nice ring to it.

EU Lawmakers Pushing Tighter Crypto Banking Regulation (Reuters)

Lawmakers voted on new measures that tighten requirements for banks in the European Union with exposure to crypto and other digital assets. The new legislation is set to take effect in 2025 and would require banks to back all crypto assets they hold 1:1 with euros. The move is aimed at staving off another FTX-style collapse that has resulted in wide ripple effects across the crypto industry.

Voila! That’s the crypto news for this week but if you’re yearning for more updates across the wide world of crypto, you can always subscribe to the CoinFlip newsletter to get these tidbits (and the occasional promo code for discounts at the bitcoin ATM in your neighborhood) delivered directly to you. Remember, all crypto transactions are final and irreversible. Take care to safeguard personal information when buying, selling, or trading digital assets like cryptocurrency.