Bitcoin blockchain visualizations

1948 and 1979 by four generous and committed siblings. Learn more about one of our bitcoin blockchain visualizations: Mary Ethel Pew.

Workers look over racks of bitcoin data miners during construction of a bitcoin data center in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Things have been kind of crazy in Massena, New York, since the bitcoin miners came to town. So crazy that Steve O’Shaughnessy, the new town supervisor, says he hasn’t unpacked his office since he started his job in January. O’Shaughnessy says it’s a good thing, though. In the past decade, his town of about 13,000 on the St. Lawrence River has lost much of its main industry — as a powertrain plant closed and an aluminum manufacturing plant downsized.

But now, one and possibly two bitcoin mining companies are moving in, and they have promised to create dozens of jobs. Across the United States, bitcoin miners — who set up computers to solve complex math programs and unlock new bitcoin — are rushing to small towns and wide-open states with cheap rent, land or electricity. Many places are shunning the bitcoin mining companies, saying they suck up too much electricity without producing jobs. The idea is to attract entrepreneurs who are developing new uses for blockchain technology, which records agreements and transactions on an open, online ledger. Bitcoin was the original blockchain technology, but enthusiasts envision a world in which the entire economy runs on the technology, allowing people to buy their homes, write their wills and even vote without the involvement of a third party. While bitcoin mining may not create many jobs, state officials and cryptocurrency advocates believe in the economic potential of the industries created through blockchain technology. To signal that they’re open for business, states — especially those with small or shrinking populations — are enacting laws that, for example, exempt certain cryptocurrency transactions from the licensing laws that apply to others who transmit money, like banks.