New Power Rates Approved for Crypto Miners in Upstate New York


A municipal utility provider in New York got the green light from state regulators to create a new set of electricity rates for cryptocurrency miners.

The move by the The New York State Public Service Commission was announced Thursday, allowing the Massena Electric Department to «allow high-density load customers, such as cryptocurrency companies, to qualify for service under an individual service agreement.»

While primarily an administrative move, it's a potentially significant development for cryptocurrency miners hoping to tap the hydroelectrical resources located in New York.

A senior official for the commission said that the decision was based on a desire to balance the need to charge «fair» rates while also attracting business to the region.

Commission chairman John Rhodes said in a statement:

«We must ensure that business customers pay a fair price for the electricity that they consume. However, given the abundance of low-cost electricity in upstate New York, there is an opportunity to serve the needs of existing customers and to encourage economic development in the region.»

The newly approved rule will allow any electricity customers with a maximum demand of electricity over 300 kilowatt-hours to qualify for service under a negotiated contract. The contracts will be reviewed by Massena's municipal utility and must «protect existing customers from increased supply costs resulting from the new service.»

Thursday's move wasn't the first of its kind out of the Commission – earlier this year, the body approved a bid to levy miners with higher rates in the form of a new tariff.

The decision came in response to a petition filed by the New York Municipal Power Agency (NYMPA), which expressed concern that local residents may experience higher rates due to the higher-than-average consumption rates of miners.

Kraken CEO: Crypto Exchange Won't Answer New York AG's Inquiry


San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken isn't planning to respond to the New York Attorney General's newly unveiled inquiry into the ecosystem.

Kraken was one of 13 exchanges that received a letter from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Tuesday as part of his new inquiry into cryptocurrency exchanges, as previously reported. While most exchanges generally welcomed the inquiry and said they would fill out the attached questionnaire, Kraken took a different tack when reached for comment.
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Prosecutors: Options Seller Duped Investors With 'Worthless' Crypto


Federal prosecutors say a New York resident misled investors about a cryptocurrency as part of a wider investment fraud scheme.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York said Monday that Blake Kantor, also known as Bill Gordon, was being charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, making false statements and obstruction of an official proceeding in connection with a binary options investment platform he founded called Blue Bit Banc. The company, officials said, allegedly manipulated its investor data «so that the probability of investors earning a profit favored BBB and disadvantaged investors,» according to statements.

According to the Attorney's Office, Kantor pitched investors on an «ATMCoin» and converted investor funds into the cryptocurrency.

«To further the scheme, Kantor directed the opening of bank accounts — including one in the island nation of St. Kitts and Nevis -using aliases and the identifying information of other people,» Monday's statement reads. «Kantor further converted monies that investors invested into ATM Coin, a worthless cryptocurrency that Kantor misleadingly told investors was worth substantial sums of money.»

Through the scheme, Kantor allegedly raised $2.1 million from more than 700 investors over a three-year period. And during the government's investigation, Kantor allegedly claimed that he had no involvement with binary options, and he was also accused of "[directing] a co-conspirator to alter lists of BBB customers after FBI agents informed Kantor that they were investigating his involvement in binary options."

«The allegations outlined in this indictment detail acts of deceit and offshore money movement in the evolving world of cryptocurrency, which impacts the trust investors have with our financial system,» he added.

Kantor was arrested and arraigned on Monday.