Chinese crackdown leads bitcoin miners to Texas and Florida: CNBC After Hours
CNBC.com’s Pippa Stevens brings you the day’s top business news headlines, and what to watch as the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep most of America on lockdown. On today’s show, CNBC.com’s Jeff Cox explains the Fed’s new expectations for interest rate hikes, and why investors are concerned about long-term inflation. Plus, CNBC.com’s MacKenzie Sigalos reports from Miami, where the mayor hopes to woo crypto miners with cheap nuclear energy amid a crackdown in China.
The Fed moves up its timeline for rate hikes as inflation rises
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday considerably raised its expectations for inflation this year and brought forward the time frame on when it will next raise interest rates.
However, the central bank gave no indication as to when it will begin cutting back on its aggressive bond-buying program, though Fed Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged that officials discussed the issue at the meeting.
“You can think of this meeting that we had as the ‘talking about talking about’ meeting,” Powell said in a phrase that recalled a statement he made a year ago that the Fed wasn’t “thinking about thinking about raising rates.”
China is kicking out more than half the world’s bitcoin miners – and a whole lot of them could be headed to Texas
China has long been home to more than half the world’s bitcoin miners, but now, Beijing wants them out ASAP.
In May, the government called for a severe crackdown on bitcoin mining and trading, setting off what’s being dubbed in crypto circles as “the great mining migration.” This exodus is underway now, and it could be a game changer for Texas.
Mining is the energy-intensive process which both creates new coins and maintains a log of all transactions of existing digital tokens.
Despite a lack of reserves that caused dayslong blackouts last winter, Texas often has some of the world’s lowest energy prices, and its share of renewables is growing over time, with 20% of its power coming from wind as of 2019. It has a deregulated power grid that lets customers choose between power providers, and crucially, its political leaders are very pro-crypto – dream conditions for a miner looking for a kind welcome and cheap energy sources.
Biden signs Juneteenth bill, creating new federal holiday commemorating end of slavery in U.S.
President Joe Biden on Thursday signed a bill establishing Juneteenth, the date commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, as a federal holiday.
Biden, in what he called “one of the greatest honors” of his presidency, signed the bill two days before Juneteenth itself, which is on June 19 each year.
“We have come far, and we have far to go. But today is a day of celebration,” said Vice President Kamala Harris, who spoke before the president at the signing event in the White House.