Bitcoin | Texas Public Radio

Bitcoin

From Texas Standard:

Rockdale, Texas, an hour outside of Austin, was depending on a company called Bitmain – a Bitcoin “mining” company – to bring new jobs and revenue to the town after the Alcoa coal plant closed more than a decade ago. But when Bitcoin started losing value in 2018, Rockdale suffered. Bitmain postponed the opening of its facility, and ended up hiring a fraction of the several-hundred people it had originally promised. 

Paul Flahive / Texas Public Radio

After grabbing headlines last August by announcing it would build the country’s largest bitcoin mine in Rockdale, Texas, the Chinese cryptocurrency company, Bitmain, suspended operations six months later and let go of most of its staff.

Paul Flahive / Texas Public Radio

Chinese cryptocurrency company Bitmain has suspended its operations in Rockdale, east of Austin. The future of what was billed as the biggest cryptocurrency mine in the country just a few months ago is now uncertain. 

Bitcoin has lost a lot of its value this month. Financial experts aren't sure why. And they're not sure where the popular cryptocurrency will go next.

Prices fell last weekend, reaching below $3,600 at one point — about 40 percent less from where it had been just two weeks earlier. Prices continued down Monday but closed slightly up Tuesday.

Then they surged, topping $4,300 Wednesday — though that's nowhere near the $6,000 or more the cryptocurrency commanded for several months until mid-November.

Contributed photo

Will an ambitious $12 billion project called the Texas Spine protect the Gulf Coast from future hurricane storm surges and who will pay for it? We'll hear from Len Waterworth, a retired coloniel in the Army Corp of Engineers, and Brandt Mannchen, with the Sierra Club.  Then, Texas turtle meat is now off the menu in Asia now that the shell-shocked reptile is protected (17:41). And can Bitcoin make it rain money again in Rockdale? (22:41).


When 50 Cent agreed to accept bitcoin for purchases of his 2014 album, Animal Ambition, a unit of the cryptocurrency was already worth hundreds of dollars — but the value of those sales has since skyrocketed and the rapper's bitcoin holding is now reportedly worth more than $7.5 million.

Public Domain / Pexels

From Square and Venmo to Apple Pay and mobile apps custom-made by banks, there are numerous ways to exchange money or manage finances online and on-the-go. 

Wikimedia Commons user CASASCIUS / cc

Bitcoin, the digital currency, is still a little mysterious to most people. The peer-to-peer payment network can be earned by "mining," or maintaining critical infrastructure for the network, as well as through goods, services and traditional currencies. A federal judge in Texas recently ruled bitcoins are money.