The crypto market’s penchant for volatility extends to the ancillary service providers playing in the space. Less than two weeks after Coinbase announced a partnership of sorts with the SEC, they’ve walked back the news that seemed to light a spark in the 2018 bear market.
The cryptocurrency firm had told Bloomberg News that it received approval from the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to buy Keystone Capital Corp., Venovate Marketplace Inc. and Digital Wealth LLC. The acquisitions are part of Coinbase’s plan to operate as a broker dealer and at some point list digital coins that are deemed securities.
“It is not correct to say that the SEC and FINRA approved Coinbase’s purchase of Keystone because SEC was not involved in the approval process,” Coinbase spokeswoman Rachael Horwitz said in an email Tuesday. An SEC spokeswoman also said that the agency did not give San Francisco-based Coinbase explicit approval for the deal. A spokesman for FINRA declined to comment.
“The SEC’s approval is not required for the change of control application,” Horwitz said. “Coinbase has discussed aspects of its proposed operations, including the acquisition of the Keystone Entity, on an informal basis with several members of SEC staff.”
BTC price is holding steady in the face of the Coinbase, SEC two step. It’s logical that BTC and other cryptos were due for a bounce after a sluggish Q2. (link to Bloomberg story).
When a Judge on the DC Circuit Appellate Court declares a rule “one of the most consequential … ever issued” in a dissent, they have strong feelings on the topic. This is how Supreme Court nominee and sitting Judge Brett Kavanaugh began his dissent in United States Telecom Ass’n v. FCC No. 15-1063 (May, 2017). The litigation came to Kavanaugh’s desk after legal maneuvering in the lower courts. (link to full opinion).
A net neutrality synopsis requires much more verbiage than a simple blog post allows. The full text of the FCC’s guidelines can be found here. In (brief) summary: The FCC passed a new set of guidelines in 2015 aimed at keeping the Internet, “fair, open and fast” for everyone. Under the rules, internet service providers were required to treat all online content the same. They couldn't deliberately speed up or slow down traffic from specific websites or apps, nor could they put their own content at an advantage over rivals. (link to story).
Kavanaugh’s dissent – now a moot point thanks to subsequent roll back of the protection – argued Congress had not given that broad of rulemaking authority to the FCC. Additionally, ISPs had First Amendment rights to regulate speech on their respective platforms. Your personal viewpoint on whether Kavanaugh’s opinion meets or misses the mark likely depends on your political prejudices, and it is not the hope of this post to convert devotees to one side of the aisle or the other.
But the message to Congress should be clear. If Judge Kavanaugh eventually ascends to the highest Court, Congress should not spare any turn of phrase to ensure the FCC (and all other administrative agencies) have its full-throated support in enacting net neutrality regulations.
In 2016, Jeff Plank, CEO of Agile Data Sites, warned data center providers about quantum computing. “Quantum computing is coming. It will make headlines any day now. And when it comes in force the data center colocation industry will need to adapt with it”. (link to story).
What is “quantum computing”, you ask? Quantum computing is the area of study focused on developing computer technology based on the principles of quantum theory, which explains the nature and behavior of energy and matter on the quantum (atomic and subatomic) level. Development of a quantum computer, if practical, would mark a leap forward in computing capability far greater than that from the abacus to a modern-day supercomputer, with performance gains in the billion-fold realm and beyond. The quantum computer, following the laws of quantum physics, would gain enormous processing power through the ability to be in multiple states, and to perform tasks using all possible permutations simultaneously. Current centers of research in quantum computing include MIT, IBM, Oxford University, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. (link to definition ). One of the dangers associated with “QC”, according to Plank, “general purpose quantum computation would unravel the most basic building block of the modern internet: encryption”.
Fast forward to 2018, and quantum computing is closer to reality. The government, through the National Institute of Standards and Technology, knows that one day soon quantum computers will be able to crack the strongest public-key cryptosystems currently in use, for example, for securing web service. And symmetric key cryptosystems such as AES will require longer key lengths to remain secure. (link to story). America may not be very far behind, with companies like Microsoft, Intel, Google and IBM rapidly accelerating their quantum research. But quantum protection is needed today for government files. It’s the only way to protect them from the quantum computers of the future, whose agents may already be collecting the valuable data they will easily crack. Considering major advances by Russia and China in this area of #technology, it’s time we tripled down on taking back the lead.
Microsoft is acquiring GitHub. After reports emerged that the software giant was in talks to acquire GitHub, Microsoft is making it official today. This is Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s second big acquisition, following the $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn two years ago. GitHub was last valued at $2 billion back in 2015, and Microsoft is paying $7.5 billion in stock for the company in a deal that should close later this year. (Microsoft acquires GitHub).
CEO Satya Nadella's remarks about the deal suggest Microsoft was motivated not only by product synergies, but also by a desire to more generally become a larger provider of software and services to developers as enterprise software spending keeps rising at a much faster pace than IT spending in general. That could motivate the company, which has a massive domestic cash balance in the wake of tax reform, to ink additional deals to buy platforms that are popular with web and cloud developers. (Why the Microsoft - GitHub deal makes sense).
A confidential client in the IT services sector retained MDI to perform design/build services on a new colo space in the Chicagoland area. The project will kick off in late June, finishing in late August. MDI Access is a full-service data center design/build specialist group. MDI focuses exclusively on developing, designing and building data center space.
Edge data center provider EdgeConneX is planning to increase its footprint in at least six locations across North America, adding up to 50MW of total power capacity. This will include expansions in Atlanta, Denver, Miami, Phoenix, Portland and Toronto.
The expansion now announced by EdgeConneX includes the building of second and third data centre facilities in some of the markets which will “evolve these Edge Data Centres into campus-like environments that contain a robust ecosystem of networking, content, cloud and IT service providers interconnecting and growing at the Edge”.
Randy Brouckman, CEO of EdgeConneX, said: “For over five years, we have been building Edge Data Centers for the service provider community, creating a vibrant, localized service delivery enablement platform made up of a diverse customer ecosystem. (EdgeConnex Expansion).
UK’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has said that from October, no new data centers can be added to the Climate Change Agreement (CCA) which grants a reduction in energy-related taxes for data centers, even though the scheme will run till 2023. The techUK body says this will distort the market, giving some players an unfair advantage, while at the same time putting the UK’s data center business at a disadvantage compared with the rest of the world, according to a late April article from Data Center Dynamics (UK Ends Data Center Energy Subsidies).
Detractors complain the move will distort the market by making things cheaper for existing operators, and penalizing new ones; it will put UK businesses at a competitive disadvantage compared to those based outside the UK; it will discourage inward investment at a time when Brexit is already putting off long-term planning; and it “punishes” growth.
Most folks in the data center world have heard of the Uptime Institute. It is an association (one of a few, actually) that highlights standards and best practices for constructing data center properties. Facilities are graded on a Tier system. The more redundant the infrastructure, the higher the Tier rating. Of course, the Tier system isn’t a perfect assessment metric. But it provides basic guidelines for a data center end user to judge the best solution set available to them. It is time to provide the same service for cryptocurrency infrastructure.
Today, most miners immediately think “data center” when looking for a mining host. Unfortunately, crypto hosting is a much different product than a true “data center”. As such, it deserves its own association to assess the varying degrees of infrastructure and the rationale for deploying a Tier I solution vs. a Tier IV solution. As a premiere hosting partner for cryptocurrency miners around the world, MDI is developing a Tier rating system cryptocurrency miners can use when comparing hosting sites. Standardization is a commodity sorely needed in what feels like a “wild west” of miner hosting solutions.
IT Departments often demonstrate a maddening trait when selecting data center solutions. They look at cloud, colo, and on-premises data centers as mutually exclusive choices. Going cloud means foregoing colo, and going on-prem means foregoing the rest. But IT workloads aren’t “one size fits all” propositions. According to Rock Crutchley, COO at Iron Mountain, “Legacy or custom-built applications can be critical to business continuity and are often difficult to migrate to the cloud. Furthermore, successfully identifying the workloads you want to migrate to the cloud does not mean they will get there overnight. Cloud migration takes time, planning and preparation.” Enter the hybrid solution.
“Hybrid IT architectures with colo as the foundation increase efficiency, lower costs, and mitigate risks when compared to environments with only in-house data centers,” wrote Crutchley in his recent Voices of the Industry article for Data Center Frontier. (Data Center Frontier). Colocation is the most logical venue for hybrid IT as providers also offer a wide-range of on-demand data center services and ecosystems that include in-market personnel for almost any resource gap.
It is important to choose a partner that can help you and your IT team navigate the choices --- including hybrid choices --- that meet your financial and service level goals.