The Numbers for Wednesday, October 16: Bits, nuts, and leaves
The price some groups are paying for high-powered computers they are using to “mine” bitcoins. The value of digital currency, used to anonymously purchase online goods ranging from electronics to illegal drugs, has surged to about $135, 10 times their value a year ago. New bitcoins are only created and released digitally by using powerful computers to solve complex software problems. Groups like the Korb & Co. Investments Mining Fund are pooling as much as $100,000 to invest in the machines, betting that currency’s value will continue to rise. Computer hardware manufacturers, meanwhile, are more than happy to meet the demand. (Bloomberg)
The number of bags of peanuts Northwestern University’s Ryan Field sells at a typical football game. This week, however, the stadium will forgo those sales as well as go through the trouble of hosing down seats to remove any lingering peanut residue in a bid to include fans who suffer from peanut allergies. Nut-free game days and peanut-less airline flights are becoming more common, which could spell trouble for the peanut industry. (Marketplace)
The amount of tourism dollars the Wisconsin Department of Tourism estimates is brought in to the state just from tourists visiting in the Fall to see the changing colors of the season. With climate change looming on the horizon, though, some are concerned those colors might not be the same in the future. (Marketplace)
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