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Facsimile from High North News
Crypto currencies take a plunge, however, they are still valid currency for kidnappers. Norwegian PM Erna Solberg talks about wolves in India, whereas ship owners from the west coast grapple with outdated maps. These are the most important issues this week.

First, an apology. I have been wrong. We have written a lot about crypto currencies recently. Mo Industry Park and its Market Director Jan Gabor did not appreciate that. There is disagreement, amongst others, about whether or not crypto currency holds any real value.

We have to admit that Gabor and the Industry Park are right. Crypto currency has a value. The kidnapping of the 68-year old housewife in Lørenskog, near Oslo, that has dominated Norwegian news lately, has proven us wrong. The kidnappers have demanded ransom be paid in crypto currency, and thus prove wrong our claim that the currency does not really justify its own existence and that it should not be subsidized by the state.

The amount the kidnappers demand, varies from one day to the next. The various crypto currencies’ value jumps up and down, mostly down, just like a kangaroo. The value of Monery, the choice of the day for the kidnappers, is today only half of what it was at the time of kidnapping and the subsequent ransom letter late October.

And overview from the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten supports the need for crypto currencies. The newspaper lists at least nine other kidnapping cases in which the ransom is to be paid in crypto currency. Most kidnappers, however, appear to prefer Bitcoun, which is also produced in Mo i Rana, Norway – in the aforementioned Industry Park.

Safer than the bank, in other words, and hard to trace. Which is one of the best capacities of the currency.

Several crypto currency experts argue that the kidnappers have made a major mistake. There is not enough crypto currency to pay out the ransom.

Which is also good news for Mo Industry Park, where Bitfury just announced termination of contracts for several employees. Rana Blad was the first media to report of the terminations.

- Sad, says Data Center Manager Eirik Solfjeld, who blames the Norwegian electricity tax.

- It is Norway’s own fault that Bitfury is forced to leave because of what happened with the electricity tax, he says, with a voice full of accusations and regrets.

I wonder.

The value of crypto currencies have collapsed completely over the past few months. All over the world, crypto mining companies are letting people off while at the same time, the exchanges where these currencies are traded are shut down.

No one had, apparently, thought of the idea that Finance Minister Siv Jensen’s banal requirement that the crypto companies had to pay what the power they use actually costs was to bring down a whole international industry.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg has been to India, bringing a long hundreds of business leaders, in particular from the seafood industry. The goal was to increase Norwegian business’ trade with the strong-growing Indian economy.

I am not sure about how successful her trip was. There is much to indicate that the domestic issues overshadowed the attempts at improving the trade balance with India. – We shoot wolves, is – as far as I can tell – the most quoted news story from the PM’s trip to India. What the North Norwegian part of the seafood industry came away with from its Indian adventure remains to be seen.

While the rest of us were devouring our Christmas dinners, ship owner Arne Birkeland of Opelia sent the ‘Northguider’ prawn and snow crab trawler into the dark, cold and ice in the northernmost parts of Spitsbergen.

- It is a legitimate question to ask, was Birkelands response when asked whether what he is doing is responsible.

The same ship owner from the Norwegian west coast has made former attempts at fishing snow crab in the Barents Sea. That did not go well either.

According to the Sysla newspaper, which quotes the ship owner, the Russians had suddenly moved the border without telling the fishermen about it. As a result, 2,000 crab traps were gone, and Birkeland is 99 percent sure the Russians took them.

There is much to indicate that the ship owner generally operates with poorly updated maps.

Just like Arne Birkeland, Donald Trump is almost sure that he will introduce a state of emergency in the USA in order to have his wall built:

“Now if we don’t make a deal with Congress, most likely I will do that, I would actually say I would. I can’t imagine any reason why not because I’m allowed to do it.”

There is even more confusion following the night’s most recent tweet from the president:

- We lose 300 Americans a week, 90% of which comes through the Southern Border. These numbers will be DRASTICALLY REDUCED if we have a Wall!

And here’s me believing the wall was to be built to stop immigrants from entering the USA, not Americans fleeing to Mexico.


Have a great weekend!

Arne O. Holm.


We also offer the following reads:

Norwegian Coastal Waters Among the Most Dangerous in the Arctic
Svalbard: Preparing Extreme Pumping Operation Using Small Boats
Expert Communities Push for Svalbard Preparedness Base