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5 Companies Set to Profit From The Cryptocurrency Gold Rush

· June 12, 2017 · 12:00 pm

Nvidia, AMD, Intel and Micron as makers of hardware mining tools, such as GPUs and ASIC-based mining solutions, are tapped to profit the most from the new internet gold rush.


Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, It’s Off To Work We Go

As the price of Bitcoin rises it has the knock-on effect of causing a rise in the rest of the cryptocurrency market with most other altcoins also seeing sizeable gains in value. These coins can be “mined” with a graphics card and are usually exchanged for Bitcoin, turning a good profit for miners.

Heigh Ho Heigh Ho Its Off to Work We Go

Specialty online mining pools such as multipool.us pool together the hashing power of individual miners and automatically choose the most profitable altcoin to mine, switching to other coins as the price dictates. In the past, electricity costs could negate actual profit from GPU mining, but with the overall rise in value of the cryptocurrency market as a whole, the situation has once again changed.

In a Gold Rush Sell Shovels

AMD has been in the news recently because their high-end gaming cards are sold out due to their mining ability. The company has seen big stock gains this year, rising in tandem with Bitcoin as their graphics cards are the most efficient when it comes to mining protocols. This has caused anger and controversy among gamers, AMD GPUs’ key market. The unavailability of the best cards has driven up prices, sending potential customers to their rivals, Nvidia, who have also been seeing gains this year.

GPU manufacturers aren’t the only ones benefiting from the current boom either. ASIC manufacturers such as Bitmain, who sell Antminers, have been seeing increased attention. ASICs are specialist circuits optimized for performing a single function, in this case, mining Bitcoin.

Other beneficiaries include memory chip manufacturer Micron Technology Inc., whose share prices have increased by nearly 50% this year. Intel is jumping on the bandwagon as well, maneuvering to compete with AMD with their own currently integrated graphics solutions.

Have you started up your mining rigs again? Are there other companies set to profit from the new gold rush? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Google Finance, AdobeStock

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Dub 06

ASICBOOST: Bitmain to Respond ‘Soon’ to Exploit Accusations

· April 6, 2017 · 5:00 am

Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu has vowed to respond ‘soon’ to accusations the miner is exploiting a Bitcoin vulnerability to manipulate mining.


Bitmain, Vulnerability Outing ‘Huge SegWit Confidence Boost’

A “covert” use of so-called ASICBOOST technology was circulated to the Core mailing list by contributor Greg Maxwell Wednesday. This would allow “a major manufacturer” to unfairly profit from centralization.

While Bitmain was not named by Maxwell, community sources subsequently confirmed the company’s involvement.

Maxwell wrote:

Exploitation of this vulnerability could result in payoff of as much as $100 million USD per year at the time this was written (Assuming at 50% hash-power miner was gaining a 30% power advantage and that mining was otherwise at profit equilibrium).  This could have a phenomenal centralizing effect by pushing mining out of profitability for all other participants, and the income from secretly using this optimization could be abused to significantly distort the Bitcoin ecosystem in order to preserve the advantage.

The Core developer also proposed solutions to prevent the attack becoming a major problem, in a move praised by Tone Vays as “a huge confidence boost” for the SegWit supporters.

Wu: Bitmain Statement ‘Soon’

Wu meanwhile stated Bitmain would provide a statement “soon.”

Previously, suspicion had already fallen on the Bitcoin Unlimited supporter, with community members noting he had deleted tweets about ASICBOOST. They added Wu’s BU support could be linked to the Bitmain operation.

While ASICBOOST was originally invented by Sergio Lerner among others, who also contributes to SegWit concepts, Maxwell stated that none of the technology’s creators were “aware” of the exploit.

“Reverse engineering of a mining ASIC from a major [manufacturer] has revealed that it contains an undocumented, undisclosed ability to make use of this attack. (The parties claiming to hold a patent on this technique were completely unaware of this use.),” he continued.

On the above basis the potential for covert exploitation of this vulnerability and the resulting inequality in the mining process and interference with useful improvements presents a clear and present danger to the Bitcoin system which requires a response.

In Summer 2016, KnCMiner declared bankruptcy over the Bitcoin block reward halving causing them unsustainable overheads.

The firm had previously been taken to court in its native Sweden by customers complaining over delays and defects with its products.

The startup had meanwhile raised over $32 million in investment.

What do you think about Greg Maxwell’s post? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Twitter, Shutterstock

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Bře 24

Why The Bitcoin Miners Are Destined To Lose The Forking Wars

· March 24, 2017 · 6:00 pm

2,706 views

Excuse me for indulging myself, but there are many points of view towards what may be an impending hard fork for Bitcoin. This may come across as a loosely coherent ramble, but at least it is short and sweet. There is enough here to put it on wax, so here’s what I see, in the big picture.


This is in response to the Medium post created by Peter Rizun yesterday, outlining how this hard fork may play out, and essentially showing a way BTU wins, in the long run. (Roger Ver tweeted his support for this post, so I read it and posted most of these thoughts in the comments section, and here we are.)

In my humble opinion, the problem I see coming is if BCU breaks off, it will become an altcoin, as has been established by the Bitcoin exchange establishment. These miners can mine all the blocks they want, if the greater community doesn’t trust their developers, doesn’t want an altcoin, and isn’t buying BCU, it is irrelevant by design.

The market will decide who wins, and anybody who is not a miner wants to stick with Core and their chain. The miners are one thing, the market is something else. The miners might win a battle, but they would lose that war. They should keep that in mind.

Without those miners, BTC would definitely take a hit, but the Core developers could then quickly move to a 2MB upgrade and get SegWit and The Lightning Network approved, creating greater Bitcoin functionality, from a trusted group of developers, and an incredible upside in off-chain scalability that an on-chain approach would be hard pressed to match. All without the centralization and control of the miners.

segwit-logo

Users will follow anyone who is going to implement SegWit. The market is sold on this concept as a boon to Bitcoin functionality. BTU has not done a very good sales job at all regarding their position. Scaling away from miners will hurt mining, but it will let Bitcoin reach its full potential.

BTU needs to sell their mined Bitcoins to a market. I’m not seeing much of a market for BTU, outside of the miners and BTU investors, themselves. The miners do not control Bitcoin, and even Core does not control Bitcoin. Maybe, just maybe, The People control Bitcoin’s future growth? Anyone who thinks the market doesn’t have a handle on who each side is looking out for here is fooling themselves.

Just seeing how the community is responding, keeping my ear to the ground, the greater community will not follow the miners, who are primarily looking to turn a digital buck in Bitcoin. They will follow Core, who is looking after the greater good. Miners will lose that tug of war.

Bitcoin miners vs Bitcoin core

It has become clear that BTU developers cannot replace BTC developers, as the recent bugs have shown the world, but BTC miners can be replaced. There are plenty of people around the world who want that job and can do it just as well.

This power struggle is really temporary in nature. People will not follow miners looking for profit first, and who want to hijack the entire system, from now on, in order to get it. That is not leadership.

At the end of the day, The People will decide to back Core. The only question is when will the dissenting miners, clouded by visions of endless Bitcoin profiteering, figure this fact out?

If the miners didn’t get the memo, that the vast majority of the market will stick with Core and not dump BTC for any BTU altcoin, use this. Like Bitcoin itself, it’s far from perfect, but it’ll do just fine.

How do you think a hard fork would play out? Should there be an increase in block size? Let us know what you think below!


Images courtesy of Bitcoin Core, AdobeStock

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Led 26

Venezuela Arrests 4 Bitcoin Miners as Trading Highs Continue

· January 26, 2017 · 6:00 am

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Venezuela has arrested a group of Bitcoin miners for allegedly “affecting stability” of the country’s electricity supply.


Thirsty Work Causes Problems for Miners

As reported in local news resource Criptonoticias, four people running 300 machines to mine bitcoins are now in custody in Charallave, Miranda province.

The Venezuelan Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigation Corps said that the operation, which also involved the selling of bitcoins on the country’s border, was having a negative impact on the national grid.

conasgnb2

“The modus operandi of these citizens was as follows: through the Internet they had more than 300 miners Antminers to obtain Bitcoins, which they later monetized using a commercial website,” Corps director Douglas Rico commented.

They then went on to market them on the Colombian Venezuelan border in Cúcuta, affecting the consumption and stability of electricity services in the area.

Mining Becomes Gray Area

Facing crumbling finances and a currency shake-up, it is no surprise that the demand for bitcoins and the authorities’ urge to protect resources is resulting in clashes. Despite there being no explicit laws against Bitcoin mining in Venezuela, it appears that even a relatively modest setup can be enough to overstep the mark.

Images from the offenders’ Instagram account show them to be using Bitmain Antminers which “appear to be of the S4 model, while others appear to be SP31 / 35 of the deceased company Spondoolies Tech (sic),” Criptonoticias continues.

1414588500_antminer-05

It is reported that a previous arrest of Bitcoin mining personnel in March 2016 resulted in a three-month detention followed by release.

While Trading Breaks New Records

Strangely, it is not everywhere that Bitcoin usage is being singled out by law enforcement, despite the ongoing economic chaos in the area.

As Bitcoinist reported in December, one online travel agent has even opted to abandon Venezuela’s fiat currency, the Bolivar, altogether and accept only Bitcoin for payment. The company, Destinia, stated it “had decided to operate exclusively in Bitcoins in order to further facilitate reservations by local travelers.”

Trading volumes meanwhile also continue to strengthen in the face of factors affecting Bitcoin such as China. Data from Coin Dance based on Localbitcoins shows the week ending January 21 was one of the biggest on record for Venezuela, volumes advancing again following fervent activity around the new year period. 

coin-dance-localbitcoins-vef-volume-4

The trend is being broadly repeated across other South American markets, with Chile and Brazil also climbing throughout January.

What do you think about the authorities’ arrests of Bitcoin miners in Venezuela? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coin.dance, cryptomining.net, g4svenezuela.wordpress.com

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Led 01

Bitcoin Network Stats Show Block Time Is Back To Normal

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoin Network Stats Show Block Time Is Back To Normal

Just a few days ago, there was some concern among the Bitcoin community regarding how fast new blocks were being mined on the network. In a normal world, the time between Bitcoin blocks is roughly 10 minutes. Earlier this week, however, blocks were being found in under six minutes, thanks to a major network hashrate increase. Based on today’s Bitcoin network statistics, everything is back to normal.

Also read: John McAfee Doesn’t Think Bitcoin Is The Digital Currency Of The Future

Major Hashrate Increase Leads To Faster Blocks

The Bitcoin network heavily depends on the amount of hashpower used to generate new coins and validate transactions. Every now and then, that total hashrate will either drop or increase significantly. These types of movements will have an impact on the Bitcoin block time, which is the time required to generate a new block with confirmed transactions on the network.

A few days ago, the Bitcoin network saw a major hashrate increase, as BitFury deployed their new mining chip on the network on a large scale. Thanks to this chip’s performance and lower energy requirements, incredible computational power can be achieved. Directing such a power at the Bitcoin network caused a bit of unrest among the miners, as the block time on the network started decreasing, and came pretty close to the five-minute mark at one point.

It goes without saying that, while faster block times also means faster transaction confirmations, such a situation is a double-edged sword. Rapid validation of Bitcoin transactions can lead to security issues as these validations could come from one minor attempting a 51% attack on the network. If such an attack were to be successful, the Bitcoin blockchain would split in two, rendering a lot of transactions invalid.

However, it turned out that fear among the Bitcoin miners was a bit premature, as no miner or mining pool got anywhere near a 51% attack during this brief period of faster block generation. By the look of things, the new hashpower pointed at the Bitcoin network was spread out among mining pools in an even fashion.

One thing to keep in mind is how the Bitcoin network is affected by a difficulty coefficient, which will scale depending on the total amount of hashpower pointed at the network. If there is more hashpower, the difficulty will increase, and the block times will return to their regular 10-minute interval schedule without any issues. That difficulty adjustment has taken place, and things seem to be back to normal.

Network Statistics Confirm Block Time Is OK

Every day, a bot posts the latest Bitcoin network statistics on /r/Bitcoin, displaying the total amount of BTC in circulation, the current difficulty, and the average block time. Based on the statistics posted a few hours, the average time until a new block is found on the Bitcoin network is back to its regular interval, as it currently sits at 10 minutes and 4 seconds.

The difficulty adjustment did its work flawlessly once again, as the total amount of hashpower pointed to the network is still well above 700 petahash.  If this trend of adding more hashpower keeps up, another upward difficulty adjustment will follow in a few days. Scalability is an integral part of the Bitcoin network and goes much further than just the block size itself.

What are your thought son the current Bitcoin network statistics? Do you expect a major hashpower increase throughout 2016? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Reddit

Images credit of BitFury, Shutterstock

The post Bitcoin Network Stats Show Block Time Is Back To Normal appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Bitcoin Network Stats Show Block Time Is Back To Normal

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