Srp 12

Nvidia to Focus More on Cryptocurrency Mining Market

· August 12, 2017 · 2:15 pm

In the wake of record-setting growth for digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, graphics card manufacturer Nvidia has expressed their intent to focus more on the cryptocurrency mining market.


Cryptocurrency Mining Boom

Since the beginning of 2017, the cryptocurrency market has grown at an enormous rate. In late 2016 the total market capitalization of the cryptocurrency market was a respectable $14 billion and in the months since has climbed a record-setting $135 billion as of this writing!

Bitcoin and Ethereum prices spiked to their ATH (all time high) and mining became profitable for individuals and miners rushed to purchase as many graphic cards as possible in order to profit from the surging prices of both Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The mining rush was so severe, that it even caused a national shortage of graphics cards in Russia. The graphics cards shortages made manufacturers like Nvidia and AMD realize that there is another profitable market for graphics cards, and that’s the cryptocurrency mining market.

Focusing on the Cryptocurrency Market

Nvidia graphics cards

According to a recent article in MarketWatch, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang stated that the cryptocurrency mining market could potentially become another profitable area for Nvidia. In a recent phone call with analysts, Mr. Huang stated:

Crypto is here to stay, and the market will grow to be quite large.

He also went on to say:

It’s not likely to go away any time soon. There will be more currencies to come, they will come from different nations…We stay very close to the market, and understand the dynamics very well.

The most interesting aspect of the whole cryptocurrency mining rush is the potential development of GPUs for mining. While Nvidia officials have declined to comment on rumors that the famous graphics cards manufacturer is developing GPUs that are specifically made for cryptocurrency mining, Huang recently hinted to analysts that the company offers coin miners “a special coin-mining SKU [that is] optimized for mining.”

It’s also worth noting that thanks to the recent mining rush AMD shares have soared from the increase of graphics cards sales as well.

What are your thoughts on Nvidia’s stance on cryptocurrency mining? Do you think that AMD and Nvidia will focus more on cryptocurrency mining products? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Pixabay, Nvidia

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Srp 09

Russia Squares Off with China in Battle for Bitcoin Mining Supremacy

· August 9, 2017 · 2:00 pm

An aide to Russian President Putin seeks to raise $100 million through an ICO of his company in a bid to help dethrone China as the country with the biggest Bitcoin mining industry. Putin has warmed up to blockchain technology, Ethereum in particular, and has extended support for its adoption through the help of local partners. Many believe that these developments indicate Russia’s predisposition to replace USD with Bitcoin as a reserve asset.


Russian Miner Coin

One of Putin’s aides on all matters pertaining to technological security co-owns a company seeking to raise $100 million worth of Bitcoin and Ethereum by holding an initial coin offering for its token, Russian Miner Coin. On its website, RMC claims that their investors will own rights to 18% of its total revenue earned using the company’s mining equipment. Russian official Dmitry Marinichev said, “Russia has the potential to reach up to 30 percent share in global cryptocurrency mining in the future.”

BTFO China?

RMC has adopted a two pronged strategy to accomplishing their goal of usurping China’s dominance in the mining of digital currencies. Firstly, they plan to make full use of Russia’s lower power prices vis-a-vis China: Not only does Russia produces 20 GW (gigawatts) of surplus power capacity, but it also has very cheap consumer electricity prices at only 80 kopeks (1.3 cents) per kWh (kilowatt hour). Secondly, the company plans on using Bitfury chips in Russia for mining.

The founder of Bitfury Group is Valery Vavilov, a Latvian with ties to Russia. Bitfury also happens to be the biggest rival to Bitmain technologies, which is China’s largest producer of mining computers. Eventually, RMC will seek to produce semiconductor chips in Russia itself that it can then use to reduce the power consumption involved in crypto-mining. They aim to devote 10% of the ICO proceeds towards the creation of these processors to achieve quick results.

Russia’s Tryst with Blockchain

President Putin has been very receptive of the nascent asset class of cryptocurrencies and has been particularly charmed by its underlying blockchain technology, specially Ethereum. With Russia going through its worst recession in recent history and facing decreasing revenues from oil and gas, Putin is believed to have earmarked Ethereum as the potential tool to rejuvenate the country’s economy.

The Kremlin’s website even mentions that after meeting with Ethereum’s founder Vitalik Buterin in June, Putin extended overwhelming support to the youngster to implement blockchain technology in Russia with the help of local partners. Russia’s Central Bank has already rolled out a pilot project built on blockchain that has the capability to process online payments and verify customer data with lenders.

Reaction

The general consensus about this development is that this would not have happened without Putin’s backing and blessing. This move has coincided with Bitcoin breaking all-time high records and crossing the $3500 mark, which has raised a few eyebrows. Some have suggested that this is the most obvious indicator yet that Putin aims to use digital currencies to replace US Dollars as a reverse currency/asset.

Cynics argue that such large scale Bitcoin mining by the Russians might just be a mask for laundering money in the country notorious for corrupt oligarchs. Regardless, Russia’s embrace of the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology comes as great news for the crypto-verse as it can only result in a greater adoption of the financial technology.

What do you think about Russia’s move to rival China in bitcoin mining? Do you think they are adopting the correct strategy? What do you believe are the ulterior motives behind Putin’s interest in this new fin-tech world? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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Čvc 17

The Biggest Mining Pool is Now Signaling to Keep Bitcoin Whole

· July 17, 2017 · 11:00 am

BIP91 blocks have been successfully mined by BiXin and Antpool helping to allay fears that Bitcoin could split in the face of incompatibility between rival Segwit2x and BIP148 implementations.


BIP91 (or Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 91) is the work of software engineer James Hilliard, it addresses incompatibilities between the competing SegWit2x and BIP148 protocols. Both bring SegWit to Bitcoin, except that SegWit2x refuses communication with BIP148, which would effectively cause Bitcoin to split in two.

What’s BIP91?

BIP91 seeks to address this problem by enabling SegWit2x and BIP148 to communicate. However, in order for BIP91 to be successful it must also be adopted by a significant number of mining pools in order to successfully activate. Activation of any of these SegWit improvements to Bitcoin need to gain a significant proportion of the Bitcoin network hashpower (80%) to be generated by miners and mining pools.

Rival Improvements

SegWit2x was agreed by Bitcoin companies and large miners, whereas BIP148 came from an independent groundswell of Bitcoin users and developers. The two rival protocols looked set on forking Bitcoin until BIP91 joined the fray.

SegWit2x has been identified by Luke-Jr, amongst others, as essentially a power grab by large Bitcoin mining operations, primarily Bitmain, allowing them potential control of the whole Bitcoin network.

“By promoting BIP91 and Segwit2x as an alternative to BIP148, what miners are really doing is another power grab to try to take back their veto, which has no purpose other than to be used by Bitmain to block the whole thing at the last minute…,” warns Luke-Jr.

If too little of the economy has upgraded to BIP148 in time for August, it gives Bitmain the opportunity to perform a chain split attack, and fool outdated nodes into following their invalid chain, possibly becoming financially dependent on it before realizing the attack has occurred.

Mining Pools Rally to the Cause

With more pools now coming forward and signaling BIP91 it seems that the community and mining pools are realizing that action is needed to prevent any potentially catastrophic Bitcoin splits and forcing users to take matters into their own hands.

A coordinated effort like this is a rare thing to see, especially considering there is no central figure to oversee such efforts and negotiate with mining pools for adoption. With time also of the essence pools are being mobilized and standing up to the potential vested interests of SegWit2x.

BIP91 should reduce the possibility of a Bitcoin split, which most rational Bitcoin users, miners and operators will agree is a good thing.

Will this BIP91 announcement reassure Bitcoin Investors and users ahead of the August 1st segwit activation date? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter, xbt.eu

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Čvn 12

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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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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