After recent price spike, the energy to produce bitcoin could power a country of more than 200 million people

As bitcoin advances to new records, it is also devouring the energy of a country with more than 200 million people.

The Center for Alternative Finance at the University of Cambridge tries to track energy consumption with bitcoin. While the exact consumption can never be known, a hunch can be produced by tracking the total number of hashes produced by the miners and looking at the efficiency of bitcoin mining equipment. The hash rate is the unit of measurement of the bitcoin network's processing power.

The recent price hike - bitcoin BTCUSD, 0.84% rose 276% this year, trading around $27,000 on Tuesday - made using less efficient equipment more profitable.

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Ethereum Miners Generated Revenue Of $262 Million Last Month


Miners in the Ethereum network earned about $262 million in revenue during November, an increase from October figures.

Of that amount, $64.1 million in revenue came in the form of transaction fees. Ethereum's transaction fees soared earlier this year amid an increase in DeFi-related activities and costs associated with building complicated stocks.

November marked the third highest month for transaction fees in 2020 so far, although it did not exceed september's $321.3 million. More than $170 million of revenue earned in September came in the form of transaction fees.

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Venezuela’s Military Begins Mining Bitcoin (BTC) Through Its New Crypto Mining Centre


The Venezuelan army has entered the world of crypto mining. An engineering brigade inaugurated the new "Digital Asset Production Center of the Bolivarian Army of Venezuela", a facility that houses ASIC mining equipment that will be used by the military Bitcoin (BTC) mining operation, Cointelegraph reported.

The 61st Conditioning Brigade of Engineers Agustín Codazzi inaugurated the new crypto mining centre on November 19, 2020, the The military aims to achieve self-sustainability with its newly created mining operation.

The value of the new Bitcoin mining centre to the army is its ability to generate "unblocked sources of income." It is also an alternative to the "system of trust blocked and controlled by colonialist interests," a reference to the United States, which imposed economic sanctions against the Maduro regime.

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Long In China’s Shadow, The U.S. Is Once Again Becoming A Bitcoin Mining Powerhouse


China may have dominated the crypto-mining space by now, thanks to cheap labor and the excessive construction of dams and hydroelectric generation infrastructure. But the U.S. has begun to draw the attention of Chinese players looking to diversify, according to Peter Wall, CEO of Argo Blockchain, listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Bitcoin mining is advantageous thanks to its gigantic energy consumption, but less attention is paid to the fact that it is also at the forefront of energy innovation. Colyer calls the Bitcoin system's mining algorithm “relentless” in always seeking the lowest possible cost, which is generally geared towards renewable energy such as hydropower - the reason for a migration of up to 40,000 Chinese mining platforms at the end of the season rainy season in Szechuan.

Greenidge is a hybrid facility where bitcoin mining can be used to add stability to the grid. Being connected to the Millennium Pipeline system, a very liquid forward market, or over-the-counter market, also allows Greenidge to protect variable input costs over several years, said Tim Rainey, Greenidge's chief financial officer, at the Bitmain summit .

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Ethereum Transaction Fees Drop 85% in Under Three Weeks


Transaction fees, volumes and amounts transacted have decreased considerably in the past three weeks.

  • Transaction fees earned by Ethereum miners have fallen by more than 85% in under three weeks.
  • A smaller decrease has been observed in the total number of Ethereum transactions.
  • The total number of ETH sent has also dropped by 74%.

Ethereum's average transaction fee (ETH) peaked at almost $ 12 last month, causing a major pain point for merchants and other ETH users. As a result, Ethereum miners have been accumulating record fees, earning a total of $166 million from transaction fees in September alone.

But now, things are back to normal. According to Glassnode data, the total Ethereum transaction fees earned by miners fell from a peak of 42,763 ETH on September 17, to 5,898 yesterday - equivalent to an 86.2% drop in less than three weeks.

In turn, the average transaction fee fell to a similar degree and dropped from a September 17 peak of $11.62 to $2.1 from yesterday. This makes the Ethereum blockchain cheaper to use.

It is not just transaction fees that have dropped dramatically in recent weeks. The absolute number of transactions on the Ethereum network also dropped considerably to reach 935,000 yesterday - 29.2% less since it peaked at 1.32 million in 2020 on September 17.

The total amount traded decreased even more. It fell from 6.5 million ETH on September 17 to 1.7 million ETH yesterday - a 74% drop.

The rate increases seen between June and September are largely due to the rapidly expanding interest in the decentralized finance industry (DeFi), which has seen platforms such as Uniswap, Curve, Aave, and several income projects like YAM, calling for attention. Since the Ethereum network is only able to process a limited number of transactions in each block, and can only handle about 10-14 transactions per second, competition for block space has increased dramatically leading to a gas war between those who needed their transaction to be confirmed quickly.

Now, the hype surrounding DeFi projects has eased somewhat and most of the major DeFi currencies have been at a staggering loss in the past week, including Uniswap (-27.6%), Yearn Finance (-41.2%), and UMA ( -28.5%). This should give Ethereum some much-needed breathing space.


Is Bitcoin’s mining pool concentration fuelling speculative price bubbles?


All other stories about Bitcoin price forecasting or speculation are centered on the narrative that increased investment by institutions and hedge funds will create value and fuel the price rally. However, a less popular narrative is that of the impact of mining pool concentration on Bitcoin speculative bubbles and Bitcoin price.

In September 2019, the concentration of mining pools was at its peak and the price of Bitcoin fell more than 25% from $10,600 to $8,500 level in 6 months. With a drop in the concentration of mining pools, Bitcoin's dominance has fallen.

The timeline overlaps with the initial plans to launch Libra and Alipay's ban on Bitcoin-related transactions. However, in addition to these external factors, Bitcoin's price was affected by the concentration of mining pools.

On-chain analysts predict the price of Bitcoin based on market cycles or pre / post halving, however, halving events are closely linked to Bitcoin mining. The increase in mining concentration reduces mining profitability, reducing, in turn, the supply of Bitcoin to exchanges. Speculative bubbles are created just before each halving, and the concentration of mining is the key factor responsible for it. Based on data from Glassnode, in its recent report on the cryptocurrency mining industry, Tokensight shared the perception that the change in miners' income is similar to the trend for the entire network hash rate. And the price is considered a measure of the hash rate here. Represents the fee paid by the mining pool to purchase the miners' hash fee.

In June 20, the mining difficulty returned to the level of May 20, and each time the difficulty exceeds 14.5 T, prices increase to increase mining profitability and capture more miners, reducing mining concentration.

Observations of the price x hashrate chart highlight that the increase in hashrate leads to an increase in price. However, the latest increase in the hash rate added 45% to the price, the previous one added 122%. It is possible that external factors such as the ICO bubble influence it. There were several speculative bubbles along the way to + 45% and these can possibly be attributed to the corresponding hashrate and mining concentration.

The current mining difficulty is 17.39T and, with an average of 100 days, it has been rising steadily since July 2020.

Although this is an indicator that the price of Bitcoin may increase with an increase in mining profitability, the concentration of mining pools is not high enough to fuel speculative bubbles in the price of Bitcoin.


Chinese Bitcoin mining machine manufacturer Ebang establishes Canadian subsidiary

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Chinese bitcoin mining machine maker Ebang International has established a wholly owned subsidiary in Canada, paving the way for it to enter the country's digital asset trading business as it strives to diversify its revenue streams

The move comes just over a month after the US-listed company created a wholly-owned subsidiary in Singapore for its planned offshore exchange for cryptocurrencies.

The Canadian subsidiary received a monetary services business license from Canada's Financial Transaction Analysis and Reporting Center to engage in business, including foreign exchange trading and digital currency transfer in the country, Ebang said in a statement on Monday.

"Our new Canadian subsidiary lays a solid foundation for the company to enter North America, a market that represents high recognition of digital currency and a robust investment opportunity in digital currency trading platforms"

Ebang's president and CEO

In the first half of 2020, Ebang reduced its net losses to $6.96 million from $19.07 million the previous year, even with its 50.6% revenue over the previous year, to $11, 04 million, the company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Ebang, which was listed on Nasdaq in June, said earlier that it will explore opportunities in blockchain and cryptocurrencies in an effort to reduce its dependence on sales of bitcoin mining machines that are vulnerable to fluctuations in the price of virtual currency.


Only 2.5 million Bitcoins remain to be mined and half of that will be mined in the next 4 years

The Bitcoin network spent 18.5 million bitcoin in circulation. This means that less than 2.5 million remain to be mined.

Interestingly, half of that 2.5 million will be mined in the next 4 years alone.

Below is the description of the numbers as percentages:

  • 18,500,000 extracted (88.1%)
  • 2,500,000 not mined (11.9%)
  • 1,250,000 to be extracted by 2024 (6%)
  • 21,000,000 to be extracted by 2140 (100%)

2020, unlike previous years in the history of bitcoin, has seen remarkable interest in bitcoin and crypto with institutional investors substantially increasing their bitcoin allocations, regardless of short-term price drops.

Although Bitcoin's 2020 halving did not come with the expected post-halving rally, it doesn't seem to have deterred investors at all.

Interest in crypto comes largely from the belief that the market will improve with regulations for the crypto market becoming clearer in the future.

Here are some statistics that show the level of interest in bitcoin in 2020:

  • Macro-investor and billionaire, Paul Tudor, confirms he bought 21,454BTC
  • GrayScale Investments, now has about 500,000 (2.4% of the current bitcoin offering) under its management
  • Bakkt, an ICE-regulated crypto asset custody platform, reports that BTC futures contracts trade more than $200 million daily
  • Daily bitcoin contracts at Binance, the world's largest exchange by volume, amount to more than $2.5 billion
  • The Norwegian Government Pension Fund, the largest cryptocurrency sovereign fund in the world with more than $1 trillion in assets, now has 577.6 bitcoins
  • MicroStrategy, the world's largest smart business company, adopts bitcoin as its primary reserve asset by buying 38,250 bitcoins worth $425 million at the time of purchase
  • Bitcoin is the 6th largest currency in the world so far with a market capitalization of over $200 billion.

As conversations about crypto regulation spread across the world and the global economic climate amid the Covid-19 pandemic continues to take hold, bitcoin will continue to be seen as a valuable and active hedge reserve and its value will only go up .


Bitcoin miner maker Ebang reduces first half loss to $7 million, as Covid-19 hit demand


Ebang International Holdings Inc., a Chinese manufacturer of bitcoin mining hardware, reported a net loss of $6.96 million in the first six months of this year, down from $19.07 million a year ago, as demand fell due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Revenue fell 51%, to $11.04 million, from $22.35 million previously, the company said in a results statement shared with the news.

During the semester, Nasdaq-listed Ebang sold a total of 0.25 million tera hash per second (TH / s) of Bitcoin hash power. The figure represents an 86% drop from the 1.82 million TH / s sold in the same period in 2019.

Ebang's shares rose 0.3% to $9.88 on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange at the time of writing. The shares have fallen more than 30% since being listed on the stock exchange in June. Then, it was traded at a high of $14.95. Ebang hit a low of $3.80 during this period as well.

Dong Hu, Ebang's president, and CEO, blamed the loss of the Covid-19 induced global economic recession and Bitcoin's scheduled May 11 cut in supply, which cut miners' profits and reduced demand for equipment suppliers. mining. He stated:

"Measures to contain Covid-19, such as travel restrictions, mandatory quarantines and suspension of business activities, have caused serious disruptions and uncertainties to our business operations and have negatively affected our results of operations and financial conditions. Our chip suppliers have reduced their production capacity due to the impact of covid-19, resulting in a shortage of raw materials in the first six months of 2020."

For the review period, Ebang, which makes application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chips used in bitcoin mining, reported total operating expenses of $7.71 million compared to $9.60 million in the comparable period last year.

Bitcoin mining hardware manufacturers have seen a decline in demand due to the coronavirus pandemic. Competitor Canaan Creative recently reported that losses in the second quarter of 2020 decreased to $2.4 million from $5.6 million in the previous quarter, but demand also fell due to Covid-19.

Ebang's Dong Hu now hopes to take advantage of new crypto exchanges and online brokers that are due to open soon in Singapore and Canada. He said the company plans to "capture the entire value chain of the blockchain industry" through a combination of blockchain-compatible and conventional financial businesses


Bitcoin miners are using new strategies to hedge risks

Bitcoin (BTC) and other crypto mining companies have been forced to employ various strategies to hedge risks, researchers at the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance said, but most of these attempts are still "elementary".

The study argued that while mining pools are described as a hashrate aggregator (the computational power of a cryptographic network), they also buy hash hashers, thus contributing to their commoditization. And "as for any other commodity, the development of a spot market has led to the introduction of derivative contracts." Some companies have started issuing a set of financial products based on the hashrate, the researchers said, while "[m] iners can see this development as a hedging opportunity to better manage their risks and improve their cash flow situation".

According to this study: mining players have seen increased competition with each other, as well as tighter profit margins, which has led them to explore a number of different strategies to hedge risks and make additional cash flows. The study here highlighted the recent development of new financial instruments aimed specifically at miners, such as hashrate advances and difficulty futures (futures contracts trading against Bitcoin's future mining difficulty).

The study, however, described the miners' coverage strategies as "relatively elementary", consisting mainly of holding crypto assets (58%) or fiat reserves (41%).

The researchers concluded that,

"Only a handful of miners make use of sophisticated financial instruments, such as crypto (12%) or hashrate (14%) derivatives, or choose to collateralize their currencies (15%)."

In addition, American miners are twice as likely to use hashrate derivatives than those in Asia-Pacific (APAC) and six times more likely than European miners, the study said. In addition, APAC and North American miners are also likely to enter into crypto derivatives contracts. Regional discrepancies could be explained by certain factors, such as the availability of these financial products and regulatory clarity.

Here are some other top tips:

  • Bitcoin is the most popular currency mined (89% of hashers surveyed), followed by Ethereum (ETH) (35%) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) (30%).
  • Bitcoin mining is prevalent in all regions, while other currencies appear more popular in certain areas than others, for example, Ethereum mining appears to be popular with Latin American hashers, while Bitcoin Cash is more popular in APAC and in North America.
  • China accounts for 52% of manufacturers' total sales, outperforming other regions, including the USA (12%) and Canada (9%).
  • The share of labor and maintenance costs does not appear to differ significantly between China and the USA.
  • The vast majority of workers no longer pay residential electricity prices, but earn industrial prices through contractual agreements with energy generators.
  • Hashers' operating costs can be reduced through government support, which can take the form of subsidies or tax exemptions, but only 23% of surveyed hashers reported receiving government support. 38% of them operate in China, followed by Kazakh (19%) and Canadian (12%) hashers.
  • 76% of hashers use renewable energy as part of their energy mix, but the share of renewables in the total energy consumption of the hashers remains at 39%.
  • For most profit-oriented miners, coin selection is generally guided by financial criteria, while welcomed hobbyists, mainly located in Europe and North America, are often driven by subjective criteria, such as ideology and personal affection.
  • Data on the cost structure of Chinese and American hashers seems to confirm that Chinese hashers have a competitive advantage in acquiring mining machines, given the concentration of hardware manufacturers in China, and accompanying well-connected and shorter supply chains to hashers. Chinese, simplified commercial conduct and absence of overseas transportation fees.
  • The seasonal advantage obtained through surplus electricity in some areas of APAC, such as China's Sichuan province, designed to give a competitive advantage in minimizing operating costs, is offset by less accessible electricity prices over the rest of the year, when hashers migrate back to their regions.