Bitcoin Hash Rate Hits 80 Quintillion for the First Time

BitcoinBitcoin

Bitcoin (BTC) surpassed another milestone on Thursday, August 8, as the world’s leading cryptocurrency’s hash rate hit 80 quintillion for the first time.

This news comes during a good week for BTC, which saw the coin’s value top $12,000 USD twice in three days amid fears that a global recession is on the horizon.

What is Hash Rate?

In its simplest terms, hash rate is a measure of the processing power of the Bitcoin network. When Bitcoins are mined, a difficult mathematical puzzle must be solved before mined coins can be added to the blockchain. The hash rate is a measure of how many times the network can attempt to complete this puzzle every second. The higher the hash rate of the network, the greater the number of miners would be needed to commit an attack on the network. Essentially, hash rate is a measure of Bitcoin network security.

However, just because the Bitcoin network is growing in computing power, does not mean that the coin can be mined any faster. Bitcoin’s network is programmed to mine a block about every 10 minutes, and this rate is maintained by adjusting the mining difficulty (how hard it is to solve the mathematical puzzles) in line with the overall hash rate of the network.

Over Bitcoin’s 10-year lifespan, the network has grown so powerful that it can compute quintillions of hashes every second. For simplicity, 80 quintillion hashes per second is written as 80 EH/s.

Cause for Concern?

While this may sound like more good news for BTC, there may be a slight cause for concern when it comes to ownership of hash power. Research by academics from Princeton and Florida International Universities from October 2018 shows that 74% of BTC’s hash power is controlled by mining pools that are operated by companies or individuals in China. Theoretically, this gives China significant power over the Bitcoin network. This high level of centralized network power in China exposes BTC to rampant censorship and other potentially damaging attacks.

>> Chipmixer Used to Launder BTC from Recent Binance Hack

What Does This Mean for Investors?

Naturally, investors will have more confidence in a network that is more secure, and so today’s news will contribute to the overall bullish attitude investors have towards BTC at the minute. It’s notable that during BTC’s all-time price peak in December 2017, its hash rate was around 10 EH/s. This spiked to around 55 EH/s in October 2018 before falling sharply to around 35 EH/s by the end of the year. BTC’s hash rate has enjoyed a resurgence in 2019, as seen by today’s news, to coincide with its recent resurgence in value.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © stevanovicigor

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Chipmixer Used to Launder BTC from Recent Binance Hack

ChipmixerChipmixer

On May 8, major crypto exchange Binance was the victim of its second major hacking. On this occasion, the thief/thieves made off with 7,000 Bitcoin, which valued at approximately $40 million USD at the time. (That same amount of BTC is worth almost double that at current rates.) Now, several months on, it has been discovered that at least 4,836 Bitcoin of that stolen loot was laundered through crypto mixing service Chipmixer.

Stolen BTC Laundered through Chipmixer

After Binance was hacked, the stolen coins were moved to seven addresses. Then, according to research published by Luxembourg-based crypto capital flow firm, Clain, a month later—on June 12—the culprits began laundering the loot.

Clain described how it made the discovery. According to its publication, because it is “practically impossible to launder big volume of coins in a relatively short period of time,” it could detect the hacker’s addresses. An investigation into those addresses led them to “recognize subsequent alteration to ownership of stolen funds by using a neural network.”

Chipmixer Sees Historical Highs

At the same time as the thieves laundered the money, Chipmixer reported a historical high of fund inflows. It wasn’t simply a coincidence. As such, the assumption now is that any outflow coming from Chipmixer in recent weeks has likely come from the same loot.

>> Congressman Ted Budd Brings Back the Crypto Tax Bill

Chipmixer is a crypto mixing service that is also known as a crypto tumbler. It is an anonymity tool that transforms transactions of non-private coins into private ones. It does this by mixing crypto funds with others, making it difficult to trace the funds’ original source.

Crypto tumblers are often frowned upon in the crypto sphere, precisely because of their role in several money-laundering operations unbeknownst to the service. Recently, in mid-May, Europol shut down Bestmixer.io after Dutch and Luxembourg authorities found that a large number of mixed coins came from criminal activity and money laundering.

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © yulchikg

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ECB Boosts Crypto Surveillance to Monitor the Market Closely

ECBECB

There is no doubt that cryptocurrencies have come a long way over the past few years and are now legitimately regarded as an important corner of the global financial market. However, it is also important to note, that with the rise in popularity, regulations also become a reality, and that is something plenty of regulators have been planning over the past couple of years. Most recently comes the European Central Bank, or ECB, into the mix.

Key Details

While it is true that the cryptocurrency community, in general, is against regulation of any kind, it is also true that as the market grows, there are bound to be certain checks and balances. In a new development, the European Central Bank, which is one of the world’s most influential central banks, stated that it is exploring ways in which cryptocurrencies could be monitored.

In a report published on August 7 and titled “Understanding the crypto-asset phenomenon, its risks and measurement issues”, the ECB stated that the absence of reliable data with regards to the entire crypto market will prove to be a significant challenge for regulators in the years to come. Hence, central banks all over the world need to monitor cryptocurrencies both on-chain as well as off-chain and help fill those data gaps that have confounded regulators all over the world.

>> TRON (TRX) to Release Version 1.0 of the Sun Network on August 10

Although the report did note that cryptocurrencies are public in nature, it added that monitoring the data would require a far more robust ecosystem from the central banks. The report argued that reliable data of transactions with regards to cryptocurrencies is not always available, and hence, a robust system would be needed. Considering the rate at which the crypto market is rising, it is fair advice. These are an important development for the crypto community at large, and although many might be opposed to it, such steps should ultimately make the marketplace a much more reliable one.

What do you think about the ECB’s decision?

Featured image: DepositPhotos © sinenkiy

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Facebook Libra Faces Another Setback From Global Regulators

LibraLibra

Ever since Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) announced that it was going to come up with its own cryptocurrency last month, the company has faced a whole range of backlash from regulatory bodies not only in the United States but also in the rest of the world. The name of the cryptocurrency is Libra, and although the company is planning to launch it in 2020, the white paper has received its fair share of criticism.

In a fresh development, privacy regulators in the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union have expressed their concerns over users’ privacy issues with regards to Libra.

Multiple Criticisms

The project has already been roundly criticized by lawmakers, regulators, and bankers over the past month and in fact, it even drew the ire of United States President Donald Trump. However, this is a fresh salvo and one that is definitely be a worrying one for Facebook. The company is already beleaguered by a slew of privacy breaches of users on its social media platform, and such doubts will only raise the pressure on Libra. The data protection regulators issued a joint statement expressing deep concerns over the fact that the usage of Libra is going to need a large chunk of personal and financial information of users.

>> BlockFi Raises Over $18 Million USD in Funding Round

The statement added that Facebook and Calibra, the subsidiary that handles Libra, have been sketchy with regards to this particular issue. The regulators added that the company has not addressed the questions with regards to the specifics of data handling that is going to be practiced by the company and how exactly the privacy of users is going to be protected. This is a fresh attack on Libra and one that needs to be addressed by the company as soon as possible. If these concerns persist with regards to privacy, then the company could find itself in a very difficult spot with regards to this project.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © TarasMalyarevich

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BlockFi Raises Over $18 Million USD in Funding Round

BlockFiBlockFi

US cryptocurrency lending startup BlockFi has raised $18.3 million USD in a funding round led by Valar Ventures, the company announced on Tuesday.

BlockFi is the first company of its kind to receive institutional funding for crypto-based loans in US dollars, in the form of a $50 million lending facility from Galaxy Digital. The new capital will reportedly be used to expand the array of products on BlockFi’s existing platform that includes interest-earning accounts for Bitcoin (BTC) and crypto-backed USD loans. BlockFi also plans on using the investment to double its number of employees to 60 this year. Earlier this year, BlockFi announced it had over $53 million in customer crypto assets under management.

Valar, which was founded by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, makes its first venture into crypto investment with this Series A funding round, which also saw participation from numerous other crypto-focused investors such as Winklevoss Capital and Galaxy Digital. Valar is one of three venture funds co-founded by Mr. Thiel, who has previously invested in prominent Fintech companies like Transferwise and N26.

“What’s very interesting about BlockFi is how they are bringing traditional financial services to this world,” said Andrew McCormack, Valar’s co-founder. “As the cryptocurrency markets evolve, you will start to see more and more companies that provide a lot of block-and-tackling that traditional bank or other market makers have provided in the fiat world for centuries.”

>> Bitcoin Dominance at 70%: BTC Surges Amid Economic Uncertainty

In March, BlockFi unveiled a savings account that promises as much as 6.2% in annual returns and has since gathered about $250 million in assets. The two-year-old company also offers crypto-backed loans, allowing clients to deposit a minimum of $20,000 in digital currency in exchange for fiat loans.

BlockFi has come under some controversy in recent months, mostly due to the advertised interest rate on its deposit accounts. The company claims to offer 6.2% annual interest on deposits; however, due to the product’s terms of service, the company can modify this at its discretion.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © stevanovicigor

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MasterCard to Build Crypto and Wallet Products: Team Members Wanted

MastercardMastercard

MasterCard Inc. (NYSE:MA) is planning to venture into the cryptocurrency space with a focus on creating a crypto team of 28 cryptocurrency professionals that will spearhead the development of cryptocurrency and wallet products.

Recruiting of Crypto Experts

On MasterCard’s website, under the career tab, the company notes that it is seeking individuals who will fill the positions of senior blockchain engineer and engineering lead, vice president for product management, product innovation, and development director and product management director for cryptocurrency and wallets.

Equally, there are other senior roles that the company is seeking to fill that also require blockchain tech expertise, such as the director of payments platform and networks, VP of network tech product management, and senior strategic program management analyst, among others.

MasterCard’s requirement for hiring personnel for any of the advertised roles is that candidates have expertise in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology’s operation and functions. The company has indicated that for one to qualify for roles, they have to be aware of the evolution of cryptocurrency as well as have a good command over digital currencies.

The cryptocurrency team will be based in San Francisco, where the company will establish a blockchain headquarter. The team will have the responsibility of advocating blockchain tech concepts within the company.

>> Litecoin (LTC) Gains Momentum Post Halving, Jumps 7%

MasterCard to Compete with Facebook’s Libra

MasterCard is already embracing cryptocurrency and blockchain and is already a member of the Libra Association. Therefore, any progress the company will make in harnessing cryptocurrency will be a major milestone to the Libra Association, which is comprised of 27 companies. The move by the company to create a cryptocurrency team will benefit the planned launch of Libra, as well as being good competition for it.

The launch of Libra delayed after Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) cited regulatory hurdles as regulators enhance regulatory scrutiny. Libra is also recruiting professionals for its wallet Calibra but has vowed that it will allow free wallet competition from members of the association.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © jbk-photography

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Grayscale Investments to Make Biggest Transfer in Crypto History

GrayscaleGrayscale

According to Forbes, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency asset manager Grayscale Investments is about to make the biggest transfer in cryptocurrency history.

The asset manager is planning on moving billions of dollars worth of holdings today, and the destination is US crypto wallet and trading platform Coinbase. Should the transfer go off without a hitch, it will mark the largest single-day transfer of cryptocurrency assets ever.

Grayscale Transfers Billions in Cryptocurrency

New York-based Grayscale has announced that Coinbase Custody will serve as custodian on the $3 billion-worth of underlying assets. The entire transfer will take fewer than 12 hours to complete and comprises of Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Ripple (XRP), among other major tokens.

The company claims to be the world’s largest Bitcoin and digital currency asset manager. Custodian Coinbase Custody, operates as a standalone, “independently-capitalized business to Coinbase.” It is now tasked with overseeing the transfer.

Also included in the transfer is “Grayscale’s publicly quoted cryptocurrency trusts and its Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund, which provides exposure to Bitcoin and crypto through a market-cap-weighted portfolio.”

The transfer comes at a volatile time for cryptocurrencies everywhere. Bitcoin’s resurgence to over $10k per coin has spurred on a bullish sentiment regarding the future of digital assets. Also, the pending arrival of Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) new Libra coin has spurred regulators into action.

Cryptocurrency is Growing

In a report issued by Grayscale, the company found that 36% of US investors would consider buying Bitcoin. This equals roughly 21 million investors, signaling a sizeable market for the coin.

>> Crypto Derivative Platform FTX Introduces Alternative to Short Alts

The company reported recently:

“Investors are constantly looking for new ways to diversify their portfolios as traditional assets and markets have begun to move more closely in sync with one another.”

Earlier in July, the asset manager reported that it had $2.7 billion worth of assets under management. This represents an all-time high for the company and is also three-times more than reported in the previous quarter.

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © aa-w

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Crypto Derivative Platform FTX Introduces Alternative to Short Alts

FTXFTX

CoinDesk reports that new crypto derivatives platform FTX has launched one of the most abstract and strangely-named futures index fund in the cryptocurrency market.

The index, dubbed Shitcoin Index Perpetual Futures or SHIT-PERP, is a 58 low market cap coins index. It is flanked by other low-cap indices ALT-PERP and MID-PERP and includes projects such as Grin, Nano, and Waves.

FTX’s Connection with Alameda Research

The derivative platform was opened in spring after an incubation program under Alameda Research began. The FTX derivatives platform operates an over the counter desk, indexes, and futures, as well as spot trading. The Antigua- and Barbuda-based platform has been adding margin and spot trading progressively.

According to FTX statements, the connection of FXT to Alameda Research offers it profound liquidity. Alameda Research was founded in 2017, and so far it manages more than $100 million in crypto assets that on a daily basis trade between $600 million and $1.5 billion. It operates one of the best performing accounts on BiotMEX, having helped onboard staff from Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Optiver, Jane Street, and Susquehanna to FTX.

>> Tezos (XTZ) Outperforms Altcoins: Soars Over 40% This Week

FTX Index Allows Varied Coin Interactions

Despite having an odd name, the index stands by its product that was introduced sometime in June. While speaking to CoinDesk, Darren Wong, the Chief Marketing Officer of FTX, stated that the index enables investors and traders to have interactions with coins in various innovative ways.

Wong said that if a trader or investor is looking for exposure to a specific initial coin offering that is not in the general industry, they can short SHIT-PERP. This means by the trader shorting the alt market, they potentially hedge their bets and minimize their downside. Equally, if one is looking to short low market altcoins, then they can make use of SHIT-PERP because it is one way of shorting low-cap markets.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © lucadp

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Bitcoin Mining Manufacturer Canaan Files for IPO in US Worth $200 Million

CanaanCanaan

As per a report, Canaan Creative, the major Bitcoin miner manufacturer, is supposed to have confidentially filed for an IPO in the US.

As Bitcoin has grown into one of the biggest cryptocurrencies in the world, a range of industries have cropped up that are seeking to provide services that will help create a more robust ecosystem, and most of them are bearing fruit.

For instance, new crypto exchanges are cropping up every other day, and it has become an industry in itself. However, not much has yet been talked about the wide range of companies that are solely involved in the mining of Bitcoins, and one of the companies that has made a name for itself in this space is Canaan Creative.

Key Details

It has now emerged that the company is all set to be the first Bitcoin mining company to have its own initial public offering in the United States. It goes without saying this is a significant development for the Bitcoin mining industry at large. It is interesting to note that Canaan had planned to have an IPO in Hong Kong back in 2018 but eventually pulled out. The reason for this probably lies with the state of the crypto market last year. However, 2019 has been a superb year for Bitcoin, and in the first half of the year, the token went on a massive bull run that threatened to replicate the one it had back at the end of 2017.

>> Litecoin Halving: What You Should Know Before the Big Event

Canaan is a Chinese company that is involved in the manufacturing of crypto mining hardware, and in its filing, the company stated that the size of the IPO is going to be $200 million. That being said, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission is going to examine the company’s mining rigs before it allows the listing to take place. This is, without a doubt, another example of the sort of impact that Bitcoin has had on the markets in general, and it is believed that its influence is going to expand in the future.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © zoomteam

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Facebook Warns Libra Currency May Not Hit the Market

LibraLibra

The month of July has been one of turmoil and chaos in the crypto sphere, and one of the big reasons behind such a state of affairs was the announcement of the Libra coin, the cryptocurrency that is to be introduced by Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) next year. As soon as it was announced, it sent alarm bell ringing among regulators all across the world. The head of the United States Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, expressed his skepticism, while the President of the United States, Donald Trump, did the same in a series of tweets.

Confusion in the Crypto Market

Eventually, such comments led to complete chaos in the crypto market as more and more traders believed that such comments could eventually lead to skepticism regarding the entire crypto market. As a matter of fact, Bitcoin’s excellent run during the first half of the year stuttered in July as the token continued to lurch from one extreme to the other on the back of any news relating to Libra.

However, todayFacebook announced that although it has every intention to launch Libra officially in 2020, there are plenty of factors that could scupper its plans. In fact, the social media giant seemed to concede in its quarterly report that the cryptocurrency might never actually be launched.

>> Tether (USDT) to Begin Running on BlockStream’s Liquid Sidechain

The company’s statement seemed to reflect its wariness at the regulatory scrutiny that it is surely going to face when it launches Libra. In its filing made to the SEC, the company stated, “Libra has drawn significant scrutiny from governments and regulators in multiple jurisdictions and we expect that scrutiny to continue.” In such a situation, the company believes that it would not be able to roll out its product in its entirety in a timely manner, and it would eventually result in a poor product.

It remains to be seen how the crypto market reacts to the latest installment of dramatic news from Facebook’s Libra currency.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © TarasMalyarevich

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@media (max-width: 590px) {
.crec-ad {
width: 100%;
}
.crec-image img{
height:auto;
}
.crec-ad:last-child {
width: 100%;
padding-right: 4px;
}

.crec-header h1 {
padding-left:20px;
}

.crec-container {
padding-left:20px;
padding-right:20px;
}
}
]]>