Weak Demand for Mining Hardware Impacts TSMC’s Growth Outlook

During a recent Q3 earnings call, the world’s largest producer of semiconductors, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), forecasted weakening growth for the rest of 2018 due to declining demand for cryptocurrency mining hardware. This outlook comes despite anticipating a significant increase in demand for its 7-nanometer processing chips from the high-end smartphone industry.

Also Read: $50 Million Bitcoin Mining Farm Opens in Armenia

TSMC Anticipates Weakened Fourth Quarter Growth

Weak Demand for Mining Hardware Impacts TSMC’s Growth OutlookLora Ho, the chief financial officer and senior vice president of finance for TMSC, predicts that declining demand for cryptocurrency mining hardware will offset much of the growth expected to be generated through sales of its 7-nanometer chips.

Ho stated: “Moving into fourth quarter, despite the current market uncertainties, our business will benefit from the continuous steep ramp of 7-nanometer for several high-end smartphones as well as the demand for 16/12-nanometer for the launches of new-generation GPU and AI. However, this growth will be partially offset by continued weakness in cryptocurrency mining demand and inventory management by our customers.”

C.C. Wei, TSMC’s chief executive officer and vice chairman, reiterated Ho’s predictions, stating: “Our second half of 2018 business will be strongly supported by the 7-nanometer ramp-up, which is mainly driven by a few new smartphone launches. However, our business is also negatively impacted by further weakening of cryptocurrency mining demand.”

TSMC Reduces Annual Growth Forecast

Weak Demand for Mining Hardware Impacts TSMC’s Growth OutlookTaking all factors into account, Wei estimates TSMC’s 2018 growth will be approximately 6.5 percent, falling slightly short of the company’s prediction of between seven percent and nine percent total growth for 2018, as delivered during the company’s previous earnings call.

Ho predicts that TSCM’sl fourth-quarter revenue should reach between $9.35 billion and $9.45 billion – a 10.7 percent sequential increase in the company’s revenue.

Ho also predicts TSMC to post a fourth-quarter gross margin of between 47 percent and 49 percent, and an operating margin of between 36 percent and 38 percent.

Do you think that demand for mining hardware will increase again? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


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$50 Million Bitcoin Mining Farm Opens in Armenia

$50 Million Bitcoin Mining Farm Opened in Armenia

A new cryptocurrency mining facility opened in Armenia on Oct. 18. The $50 million farm will extract bitcoin and ethereum using 3,000 machines, according to local media reports. Around 120,000 more miners are to be added in the months to come.

Also read: Marks Jewelers Now Accepts Bitcoin Cash For Payments

Multi Group and Omnia Establish Landmark Armenian Mining Facility

The mining project, spearheaded by Armenian real estate investment company Multi Group Concern and Malta-registered Omnia Tech International Company, was officially launched in the Armenian capital of Yerevan on Thursday. The country’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, businessmen and entrepreneurs from China, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates attended the ceremony, Arka News Agency reported.

$50 Million Bitcoin Mining Farm Opened in ArmeniaGagik Tsarukyan, an Armenian businessman and politician who is also founder and head of Multi Group, said the company spent $50 million creating the facility, including the installation of industrial level cooling systems. The farm’s first floor is designed for an information technology business center that runs around the clock, he explained.

According to an earlier statement by Multi Group chief executive Sedrak Arustamyan, the farm will be operated by Omnia Tech, a mining entity that offers lifetime contracts and daily payouts. Omnia Tech has said to be in partnership with Genesis Mining, a leading cryptocurrency hashpower supplier.

“We will also help Omnia Tech with the establishment of the Financial Technology Park and the data exchange center in Armenia,” Arustamyan said in April. Robert Velghe, Omnia Tech founder, indicated at the time that the two companies were planning to invest more than $2 billion in mining projects in Armenia. “We intend to create here a blockchain-based center for the development of new information projects, which will turn Armenia into a high-tech platform,” he said.

 Global Cryptocurrency Mining Operations Rise

$50 Million Bitcoin Mining Farm Opened in ArmeniaArmenia is aiming to create its own Silicon Valley by establishing a free economic zone that will host a state-of-the-art technology center, officials have said. The new mining facility, the country’s first, comes at a time when a number of countries are implementing and expanding blockchain technologies. Georgia, Armenia’s neighbor, set up its first bitcoin mining farm two years ago.

In August, Russian company Kriptoyunivers announced it had transformed a former fertilizer laboratory into a cryptocurrency mining operation. The center, which supports the mining of bitcoin and litecoin, was built over 4,000 square meters of land in the town of Kirshi near St. Petersburg, with an investment of 500 million rubles ($7.4 million). Although Moscow has cracked the whip on illegal attempts at cryptocurrency mining, Russia is still the third largest cryptocurrency producer in the world after China and the United States.

What do you think about the new mining facility in Armenia? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Apple’s Chipmaker Braes For Dampening Crypto Mining Demand

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s largest independent semiconductor foundry, predicted that its fourth-quarter revenue would increase by only a couple percentage points, forecasting revenues of 9.35 billion to 9.45 billion. Its 2017 fourth-quarter revenue was 9.2 billion. Weakening Crypto Demand TSMC, based in Hsinchu, Taiwan, is not only the world’s largest semiconductor foundry,

The post Apple’s Chipmaker Braes For Dampening Crypto Mining Demand appeared first on CCN

Apple’s Chipmaker Braces For Dampening Crypto Mining Demand

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s largest independent semiconductor foundry, predicted that its fourth-quarter revenue would increase by only a couple percentage points, forecasting revenues of 9.35 billion to 9.45 billion. Its 2017 fourth-quarter revenue was 9.2 billion. Weakening Crypto Demand TSMC, based in Hsinchu, Taiwan, is not only the world’s largest semiconductor foundry, … Continued

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Trump Tariffs to Impact Chinese Mining Hardware Manufacturers

Trump Tariffs to Impact Chinese Mining Hardware Manufacturers

The escalating U.S. – China trade war threatens to have an adverse impact on the operations of Chinese mining equipment manufacturers, with imports of mining hardware now facing stateside tariffs of more than 25 percent.

Also Read: Former CFTC Chair Advocates ‘Tech Neutral’ Cryptocurrency Regulations 

Harsh Hardware Duties

Trump Tariffs to Impact Chinese Mining Hardware ManufacturersIn June, the Office of the United States Trade Representative reclassified Bitmain’s Antminer S9 as an “electrical machinery apparatus,” rather than a “data processing machine,” subjecting it to a 2.6 percent tariff. But in late August, the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump followed up on that decision by imposing an additional 25 percent tariff on Chinese mining hardware, bringing total tariffs on the Antminer S9 to 27.6 percent.

“All manufacturers of mining rigs based in China will likely be affected by the tariff code change and, in turn, captured by the US trade tariff,” said Ben Gagnon, the co-founder of Hong Kong-based mining hardware developer Lutech.

IPO Prospects of Mining Manufacturers
to be Impacted

Trump Tariffs to Impact Chinese Mining Hardware ManufacturersAnalysts believe the new tariffs could have a negative impact on the planned initial public offerings (IPOs) of Chinese manufacturers Canaan Creative and Ebang International in Hong Kong. In 2017, 8.5 percent of Canaan’s total revenue originated from international markets, while non-Chinese demand accounted for only 3.8 percent of Ebang’s revenue.

Bitmain, however, is believed to be the most exposed of China’s mining hardware manufacturers to the new tariffs. According to its IPO prospectus, approximately 51 percent of its sales came from outside of China in the 2016-17 period. It also said its financials could be impacted by changes to tax rates driven by “economic and political conditions.”

However, Mark Li, senior analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, said that the company is probably more concerned about rising competition in the mining hardware market. “The U.S. tariff is probably not something on the top of the [Bitmain] management’s minds now,” Li argued.

Do you think that the new tariffs will have a detrimental impact on the operations of China’s leading manufacturers of mining hardware? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


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Braiins OS: An Open Source Alternative to Bitcoin Mining Firmware [UPDATED]

Braiins OS

Braiins wants to redefine open-source mining software.

The company behind Slush Pool recently rolled out the initial release of its ASIC miner firmware: Braiins OS. The operating system is advertised as “the very first fully open-source, Linux-based system for cryptocurrency embedded devices,” an alternative to the factory-default firmware that comes with most popular mining hardware.

Upon visiting the project’s website, visitors are greeted with a clear message, a mantra that resonates with its related industry’s ethos: “Take back control.”

Rethinking Open Source in an Open Source Space

Further down on its website, the project invites community members to “[say] goodbye to backdoors, closed systems and hidden features.” This promise of transparency is an implicit reference to the contrasting opacity of its biggest competitor’s mining software.

Bitmain advertises its software as open source. But Jan Čapek, CEO of Braiins, the company behind the eponymous OS and Slush Pool, explained to Bitcoin Magazine that too many features of Bitmain’s code are covertly closed off, making it impossible to provide a proper software image — a record of the state of the mining system at a given time.

Essentially, Čapek indicates that a few key components are missing to make Bitmain’s code full open source, such as the FPGA code. Without these pieces, users cannot parse together a full image of the mining client.

“The problem is that most of the people out there are not able to build a complete S9 image as it is not quite obvious that all the components are provided by Bitmain. To build a complete system you need the first stage bootloader (sometimes called SPL), u-boot, Linux kernel, Linux system (buildroot/openwrt?), FPGA bitstream (+ sources) and cgminer sources. So, there is quite more things that are to be reviewed that are still closed source and open quite a few questions,” he said, “For example, why is the FPGA code still closed?”

Even without these closed systems, other softwares may include “backdoors” or “hidden features” — a practice that Braiins OS rejects as well.

In Bitmain’s case, there was a backdoor baked into the code.

Known as Antbleed, the feature was introduced in July of 2016, and it gave Bitmain the ability to remotely shutdown most of its active Antminer hardware, most notably the S9. Bitmain claimed that the backdoor was there so that it could police stolen or hijacked hardware, telling Bitcoin Magazine that the company “never intended to use this feature on any Antminer without authorization from its owner.”

Regardless of its purposes, stated or otherwise, Antbleed was the primary motivation behind Braiins OS, Čapek said.

A Bid For Transparency, Flexibility

Braiins OS’s initial release leverages OpenWrt, “a generic embedded Linux distribution that allows [it] a great deal of flexibility,” Čapek said, and its central meta project is open to developers on GitHub.

Per Čapek’s earlier statement, the software offers a more complete, customizable kit than the factory defaults that companies like Bitmain provide with their hardware. “None of the manufacturers provide an easy, documented or central way of building an image and running it on their hardware,” he said in our interview, chalking this up to “probably [a] lack of transparency.”

As an alternative, Braiins OS “can be used to build the entire firmware image,” he continued. This includes a tool to configure and run this firmware for specified hardware, something its competitors currently don’t offer.

For its rollout, Braiins OS will only be compatible with the Antminer S9 and DragonMint TI, as those are the most commonly used mining rigs currently in use. Going forward, the team plans to open up integration for other devices as well, including the Whatsminer M10.

The project will also look to integrate with more mining pools as it gains traction among developers. Currently, “Slush Pool is one of the few pools that supports the version rolling extension of stratum protocol (BIP310),” Čapek said.

This is in part due to caution. Čapek told us that Braiins OS didn’t want to have too many different images installed for the rollout “just in case there were any serious issues with transitions from factory firmware.” Seeing as this is “an alpha release,” he continued, “massive deployment was not desirable.”

In the meantime, the team looks forward to the community enriching its project, and Čapek indicated that they’ll be taking notes on developer activity in order to improve the project in future releases.

“Currently, we are already gathering feedback from the community. The next release with regards to S9 will bring additional features like per hashboard frequency and voltage configuration.”

Update, Friday October 19th: "Braiins today revealed that they verified the existence of AsicBoost-functionality in Bitmain’s S9 ASICs. For unknown (but possibly patent-related) reasons, this feature is not made available to regular users, however. The Braiins team plans to unlock this feature with BraiinsOS, which would mean that Bitmain S9 owners will be able to increase the effectiveness of their machines by more than ten percent."

An earlier version of this article incorrectly indicated that Braiins is an offshoot of Satoshi Labs. The article has since been corrected.


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Braiins OS: An Open Source Alternative to Bitcoin Mining Firmware

Braiins OS

Braiins OS wants to redefine open-source mining software.

The project, an offshoot of Satoshi Labs (the company behind Slush Pool and Trezor), recently rolled out the initial release of its ASIC miner firmware. The operating system is advertised as “the very first fully open-source, Linux-based system for cryptocurrency embedded devices,” an alternative to the factory-default firmware that comes with most popular mining hardware.

Upon visiting the project’s website, visitors are greeted with a clear message, a mantra that resonates with its related industry’s ethos: “Take back control.”

Rethinking Open Source in an Open Source Space

Further down on its website, the project invites community members to “[say] goodbye to backdoors, closed systems and hidden features.” This promise of transparency is an implicit reference to the contrasting opacity of its biggest competitor’s mining software.

Bitmain advertises its software as open source. But Jan Čapek, CEO of braiins, the company behind the eponymous OS and Slush Pool, explained to Bitcoin Magazine that too many features of Bitmain’s code are covertly closed off, making it impossible to provide a proper software image — a record of the state of the mining system at a given time.

Essentially, Čapek indicates that a few key components are missing to make Bitmain’s code full open source, such as the FPGA code. Without these pieces, users cannot parse together a full image of the mining client.

“The problem is that most of the people out there are not able to build a complete S9 image as it is not quite obvious that all the components are provided by Bitmain. To build a complete system you need the first stage bootloader (sometimes called SPL), u-boot, Linux kernel, Linux system (buildroot/openwrt?), FPGA bitstream (+ sources) and cgminer sources. So, there is quite more things that are to be reviewed that are still closed source and open quite a few questions,” he said, “For example, why is the FPGA code still closed?”

Even without these closed systems, other softwares may include “backdoors” or “hidden features” — a practice that braiins OS rejects as well.

In Bitmain’s case, there was a backdoor baked into the code.

Known as Antbleed, the feature was introduced in July of 2016, and it gave Bitmain the ability to remotely shutdown most of its active Antminer hardware, most notably the S9. Bitmain claimed that the backdoor was there so that it could police stolen or hijacked hardware, telling Bitcoin Magazine that the company “never intended to use this feature on any Antminer without authorization from its owner.”

Regardless of its purposes, stated or otherwise, Antbleed was the primary motivation behind braiins OS, Čapek said.

A Bid For Transparency, Flexibility

Braiins OS’s initial release leverages OpenWrt, “a generic embedded Linux distribution that allows [it] a great deal of flexibility,” Čapek said, and its central meta project is open to developers on GitHub.

Per Čapek’s earlier statement, the software offers a more complete, customizable kit than the factory defaults that companies like Bitmain provide with their hardware. “None of the manufacturers provide an easy, documented or central way of building an image and running it on their hardware,” he said in our interview, chalking this up to “probably [a] lack of transparency.”

As an alternative, braiins OS “can be used to build the entire firmware image,” he continued. This includes a tool to configure and run this firmware for specified hardware, something its competitors currently don’t offer.

For its rollout, braiins OS will only be compatible with the Antminer S9 and DragonMint TI, as those are the most commonly used mining rigs currently in use. Going forward, the team plans to open up integration for other devices as well, including the Whatsminer M10.

The project will also look to integrate with more mining pools as it gains traction among developers. Currently, “Slush Pool is one of the few pools that supports the version rolling extension of stratum protocol (BIP310),” Čapek said.

This is in part due to caution. Čapek told us that braiins OS didn’t want to have too many different images installed for the rollout “just in case there were any serious issues with transitions from factory firmware.” Seeing as this is “an alpha release,” he continued, “massive deployment was not desirable.”

In the meantime, the team looks forward to the community enriching its project, and Čapek indicated that they’ll be taking notes on developer activity in order to improve the project in future releases.

“Currently, we are already gathering feedback from the community. The next release with regards to S9 will bring additional features like per hashboard frequency and voltage configuration.”


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

How Bitcoin Mining Can Help Nuclear Reactors

How Bitcoin Mining Can Help Nuclear Reactors

Bitcoin mining has been criticized by mainstream media, environmentalists and some economists for its energy consumption deemed excessive. Yes, the proof of work system burns a lot of electricity but does the planet suffer from deficit? Here’s a look at an interesting aspect of nuclear power generation ­– it turns out the wasted capacity of just several reactors is enough to satisfy the needs of the whole network. Besides, when fully loaded they are actually more efficient and safer.     

Also read: Mainstream Media Claims Bitcoin Burns More Energy Than Ireland – Does It?

Energy – Bitcoin Needs It, the Atom Has It

Using oversimplified explanations is never a good approach to understanding complex matters. That’s almost inevitably true when modern, high tech is involved, regardless of the field. Unfortunately, that same failed strategy is often employed by opponents of important achievements of humanity. Two such inventions are the nuclear technology that harnesses the atom and the cryptocurrency protocol that unleashes financial freedom. They have more things in common than just being criticized and can actually complement each other in order to better respond to critics.

To avoid oversimplification, let’s just focus in this article on one aspect that concerns both cryptocurrency mining and power generation – energy – Bitcoin needs it, the atom has it. You’ll often hear from clicks and views chasing media and overly worried eco-activists and economists that bitcoin burns more of it than a whole country. And while that accusation is far from the truth, as we’ve explained before, you’ll be surprised to hear something you are not being told – it’s way better to burn excess energy than waste it. Bitcoin mining could do exactly that. As the saying goes, when there’s a will, there’s a way.

How Bitcoin Mining Can Help Nuclear Reactors

Nuclear fission, the physical process that releases energy in a nuclear reactor, can’t be paused or stopped at someone’s will. It can only be temporarily restrained. A nuclear power plant (NPP) uses this nuclear reaction in a controlled manner to basically boil a fluid, often water, which in turn runs through giant steam turbines to generate electricity. The more it does that, the more efficient it is. Pulling on the brakes, in this case, does not save any fuel – it’s literary wasted.

And while NPPs can produce a constant amount of energy, we actually don’t need all of it at all times. Fluctuations in consumption are a fact of life. At nights, for example, the power output of nuclear reactors is forcefully decreased by inserting control rods to lower the intensity of the nuclear reaction. That’s a really inefficient procedure as almost all costs in nuclear energetics are fixed. From an economic standpoint, that means the more electricity you produce from a certain amount of fuel, the cheaper it will be. From a technological point of view, fewer cycles of heating and cooling create less thermo-mechanical stress on different components, including the fuel pellets and their cladding – cracks have been found after just two annual operating cycles in pressurized water reactors. In other words, NPPs are more efficient, safer and have a longer lifespan, when they operate closer to their full capacity.

NPPs Under Pressure to Cut Electricity Generation

How Bitcoin Mining Can Help Nuclear ReactorsNuclear reactors may in principle be described as giant boilers but they are nothing like home appliances. Properly shutting one down takes time and it’s a procedure that should be performed only when absolutely necessary. At the same time, NPPs have to deal with peaks and lows in consumption on a seasonal, weekly and daily basis. Modern reactors are complex feats of engineering that are designed to adapt to the constantly changing energy needs of our homes and enterprises. In fact, they can do it many times a day by adjusting the power supply to the grid so that it never gets overloaded or underpowered. Their ability to do so is called “load following.”

These days, most units perform large power changes once or twice per day to address the significantly lower consumption during night hours or weekends, and some are even capable of rapid changes of the power level when needed to stabilize the grid frequency. According to a report by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) under the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), NPPs in Europe are required to have maneuverability capabilities in the interval of at least 100 to 50 percent of their rated power (Pr) with a rate of change of the electric output of 3 to 5 percent of Pr per minute. It should be noted that the maximum number of these daily cycles is limited, depending on the type of the reactor and the range of the variations.

More Grids Depend on Nuclear Power

More and more countries nowadays rely heavily on nuclear power to satisfy their energy needs. France is a good example, with more than 75 percent of its electricity generated at nuclear power plants. Other countries in Europe and around the world have also invested a lot in nuclear power generation. About 100 reactors account for almost 20 percent of the electric energy generated in the U.S. which produces about a third of the world’s nuclear electricity.

How Bitcoin Mining Can Help Nuclear ReactorsAccording to a study by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the integration of renewable energy sources is a major factor driving the need for flexible nuclear operation, along with the insufficient interconnection between national and regional grids and the inflexible generation mix in some countries. And as nuclear power is much more controllable by human intervention and considerably more efficient and cheaper than renewable wind, solar, and hydro sources, NPPs are becoming a crucial instrument in load following to maintain the stability of electric power systems. Of course, this comes at the expense of their efficiency and longevity.

Using nuclear reactors as base load sources instead of restraining those makes much more sense. Generating electricity closer to their full capacity and at a constant rate is the most economical, technically simple and safe mode of operation, according to NEA – that’s when power changes are limited to frequency regulation to ensure grid stability and shutdowns are only performed for safety purposes. And that’s exactly where bitcoin mining can help by utilizing the excess energy reactors can generate outside peak hours of consumption – remember, that doesn’t mean burning more nuclear fuel but simply using it more efficiently when society doesn’t need its energy.

Single NPP Can Power Bitcoin Mining

According to one estimate, recently quoted by The Economist, the annual global power consumption of the bitcoin core network is around 22 TWh. For a period of nine months, Jan. through Sept. 2018, our only nuclear power plant here in Bulgaria has produced 12,075,111,504 kWh of electricity or over 12 TWh – that’s with only two 1,000 MW reactors, one of which has been shut down for maintenance since last month. The four smaller units, 1,760 MW total capacity, were closed under pressure from the EU but when the Kozloduy NPP was working with all of its 6 reactors it was producing over 20,000,000 MWh or 20 TWh of electricity. That’s almost as much as the bitcoin network needs, and it wasn’t even its full capacity.

How Bitcoin Mining Can Help Nuclear Reactors
Kozloduy NPP

Data provided by Statista shows there are currently 450 nuclear reactors in operation in some 30 countries around the world. According to the European Nuclear Society, their installed electric net capacity is over 390 GW. Around 60 new plants are under construction in 16 countries. In 2040, the global nuclear power capacity is projected to reach 602 GW.

So it turns out a single nuclear power station, designed in the 70s and 80s of the last century, is capable of satisfying the energy needs of bitcoin mining. By the way, authorities in the Russian region of Leningrad have already announced intentions to facilitate the building of large-scale mining farms in an industrial park they plan to set up at the old NPP in Sosnovy Bor. The Leningrad Atomic Electro-Station will be fully decommissioned by 2021. Maybe they should invite miners to mint coins at active nuclear power plants as well.

Do you agree bitcoin mining farms and nuclear power plants can complement each other? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Kozloduy NPP.


OP-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support views, opinions or conclusions drawn in this post. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.

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Canaan Creative Announces New Avalonminer A911 Mining Rig

Canaan Creative, the world’s second largest manufacturer of cryptocurrency mining hardware, has announced a new mining rig, the Avalonminer A911, alongside plans to develop a mining heater and portable miner. The company has also purportedly expressed its intention of developing a 5nm mining chip.

Also Read: Research: 1 of 5 New Hedge Funds in 2018 Is a Crypto Fund

Canaan Creative Announces New Flagship Avalonminer

Canaan Creative Announces New Avalonminer A911 Mining RigHangzhou-based Canaan Creative recently announced a new range of planned products at a mining summit in Chengdu, including a new flagship mining rig, the Avalonminer A911.

Canaan’s Avalonminer sales director, Chen Feng, stated that the company’s latest miner will provide a maximum hash rate of 18 tera-hashes per second (TH/s), have a power consumption of 1440w, and perform at 80 Watts per THS of power usage. The A911 will be also be powered by Canaan’s recently unveiled 7nm mining chip.

Canaan Purportedly to Develop 5nm Chip

Just two months after showcasing its new 7nm mining chip, Canaan Creative has supposedly announced that it will seek to develop a 5nm mining chip.

The announcement comes after the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer, announced in June that it plans to launch trial production of its “5nm Fin Field-Effect Transistor process technology” during the second half of 2019, with a goal of mass producing the nodes during 2020. At the time, Reuters reported that the company expects to invest $25 billion into developing the technology.

In contrast to TSMC’s 7nm chip, the company’s planned 5nm chip will adopt extreme ultraviolet lithography “for more critical layers to reduce multi-pattern process complexity while achieving aggressive die area scaling.”

New Canaan Products Seek to Expand Internet-of-Things Appliances

Canaan Creative Announces New Avalonminer A911 Mining RigFeng also announced Canaan’s intention to launch several new products seeking to further extend its integration of advanced computing technology into household appliances, including a cloud-computing heater and a mobile mining farm dubbed the ‘Avalon Box’. Canaan will also seek to develop an artificial intelligence chip called ‘Kendryte’.

The announcements follow Canaan’s unveiling of the world’s first bitcoin mining television set, the Avalonminer Inside, which was first showcased alongside the company’s 7nm mining chip at a press conference in Hangzhou on the 8th of August.

What is your opinion on the increasing integration of mining technology into household appliances? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post Canaan Creative Announces New Avalonminer A911 Mining Rig appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Church Mining Cryptocurrency Told to Pay Higher Electricity Rates

Church Mining Cryptocurrency Told to Pay Higher Electricity Rates

The outcome of a court case in Russia may affect the popular practice of cryptocurrency mining in basements and garages. According to a recent ruling, a church in Irkutsk must pay higher electricity rates for installing and running mining hardware on its premises. ‘Grace’, the religious organization of the local evangelical community, has been taking advantage of lower prices offered to private consumers to mint digital coins. However, the region’s utility company says it should pay more because of the excessive energy consumption.   

Also read: Despite Setbacks Crypto Wages Still an Option for Russians, Poll Finds

Church Mines Cryptos, Wants Cheaper Electricity

Home crypto mining, still popular in parts of Eastern Europe where private consumers and some organizations enjoy preferential, subsidized electricity rates, may take a hit following a court ruling in Russia, a country with vast energy resources which often remain unutilized. A protestant church in Irkutsk Oblast, a region in the Siberian Federal District, has been accused of mining cryptocurrency and asked to pay its electricity bills at higher rates, those applicable to corporate entities and industrial enterprises, because of what has been deemed an excessive power consumption.

Church Mining Cryptocurrency Told to Pay Higher Electricity RatesThe ‘Grace’ evangelical community claims it was not using the servers found on its premises for crypto mining. The religious organization has already paid the higher bills for the period between May and August 2017 but has since turned to court to request a refund for the surcharge of 1.1 million rubles ($16,600). The Irkutsk Regional Arbitration Court has recently turned down its claim against the local utility company, Irkutskenergo, and ruled that ‘Grace’ owed the money after all.

The church has most probably used the discovered hardware to mine cryptocurrency. Irkutskenergo says its electricity consumption suddenly spiked in May, last year and reached 2 million kWh in the months through August, RT reported. The church trustees said they needed the energy for heating and to power printing equipment used to copy religious materials. However, the judges noted that the period in question was in the summer and quoted data reflecting the consumption of much larger temples and printing houses in the region for comparison.

Church Mining Cryptocurrency Told to Pay Higher Electricity RatesWhen Irkutskenergo inspectors visited ‘Grace’ they found a server room on the second floor of the building occupied by the evangelical community and determined that it was designed for cryptocurrency mining. They claimed the excessive consumption was endangering the power supply for the whole neighborhood. The Irkutsk Arbitration Court agreed with their conclusion and ruled that the charged amount for the electricity was reasonable. It stated that “the claimant carried out activities related to ‘bitcoin mining’, which obviously did not pertain to religious activities.”

Illegal Mining Farm Found in Avtovaz Plant

The mining church, just like many digital asset enthusiasts, has been benefiting from subsidized electricity rates. In Russia and other countries in the region, energy is cheaper for private individuals and other categories of consumers like NGOs, including religious organizations. According to Irkutskenergo’s website, these customers pay 1.22 rubles per kWh during daytime and 0.70 rubles at nights ($0.018 and $0.010).

The court ruling does seem a bit arbitrary as even if the church consumed more than usual, it should still be entitled to a preferential rate. The case could potentially have negative repercussions for home crypto mining in Russia, in general. Many ordinary Russians are taking advantage of the lower electricity prices for their households to make a digital buck or two with GPU rigs installed in their houses, basements, and garages. Raising the rates would actually stimulate illegal mining.

Church Mining Cryptocurrency Told to Pay Higher Electricity RatesThere have been a number of cases of much larger mining facilities powered by stolen electricity. An illegal bitcoin mining farm was discovered this spring in an abandoned factory in Orenburg. More recently, mining equipment was found in the control room of one of the assembly workshops of Avtovaz, the largest Russian car manufacturer. An employee had plugged the specialized hardware into the plant’s grid. The hardware was in operation since last November burning at least 600,000 rubles ($9,085) worth of electrical power to mint coins at an estimated value of 1.2 million rubles ($18,170). More cases like these are to be expected if Russian authorities clamp down on home mining.

Do you think amateur crypto miners should pay higher electricity rates? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


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Hacker Livestreams 51% Attack on Bitcoin Private

Hacker Livestreams 51% Attack on Bitcoin Private

On Oct. 13, ethical hacker “Geocold” followed through on his promise to 51 percent attack an altcoin. He eventually settled on Bitcoin Private (BTCP), and quickly gained majority hashrate control, but the spectacle was fraught with setbacks, including censorship from two streaming services that pulled the plug.

Also read: Mischief-Maker Promises to Livestream a 51% Altcoin Attack

Censorship, Denial of Service and Revenge Attacks – and That Was Just for Starters

Geocold promised he would 51 percent attack an altcoin to prove how easy it was, and he did, but the attempt did not run as smoothly as he might have hoped. Over 750 viewers were tuned in, and the likes of Jackson Palmer live-tweeting the spectacle, when Twitch suddenly pulled the plug. Cam-whores and other performance artists can broadcast their ‘art’ to the masses, it would appear, but 51-percenting altcoins is a step too far.

Hacker Livestreams 51% Attack on Bitcoin Private
Geocold shows off his BTCP hashpower

One of the unexpected lessons derived from Geocold’s session was on the dangers of censorship on an internet when a ‘Report’ button is never more than a few pixels away. Despite the ethical hacker having no intention of attempting to double spend coins, such as by depositing them into an exchange wallet and swapping them for BTC, the streaming provider pulled the plug, presumably in response to members of the Bitcoin Private community reporting his channel. “Anyone own/work for a streaming platform and can ensure report spamming doesn’t work for my stream?” he asked Twitter. “If I find such a solution I’ll stream again. If not I might do a surprise stream. If not I’ll just post a video.”

When Geocold returned on Stream.me half an hour later, he lasted a little over 15 minutes before the same thing happened. Thankfully, by this time he had done enough to demonstrate his attack in action. When the second stream died, Geocold had majority hashrate and was merrily mining BTCP blocks.

Hacker Livestreams 51% Attack on Bitcoin Private
Geocold, shortly before Twitch banned him

A Mischief-Maker on a Mission

Geocold, who incorporated the “mischief-maker” epithet into his Twitter name in response to last week’s post from news.Bitcoin.com, had intended to 51 percent attack Einsteinium (EMC2). When the time came to perform the feat on Saturday, Oct. 13, however, he discovered that its hashrate had soared 15-fold to 1.4 TH/s. Given a week’s notice, the EMC2 community had thwarted the attack by acquiring huge amounts of hashpower. Geocold had anticipated this, and swiftly moved on to one of the alternative alts he had lined up as part of his contingency plan.

Hacker Livestreams 51% Attack on Bitcoin Private
Einsteinium‘s hashrate had soared in advance of the attack

Bitcoin Private was selected and the benign hacker connected to a BTCP mining pool, using a couple of hundred dollars’ worth of rented hashpower he’d purchased from Nicehash with BTC. Shortly after finding his first block, however, Geocold came unstuck as members of the Bitcoin Private community fought back, possibly after he’d accidentally leaked his IP address while live-streaming. An http flood to the web UI of Geocold’s mining pool knocked him offline, prompting a reboot plus a move to a different streamer once Twitch swung the banhammer.

Hacker Livestreams 51% Attack on Bitcoin Private

At the second attempt, Geocold dominated BTCP’s hashrate, producing a steady 10 MSol/s versus the rest of the network’s 6 MSol/s. He soon began to create the longest chain of blocks, and, had he persisted, could have forked the BTCP chain. In the event, the second stream died, and Geocold elected to wind things down and save some tricks for next time. The evening started as an exercise on the ease of controlling low hashrate PoW coins and ended as a demonstration of the need for censorship-resistant platforms.

Do you think 51 percent attacking altcoins is a good spectator sport? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitch, Coinwarz.com, and Twitter.


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The post Hacker Livestreams 51% Attack on Bitcoin Private appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Study Argues Chinese Mining Centralization Poses Threat to Bitcoin Network

Study Argues Chinese Mining Centralization Poses Threat to Bitcoin Network

A joint study conducted by Princeton University and Florida International University has found three-quarters of Bitcoin mining is based in China and warned of the potential risks that could result from the significant geographical centralization of the mining network.

Also Read: Worst Cryptocurrencies of 2018 Have Left Some Heavy Bagholders 

Researchers Argue China is the “Most Powerful Adversary to Bitcoin”

Study Argues Chinese Mining Centralization Poses Threat to Bitcoin NetworkThe study, titled “The Looming Threat of China: An Analysis of Chinese Influence on Bitcoin,” seeks to “explore how China threatens the security, stability, and viability of Bitcoin through its dominant position in the Bitcoin ecosystem, political and economic control over domestic activity, and control over its domestic Internet infrastructure.”

The study opens by describing China as comprising “One of the most powerful potential adversaries” to bitcoin, adding that the country “has expressed adversarial positions regarding the cryptocurrency and demonstrated powerful capabilities to influence it.”

The researchers estimate that “74% of the hash power on the Bitcoin network is in Chinese-managed mining pools,” and seek to explore the ways in which this centralization of mining power can be leveraged by the Chinese government to attack the Bitcoin network.

Mining Pool Owners Beholden to Will of Chinese Government

Study Argues Chinese Mining Centralization Poses Threat to Bitcoin NetworkThe paper asserts that “Mining pools managed by individuals in China have constituted over half of the total network hash power since 2015,” adding that “As of June 2018, over 80% of Bitcoin mining is performed by six mining pools” – with “five of those six pools are managed by individuals or organizations located in China.”

Although “Pool miners cannot be directly controlled by China,” the study emphasizes that the operators of said pools “are subject to Chinese authorities” through being located in China. As such, the report argues that “because managers are responsible for assigning mining jobs and propagating completed blocks, they control the inputs and outputs of their miners, allowing Chinese authorities indirect control over that hash power.”

Study Argues Geographical Centralization of Mining Risks 51% Attack

Study Argues Chinese Mining Centralization Poses Threat to Bitcoin NetworkThe paper argues that the heavy centralization of mining activities within China may pose a threat of a 51% attack, stating that “the Chinese government exerts strong, centralized control over economic and financial activity and also operates extensive surveillance and censorship regimes over the domestic Internet.”

While said “capabilities do not grant them direct command of all of the hash power in Chinese-managed pools,” the paper asserts that the Chinese government possesses “a variety of tools at their disposal to influence those pools and Bitcoin in general. They have deployed multiple rounds of restrictive regulations that have upended global and domestic Bitcoin markets.”

The report concludes that “China has mature capabilities and strong motives for performing a variety of attacks against Bitcoin,” arguing that ideological opposition of cryptocurrency to the centralization of the Chinese could provide the motivation for an attack against the network, as could the growing integration of Bitcoin into the global economy and resulting possibility of “exert[ing] influence in a foreign country where Bitcoin is in use.”

What is your response to the study’s assertions that the centralization of mining within China could allow the Chinese government to attack the Bitcoin network? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


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