Ever since Bitcoin was introduced back in 2009, this very first cryptocurrency quickly gained a lot of popularity. Not only is it the most valuable crypto, but it was also the first cryptocurrency that you could mine.
So what does mining mean? Simply put, you use your own hardware to help the blockchain technology, on which Bitcoin was based, to record and verify transactions by solving complex mathematical problems.
As a reward for your contribution, you’d get Bitcoins. That said, back then, mining was pretty much seamless. The problems weren’t nearly as complex as they are today, and there weren’t as many people mining Bitcoins as there are today. In other words, it was a lucrative endeavor.
Some people saw an opportunity and decided to capitalize on it, thus the mining farms were created. As you might guess, mining farms are basically hardware data centers dedicated solely to mining Bitcoins. With that in mind, here are a few of the biggest mining farms you should know about.
Presumably located somewhere near Moscow, one of the biggest mining farms in the world is in Russia. It’s estimated that around 600 Bitcoins are mined there on a monthly basis, which puts Russia in the place of the most powerful countries in the mining industry that’s worth several billion dollars today.
Even after yet another Bitcoin halving, the amount of Bitcoins mined here is still worth a fortune. The hardware utilized on this farm has a hash rate of around 38 PH, which enables around 20 Bitcoins to be mined per day.
However, such a reward comes at a high price. As a matter of fact, the hourly power consumption of this farm is around 4,500KW (Kilowatts). This power draw costs 6.5 million Rubles ($103,424) per month.
China became the leader in mining Bitcoins. When it comes to efficient cryptocurrency mining, you need reliable hardware and that’s quite affordable in China. Moreover, rural parts of the country have cheap electricity with seamless delivery, which made the town of Dalian the hub of Bitcoin mining in China.
This mining farm mines around 750 Bitcoins per month. The hardware they utilize has a capacity of 360,000 TH, which makes up 3% of the entire Bitcoin network. However, the electricity cost for this farm is $1,170,000 per month.
Although mining is still legal in China, financial institutions have been banned from handling Bitcoin transactions. Moreover, a lot of platforms that facilitate such transactions have also been shut down. It’s also estimated that the Chinese government would crack down on mining operations, slowly but surely, closing them down one by one.
Located in both Iceland and Canada, one of the largest mining farms under the name “Genesis Mining” choose a specifically cold climate so that they can dissipate the heat generated by mining.
This farm’s hash rate is estimated to be around 1000 GH, thus generating a lot of power draw in this Nordic country. This has earned Genesis Mining the title of the largest electricity consumer in the entire country of Iceland.
Apart from China, these two countries are also favorable for mining operations as their electricity costs are quite affordable. This is probably the main reason why the founders of this mining farm have chosen to relocate here.
Dave Carlson, the founder of the “Giga Watt” mining farm, managed to turn his mining operation into a multi-million-dollar business in just twelve months. The owner of the largest mining farm in the US has begun his journey by mining with his own GPU.
Although the location of the farm is unknown due to the prosecution from the government authorities, this farm has a hash rate of 1.3 PH. However, according to Carlson, the monthly expenses of his company exceed $1 million.
Carlson chose Washington state for his mining operation due to the fact that it has the cheapest electricity in all of North America. The electricity costs in this country are $8.42 per kWh for businesses.
Located in the small farming village of Linthal, this mining farm is the largest in Switzerland. The owner of this farm, Guido Rudolphi has previously owned a similar mining operation in Zurich, but he discovered that the expenses were quite high to his liking.
After two years of searching, the owner finally found a farming village with favorable electricity price to house his mining operations. The only issue for him is the problem of cooling. Although this farm’s capacity is unknown, the owner claims he’s not in it for the money.
Mining farms are illegal in most countries and anyone behind such operations faces criminal charges. However, that doesn’t stop people from doing it anyway. The profit earned from mining Bitcoins can easily outweigh the risks.
Major Indian exchange proposes new regulatory framework to avoid crypto ban
Major Indian cryptocurrency exchange BuyUCoin has developed a framework to regulate cryptocurrency in India that it claims has the support of “all the Indian cryptocurrency stakeholders”.
However, it is not clear yet which stakeholders helped develop the framework, or ‘sandbox’, which will be officially released on October 2.
BuyUCoin, which has more than 350,000 users and handles billion-dollar transactions, described the framework as a draft set of community driven rules, propositions and implementation methods.
The framework will be presented to the Indian Government. It comes after the Indian Supreme Court in March struck down the Reserve Bank of India’s circular banning banks and other financial institutions from dealing with crypto companies. Bloomberg reported last week however the Indian government planned to introduce a new bill to ban the trade of cryptocurrencies during the monsoon session.
“This is the first milestone of a long journey for making cryptocurrency accessible to the masses,” said Shivam Thakral, CEO and co-founder of BuyUCoin.
“This draft of the sandbox is driven by the inputs from crypto experts and industry insiders, and will not only help the government to make laws but will also guide the startups and budding entrepreneurs to enter in this booming industry.”
Cointelegraph has contacted BuyUCoin to find out which stakeholders had contributed to the framework and will update this story when they respond.
The new ‘sandbox’ was praised by Charles Bovaird, VP at Quantum Economics and Forbes Senior Contributor who said:
“Banning crypto trading would cause India to fall behind other nations that allow it. By lobbying the Indian authorities, industry participants can implement the much needed crypto regulations in the country.”
Separately, Indian blockchain focused lawfirm, Crypto Kanoon, has also taken aim at the potential crypto ban, comparing it to the country’s ban on derivatives trading in 1953 which had lasting, damaging effects on the finance industry.
“We took 50 years to regulate our commodities,” co-founder Kashif Raza said in a Hindi-language video posted to Twitter. “The government should not repeat the mistake. The first step in the right direction would be to regulate cryptocurrencies as commodities”.
Raza points out that during those 50 years, commodities trading did not stop after the ban. Instead, it was being carried out illegally by private players. The same could happen with crypto.
“The longer we take to come up with the legal framework, the further back in time we’ll go and give access to the mafias to do illicit activities.”
The first draft of the sandbox by BuyUCoin will be released on Oct. 2, 2020 and can be accessed at buyucoin.com/sandbox.
Bitcoin Recovery Runs Into Crucial Resistance, But 100 SMA Holds The Key
Bitcoin price started a decent recovery from the $10,139 swing low against the US Dollar. BTC gained pace above the $10,550 resistance, but it is facing a major hurdle near $10,800.
- Bitcoin managed to stay above the $10,000 support and started a decent recovery.
- The price is now trading above the $10,550 resistance and the 100 hourly simple moving average.
- There was a break above a major bearish trend line with resistance near $10,600 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).
- The pair is currently facing a strong resistance near the $10,800 level (the previous support).
Bitcoin Price is Gaining Traction
After trading as low as $10,139, bitcoin price started a decent recovery against the US Dollar. BTC broke a few important hurdles near $10,400 and $10,550 to move into a short-term positive zone.
The recovery was such that the price settled above the $10,550 level and the 100 hourly simple moving average. There was also a break above a major bearish trend line with resistance near $10,600 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair.
Bitcoin is now testing the next key resistance near the $10,800 level. A high is formed near $10,789 and the price is consolidating gains. An initial support on the downside is near the $10,640 level or the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the recent increase from the $10,139 low to $10,789 high.
Bitcoin price breaks $10,550. Source: TradingView.com
The next major support is near the $10,550 level and the 100 hourly simple moving average. The 50% Fib retracement level of the recent increase from the $10,139 low to $10,789 high is also near $10,464 to act as a support.
On the upside, the bulls are facing a huge task near the $10,800 level. If they manage to clear the $10,800 resistance, the price is likely to accelerate higher towards the $11,000 and $11,200 levels.
Is This Just a Recovery in BTC?
If bitcoin fails to continue higher above $10,780 and $10,800, it could start a fresh decline. The first major support is seen near the $10,550 level and the 100 hourly SMA.
A downside break below the 100 hourly SMA might put the bulls on the back foot. In the stated case, the price could trim gains and dive back towards the $10,200 support.
Hourly MACD – The MACD is now losing steam in the bullish zone.
Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for BTC/USD is correcting lower and it is above the 60 level.
Major Support Levels – $10,640, followed by $10,550.
Major Resistance Levels – $10,780, $10,800 and $11,000.
Report Questions Uniswap Token Distribution to Team, Investors
Glassnode says Uniswap isn’t being fully transparent about its token vesting process for team members and investors.
- A report from Glassnode Insights today says the storage method of UNI tokens essentially gives Uniswap admin rights over the platform.
- The report presumes Uniswap is acting in good faith as it seeks to gradually decentralize real governance.
- It urges Uniswap to provide details about the vesting schedule for its UNI governance token.
In a report published today, market analysis firm Glassnode chided Uniswap for not being more transparent about elements of its token protocol and suggested it may be deviating from its promise to vest tokens set aside for the Uniswap team and investors.
When Uniswap, the decentralized exchange for Ethereum-based ERC20 tokens, unveiled its UNI governance token on September 16, it said tokens distributed to team members and investors would vest over four years. But those tokens currently appear to be sitting in standard Ethereum addresses, where they can be used by anyone who controls the key.
According to the report, “This method of storing the tokens gives the Uniswap team and investors what essentially amounts to admin rights over the protocol.”
Though it assumes Uniswap is acting in good faith, either to transition to decentralized governance over time or to repel attacks from centralized exchanges, Glassnode wants to know: Who controls the keys and why are the tokens not locked in a smart contract?
(Decrypt has reached out to Uniswap and its creator, Hayden Adams, for comment.)
In its UNI announcement, Uniswap stated that 1 billion UNI had been minted and would become accessible over four years. While the bulk (600 million) were set aside for Uniswap community members, just over 215 million were reserved for current and future employees, and 178 million were earmarked for investors. Advisors were to receive just under 6.9 million tokens.
UNI tokens are supposed to be vested over the course of four years. That means team members and investors wouldn’t be able to access all of their tokens until the four years expire. But as Glassnode notes, vesting details are hazy.
You might be asking: So what? Whether Uniswap gets them in batches over four years or has them all now, same difference, right?
There are two main reasons timing is an important detail.
The first is price. UNI tokens are currently selling for over $5 a pop. If someone were to dump millions of them on the open market, the price of the coin could collapse. Of course, there’s no indication Uniswap would come all this way to create a usable product just to cash out and blow it up. But that’s essentially what the creator of its much younger clone, SushiSwap, did before repenting.
Even without a massive rug pull, selling tokens can affect price, at least in the short term. In the past, Ripple, the main holder of XRP, has been taken to task for selling large volumes of the cryptocurrency on the market. Former Ripple founder Jed McCaleb, who owned 9 billion XRP, was once selling off about 500,000 XRP each day.
All of which make it important for community members to know more about the vesting process.
Second, UNI’s primary purpose isn’t to stuff wallets; it’s a governance token. Those who possess it control the network, just like shareholders vote on a company’s direction. But as with company shares, you need a certain amount of tokens in order to be truly relevant. At the moment, just to submit a governance proposal, a user needs to have—or have delegated to them—at least 10 million tokens. That benefits holders that can vote as a team, such as Uniswap.
Moreover, token holders make real financial decisions. They have control over the governance treasury, which is currently stocked with 430 million UNI. Those funds, locked by smart contract, begin being distributed in October. Forty percent of the supply is released in year one, then 30% in year two, and so on until it’s empty. How the funds are used, however, is determined by vote.
Glassnode’s report reads: “Even if we assume that the team and investors will not use tokens that have not vested, Uniswap’s team and VC investors will have a disproportionate amount of power in the early stages of governance.”
Ryan Watkins, a researcher with Messari, says that’s intentional. “It allows the team to still play a significant role in governance while the project is still young,” he told Decrypt.
But that’s something the Uniswap team says it won’t do…at least, kinda. Its September 16 UNI announcement states, “Team members will not participate directly in governance for the foreseeable future, although they may delegate votes to protocol delegates without seeking to influence their voting decisions.”
As the Glassnode report notes, “While the seemingly unattainable 1% proposal threshold may seem like a power grab on the part of the Uniswap team, it is more likely that this model was implemented with benevolent intent, in order to protect the protocol from radical changes in the early stages of its transition to decentralized governance—even at the cost of community disenfranchisement.”
And enfranchisement is really what’s at stake here. Who’s controlling the decentralized exchange? At the moment, it appears, it’s still the people who created it.
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