Značka: mining

Fitch Ratings warns of risks crypto miners pose to US power supply

Global credit rating agency Fitch Ratings is warning public power utilities across the United States to mitigate the risk crypto mining could post their production of power.In a Monday notice, Fitch Ratings said that only utilities in states like Washington, which have excess generation capacity, may be capable of meeting the power requirements of many crypto mining operations. The agency claimed that though some crypto mining firms can become “the largest customer in a rural service territory,“ the operations typically bring in “very little additional economic benefits” from jobs or boosting the local economy.“The volatile and unregulated nature of crypto mining and the large influx of load requests led a number of Washington utilities to adopt new practices beginning in 2014 to mitigate exposure to crypto mining entities, including crypto-currency load moratoriums, evolving rate structures to capture the departure risk of a high-risk industry, and defined customer concentration limits,” said Fitch Ratings.In Texas, where many mining operations have set up shop following an exodus of firms in China, Fitch Ratings suggested utilities companies invest in new facilities, sign long-term power purchase agreements, or obtain power through market purchases in real time to handle the additional load. However, each option carries financial risk which may eventually be passed on to residents:“Crypto mining operations are price-sensitive entities that may be quickly scaled back or shut down if mining becomes uneconomical.”Many crypto mining companies are seeking the most cost-effective area to mine tokens, with some U.S. States, including Texas and Washington, offering more favorable conditions than others. Canadian mining firm Bitfarms announced in November that it was planning to build a data center in Washington State, citing its “cost-effective electricity” and production rates. Whinstone, later acquired by Riot Blockchain, set up shop in Texas, taking advantage of the state’s wind turbines and deregulated power grid.Related: Texan Bitcoin mining power demands could jump 5 times by 2023Fitch Ratings has previously issued warnings related to the use of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) in local economies. In August, shortly before El Salvador implemented its Bitcoin Law making the crypto asset legal tender, the agency warned of the volatility and operational risks for citizens using crypto, adding that local insurance companies would likely be hesitant to adopt BTC for claims or benefits payments.

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How to pick or analyze altcoins?

What are altcoins?The word “altcoin” is derived from “alternative” and “coin.” Altcoins refer to all alternatives to Bitcoin. Altcoins are cryptocurrencies that share characteristics with Bitcoin (BTC). For example, Bitcoin and altcoins have a similar basic framework. Altcoins also function like peer-to-peer (P2P) systems and share code, much like Bitcoin.Of course, there are also marked differences between Bitcoin and altcoins. One such difference is the consensus mechanism used by these altcoins to validate transactions or produce blocks. While Bitcoin uses the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism, altcoins typically use proof-of-stake (PoS). There are different altcoin categories, and they can best be defined by their consensus mechanisms and unique functionalities.Here are the most common types of altcoins:Mining-basedMining-based altcoins use the proof-of-work method, most commonly known as PoW, which allows systems to generate new coins by way of mining. Mining entails solving complex problems to create blocks. Monero (XMR), Litecoin (LTC) and ZCash (ZEC) are all examples of mining-based altcoins. StablecoinsStablecoins aim to reduce the volatility that has marked crypto trading and use since the beginning. The value of stablecoins is, therefore, pegged to the value of a basket of goods, like precious metals, fiat currencies or other cryptocurrencies. The basket serves as a reserve in case the cryptocurrency encounters problems. Dai (DAI), USD Coin (USDC) and Tether (USDT) are all examples of stablecoins. Security tokensTrue to its name, a security token is similar to traditional securities traded in stock markets. They resemble traditional stocks and represent equity, either in the form of ownership or dividends. Security tokens attract investors because of the high probability that their price will appreciate quickly.MemecoinsMemecoins are called such because they represent a silly take on well-known cryptocurrencies. They are typically hyped by celebrities and popular influencers in the crypto space. Popular meme coins Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB), for example, often have their prices driven up by Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO and well-known crypto enthusiast.Utility tokensUtility tokens are used to provide services like rewards, network fees and purchases within a given network. Utility tokens do not offer equity, unlike security tokens. Filecoin (FIL), for example, is a utility token used to purchase storage on a decentralized storage network. How do you evaluate altcoins?​Altcoin fundamental analysis involves looking at and evaluating all available information on an altcoin. It involves looking at the cryptocurrency’s use cases and its network, as well as the team behind the project, to fully understand and evaluate the best altcoins to buy. When analyzing altcoins, or any cryptocurrency for that matter, the goal is to understand whether the asset in question is overvalued or undervalued. Overvalued assets should be avoided, whereas undervalued assets are more ideal. This is because overvalued assets will likely underperform and dip back to their real value. Undervalued assets, on the other hand, have more potential for growth and are consistently profitable. A thorough analysis will help you make the best decision concerning your investment decisions. Here are some helpful guidelines on how to analyze cryptocurrency before investing:Step 1: Analyze the whitepaper and find the value propositionScrutinizing a token’s whitepaper will provide a lot of relevant information such as its use cases, goals and the team’s vision for the project. The white paper must give you a good picture of how the altcoin will provide value for its users.The value proposition for Bitcoin, for example, is as follows: “a decentralized digital currency, without a central bank or single administrator, that can be sent from user to user on a peer-to-peer network without the need for intermediaries.”An altcoin’s value proposition can guide you as you continue to analyze other information about it. Step 2: Look for increasing demand and stable (or decreasing) supplyLooking at supply and demand is one of the best ways to assess your next crypto investment. Now that you’ve gotten a clear picture of how the altcoin adds value to its users, it’s time to look at how it navigates supply and demand.Simply put, the altcoin should have incentives that will facilitate the increase of demand in such a way that supply is continually decreasing or stable. When demand outpaces supply, prices go up, thereby fueling even more demand.To do this, you can access resources like Cointelegraph’s Price Indexes and Market News, as well as Coin 360’s Heatmap and CoinMarketCap.Step 3: Assess the team and stakeholders behind the projectNow that you have a good understanding of what the project can offer, it’s also important to thoroughly assess the team behind the project. You can find information about the team on the project’s white paper, but try to do independent research on them as well. You can check out the official project site’s team page as well as their LinkedIn profiles which they should have made public and accessible to all.Ask the following questions when looking into each member’s background:Have they worked on other reputable and successful projects in the past?What are their credentials?Are they reputable members of the crypto community and blockchain ecosystem?The goal is to find if the team behind the project is experienced and composed of experts who know what they are doing. You can look at on-chain analytics platforms and blockchain explorers to supplement your research regarding this. You can also sniff around their social media profiles or check out Twitter for conversations they engage in.Ethereum, for instance, has such a strong investment community because every individual working on Ethereum creates value for Ethereum holders. Despite issues such as high fees and slow transactions, developers, community builders and other top talents still want to go onboard with Ethereum-related projects. Platforms like AAVE and OpenSea​, for example, are built on Ethereum. The logic behind ensuring a strong core team backing the project is because it creates a ripple effect. A project with a strong talented team attracts even more credible forward-thinkers, thereby allowing even more projects and improvements to be built upon the platform, much like Ethereum. These people strive to continually improve on available platforms and initiatives related to the project, thus creating even more value for currency holders. Which altcoin platforms have the most potential? When it comes to altcoin investing, there are a variety of options you can choose from. However, it’s always prudent to know which ones have the most potential to ensure you will be making a smart investment.Ethereum: There’s a reason why Ethereum is dubbed by many as the “King of Altcoins.” Created in 2013 by Vitalik Buterin and co-founders, Ethereum is a smart contract platform used to create decentralized applications (DApps). The founders engineered Solidity, Ethereum’s very own programming language for smart contracts. The majority of the current decentralized finance space relies on Ethereum’s blockchain, while the native token Ether (ETH) continues to evolve in its usefulness by the day.Chainlink: Chainlink takes smart contracts to another level by incorporating real-world data. Thanks to Chainlink, Ethereum smart contracts can now make calls to other application programming interfaces, as well as act on global occurrences and other asset prices. Chainlink’s value continues to soar while it brings onboard valuable stakeholders, including former Google CEO Eric Schmidt as one of its advisers.Stellar Lumens: Stellar aims to unite global banking systems via its decentralized platform. As such, it uses disconnected payment methods like Alchemy Pay and Single Euro Payments Area. The Stellar network then connects such systems via a decentralized ledger. In competition with Stellar is Ripple, whose run-in with SEC has made it vulnerable. This places Stellar in a prime position to take the reins at becoming the top global payment network.Aave: Aave is already one of the top lending protocols today and continues to offer security and anonymity to borrowers. Because of its popularity, borrowers are required to offer greater collateral than the amount they are borrowing. The collateral is safely held in escrow throughout the duration of the loan. In the event of a default, the lender is automatically paid via the smart contract.

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Lawmakers explore Bitcoin mining efficiency, broader crypto policy issues during Congress hearing

On Jan. 20, the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee of the U.S. Congress House Energy and Commerce Committee convened a hearing to investigate the environmental effects of cryptocurrency mining. Despite the narrow focus, the conversation that ensued – which many industry experts appraised as a meaningful educational experience for the lawmakers – touched upon a range of blockchain-related issues and themes beyond energy consumption. Here is how it went down, and what comes next.Witnesses set the frameFollowing the opening remarks, the hearing kicked off with the witnesses delivering their testimonies. Bitfury CEO Brian Brooks made a point that it was up to the market to decide on the most productive ways to use the already produced energy and maintained that proof-of-work (PoW) is the consensus mechanism that is best suited to produce true decentralization of a blockchain network.In contrast, Cornell Tech professor Ari Juels, while speaking favorably of blockchain technology and Bitcoin (BTC) in particular, maintained that proof-of-work is unnecessarily wasteful while the downsides of the alternative proof-of-stake, or PoS, mechanisms are largely theoretical.John Belizaire of Soluna Computing stated that Bitcoin’s energy consumption should be seen as a feature rather than a bug because crypto mining can create efficiencies by using the excess renewable energy. Steve Wright, a former general manager of a public utility district in Washington state, shared his experiences of interacting with crypto miners who flocked into the area due to abundance of cheap electricity, while former acting assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury Gregory Zerzan introduced multiple uses of blockchain technology and said that regulatory uncertainty could hurt its development.Representatives then took to the floor with statements and questions. A few used their time for partisan attacks and political grandstanding, yet most made an honest effort to ask questions that either tackled the energy-related issues at the core of the hearing or sought broader context on the uses and potential applications of blockchain technology.Getting to the bottom of crypto miningCommittee chair Frank Pallone and Oversight Subcommittee chair Diana DeGette interrogated the witnesses on how wasteful crypto mining really is and how to make sure that communities do not bear the costs of energy consumption upticks caused by miners. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky expressed her concerns about the use of fossil fuels to power mining rigs. Witnesses responded by reassuring the lawmakers of the overall green trend in which the mining industry is evolving, particularly in the U.S.Some Representatives sought to get a better understanding of the efficiencies generated by cryptocurrency mining in order to determine whether they justify the associated energy use. Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers inquired about the larger blockchain industry’s capacity to generate new jobs and protect user data.Florida Representative Neal Dunn showed off some advanced knowledge of Bitcoin economics when he asked Brian Brooks about the relationship between BTC halving and mining efficiency. Dunn also stated that the nation needs to produce more energy anyway, and powering innovative industries such as crypto mining is a good use of this growing capacity.Congressman Morgan Griffith explored the geopolitical aspect of Bitcoin mining, concluding with a supposition that China’s mining ban resulted not so much from energy efficiency concerns but rather from the Chinese government’s dislike of the idea of decentralization. The resulting exchange with Gregory Zerzan resulted in the witness stating that “Bitcoin equals freedom, and there are a lot of places in the world that don’t like freedom.”Industry receptionWhile the hearing did not come across as a massive breakthrough, most industry observers highlighted the educational component of the exchange, as well as its role in moving the policy conversation around crypto mining forward.In an interview with Cointelegraph after the hearing, witness John Belizaire said that the committee members’ readiness to thoroughly explore the complex matter at hand has rendered the discussion productive:”Chairwoman DeGett set the right tone from the very beginning, the tone of ‘we are here to learn.’ Representatives asked good questions and wanted to get educated on these problems.”Belizaire added that he was surprised by some questions related to the possibility of using less environmentally friendly energy sources to power Bitcoin mining in the future, saying that “You have to put it into the context of the global movement taking on climate change.”John Nahas, vice president of business development at Ava Labs, the company behind smart contracts platform Avalanche, noted that the hearing, having started slow, eventually evolved into a “meaningful conversation.” Nahas commented:”It’s clear to me that legislators are seeing the value of blockchains. It was refreshing to see that they understand the numerous areas, like health care records and energy management, that will make our lives more efficient and secure.”John Warren, CEO of U.S.-based Bitcoin mining company GEM Mining, said that the hearing was “an important step in educating U.S. lawmakers on the benefits of the rapidly growing cryptocurrency industry, and mining in particular.”Consonant with Belizaire’s testimony and some of the Representatives’ comments, Warren believes that the migration of mining activity into the U.S. is a favorable scenario in terms of reducing the industry’s environmental impact:”Greater oversight in America, coupled with ongoing innovation, will ensure U.S. companies lead the way in taking steps to operate as efficiently as possible and thereby further reduce mining’s environmental impacts.”Policy implicationsWhile nothing about this hearing was particularly groundbreaking, the effects of such interactions between Congress and the industry tend to compound. It is consequential that over time, elected officials across a varied set of specialized committees – and not only those engaged in financial oversight – get exposure to pro-blockchain industry rhetoric and arguments.In the near-term, however, this interaction shouldn’t be expected to result in any specific legislation.Ava Labs’ Nahas commented:”This was mostly informational and the early stages of any policy process. However, policymakers should continue to engage with experts and objective resources to better understand emerging blockchains and their ability to secure billions of dollars in value while consuming just a small fraction of proof-of-work chains.”Still, the arguments that were raised around decentralization, the dangers of overregulating the crypto space, and various efficiencies that blockchain technology can engender will stick with at least some of those who participated in the hearing, adding to their long-term policy vision.

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Witnesses address energy impacts of crypto mining during House hearing

Five industry experts appearing before the United States House Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee had different views on how lawmakers should address the energy consumption of cryptocurrencies.In written testimony released before a Thursday hearing on “Cleaning Up Cryptocurrency: The Energy Impacts of Blockchains,” former Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks argued that the energy consumption of Bitcoin (BTC) mining was “economically productive,” given other assets including gold required roughly the same amount of energy for mining, with the “a host of other environmental concerns.” In addition, Brooks said that the traditional global banking system consumed roughly 2.5 times the amount of power to produce the same amount of value BTC does at its current market capitalization.John Belizaire, the founder and CEO of Soluna Computing and another witness appearing at the hearing, said that from an energy perspective, the miners and computers needed to power crypto are “not a waste” and could encourage the development of renewable energy sources. The CEO said that, unlike other banking systems, Bitcoin mining included the option of turning the systems off when necessary, giving miners the ability to absorb excess energy from an area’s electrical grid rather than straining it.Cornell Tech professor Ari Juels, who has often been a critic of crypto mining as it currently stands, was supportive of the crypto space as a whole but argued in favor of “energy-efficient alternatives” rather than the proof-of-work (PoW) common for mining. He added that the Ethereum blockchain’s transition to proof-of-stake (PoS) would likely consume “far less electricity” and have features including smart contracts and nonfungible tokens — unlike Bitcoin.“Bitcoin does not equal blockchain,” said Juels. “The tremendous promise of blockchain technology does not require Bitcoin or its energy-intensive component called proof-of-work.”Steve Wright, a recently retired former general manager of the Chelan County in Washington, similarly hinted that mining firms should consider “mechanisms to assure cryptocurrency production is encouraged toward efficient outcomes as early as possible.” Wright noted that the high value of clean energy costs in the area seems to be pushing many crypto miners towards carbon-emitting, fossil-fired sources of power for “at least the near term.”Related: Bitcoin mining becomes more sustainable: Mining Council’s Q4 surveyU.S. lawmakers seem to be giving crypto and blockchain a great deal of attention as the space grows. In December, the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on stablecoins and how the U.S. might participate in the race to adopt digital currencies. Brooks also testified at a House committee hearing that same month on digital assets’ role in the future of finance.“Although digital tokens are a highly speculative and volatile asset class, they also represent the promise of a more open, more widely shared internet,” said Gregory Zerzan, a shareholder at business law firm Jordan Ramis. “If policymakers take a cautious approach and foster a pro-innovation environment, the rewards for consumers, investors and all Americans are likely to be great.”

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Russian central bank proposes blanket ban on crypto mining and trading

In a report published on Thursday, The Central Bank of Russia has called for a blanket ban on domestic cryptocurrency trading and mining.The report titled “Cryptocurrencies: trends, risks, measures” compares cryptocurrencies to a Ponzi scheme and calls for a complete ban on their use throughout Russia. The authors claim that cryptocurrencies are highly volatile in nature and are being used as a tool for illegal activities. The report also warned that crypto could pose a risk to financial sovereignty and could aid people in taking money out of the national economy. The report read:“Potential financial stability risks associated with cryptocurrencies are much higher for emerging markets, including Russia.” The Russian central bank demanded a complete ban on over-the-counter (OTC) trading desks, crypto exchanges as well as peer-to-peer exchanges. The report also called for reinforcing the crypto payment ban and the introduction of strict punishment for any violations.The central bank report further proposes a complete crypto mining ban in the country, claiming that mining activities create new supply which leads to demand for other crypto services such as exchanges. Crypto mining could undermine the existing green energy agenda and also disrupt Russia’s energy supply. The official paper read:“Crypto mining creates a non-productive electricity expenditure, which undermines the energy supply of residential buildings, social infrastructure and industrial objects, as well as the environmental agenda of the Russian Federation.”Russia became the third-largest Bitcoin (BTC) mining hub following China’s crypto mining ban in May. If acted upon, the latest proposal for a blanket ban on crypto mining in the country could lead to yet another realignment on the world’s crypto mining map.According to a Bloomberg report, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) was instrumental in advancing the ban, having lobbied central bank governor Elvira Nabiullina to pursue a hardline course. The report claims that the FSB is worried about the increasing number of untraceable funding to opposition parties and media via crypto.The report is framed as an invitation for public discussion, with the deadline for comments and suggestions from interested parties set at March 1, 2022.Related: Russia prioritizes CBDC ruble as overall crypto outlook seems positiveThe central bank of Russia has been skeptical of cryptocurrencies for quite some time. However, what could be seen as signs of president Vladimir Putin’s interest in and understanding of crypto led some to believe that the Russian government might choose to regulate the decentralized industry rather than ban it.

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MXC’s 200% gain hints that LoRaWAN IOT mining projects could rally in 2022

Cryptocurrency mining has become a hot topic of conversation over the past couple of years due to its lucrative nature and the impact the industry has on the environment. The emergence of Web3 and the increased presence of Internet of Things (IoT) devices has led to a new class of low-cost mining protocols with low-power network technology. These include LPWAN or LoRaWAN which are designed to transmit low bit rate data over long distances. One such protocol that has been gaining traction in recent months is MXC, a Web3 infrastructure protocol designed to provide geolocation-based LPWAN coverage to IoT devices around the world Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that since hitting a low of $0.046 on Jan. 1, the price of MXC has seen a 200% rally to a new all-time high of $0.139 on Jan. 19. MXC/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingViewThree factors adding to MXC’s building momentum include the earning capability of the MXC miners that can mine multiple cryptocurrencies simultaneously, the introduction of one-week shipping for new mining devices and an expanding, global ecosystem of partners and independent mining nodes. Mining diversity could be an advantageThe IoT mining sector has seen many new entrants become established in recent years with projects like Helium (HNT) and Nitro Network (NCASH) offering LoRaWAN based networks that transfer data in exchange for the native HNT and NCASH tokens. MXC has chosen a different route that utilizes a low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) to offer coverage for IoT devices that can also mine multiple cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), MXC and DataHighway (DHX) simultaneously. The MXC network uses its MatchX M2 Pro LPWAN miner, which is available for purchase on their website at a price of € 2,499 or on Amazon for a price of $3,299, alongside the DataDash app, which allows users to manage its miners and rewards. In terms of devices capable of mining Bitcoin, the M2 Pro miner requires 5 watts of power as compared to the 3,250 watts required by the Bitmain “Antminer S19 Pro.” This makes the M2 better suited for individuals that don’t have a lot of funds to invest in a hefty mining operation. According to one user’s self-report, the M2 Pro miners have been earning a yield of $8 to $10 dollars per day and estimates that it will take a total of 8 months to recoup the original investment. Easy access to M2 ProAnother reason for the building momentum for MXC has been the introduction of one-week shipping for new M2 Pro orders. Shipping Announcement Shipping your M2 Pro takes only 7 days!Applies for everyone on the globeGet your M2 Pro here: https://t.co/8WiTQWqxi2 pic.twitter.com/oArEmi65AV— MatchX (@matchx_iot) January 19, 2022For LPWAN networks, achieving widespread coverage is key to the overall health and long-term viability of the network. Having an easy way for interested parties to obtain mining equipment helps to increase the rate of growth. Delays in miner shipments have been an issue for other networks, including Helium, which has led to hard feelings and some cancellations as users lament the lost-mining time and funds that could have been put to more productive use elsewhere. As a result of the access interested parties have in obtaining the M2 Pro, the MXC network has now reached 18,186 nodes worldwide. MXC node network. Source: MXC MapperRelated: EU securities regulator calls for proof-of-work crypto mining banNew partners and the launch of F-NFTsIn addition to an expanding network, MXC has new partner projects joining its network and there are plans to integrate “functional nonfungible tokens” or F-NFTs.The protocol has partnered with Matcha and the team is currently in talks with Huobi exchange to create promotional offers for international users. MXC has also revealed a new partnership with Random Network which will provide the community with a dashboard for the data that MXC distributes from its global network of M2 Pro miners. MXC is launching Functional #NFTs, also known as F-NFTs!These will change how we grow the global #DataRepublic, enhancing the use of the network + viewable directly on the DataDash app.More here: https://t.co/BxRoZgUVMF pic.twitter.com/k0eIBBLQMD— MXC Foundation (@MXCfoundation) January 13, 2022

On top of collaborating with other entities, MXC recently unveiled plans to launch F-NFTs in an effort to bring “hardware to the metaverse” and expand the community and functionality of the “MXC Data Republic.”The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Iran to reportedly pilot central bank digital currency soon

The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) is reportedly planning to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot soon.According to a report by the Iranian Labour News Agency, the CBI vice governor said that CBDCs could help the country resolv financial inconsistencies. The development of a sovereign digital currency in Iran began in 2018 at the Informatics Services Corporation — the executive arm of the CBI. The development phase has been completed and a pilot will be launched soon. However, CBI didn’t reveal many details about the time frame.The Iranian CBDC was reportedly developed using the Hyperledger Fabric platform hosted by the Linux Foundation. Cointelegraph reached out to Hyperledger for a comment but didn’t get a response at the publishing time.Iran has experienced significant financial and economic difficulties as a result of heavy economic sanctions levied on it by the United States. Amid these problems, Iran has turned to crypto and was among the first countries to legalize Bitcoin (BTC) mining in hopes of reviving the economy, however, it had to temporarily shut mining operations on numerous occasions due to acute power shortages and blackouts. Iran is also looking to use cryptocurrencies for international trade, in hopes of bypassing the trade sanctions. As reported by Cointelegraph, CBI, and the Ministry of Trade reached an agreement to link the CBI’s payment platform to a trading system allowing businesses to settle payments using cryptocurrencies. At present, nearly 100 nations are working on a sovereign digital currency, while only a handful of them have reached the pilot phase. China is currently at the forefront: it completed its CBDC development in 2019 and is currently mass testing it across various provinces and retail sectors. Related: Iran halts authorized crypto mining to save energy for winterFrance and Switzerland have carried out multiple cross-border pilots. South Korea, Japan, and Russia are expected to carry out trials in 2022, while the U.S. is still in the discussion phase. According to the Atlantic CBDC tracker, nine nations have already launched their CBDC, 14 are in the pilot phase, 16 are in the development phase, 41 nations are still researching and two nations have canceled their CBDC plans.CBDC development tracker Source: Atlantic Council

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Intel to reveal new energy-efficient Bitcoin mining ASIC at next ISSCC

Reports indicate that Intel, one of the largest computer processor manufacturers, intends to reveal a new “Ultra-Low-Voltage Energy-Efficient Bitcoin Mining ASIC” known as Bonanza Mine at the upcoming IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference in February 2022. Intel submitted a patent in November 2018 outlining similar ideas for “high-performance Bitcoin Mining.” It is suspected that the processes described in the patent could make their way into the product being shown off at the ISSCC.According to the patent, the ASIC behind the Bonanza Mine will be able to finish calculations just as effectively as other ASICs while eliminating the need for repeated or redundant computations. This system is proposed to reduce overall power consumption by approximately 15%. The processors used for mining crypto are notorious for being subject to shortages and diminishing sales. Intel would become a competitor against companies like Bitmain, with a proposed Ether ASIC still pending release and Nvidia, a company that was also struck by multiple instances of declining chip sales. Demand for crypto mining has been rising steadily despite constant processor shortages and inconsistent production costs. Representatives from Intel seemed confident in regards to entering the crypto mining industry and with the new chip, commenting:”Intel has done design work around SHA 256 optimized ASICs for several years beginning with pathfinding work done in Intel Labs.”At the time of publication, it is unclear whether Intel will release the Bonanza Mine for retail sale or if it will be strictly for industrial or research purposes. Regardless, this could potentially catapult Intel into becoming a main competitor within the crypto-mining industry.

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Former pro-crypto CoC Brian Brooks to testify in a House hearing on the energy impacts of mining

As the U.S. Congress prepares to take a thorough look at the energy use of crypto mining, the list of witnesses for the Thursday hearing contains more proponents of blockchain technology than its outright critics.The House Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee announced a hearing on “Cleaning Up Cryptocurrency: The Energy Impacts of Blockchains” last week, with the event itself scheduled for Thursday. The focus of the hearing will be on the energy and the environmental effects of crypto mining, specifically as it relates to networks that use a proof-of-work, or PoW, consensus mechanism.A Committee on Energy and Commerce staff memo released on Jan. 17 revealed the list of witnesses invited to testify. Among the five experts on the list, only one — Cornell Tech professor Ari Juels — can be definitively categorized as an outspoken critic of Bitcoin (BTC) mining in its current form. Ironically, Juels is one of two authors of a 1999 paper that defined and introduced the term “proof-of-work.”Another entry on the witness list is Brian Brooks, former U.S. Comptroller of the Currency and Binance.US CEO who in Nov. 2021 joined BitFury, a major player in the crypto mining industry, as CEO. Also notable is the presence of John Belizaire, CEO of Soluna Computing, a firm that is focused on developing green data centers for batchable computing. In a Jan. 6 blog post, Belizaire lauded Bitcoin’s energy consumption as a “feature, not a bug,” arguing that it provides a viable mechanism for absorbing excess renewable energy.Utility providers will be represented by Steve Wright, a recently retired former general manager of the Chelan County, Washington state, public utility district. During his tenure, Wright took steps to attract cryptocurrency miners to the county.Gregory Zerzan, Jordan Ramis shareholder and former acting assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury, once noted that concerns around Bitcoin mining could be addressed by “transitioning away from fossil fuels.”The memo itself offers a rather balanced overview of energy-related concerns associated with PoW mining, although it also reiterates certain statements that have been questioned by recent research. For one, the authors stated that the energy consumption and environmental impact of crypto mining may grow in the coming years — a claim that was countered in Bitcoin Policy Institute’s fact-checking brochure.Jake Chervinsky, head of policy at the Clockchain Association, tweeted that the memo was “not all bad, but commits basic errors.”The House E&C Committee published a 9-page memo for this week’s hearing on crypto’s energy use. It’s not all bad, but commits basic errors, like repeating the fallacy of “per transaction” carbon emissions.Read it here & watch Thursday at 10:30 am ET: https://t.co/AgMes2zOwf— Jake Chervinsky (@jchervinsky) January 18, 2022The hearing is scheduled for 10:30 am EST on Jan. 20 and will be streamed here.

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