GMO’s Cryptocurrency Business Made $2.3 Million Profit in Q2

GMO’s Cryptocurrency Business Made $2.3 Million Profit in Q2

Japanese IT giant GMO has just reported making an operating profit of 255 million yen (about $2.3 million) for its cryptocurrency business in the second quarter of this year. The firm released its financial report following an earnings call on Thursday, which indicated that the company’s crypto segment made a total of 2.6 billion yen, or $23 million, in net revenue. The amount generated in the crypto segment was almost equally split between the mining and exchange businesses, which accounted for 47 and 53 percent of the net revenue, respectively. That said, with operating costs mounting to $21 million in just three months, GMO recorded a relatively small margin of $2.3 million, or 10.95 percent. However, the figure looks more respectable when placed in the context of GMO’s net loss of $6.6 million in the first quarter – mainly due to negative revenue suffered by its exchange business in the first two months of this year. Although GMO didn’t provide a breakdown of the operating costs for the crypto segment in Q2, it did indicate that a notable portion arises from the mining side of its business. “Although the expansion and mining equipment progressed as planned and recorded sales of 1.2 billion yen, mining profitability declined due to deterioration of the macro environment such as stagnation of bitcoin price as well as the increase of hash rate,” the report said. Indeed, according to GMO’s latest mining report, dated Aug. 3, the firm appears to have increased its mining capacity in the second quarter. For instance, the company mined 512 bitcoins in the first quarter – less than the 528 bitcoins GMO mined in June 2018 alone. Notably, those figures come soon after the launch of GMO’s own 7nm bitcoin miners, which were touted as having higher hashing power alongside lower electricity demands. Before now, the only previous profitable quarter for GMO’s fledgling crypto business was Q4 2017, a time when bitcoin prices soared to a record high of nearly $20,000. Japanese yen image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Canaan Unveils 7nm Chip Equipped Miner at Press Conference

Canaan Unveils 7nm Chip Equipped Miner at Press Conference

Mining At a recent press conference, the world’s second largest manufacturer of bitcoin mining rigs, Canaan Creative, revealed four new products. In addition to the recently reported bitcoin mining television set, the company will launch a 7nm chip-equipped 30T Avalonminer A9, a Litecoin Avalonminer, and a household heater miner. Also Read: Bitmain Offers Wi-Fi Routers Mining Cryptocurrencies Canaan Creative Celebrates Development of 7nm Chip Equipped Miner At a press conference in Hangzhou held on the 8th of August, Canaan Creative unveiled what it claims is the world’s first 7nm mining chip. According to Weixin, the Secretary-General of the Zhejiang Semiconductor Industry Association, Mr. Chen Guanglei, described the development of the 7nm chip “giving the Zhejiang semiconductor industry an opportunity to lead the world.” Canaan also announced that it will be releasing the world’s first mass producer miner featuring the 7nm chips, the Avalonminer A9. The company claims that the A9 is has a performance of between 60w and 70w per terahash and a hash rate of between 26.5 and 30 terahashes per second. Public affairs director, Jianan Yun Chi Tu Songhua, stated: “The 7nm chip is known as the global leader in blockchain repetitive computing. The world’s first 7nm mass production chip was born in Jianan, which is the power of technology and the strength of the team. The chip has the industry’s highest computing density, lower cost and greater capacity, low power consumption, high temperature and high yield.” Mining Appliances Set to Start “Smart Home AI Era” Canaan discussed three other upcoming products, including the Avalonminer L – a Litecoin with a performance of 0.84w per megahash and a total hashing power of 1,891 megahashes. The company also showcased its upcoming bitcoin mining television set, the Avaloninside – which will feature A3210 16nm ASIC chip producing a hash rate of 2.8 terahashes per second and consume 100w per terahash. According to Luo Yanqiang, “The principle is to use the traditional home appliances in the process of use, participate in the blockchain calculation, for the future implementation of household cloud computing for household appliances, and gradually form the basis of the smart home AI era.” Additionally, the company will introduce to its product range a household heater that mines cryptocurrency. What is your response to Canaan…

15,000 Twitter Crypto Scam Giveaway Botsm, Reports Duo Security

15,000 Twitter Crypto Scam Giveaway Botsm, Reports Duo Security

News This week, researchers uncovered empirical data confirming what most in the crypto Twittersphere already know – the space if flooded with scam bots: 15,000 of them to be exact, according to Duo Security. Also read: Queensland, Australia Invests Portion of its $6.1Mil Ignite Ideas Fund in Crypto Startup Researchers Find 15K Twitter Crypto Scam Giveaway Bots Don’t @ Me: Hunting Twitter Bots at Scale by Duo Security’s Jordan Wright and Olabode Anise is 46 pages of intense fine-tooth combing of data related to the phenomenon of Twitter bots. “Social networks allow people to connect with one another, share ideas, and have healthy conversations. Recently, automated Twitter accounts, or ‘bots,’ have been making headlines for their effectiveness at spreading spam and malware, as well as influencing this online discussion,” the authors began. Over three months on their way to present findings at Black Hat USA 2018, researchers detail how they “identified botnets, including a spam-spreading botnet case study,” Mr. Wright and Mr. Anise explain, though they “specifically looked for automated accounts, not necessarily malicious automated accounts.” Their key findings, published open source, were achieved as they “gathered a dataset of 88 million public Twitter profiles consisting of standard account information represented in the Twitter API, such as screen name, tweet count, followers/following counts, avatar and description. As API limits allow, this dataset was enriched with both the tweets posted by accounts, as well as with targeted social network information (follower/following) information. Practical data science techniques can be applied to create a classifier that is effective at finding automated Twitter accounts, also known as ‘bots.’” Duo Security is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and just this month announced being acquired by Cisco. Cisco is interested in the firm because of its zero-trust authentication solution in order to buttress Cisco’s own network and cloud security offerings. The deal is worth well over $2 billion, and is expected to finalize in late October of the present year. Case Study of At Least 15,000 Bots Spreading a Cryptocurrency Scam “By monitoring the botnet over time,” the researchers continued, “we discover ways the bots evolve to evade detection. Our cryptobot scam case study demonstrates that, after finding initial bots using the tools and techniques described in this paper, a thread can…

Barclays Is Pitting Blockchains Against Each Other (For a Cause)

Barclays Is Pitting Blockchains Against Each Other (For a Cause)

U.K. banking giant Barclays is challenging up-and-coming blockchain coders to help revamp the global derivatives market at a hackathon next month. Revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, DerivHack will take place simultaneously in London and New York on September 20-21 at Barclays’ Rise accelerator spaces. The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), Deloitte and Thomson Reuters are co-sponsoring the event.  Those taking part will be asked to apply ISDA’s Common Domain Model (CDM), a set of process and data standards, using their choice of distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform, to efficiently model post-trade processing of derivatives contracts.  CDM attempts to harmonize the way data is presented and reported across different firms and platforms. As such, its adoption is widely viewed as a prerequisite for the financial industry to adopt DLT and smart contracts. One goal of the hackathon is to suss out which of the commonly used enterprise DLT platforms – R3’s Corda, Hyperledger Fabric or ethereum – handles derivative life cycle smart contracts most elegantly. “It’s up to each team to decide what they code on,” Dr. Lee Braine of the CTO Office at Barclays Investment Bank told CoinDesk, adding that it is a “good, and genuinely open, question” which will perform the most efficiently.   “I think the sort of things that will come out of this hackathon will include exactly that,” he said. Braine said, by way of an example, there may be cases where existing blockchain platforms benefit from some enhancements to make them more naturally compatible with the CDM. Referring to object-oriented computing languages such as Java, which use classes to define data formats and available procedures for a given type or class of object, he said, “you could imagine this being equivalent to adding some extra classes to raise the level of abstraction closer to that of the CDM.” Braine pointed out that the CDM, which is all about how you alter the data structure before and after each life cycle event in a trade (such as an amendment, modification or termination of a contract), will give the judges a neat way to assess those solutions.   “Because it is the ISDA CDM, it will be very clear what are the inputs and expected outputs for each life cycle event – but it will…

20 Thai Crypto Exchanges Have Applied for New Digital Assets Licenses

20 Thai Crypto Exchanges Have Applied for New Digital Assets Licenses

Thailand’s new licensing system for firms working with digital assets has seen a flurry of applications from companies seeking to offer token sales and exchange services just weeks after it went into effect, an official has said. In a news report from Bangkok Post on Thursday, Rapee Sucharitakul, the secretary-general of the Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said a total of 20 crypto exchanges had already registered for licenses. As CoinDesk has previously reported, rules created to regulate ICOs took effect on July 16 after a royal decree was made public in May. As part of the scheme, projects that intend to offer crypto exchange services must also gain approval from the SEC before trading starts. “Many companies interested in opening digital asset exchanges have said digital assets and cryptocurrency trading in the Thai market are quite active,” Sucharitakul said. In addition, the SEC said around 50 ICOs have expressed interest in becoming registered to conduct compliant token sales in the country. However, before the SEC can grant licenses to individual projects, it must first select the so-called “ICO portals” – online marketplaces where potential ICO issuers can operate their token sales. Sucharitakul said that, out of the five companies that have expressed interest in becoming ICO portals, three have already filed applications. In the same region, regulators from the Philippines embarked on a similar effort just last week, releasing draft rules for the regulation of token sales. The nation is currently seeking public comment on how to let ICOs operate in a regulated environment. Thailand flag image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

15,000 Twitter Crypto Scam Giveaway Bots: Duo Security

15,000 Twitter Crypto Scam Giveaway Bots: Duo Security

News This week, researchers uncovered empirical data confirming what most in the crypto Twittersphere already know – the space if flooded with scam bots: 15,000 of them to be exact, according to Duo Security. Also read: Queensland, Australia Invests Portion of its $6.1Mil Ignite Ideas Fund in Crypto Startup Researchers Find 15K Twitter Crypto Scam Giveaway Bots Don’t @ Me: Hunting Twitter Bots at Scale by Duo Security’s Jordan Wright and Olabode Anise is 46 pages of intense fine-tooth combing of data related to the phenomenon of Twitter bots. “Social networks allow people to connect with one another, share ideas, and have healthy conversations. Recently, automated Twitter accounts, or ‘bots,’ have been making headlines for their effectiveness at spreading spam and malware, as well as influencing this online discussion,” the authors began. Over three months on their way to present findings at Black Hat USA 2018, researchers detail how they “identified botnets, including a spam-spreading botnet case study,” Mr. Wright and Mr. Anise explain, though they “specifically looked for automated accounts, not necessarily malicious automated accounts.” Their key findings, published open source, were achieved as they “gathered a dataset of 88 million public Twitter profiles consisting of standard account information represented in the Twitter API, such as screen name, tweet count, followers/following counts, avatar and description. As API limits allow, this dataset was enriched with both the tweets posted by accounts, as well as with targeted social network information (follower/following) information. Practical data science techniques can be applied to create a classifier that is effective at finding automated Twitter accounts, also known as ‘bots.’” Duo Security is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and just this month announced being acquired by Cisco. Cisco is interested in the firm because of its zero-trust authentication solution in order to buttress Cisco’s own network and cloud security offerings. The deal is worth well over $2 billion, and is expected to finalize in late October of the present year. Case Study of At Least 15,000 Bots Spreading a Cryptocurrency Scam “By monitoring the botnet over time,” the researchers continued, “we discover ways the bots evolve to evade detection. Our cryptobot scam case study demonstrates that, after finding initial bots using the tools and techniques described in this paper, a thread can…

Thailand’s New ICO Rule Has Already Attracted 20 Crypto Exchanges

Thailand’s New ICO Rule Has Already Attracted 20 Crypto Exchanges

Thailand’s new licensing rule that governs initial coin offerings (ICOs) has gained interests from companies setting out to offer token sales and exchange services just weeks after the rule went into effect, official said. In a news report from Bangkok Post on Thursday, Rapee Sucharitakul, the secretary-general of the Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said a total of 20 crypto exchanges already filed applications, seeking to become licensed trading venues. CoinDesk previously reported that a rule setting out to regulate ICOs took effect on July 16 after a royal decree on the topic was made public in May. As part of the licensing rule, projects that aim to offer crypto exchange services must also gain approval from the SEC before trading starts. “Many companies interested in opening digital asset exchanges have said digital assets and cryptocurrency trading in the Thai market are quite active,” Sucharitakul said. In addition, the SEC said around 50 ICOs indicated interests in obtaining licenses to conduct token sales in the country with full compliance. However, before the SEC can grant any license to individual projects, it will first select the so-called “ICO portals,” which are online marketplaces where potential ICO issuers can operate their token sales. Sucharitakul said out of the five companies that seek to become ICO portals, three have already filed applications. And, just last week, regulators from the Philippines also took similar efforts to have released a draft rule for regulating token sales and is currently seeking public comment on how to let ICOs continue in a regulated environment. Thailand flag image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Exchanges Round-Up: Goldman Considers Crypto Custody, SA Exchange Launches USDT

Exchanges Round-Up: Goldman Considers Crypto Custody, SA Exchange Launches USDT

Exchanges In recent news pertaining to cryptocurrency exchanges, it has been reported that Goldman Sachs is considering exploring custody and other services pertaining to cryptocurrencies; a South African exchange has introduced Tether pairings in the hopes of driving down the local premium on crypto prices through offering arbitrage opportunities to foreign traders; and Blockex has announced that Sublime Group has started operating as a market maker on its exchange. Also Read: Philippines Building Crypto Valley of Asia Goldman Sachs Exploring Crypto Custody Services Bloomberg has reported that leading financial services company, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., is exploring cryptocurrency custody as a potential future product. According to “people familiar with the matter,” Bloomberg wrote that the firm “is considering a plan to offer custody for crypto funds.” A spokesperson for Goldman Sachs stated: “In response to client interest in various digital products we are exploring how best to serve them in this space. At this point, we have not reached a conclusion on the scope of our digital asset offering.” A lack of established custodians in providing cryptocurrency services has increasingly been perceived as a barrier to institutional investment into virtual currencies in recent discourse, with Blake Estes of Alston & Bird stating last month: “So much of the security of bitcoin and other cryptocurrency rests with who stores that private key, who controls the vault. Blockchain (the technology behind the transfer of assets) itself can’t be hacked, but it all still boils down to who ends up holding the keys. I’d tend to think that pension funds will not venture into uncharted territory until they’re certain about the security of who has custody of the keys.” South African Exchange Launches Tether Pairings to Drive Down Local Price Premium Johannesburg-based cryptocurrency exchange, Altcointrader, launched Tether (USDT) pairings. The company has introduced USDT with the intention of driving down the premium on cryptocurrency prices in South Africa. Richard de Sousa, Altcointrader partner, estimates that BTC trades at “6%-7%” higher in South Africa when compared to USD prices. With the introduction of USDT pairings, Mr. De Sousa expects that foreigners seeking to capitalize on the arbitrage opportunities presented by the South African markets will drive down the premium on local prices over time. “The trading pair is quite important…

Now a Nearly $1 Billion Blockchain, Tezos Is Slowly Building Up Its Security

Now a Nearly $1 Billion Blockchain, Tezos Is Slowly Building Up Its Security

The number of Tezos bakers is on the rise. The protocol’s term for a validator (its equivalent of bitcoin’s miners), bakers are crucial to ensuring the nascent network’s security. And that’s all the more necessary given the value of the funds at stake. Since raising $232 million in 2017, the protocol has had a very bumpy path to getting off the ground. Once live, though, it’s become a top 20 blockchain by market capitalization, with a valuation consistently above $1 billion. Furthermore, there’s been little out of the ordinary happening on the new blockchain. Watching the amount of tokens staked to validate and the number of people taking part is probably the best way early on to assess the stability of the new network. “I’ve been particularly impressed with the role the community has played in this process,” Mike Reinhart of Obsidian Systems, which is building software for bakers, told CoinDesk in an email. So far, it’s been a smooth increase in bakers overall. There are 108 bakers working on Tezos, as of this writing, besides the nodes run by the Tezos Foundation, according to TzScan.io, a block explorer for the protocol. At launch, all validation was run by the Tezos Foundation, but that opened up with the seventh cycle (each cycle runs roughly every three days). This is only the third week that the protocol has been operational. It’s difficult to draw any big conclusions from either the limited growth or the limited attrition so far. But the number seems to be growing as services come along to make it easier for holders of XTZ to participate. It takes 10,000 XTZ to serve as a baker (what the creators call a “roll”), plus a little technical know-how and a good internet connection. At current prices, that’s roughly $15,000 in cryptocurrency, but if the holder has a long position in tezos, then baking gives them a way to earn additional income while they sit on their tokens. The number of rolls staked for baking has been increasing steadily as well, helped in part by the growth in delegation services. For holders that don’t have $15,000 in cryptocurrency to dedicate to baking, the protocol also allows for users to delegate their tokens to a service in…

Intuit Scores Patent for Processing Bitcoin Payments With Text Messages

Intuit Scores Patent for Processing Bitcoin Payments With Text Messages

California-based business and financial software company Intuit has been awarded a patent for processing bitcoin payments via text message. The patent, published by the U.S Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday, details how a system of virtual accounts could enable two users to transfer funds using mobile phones. The company first filed the patent in 2014, shortly after it launched its QuickBooks Bitcoin Payments service, a bitcoin transaction processor which small businesses could use to accept bitcoin in lieu of fiat currencies. As the application states: “The invention relates to a method for processing payment. The method includes receiving, by a payment service from a payer mobile device of a payer, a payment text message comprising a payment amount and an identifier of a payee mobile device.” It goes on to explain that validation of a payment text message would be done in a number of different ways. One requires sending through “a password request associated with an account of the user” in order to process payment. Another takes into account the use of voicemail as further validation by sending through “a voice phone call [that] is automatically disconnected by the payment service without answering.” Such unanswered voice calls would act as confirmation of all credible payment texts aimed at distinguishing from the potential threat of “random message or spam message sent by a machine.” The company has long been looking into improving access to bitcoin payment processors. While it launched QuickBooks in 2014, the company continued developing its payment platform, most recently partnering with payment provider Veem to enable international cryptocurrency payments. Image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.