Iranian Authorizes Issue License for 6000-Rig Crypto Farm

Iranian Authorizes Issue License for 6000-Rig Crypto Farm

Iran’s Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade granted a license for cryptocurrency mining company iMiner to operate in the country. With 6,000 rigs, iMiner’s setup would purportedly make it one of the largest crypto miners in Iran.According to an article published on April 29, the Turkey-based company has invested nearly $7.3 million into a Bitcoin (BTC) mining farm in the Semnan Province of Iran, where it will mine digital currency with 6,000 rigs capable of 96,000 terahashes per second (TH/s) in total. This equates to 16 TH/s per rig on average, the same as the Aladdin Miner listed on the company’s website. In addition, iMiner will continue to offer trading and custody services for the Middle Eastern nation through Semnan and their offices in Tehran.Crypto mining in the Iranian economyThe Iranian government authorized cryptocurrency mining as an industrial activity in July 2019, and has since issued over 1,000 licenses to crypto mining companies including iMiner. The country’s low energy prices make it appealing for miners, who are well known for having high electricity bills. Iran’s economy is suffering both from the continuing pandemic the sanctions enforced by the United States and other western countries. Some military officials have suggested turning to digital currency to help facilitate trade while importing foreign currency and skirting such sanctions.However, the push for innovative technology has led to smuggling unregistered crypto mining equipment. As Cointelegraph reported in November 2019, Iranian authorities even offered a bounty for those willing to expose unauthorized mining operations.

Crypto Long & Short: Why Bitcoin’s Big Rally Is a Sign of Its Economic Resilience

Crypto Long & Short: Why Bitcoin’s Big Rally Is a Sign of Its Economic Resilience

Economic growth figures are starting to trickle in, and, as expected, they’re bad. Really bad. This past week the U.S. reported Q1 GDP growth as -4.8%. Italy’s GDP fell -4.5%, Spain came in at -5.2%, and France trumped that with a whopping -5.8%.  And that’s just warming up – Christine Lagarde, head of the ECB, has warned that euro-area GDP could fall by as much as 15% in Q2. And yet stock markets in the U.S. and Europe closed up on the week, in spite of the inevitability that the next quarter will be worse still.You’re reading Crypto Long & Short, a newsletter that looks closely at the forces driving cryptocurrency markets. Authored by CoinDesk’s head of research, Noelle Acheson, it goes out every Sunday and offers a recap of the week – with insights and analysis – from a professional investor’s point of view. You can subscribe here.This could be partly due to the concentration of market capitalization – nearly 25% of the S&P 500 market capitalization is from five tech companies, which arguably will do relatively well out of more people staying at and working from home. Or, it could be because the stock market has broken all ties with the actual economy. The aforementioned concentration of the S&P 500 is intensifying, fueled by the dominance of passive investing, which means its performance does not reflect that of most of its constituents. And the “moral hazard” posed by the government’s willingness to bail out companies in difficulty suspends the need to scrutinize balance sheets and evaluate viability. But reality doesn’t stay suspended forever, no matter how much we wish it would. Eventually the abrupt slowdown of economic activity will feed through to numbers that investors can’t ignore, and the current P/E valuations will start to look absurd.  This is where bitcoin comes in. Its underlying technology and monetary system make it one of the few investable assets that is immune to the economic fluctuations we have ahead.First, its P/E ratios will never look absurd because it doesn’t have any earnings. Nothing to get hit there.Second, its use will not be curtailed by lack of customer mobility – users can transact from anywhere. In fact, logistical constraints could boost interest in bitcoin transactions from those who normally hand over physical cash (although why they would want to if people…

Bitcoin Hash Rate Tag Hits New Record 8 Days From Halving

Bitcoin Hash Rate Tag Hits New Record 8 Days From Halving

After the mid-March price crash led to a brief exodus of miners operating older hardware, the Bitcoin (BTC) hash rate posted a new all-time high (ATH) of more than 142 exahashes per second (EX/s) on March 3.The new record beats out the previous ATH of 123 EX/s posted on March 8.BTC hash rate tags new record 8 days from halvingWith Bitcoin’s third halving event roughly three weeks away, the BTC mining hash rate is against pushing into record highs. BTC hashing power crashed 40% in two weeks after setting its previous ATH on March 8, dropping from 123 EX/s to just 75 EX/s. However, with prices rebonding, the following six weeks saw hash rate gain 90% — with analysts speculating that a combination of rising crypto prices and the impending obcelense of many older ASICs amid the halving have contributed to hash power nearly doubling in less than two months.Halving is a ‘healthy rebalance’Speaking to Cointelegraph, Johnson Xu, the head of research and analytics at TokenInsight, predicted that “a large percentage of older generation miners such as S9s will be shut down” shortly after the halving transpires.Despite the disruptions the event has on the mining sector, Johnson describes the halving as “a healthy rebalance to force the network to re-adjust itself into an efficient network where miners can make sufficient margin.”“The bitcoin halving will result in the network in short term chaos, however, once the difficulty adjustment kicks in and self-adjust to an equilibrium state, we will see the bitcoin network back to a stable position quickly,” Johnson added.

What’s Next for BTC, Chainalysis Criticized, Crypto Fears Kim Jong Un’s Death: Hodler’s Digest, April 27–May 3

What’s Next for BTC, Chainalysis Criticized, Crypto Fears Kim Jong Un’s Death: Hodler’s Digest, April 27–May 3

Coming every Sunday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.Top Stories This WeekBitcoin rally above $9,000 stalls as sellers push BTC back to key supportWhat a week it’s been. After starting Monday at $7,650, Bitcoin surged through previously stubborn resistance levels to hit highs of $9,440. The gains mean the world’s biggest cryptocurrency has comfortably outpaced the Dow’s price recovery. Bitcoin’s handsome year-to-date returns have also outshone gold, its last major competitor — cementing its position as 2020’s best-performing asset. Coinbase crashed as BTC skyrocketed, with the exchange acknowledging there were “connectivity issues.” The significant milestones didn’t end here. Bullish momentum has meant the Crypto Fear & Greed Index has exited its lowest possible reading — “extreme fear” — for the first time in seven weeks. Meanwhile, data from Glassnode suggests Bitcoin has migrated from the “hope” to the “optimism” phase. The only question now is whether sentiment will grow into “belief,” or retreat to “anxiety.”Top crypto traders explain where Bitcoin price will go after $9,400 rallyThat’s the big question now on everybody’s lips… what’s next? Bitcoin did cool off substantially after Thursday’s surge, slipping more than 9% to $8,550 the very same day. Cointelegraph analysts, such as Michaël van de Poppe, warn significant resistance at $9,500 could put BTC’s pre-halving rally in jeopardy, with less than a week to go. He described the $9,200-to-$9,500 resistance zone as crucial. It provided support throughout the summer of 2019, and this week, it seems an overwhelming amount of traders chose to sell at this level. Van de Poppe says Bitcoin needs to achieve a clear breakthrough of $9,000 for the rally to continue — warranting a continuation toward $9,400 that opens up the road to $10,500 with enough momentum. Failing to hold this support could prompt downward momentum, with the analyst noting that BTC prices peaked three weeks before the last halving in 2016, only to crash after it occurred.Antonopoulos: Chainalysis is helping the world’s worst dictators and regimesDuring a recent interview, Bitcoin educator Andreas Antonopoulos left viewers in no doubt as to how he feels…

MakerDao Brings Bitcoin to the Ethereum Blockchain

MakerDao Brings Bitcoin to the Ethereum Blockchain

MakerDao governance, a decentralized community of MKR token holders that govern the Maker Protocol, has voted to pull Bitcoin onto the Ethereum blockchain by accepting Wrapped Bitcoin as a new collateral asset in the Maker Protocol, according to the official announcement on May 3. For the uninitiated, wBTC is the first ERC20 token backed 1:1 with Bitcoin.WBTC marks the fourth collateral asset type to be added to the MakerDAO DeFi ecosystem. The former three included ETH, BAT, and USDT. wBTC will now be able to open Maker Vaults in order to generate Dai. The report added that: “WBTC will help bring greater liquidity to the Ethereum and decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystems, and to decentralized exchanges (DEXs).”Pulling Bitcoin to the Ethereum blockchainBitcoin holders can trade their BTC to open a vault and generate Dai through wBTC. The process of opening a vault can be done on Oasis Borrow — a decentralized finance platform. The conversion takes 5 steps to complete. First users sign up to Coinlist, complete KYC, wrap BTC to wBTC, send wBTC to a compatible wallet, and then create a wBTC vault to generate new DAI, according to the report. As Cointelegraph reported in early February, more than $1 billion U.S. dollars worth of assets resides in DeFi protocols. Crypto experts were reportedly sceptical about early adoption of Bitcoin within DeFi protocols, but also curious and interested to see how the future would evolve.

Top 5 Cryptocurrencies to Watch This Week: BTC, ETC, TRX, BCH, XLM

Top 5 Cryptocurrencies to Watch This Week: BTC, ETC, TRX, BCH, XLM

The world is currently witnessing its worst crisis in decades, which dwarfs even the previous financial crisis. Even when traditional asset classes like equities and crude oil are struggling, Bitcoin (BTC) has held out exceedingly well. Travis Kling, the head of crypto hedge fund Ikigai, said that the top-ranked cryptocurrency on CoinMarketCap has preserved wealth for its investors as its price has “increased 0.60% from the end of February to the end of April amidst one of the most catastrophic economic events in history.”Crypto market data daily view. Source: Coin360With Bitcoin halving less than nine days away, the big question troubling traders is whether the price will pump or dump following the event. Various comparisons and possibilities are being projected but in reality, no one knows with certainty how it will play out. Therefore, traders should be ready with their plan of action for both possibilities. The uncertainty can lead to high volatility, which can offer trading opportunities both on the long side and the short side of the market. BTC/USDBitcoin (BTC) is in an uptrend. Both moving averages are sloping up and the relative strength index is in overbought territory, which suggests that bulls are in command.  BTC-USD daily chart. Source: TradingviewCurrently, the bears are mounting a stiff resistance close to $9,200. If the bulls can propel the price above this resistance, the momentum is likely to pick up and a quick move to $10,000 is possible.Conversely, if the bulls fail to propel the price above $9,200, a drop to the 10-day exponential moving average ($8,320) is possible. If BTC bounces off this support, the possibility of a break above $9,200 increases as it will suggest that the bulls are not waiting for a deeper correction to buy.However, if the bears sink the price below the 10-day EMA, a drop to the breakout level of $8,175.49 is possible. A break below this level can drag the price to the 20-day simple moving average ($7,626). Such a move will suggest that the momentum has weakened.BTC-USD 4-hour chart. Source: TradingviewThe 4-hour chart shows the formation of a pennant. If the bears sink the price below the pennant, a drop to $8,175.49 and below it to $7,700 is possible. The intraday traders can attempt a short trade with a close stop-loss…

Bitcoin’s Gut Check: The Time of Crisis as the Moment of Truth

Bitcoin’s Gut Check: The Time of Crisis as the Moment of Truth

We are at a turning point in history. The coming months will show how institutional investors will react in the medium term to the countless rescue packages in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. One thing is certain: States and central banks have been hard-pressed for solutions. Moreover, it looks like their efforts have been exhausted already at the start. Should investors end up losing faith in the measures taken, the consequences would be far more dramatic than a short-term stock market crash.No one can foresee today what our future monetary system will look like, but the history of money has been marked sometimes by radical system changes. Today’s historical interventions in the free market are unparalleled, especially given their magnitude, and will no doubt in hindsight be seen as the beginning of the end of our current monetary system with its fiat currencies “made out of nothing.”Is Bitcoin (BTC) “digital gold” and a “safe haven” currency? Yes, now more than ever before.Bitcoin was created in 2008 in response to the financial crisis­, and the present-day chaos on the global financial markets is the first major test of its ability to assert itself as an alternative and a new asset class. However, when liquidity is needed, as it is now, everything is sold, especially risky assets. John Bollinger, the creator of the so-called Bollinger Band, a technical indicator for price developments, rightly noted that in times of crisis, investors will “sell whatever they can sell,” and only after assets have been turned into cash is an investment made in crisis-proof assets — e.g., gold.Flee toward “hard money”In contrast to state-run monetary watchdogs who have been trying to safeguard “a continuously functioning market” by pumping in “avalanches” of money (and not just since the coronavirus outbreak), the pricing of Bitcoin is regulated without any intermediary interference and is solely based on supply and demand. There is also a cap to the number of Bitcoins that can be created — 21 million — and this means that in contrast to traditional fiat currency, no new Bitcoins can be arbitrarily printed. New Bitcoins are “mined” in the same way that other commodities are — e.g., gold — but through a complex and clearly defined process. No one is able…

Bitcoin Halving History: Hash Rate as a Clue to What Will Happen

Bitcoin Halving History: Hash Rate as a Clue to What Will Happen

With Bitcoin off on an upward rally, many are pointing to the upcoming halving, due on May 12, as the underlying reason. Not unfairly, either. Precedent demonstrates that Bitcoin’s (BTC) price usually ends up higher after a halving, even if it takes several months. The halving was programmed into Bitcoin’s source code from the very beginning as Satoshi Nakamoto specified that there would only ever be 21 million BTC issued. Every 210,000 blocks, the block reward is cut in half. Therefore, at the genesis block in 2009, miners received 50 BTC as a reward. This was reduced to 25 BTC in 2012, and again to 12.5 BTC in 2016. Now, miners will see their rewards cut in half once again. After the first halving, the price rose from $12 in November 2012 to a peak of $1,100 in November 2013. Similarly, the second halving saw a sharp increase 11 months later, rising from around $650 in July 2016 to over $2,500 in May 2017. The most straightforward interpretation of this is that the halving introduces a constraint on supply, driving demand.However, the last halving was in 2016, before the initial coin offering mania, before the evolution of cryptocurrency derivatives, and a long time before the coronavirus started disrupting the global economy. Thus, because Bitcoin’s price is rumored to strongly correlate with the hash rate of the network, can the previous halvings be an indication of what to expect from the next one?Downward pressure on mining profitabilityThe hash rate is an indicator that’s worth watching in the period around a halving. A higher hash rate indicates more computing power in the network — or, in other words, high participation from miners.Hash rates around previous halvings tended to show similar trends to price. For example, in the 2016 halving, the hash rate showed a steeper increase a year later, indicating that more miners were attracted by the increase in Bitcoin’s price. However, from the chart above, it’s evident that there was no significant drop off in the hash rate after the 2016 halving. In fact, the hash rate stayed steady immediately post halving despite the obvious drop in mining profitability. Mining rewards are only one component of overall mining profitability. Transaction fees are another way that miners generate income, and looking…

Stock-to-Flow Creator Says Bitcoin Is ’Not a Toy Anymore’

Stock-to-Flow Creator Says Bitcoin Is ’Not a Toy Anymore’

Crypto analyst and Twitter personality, PlanB, recently said Bitcoin is serious business as he recapped the asset’s journey over the last decade. “This thing is not a toy anymore,” PlanB told Peter McCormack in a May 1 podcast episode. “It’s maybe not an asset anymore as well,” he said, adding, “It is going to be much bigger than that.”PlanB created a concept for Bitcoin’s growth compared with its supplyPlanB is known around the crypto space for his stock-to-flow model. The model takes into account Bitcoin’s block reward, or current inflation, and halving events, factoring those into the asset’s price. According to that data, PlanB plotted a few future price targets for Bitcoin, ultimately showing the asset’s potential for a $1 million price tag down the road. PlanB published an updated version of his model in an April 27 blog post, making gold and silver part of the equation, while taking the time component out. Bitcoin started out as a toyReferencing its early beginnings roughly a 11 years ago, PlanB said Bitcoin began its journey as a proof-of-concept, or PoC, for a peer-to-peer digital cash system. “It was kind of a toy,” McCormack said — a description PlanB agreed with.PlanB noted Bitcoin did not even hold a $1 million dollar market cap in its first two years, although the landscape subsequently changed. “Then came the transition,” he said. “It went from a toy, magical internet money, to dollar parity,” he said, describing the credibility Bitcoin gained when it hit $1 per coin. The analyst explained Bitcoin’s price and usage journey over the years, as its identity transitioned from a payment avenue, to a status similar to gold, to its current position as a financial asset. PlanB did mention the possibility of another transition, although he chose not to provide any speculation on what that might include exactly. The analyst and podcast host also dove into a bevy of other points and concepts in the hour-long podcast episode. With Bitcoin’s halving quickly approaching, time will tell how the coin’s status will change in the upcoming days. 

Binance Pooling up Mining Game Amid Centralization Concerns

Binance Pooling up Mining Game Amid Centralization Concerns

This week marked the launch of Binance Pool, a mining platform powered by one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. Coming less than a month after Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zhao confirmed rumors of this forthcoming addition to his brainchild company’s product family, the announcement paints the new mining pool as the bridge between “traditional mining and financial services.” The lowest fees in the market and seamless integration with a full suite of Binance’s financial products are the major selling points meant to lure miners.The news reinvigorated the debate about how big a crypto company can get before the community is justified in throwing the dreaded “c-word” (centralization, that is) at it. For Binance, criticism has been mounting up as of late.Even before the mining pool came about, the company stirred controversy by extending its influence into the field of crypto data aggregation with the acquisition of one of the industry’s favorite token price hubs, CoinMarketCap. On top of that, the newly published outline of Binance’s prospective Smart Chain drew some sharp criticism in part for its governance mechanism’s alleged proneness to centralization. Is Binance crossing the line, becoming too big for an industry founded on the vision of disrupting centralized power structures?Crypto exchanges meet mining poolsLong gone are the times when geeky crypto enthusiasts could run a lucrative mining operation from their own garage, using only a repurposed antiquated PC. The spikes in Bitcoin’s popularity and market capitalization have driven mining difficulty through the roof, first igniting the hardware arms race that had led to the triumph of application-specific integrated circuits and then rendering individual home-based mining all but untenable altogether.In order to have at least a realistic shot at a slice of the block rewards, miners were driven to consolidate their computing power in pools, divvying up the spoils according to individual hash rate contributions. In addition to hardware and electricity costs, some mining pools also charge fees for participation.Crypto exchanges stood to gain a lot from entering into the mining scene, and so they did. The hallmark of an exchange-powered pool, as it is explained in Binance’s blog, is that “rewards go directly to the participants’ exchange accounts,” rather than to individual miners’ wallets, as in traditional mining pools. This seemingly trivial distinction…