Bitmain Launches Key Crypto Mining Facility in Texas

Bitmain Launches Key Crypto Mining Facility in Texas

Mining Bitmain Technologies Ltd. is launching a crypto mining facility and blockchain data center in the U.S. state of Texas at a former aluminum smelting facility with a recently-retired coal power station. The company is reportedly getting a tax abatement phased in over 10 years. Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space Crypto Mining Facility in Texas Bitmain Technologies Ltd. announced Monday the launch of its newest blockchain data center and mining facility in a rural part of the U.S. state of Texas. According to the company’s announcement: The Milam County blockchain data center and cryptocurrency mining facility represents a key component of Bitmain’s strategic investment and expansion plans within North America. The facility will be located in the city of Rockdale, roughly 50 miles northeast of Texas’ capital, with an estimated population of 5,595. It will occupy a section of the former Alcoa Rockdale operations site which includes an aluminum smelting facility and a recently-retired coal-burning power plant. Alcoa Inc. is the world’s sixth largest producer of aluminium. Milam County Judge Dave Barkemeyer confirmed to local newspaper Temple Daily Telegram last week that Bitmain is moving to the county. With the construction and facility setup underway, the facility is expected to be completed “early in the fourth quarter of 2018, with the data center initiation in early 2019,” according to the mining giant. “Bitmain is working with Alcoa Inc. to repurpose the former aluminum smelter to become the home of Bitmain Technologies Ltd. site,” the publication elaborated, adding: An incentive plan that includes a tax abatement phased in over 10 years was approved by the Milam County Industrial Development Corp. and the Milam County Commissioners Court. Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Beijing, the global semiconductor and electronics manufacturing company has offices in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Tel Aviv, Qingdao, Chengdu, Shanghai and Shenzhen. Bitmain owns several brands including Antminer, Antpool, and Hashnest. The company was recently valued at $12 billion. $500+ Million Investment & 400+ Jobs The facility “represents an investment of more than US $500 million by Bitmain over an initial period of seven years into the local, county, and statewide economies,” according to the company’s announcement. Bitmain expects to bring in 400 local jobs to the Rockdale economy over the first…

West Virginia to Offer Statewide Blockchain Voting in Midterm Election

West Virginia to Offer Statewide Blockchain Voting in Midterm Election

Officials from West Virginia are bringing a blockchain-based mobile voting app to all 55 counties in the state in a move aimed to allow absentee voters in the military to cast ballots remotely in the midterm election. CoinDesk previously reported that the state piloted the blockchain app in May that allowed deployed military personnel and their dependents from Harrison and Monongalia counties to cast ballots in the primary election. Mac Warner, West Virginia’s Secretary of State, said at the time that the plan was to extend the effort statewide during the midterm general election in November if the pilot proves to be successful. And CNN reported on Monday that Warner’s office claimed that a round of four audits of the application’s blockchain infrastructure was completed following the pilot phase and “revealed no problems.” The app is developed and deployed by voting technology startup Voatz, which said the tech encodes and stores data of ballots via a decentralized network in a bid to ensure voting information is encrypted and transacted more promptly. That said, Warner’s deputy chief of staff Michael Queen was quoted by CNN saying that the state will leave the final decision to individual counties whether they will use the nascent tech. While it remains to be seen how the overall adoption will play out in West Virginia ahead of the November election, technology experts already weighed in, calling the idea of mobile voting to be “horrific.” Joseph Lorenzo Hall, the chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, told the network: “It’s internet voting on people’s horribly secured devices, over our horrible networks, to servers that are very difficult to secure without a physical paper record of the vote.” Ballot 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.

Ethereum Classic Tops $2 Billion to Set 3-Month High

Ethereum Classic Tops $2 Billion to Set 3-Month High

There’s a new top 10 cryptocurrency. As of press time, the total value of all ether classic (ETC), the cryptocurrency that powers the ethereum classic blockchain, in circulation has topped $2.2 billion, a move that helped it leap from 12th place at the start of the day to 10th place according to CoinMarketCap data. Best known as the original ethereum blockchain, or the version in which funds stolen in a high-profile 2016 hack still belong to the attacker, ethereum classic is benefiting from tailwinds provided by major market listings. Already, August 6 has seen the addition of ETC to U.S. crypto brokerage Robinhood’s trading platform, news that was followed by a pop in the price amid access to new market liquidity. As a result, the listing could be seen as a catalyst that helped ETC scale significant resistance at $19, a level it failed to scale on multiple occasions. Propelled in part by the announcement, ETC is currently up 8.5 percent on the day, a figure that has helped it gain ground on competing cryptocurrencies. At 2:00 UTC, ether classic passed MIOTA, the cryptocurrency that powers the IOTA blockchain, claiming the 10th spot on the CoinMarketCap chart and creating a new 2018 high of $20.37. Bitfinex data shows ether classic had largely traded between $14.18 and $18.99 since the middle of May, slipping only once below. However, an announcement from Coinbase, one which declared ETC’s listing on its exchange, helped push prices higher on June 21. As a result of increased retail investor interest spurred on by greater market accessibility, traders are once more switching over to ether classic, an activity that could continue ahead of Coinbase’s expected listing tomorrow. Daily Chart The daily chart for ether classic is in favor of the bulls with a widening of the MACD lines (blue and orange) and the histogram ticking up, confirming the strength of its most recent move. Further, a spike in bullish volume seen on August 3 and 6 provided substantial backing to nudge it over the $19 resistance line, which had acted as a stiff psychological barrier since May 13. A pullback is expected in the coming days as the Relative Strength Index (RSI) breached its highest levels in three months at 64.87 points and began to curve down, marking the…

For Wall Street, Bitcoin ETF Decision Could Answer ‘$1 Billion’ Question

For Wall Street, Bitcoin ETF Decision Could Answer ‘$1 Billion’ Question

“I wish I knew the answer to your $1 billion question. Seriously.” That’s Gabor Gurbacs, director of digital asset strategy at New York-based investment management firm VanEck, the company has been making headlines of late for a proposed bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). No lightweight in the arena, though, the VanEck proposal has been deemed by some to have the best shot of being approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Indeed, all eyes are on the SEC in the wake of its comment period, with a possible yes or no – or further delay – expected by Friday. Even so, Gurbacs is cautious about what to expect from the SEC in coming months. When asked what he suspected the outcome would be, he deferred. He told CoinDesk: “Unfortunately, I don’t know the answer. I do know that we have addressed market structure issues and this is a chance for regulators to bring bitcoin under existing frameworks and protect investors.” Still, if the measure fails, it won’t be for a lack of effort. For one, VanEck’s specific proposal came about nearly three years ago when SolidX, a financial technology company also headquartered in New York, first began to work toward bringing a bitcoin ETF to market. Since a partnership between VanEck and SolidX, announced in early June, commentary on the matter has since significantly increased in favor of approval. And it’s not just crypto investors who are pushing the concept, but economists, CEOs, financial analysts and even one SEC commissioner herself (though the latter was made in support of a different bitcoin ETF proposal). The difference So, what makes the VanEck-SolidX bitcoin ETF unique? Simply put, it’s different from past efforts such as the recently rejected Winklevoss ETF. As Gurbacs explained, “it is an insured product.” As such, the physical bitcoins backing ETF shares would be covered in case of “theft and hacks and losses of all sorts.” This, however, isn’t the selling point for Phil Bak, a former managing director at the New York Stock Exchange and current CEO of Exponential ETFs. The way Bak sees in, the insurance aspect of the VanEck/SolidX proposal may be useful but “could also open up a can of worms and more questions,” explaining that “[the SEC is] always going to…

Ethereum Classic Tops $2 Billion to Set New 2018 Price High

Ethereum Classic Tops $2 Billion to Set New 2018 Price High

There’s a new top 10 cryptocurrency. As of press time, the total value of all ether classic (ETC), the cryptocurrency that powers the ethereum classic blockchain, in circulation has topped $2.2 billion, a move that helped it leap from 12th place at the start of the day to 10th place according to CoinMarketCap data. Best known as the original ethereum blockchain, or the version in which funds stolen in a high-profile 2016 hack still belong to the attacker, ethereum classic is benefiting from tailwinds provided by major market listings. Already, August 6 has seen the addition of ETC to U.S. crypto brokerage RobinHood’s exchange, news that was followed by a pop in the price amid access to new market liquidity. As a result, the listing could be seen as a catalyst that helped ETC scale significant resistance at $19, a level it failed to scale on multiple occasions. Propelled in part by the announcement, ETC is currently up 8.5 percent on the day, a figure that has helped it gain ground on competing cryptocurrencies. At 2:00 UTC, ether classic passed MIOTA, the cryptocurrency that powers the IOTA blockchain, claiming the 11th spot on the CoinMarketCap chart and creating a new 2018 high of $20.37. Bitfinex data shows ether classic had largely traded between $14.18 and $18.99 since the middle of May, slipping only once below. However, an announcement from Coinbase earlier this month, one which declared ETC’s listing on its exchange, helped push prices higher on June 21. As a result of increased retail investor interest spurred on by greater market accessibility, traders are once more switching over to ether classic, an activity that could continue ahead of Coinbase’s expected listing tomorrow. Daily Chart The daily chart for ether classic is in favor of the bulls with a widening of the MACD lines (blue and orange) and the histogram ticking up, confirming the strength of its most recent move. Further, a spike in bullish volume seen on August 3 and 6 provided substantial backing to nudge it over the $19 resistance line, which had acted as a stiff psychological barrier since May 13. A pullback is expected in the coming days as the Relative Strength Index (RSI) breached its highest levels in three months at 64.87 points and began to curve down,…

Bob Goodlatte Becomes First Member of Congress to Disclose Crypto Holdings

Bob Goodlatte Becomes First Member of Congress to Disclose Crypto Holdings

Featured Bob Goodlatte, the chair of the House Committee on the Judiciary, has reported his private cryptocurrency holdings – making Mr. Goodlatte likely the first member of the United States Congress to disclose private investments in the form of virtual currencies. Also Read: Bank of Thailand Green-Lights Financial Companies for Crypto Activities Member of U.S. Congress Holds Between $17,000 and $80,000 USD in Crypto Representative Bob Goodlatte, the chair of the House Committee on the Judiciary, has reportedly become the first member of the United States Congress to report private cryptocurrency investments. As per Mr. Goodatte’s annual financial disclosure report that was filed on the 10th of May 2018, Mr. Goodlatte owns Bitcoin Core (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Ethereum (ETH). The report indicates that Mr. Goodlatte then owned between $15,001 and $50,000 worth of BTC, whilst also holding positions in BCH and ETH valued at between $1,001 and $15,000 each. Representative Goodlatte a Likely Candidate for Crypto Holdings Mr. Goodlatte’s private cryptocurrency investments have come as little surprise to some analysts, as Mr. Goodlatte’s son, Bobby Goodlatte Jr., is an angel investor in major cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase. Mr. Goodlatte is also a member of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus – a bipartisan pro-cryptocurrency and distributed ledger technology lobbyist group formed in 2017 by Arizona Republican, David Schweikert, and Colorado Democrat, Jared Polis. Mr. Goodlatte Discloses Holdings Prior to House Ethics Committee Mandate On the 18th of June, the United States Office of Government Ethics published a legal advisory requiring all employees of the United States executive branch to disclose cryptocurrency ownership. The mandate gave lawmakers 45 days to report any virtual currency holdings, as with any other asset. The advisory came following the efforts of Congressional Blockchain Caucus co-founder, Jared Polis, who, in February, petitioned the House Committee on Ethics to provide guidance regarding how politicians should disclose virtual currency holdings. Many analysts are expecting Mr. Polis to also reveal cryptocurrencies holdings within the near future, given his actions and advocacy within the virtual currency sphere. Do you expect more members of Congress to report private cryptocurrency investments? Join the discussion in the comments section below! Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Wikipedi At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our…

Overstock’s tZERO Closes Its Security Token Offering Tonight

Overstock’s tZERO Closes Its Security Token Offering Tonight

tZERO, a blockchain subsidiary of e-commerce retail giant Overstock, announced today Aug. 6 that its Security Token Offering (STO) will comes to an end Monday night, with no further extensions. tZERO said that its STO will close at 11:59 PM EDT, whereas investors with fully executed Simple Agreements of Future Equity (SAFEs) have to remit funds to tZERO by 5 PM EDT Wednesday. The startup will reportedly reveal the results of the STO on Thursday, August 9, during Overstock’s earnings call. While tZERO originally limited the maximum amount of tokens to $250 million, it is currently unclear how much it raised during the round. The company initially introduced the STO in the form of an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in December last year, having attracted strong crypto and traditional institutional interest that reportedly resulted in $100 million committed to the platform during the first 12 hours. In March, tZERO’s ICO fell under scrutiny from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), causing Overstock’s share price to drop. Prior to that, Overstock had filed for its ICO to be classified under Regulations D and S instead of as a traditional securities filing. This meant that U.S. citizens must be accredited investors to have invested in the ICO, and that offshore transactions could not involve U.S. citizens. In June, tZERO signed a letter of intent with Beijing-based investment company GSR Capital for the purchase of $160 million in tZERO Security Tokens at a price of $10.00 per token. Per the statement, tZERO also “entered into executed SAFEs in excess of $168 million for Security Tokens, of which over $95 million had been already funded.” While Overstock announced its intentions to build an alternative ICO token trading platform late last year, tZERO initially introduced the prototype of its security token trading platform in April. Developers aimed to present a means of trading security tokens which are backed by real assets and are somewhat an interlink between blockchain and the traditional financial sector. The platform will purportedly allow traders to exchange tokens “in an easy, compliant, and user-friendly manner” with features such as risk management software, an order management system, matching engine, and others.

China: Trader Sues Exchange OKCoin for Failing to Release Bitcoin Cash

China: Trader Sues Exchange OKCoin for Failing to Release Bitcoin Cash

A Chinese Bitcoin (BTC) investor has sued local crypto exchange OKCoin for allegedly preventing him from getting Bitcoin Cash (BCH) after the BTC fork, local news agency Legal Weekly reports July 31. The case is reportedly the first legal action in China that involved last year’s fork of Bitcoin. The investor, known under the pseudonym Feng Bin, filed a lawsuit against OKCoin, accusing the exchange of blocking him from receiving 38.748 BCH that he was due after Bitcoin’s hard fork in August 2017. In the lawsuit, Feng Bin states that he attempted to sell the Bitcoin Cash when the digital currency reached its all-time high of around $4,000 in December, 2017. However, when the investor tried to withdraw the BCH after the fork, he reportedly “found that there was no ‘button’ to extract the [BCH] that the platform promised.” Following a complaint to the platform’s customer support, OKCoin stated that Feng Bin could not extract any Bitcoin Cash because the platform’s program for claiming the forked crypto has expired. The investor in turn claimed that the crypto exchange had not made an official announcement about the deadline for claiming Bitcoin Cash: “I have been paying attention to the announcement of the OKcoin currency release. In all the announcements, there is no declaration of the deadline for receipt and the removal of the program.” OKCoin has reportedly challenged Feng Bin’s claim, citing inconsistencies between his story and the records of his account balances. Bitcoin Cash is one well-known example of a hard fork, which is a permanent split in a blockchain protocol, wherein nodes running in the previous version will no longer be accepted in the new version. Bitcoin forked on August 1, 2017, leading to the presence of two completely different digital currencies, while users who held Bitcoin prior to the fork received an equal number of Bitcoin Cash. BCH celebrated its “first birthday” earlier last week. Bitcoin Cash has been the subject of some controversy throughout the year. Roger Ver, one of the biggest promoters of BCH claimed that Bitcoin Cash is the “real Bitcoin” in November 2017. Ver said that BCH will “have the bigger market cap, trade volume and user base in the future.”

LedgerX Claims ‘Record’ July for Bitcoin Options Trading

LedgerX Claims ‘Record’ July for Bitcoin Options Trading

Bitcoin derivatives trading provider LedgerX says it saw a “record” amount of trading volume over the last two months. The firm cleared $50 million in derivatives volume in July alone, president and chief risk officer Juthica Chou told CoinDesk. Earlier this month, the firm also executed its largest trade to date for a December $15,000 strike call. Partly in response to increased client demand, LedgerX launched a new bitcoin purchasing system last month. Called one-click bitcoin, the service acts as a “one-stop shop” for institutional or high net-worth clients to buy bitcoin easily through a federally-regulated platform, Chou said. The service is built on top of the LedgerSavings platform LedgerX debuted in May. The demand for this type of product is high, Chou said. “[One-click bitcoin] was born out of a lot of the customer demand that we’ve seen. I think it’s showing that derivatives and options are really useful long-term products and they can offer killer solutions to a wide variety of participants,” she said, adding: “June was one of the record months for us and July was a record month by far. If you look at how we’ve been doing our transactions, a third of the value has been over the last month, we’ve seen a lot of healthy activity.” The platform is available to all of LedgerX’s clients, she said, which include roughly 130 institutions as well as high net-worth individuals. The company has already begun conducting transactions with the system, and one client will see at 15 percent per annum return on their bitcoin for the next six months. This figure will remain steady, even if bitcoin’s price drops or stays stagnant in that period. Going forward, LedgerX hopes to add ethereum products. The firm is working with regulators to receive approval, but Chou is confident that the company will receive this approval as all of its products are “full collateralized.” LedgerX image via Piotr Swat / 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.

“People’s Money” Crypto to Outlast Fiat “Scam” – Rich Dad, Poor Dad Author

“People’s Money” Crypto to Outlast Fiat “Scam” – Rich Dad, Poor Dad Author

Featured The author of the best-selling book ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’, Robert Kiyosaki, has spoken in favor of virtual currencies during a recent podcast. Mr. Kiyosaki described the United States Dollar (USD) as comprising a “scam” and predicted that precious metals and cryptocurrencies will outlast fiat currencies. Also Read: Many Swiss Bankers and Financial Regulators Quit to Join the Crypto Space Mr. Kiyosaki Predicts “Biggest Crash in World History” The author of the best-selling personal finance book ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’, Robert Kiyosaki, is predicting that the mainstream financial system is heading toward a crisis of unprecedented size and scale. Speaking to News.com.au, Mr. Kiyosaki recently stated: “Unfortunately we had a big crash in 2000, they called it the dotcom crash, then in 2008 it was the subprime real estate crash. The next is going to be the biggest of all. When it’s coming I don’t really know, but the foreshocks are sounding right now.” Fiat Money is “Fake” Money Mr. Kiyosaki criticized fiat money, stating: “There’s so much fake money. In 1971 Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard and the US dollar became fake money.” Mr. Kiyosaki added that “The problem is it also became invisible, so they could print as much as they wanted. That’s why savers got wiped out.” “For the average person,” Mr. Kikyosaki asserts, the easiest way to hedge against the oncoming crisis is to “just buy some Aussie gold or silver coins from the Perth Mint. When the dollar goes down, gold goes up.” Cryptocurrencies Will Outlast Fiat Currencies In an interview with Sane Crypto Podcast, Mr. Kiyosaki recently praised cryptocurrencies, expressing his expectation that virtual currencies will supersede fiat currencies within the near future. During the podcast, Mr. Kiyosaki describes three forms of money: “government money […] which is fiat currency,” “God’s money, which is gold and silver, [which] will be here after the cockroaches go extinct,” and people’s money, which is [virtual] currency.” “I think the dollar is toast because gold and silver and cyber currency are going to take it out […] The US dollar is a scam,” Mr. Kiyosaki stated, adding, “I think we’re watching the end of the dollar.” What is your reaction to Mr. Kiyosaki’s predictions? Share your thoughts in the comments…