Bitmain Confirms New Crypto Mining Facility in Texas

Bitmain Confirms New Crypto Mining Facility in Texas

Bitcoin mining hardware giant Bitmain is officially setting up shop in Rockdale, Texas, and expects to launch mining operations early next year. The firm confirmed Monday that it is investing $500 million over the next seven years into a new blockchain data center in the U.S. state as part of its “strategic investment and expansion plans within North America.” The facility will employ 400 residents, and Bitmain also intends to launch educational and training programs for potential employees. Rumors that Bitmain would open the facility first emerged last month when a local newspaper reported that the company was taking over a former aluminum smelting facility, according to the Dallas News. However, public officials said they could not speak about the project at the time. That being said, the newspaper described the new bitcoin mining operation as “the worst-kept secret in the Rockdale area.” The Chinese mining firm, valued at approximately $12 billion, had already posted preliminary job openings for the move on online employment listings website Indeed.com. Bitmain’s Rockdale operations joins its planned Washington state facility. This past April, Bitmain received approval for a land lease to set up mining operations in the state, though it faced a backlash from some local residents skeptical about crypto mining, with one claiming it “creates wealth for the owner with no trickle down.” Beyond expanding operations in the U.S., Bitmain is also reportedly looking to open offices in Brazil, having already successfully created several international bases in which to carry out bitcoin mining operations in both Switzerland and Israel. Mining 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.

Biotech Giant Plans to Securely Share Genetic Data on a Blockchain

Biotech Giant Plans to Securely Share Genetic Data on a Blockchain

A publicly traded biotech giant based in South Korea is turning to blockchain to allow it to share genetic data without risk of hacking or infringement of patients’ privacy. Macrogen, a DNA sequencing service provider with headquarters in Seoul, said in a press release on Monday that it is working with Big Data firm Bigster to develop a blockchain network for the distribution of genomic information, which is slated for completion by June 2019. In the medical field, according to the release, genomic data is used for customized patient diagnosis and treatment, while the pharmaceutical industry can use it for the development of new drugs and therapeutic agents. Yet, despite the high utilization value of DNA data within healthcare, it is not widely shared due to the sensitive nature of the information to patients and the risk of privacy breaches. Yang Kap-seok, CEO of Macrogen, commented in the release: “Despite the fact that genomic data is widely used, it has not been easy to share it because of the problem of personal information protection. With the blockchain platform we seek to build this time, we expect to create an ecosystem that can freely distribute genetic data.” To that end, the firms plan a system based on a consortium blockchain model that will only allow invited parties – such as pharmaceutical firms, research institutes, hospitals and genetic analysis startups – to run as nodes on the decentralized network, limiting who can access the data. Macrogen is not the only technology giant looking to apply blockchain tech within the genomics industry. As far back as 2014, an Israeli startup called DNA.Bits announced plans to store genetic and medical record data using blockchain technology. And, as previously reported by CoinDesk, a patent application filed by Intel indicated that the hardware firm is exploring ways to take advantage of the energy generated during cryptocurrency mining to sequence DNA. DNA sequence 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.

Why I Don’t Expect New Bitcoin Highs in 2018

Why I Don’t Expect New Bitcoin Highs in 2018

Tuur Demeester is an economist and investor. The following article references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for that. Despite an already six month cool-off period, for 2018 we see more sideways and downside potential in the bitcoin price due to sluggish retail demand, hesitation from institutions and a current market cap that seems too high relative to the activity occurring on available blockchains. Many investors and advisors are on record stating that $5,700 was the bottom in bitcoin for this year, and that higher prices lie ahead. While we are very bullish on bitcoin’s long-term prospects, we do heed caution for more short-term price optimism. To find the starting point of the historic parabolic rally in bitcoin that ended at $20,000 we have to go as far back as August 2015, when bitcoin traded at below $200. This past rally was a stupendous, historic move. Even in secular bull markets, the collective of economic actors need time to absorb the information embedded in its characteristic high volume rallies. As I’ve indicated in my 2018 outlook, I think chances are high for this year to be remembered as a shakeout year: a lemon market in altcoins, regulators catching up and infrastructure growing pains. Short-term bearish signs Since January, the bitcoin mining hashrate (aggregate computations per second made to secure the network ) has tripled, which means that a huge amount of new or more efficient mining rigs have come online. In combination with declining prices, this means that miners who weren’t able to upgrade their machines or find cheaper electricity have been faced with a steep decline in profitability, a 90% drop in 7 months (altcoins have faced similar or steeper declines). With profit margins under heavy pressure, it’s not unlikely that miners are and will stay responsible for a significant amount of selling in the market. Next, trading volumes are not dead, but still below those seen during last winter and spring. It’s unclear how much of the recent pick-up in volumes are the result of a short squeeze and how much is coming from new long-term buyers coming in. Aggregate Bitcoin trading volumes. Source: coinlib.io. After last year’s…

Say Hello to SmartDrops: The New Way to Give Away Free Crypto

Say Hello to SmartDrops: The New Way to Give Away Free Crypto

Are airdrops useful? While the jury’s still out about the mechanism, used of late to massively distribute crypto tokens to those who already own cryptocurrencies, several industry observers and startups already believe it could be done better. The concept of “smartdrops” seems to have garnered some attention after a July Medium post by Yeoman’s Capital founder and long-time industry investor David Johnston. In it, Johnston encouraged blockchain startups to eschew what has become a standard approach to airdrops – dumping tokens to everybody with an ethereum address – for a more targeted approach. In practice, Johnston told CoinDesk this means, “intelligently targeting the recipients of an airdrop and giving away a meaningful amount of value,” with the objective of attracting real users to participate in “the early bootstrapping of a system.” And this newly minted alternative seems to be gaining steam. For instance, there’s already some precedence to this approach. In fact, Johnston says in his Medium post that he merely recorded best practices and gave “substance to this idea that a lot of people have,” specifically pointing to projects Dfinity and Polymath as examples of projects that have conducted smartdrops. Sure enough, in June, Dfinity announced plans to airdrop $35 million worth of its tokens to community members that undergo (and pass) a know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) verification process. Likewise, new companies have emerged to facilitate these improved airdrops. Crypto token management company TRM Labs, for example, recently launched a platform (dubbed SmartDrops of course) that allows projects to distribute tokens to select users and offers issuers analytics. Just like Johnston, it appears many crypto stakeholders have high hopes for the new and improved airdrop and think the method could resolve issues associated with other token distribution methods, namely initial coin offerings (ICOs) that have been under regulatory scrutiny and seen industry criticism since its explosion in use. These projects often have a hard time attracting the “bootstrappers” Johnston refers to, and their tokens frequently become objects of speculation more so than objects of utility. “Most airdrops are really about giving a token to speculative investors so that they’ll go cash it out on an exchange. It’s really about trying to demonstrate to exchanges, ‘hey we’ve got a lot of wallets, we’re going to bring you a lot…

Coinbase Resumes Bitcoin Buying and Selling in Wyoming

Coinbase Resumes Bitcoin Buying and Selling in Wyoming

The San Fransisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is offering services again to residents living in the U.S. state of Wyoming. The exchange published a blog post on Saturday that it has renewed its money transmitter license in Wyoming, marking a long-waited return since Coinbase abruptly pulled out from the state three years ago. As previously reported by CoinDesk, Coinbase announced in June 2015 that it would be costly and impractical to continue its services in Wyoming after state regulators clarified the company fell under the Money Transmitter Act. The Act required at the time that Coinbase must “double reserve” state residents’ assets – meaning holding fiat currency reserves for all crypto assets held on consumer’s behalf – in order to renew the money transmitter license. However, the Cowboy State passed a notable bill in March of this year that amended the Money Transmitter Act to provide an exemption for virtual currency. As Coinbase explained in the blog post, the regulatory change means “cryptocurrency companies in Wyoming are no longer required to double reserve the assets of state residents.” With the license renewal, Coinbase said Wyoming customers can regain access to funds stored in their accounts to continue trading and using cryptocurrencies. “We believe this action by Wyoming will spur innovation and economic activity for individuals, families and communities across the state,” the company said. Wyoming 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.

The Daily: New Education Centers, Vietnamese Ask for Fraudster’s Extradition

The Daily: New Education Centers, Vietnamese Ask for Fraudster’s Extradition

The Daily In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief we cover a number of new academic education centers around the world devoted to the research of the technology behind cryptocurrency, and demands by Vietnamese victims for an alleged fraudster’s extradition plus an update about Kickico. Also Read: Okex Socializes Loss From Over $400 Million Bet Among BTC Futures Traders Tsinghua University Research Center China Internet Nationwide Financial Services Inc. (NASDAQ: CIFS), a financial advisory services provider, has announced an agreement with Tsinghua University to establish an “Industry Trusted Blockchain Application Technology Joint Research Center”. The stated purpose of the center is developing key technologies to support the blockchain ecosystem in the country, as well as common architectural systems and models needed to support blockchain applications for a range of industries. Mr. Bin Yang, Vice President of Tsinghua University, noted, “The development of industry-trusted blockchain application technologies has become a vital national strategy for all countries. It is an important goal for us to deeply build digital ecosystems, which once integrated into our economy should speed up China’s economic transition by upgrading the industry standard. The digital transformation has only just begun and the development of industry trusted blockchain applications is expected to have a number of positive impacts for the society.” Bahçeşehir University Innovation Center According to media reports from Turkey, the Istanbul Blockchain and Innovation Center was inaugurated on Friday at Bahçeşehir University. It is said to work with students and entrepreneurs who want to conduct academic studies in the field. “The purpose of the BlockchainIST project is to be the most important center of research and development and innovation in Turkey in which scientific studies and publications are made in blockchain technologies. To this end, it is crucial to cooperate with other universities, the business world and government institutions,” stated Director Bora Erdamar. “We will strive to train Turkey’s human resources in blockchain and enable the country to lead the world in this area,” he added. Hartford, Connecticut Chain Valley Seven Stars Cloud Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: SSC), the fintech firm of Chinese media tycoon Bruno Wu, has announced that it will be establishing its global headquarters for technology and innovation, called Chain Valley, in Connecticut. The company said it will be transforming Uconn’s…

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon Returns to Bitcoin Bashing, Calls Cryptocurrency a ‘Scam’

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon Returns to Bitcoin Bashing, Calls Cryptocurrency a ‘Scam’

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon returned to his more critical comments about Bitcoin, calling the cryptocurrency a “scam” and saying he had “no interest” in it, Bloomberg reported Sunday, August 5. Dimon was speaking at the Aspen Institute’s 25th Annual Summer Celebration Gala on Saturday, including cryptocurrency as part of general comments he made about the U.S. economic outlook. His words were soon repeated in both the mainstream press and online by prominent economic sources, notably Nouriel Roubini, who has also become known this year for his critical stance on Bitcoin. According to Bloomberg, Dimon further “suggested governments may move to shut down the currencies [cryptocurrency], because of an inability to control them.” The finance mogul’s history with cryptocurrency has been chequered. Having caused a stir in September 2017 when he originally called Bitcoin a “fraud,” Dimon thereafter appeared to change tact, later saying he “regretted” his choice of words. “I wouldn’t put this high on the category of important things in the world. But I’m not going to talk about bitcoin anymore,” he told reporters last October. In January, Dimon kept his promise, telling Cointelegraph in private comments that he “can’t answer” when asked how he felt about moving markets with his earlier Bitcoin “fraud” comments. However, he added that he was “not a skeptic” regarding cryptocurrency. In his recent interview published in the July-August issue of the Harvard Business Review, Dimon again refused to comment directly on crypto, reiterating “I probably shouldn’t say any more about cryptocurrency.” In the same interview, Dimon also made a point of calling blockchain technology “real,” –– while implying that crypto is not –– saying that the banking giant is “testing it [blockchain] and will use it for a whole lot of things.” Since then, mixed signals have emerged from other JPMorgan sources, the company’s co-president Daniel Pinto telling CNBC in May that cryptocurrencies “are real but not in the current form.” He added executives were “looking into” the space at a time when fellow finance giant Goldman Sachs revealed it was working on offering Bitcoin futures.

Blythe Masters Looks Beyond Finance for Next Wave of Blockchain Growth

Blythe Masters Looks Beyond Finance for Next Wave of Blockchain Growth

To hear Blythe Masters tell it, the time has come for Digital Asset (DA) to spread its wings and fly. The distributed ledger technology (DLT) company she founded in 2014 is entering a new phase, heralded by, among other things, a partnership with Google Cloud to simplify and proliferate the tech. To date, DA’s strategy has stood out among the big enterprise blockchain players for its laser-like focus. Instead of spending a lot of time on consortiums, proofs-of-concept and the like, the New York-based company concentrated on landing the one big fish. It achieved that goal late last year when the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) officially hired DA to replace its creaky Clearing House Electronic Subregister System (CHESS), a multi-year project that’s currently underway. Now, having earned the rare distinction of a bona fide production customer, Masters’ startup wants to foster an ecosystem around its Digital Asset Modeling Language (DAML), which is about to become available with a software development kit (SDK) via Google Cloud. “Having spent three and a half years in the design-and-build phase, this is the ‘open up and educate’ phase and [the time to] build a community of channel partners and developers,” Masters told CoinDesk. This, in turn, will open a vast range of opportunities for DA, she said – both within the financial services industry where Masters spent most of her career and outside it. “The application of this technology is by no means limited to the world’s biggest market infrastructures,” the former JPMorgan Chase executive said, adding: “It goes well throughout financial services, well beyond capital markets and beyond financial services into all the other industries that have a vested interest in improving the efficiency of their workflow orchestration.” According to Masters, there is “a lot of pent-up demand” for DA’s technology which the cloud-based DAML SDK can start to meet and a “potential addressable market that is almost unmeasurable.” To give a sense of the breadth of this market, Masters rattled off a litany of new pastures for DA, including: healthcare and insurance claims; digital media rights; royalty streams; real estate; lending and collateral management within capital markets, derivatives post-trade, securities post-trade, reference data, supply chain, crypto wallet custody of assets and more. However, Masters was careful to qualify…

Researchers Build Blockchain Electricity Exchange They Say Cuts Waste

Researchers Build Blockchain Electricity Exchange They Say Cuts Waste

Researchers from one of the top universities in China say they have developed a decentralized exchange, not for crypto assets, but for unused power A patent application filed by team from China’s Fudan University in January and revealed on Friday sets out the workings of a blockchain-based electricity exchange that assigns power sellers and buyers as nodes on the network and allows them to securely trade unused electricity without a third-party intermediary. Using the network, nodes can broadcast requests for sales or purchases, after which smart contracts will connect matching requests, based on data such as volume and price, and then trigger transactions – a mechanism similar to that of a decentralized crypto exchange. The effort is a response to the growing supply of renewable energy in China, especially solar power generated by households, which is often generated in excess of demand in some regions. The researchers write: “Households then have no other choices but to let the unused solar power go to waste because they don’t have a direct way of exchanging electricity.” To facilitate transactions over the decentralized network, a digital currency would be used between buyers and sellers, the patent application explained. Although it’s not clear which digital asset(s) the platform might use, the system has so far been made to built on two blockchain systems, according to the Fudan team. “This idea can be achieved in either a public, private or a consortium blockchain. And in this case, the system has been developed on IBM’s Hyperledger platform as well as the ethereum blockchain, to make electricity tradeable and shareable within a community,” the document states. Read the full patent application below: Fudan University Patent Application by CoinDesk on Scribd Solar panels 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.

Below $7K: Bitcoin Price Looks Indecisive After 19-Day Low

Below $7K: Bitcoin Price Looks Indecisive After 19-Day Low

Bitcoin’s (BTC) price is trading in an indecisive manner after hitting 19-day lows below $6,900 on Sunday, but could pick up a bid on acceptance above $7,100, technical studies indicate. The leading cryptocurrency fell to $6,890 on Bitfinex yesterday – its lowest level since July 17 – before ending the day (as per UTC) on a flat note at $7,025. The price action indicates indecision in the marketplace, but could also be considered a sign of bearish exhaustion as the market is looking indecisive after a 21 percent slide from the recent high of $8,507. Now if the bulls are able to push prices above Sunday’s high of $7,090, then the exhaustion among sellers would be confirmed. On the other hand, a slide below the previous day’s low of $6,890 would only make matters worse for the cryptocurrency. At press time, BTC is trading at $6,975 – down 0.80 percent on a 24-hour basis. Daily chart The above chart shows, BTC created a doji candle (indecision) on Sunday at the 50-day moving average (MA) support, making today’s close (as per UTC) pivotal. A bull doji reversal would be confirmed if BTC closes today (as per UTC) above $7,090 (Sunday’s doji candle high). In this case, a corrective rally to 100-day MA, currently located at $7,474, could be seen. Meanwhile, a close (as per UTC) below $6,890 (Sunday’s doji candle low) would signal a continuation of the sell-off from the July high of $8,507. Moreover, the bulls need to capitalize soon on the signs of indecision or bearish exhaustion, otherwise, the focus would quickly shift back to the bearish factors: downward sloping 5-day and 10-day MAs, breach of the key support of 100-day MA last week and a bearish relative strength index (RSI). Further, BTC’s close proximity to the all-important inverse head-and-shoulders neckline support (former resistance) of $6,820 is another big reason why the bulls need to make a quick comeback. A break below $6,820 would invalidate the bearish-to-bullish trend change confirmed by the inverse head-and-shoulders breakout on July 17 and would shift risk in favor of a drop below the rising trendline (yellow dotted line). In any case, the long-term bullish view has been invalidated by BTC’s close at $7,025 yesterday, as seen in the…