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The 2018 Bitcoin Mining Ecosystem Saw Record Hashrates and New Devices

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2018 was a crazy year in regard to the price of cryptocurrencies losing more than 80 percent of their values since they touched all-time highs. Interestingly enough, even though the prices of major digital assets plummeted, the hashrate for SHA-256 coins skyrocketed during the months of August through October. Although the hashrate has declined significantly since the price was severely impacted negatively this past November.

Also Read: Crypto Bear Market Triggers Rise in M&A Activity

A Look at the Hashrates Securing the Most Popular SHA-256 Coins in 2018

Cryptocurrency miners secure blockchain networks for a profit and the cumulative proof-of-work (PoW) hashrate of all the SHA-256 coins has seen milestone after milestone in 2018. The total hashrate of both Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Core (BTC) networks combined surpassed 65 exahash per second (EH/s) last August. Since then, the combined hashrate of both networks is averaging 42 EH/s during the final week of 2018, as the hashrate tumbled over the course of the last eight weeks. The hashrate is still twice higher than it was last January, even though it had lost around 20-25 EH/s after the high.

The 2018 Bitcoin Mining Ecosystem Saw Record Hashrates and New Devices
Bitcoin Core (BTC) network hashrate 2018.

According to Coin Dance statistics, it is currently 4.10 percent more profitable to mine on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. Furthermore, Coinwarz data details the BCH chain is the third most profitable PoW chain today. Since the SHA-256 hashrate declined rapidly during the first week of November and the BCH blockchain split occurred on the 15th, the Bitcoin Cash network hashrate has seen much better days. For instance, the cryptocurrency’s hashrate captured an average of 4-5 EH/s for most of 2018.

The 2018 Bitcoin Mining Ecosystem Saw Record Hashrates and New Devices
Bitcoin Core (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hashrates combined, on Dec. 26.

However, because of the split and falling BCH prices, the network is only capturing 1.5-1.9 EH/s but has improved considerably since the last big price drop. When the price was under $100 per BCH, the hashrate was only .5-.9 EH/s (or 5,000-9000 petahash per second). The biggest mining pools on the Bitcoin Cash network this month are BTC.top, Viabtc, and BTC.com. The Bitcoin Core network’s largest pools today include BTC.com, Antpool, and Viabtc.

The 2018 Bitcoin Mining Ecosystem Saw Record Hashrates and New Devices
The top SHA-256 mining pools of 2018.

2018’s Next Generation ASICs

2018 also saw a lot of buzz surrounding new ASIC miners that utilize next-generation chips like 7 nanometer (nm) and 10nm semiconductors. Even though these machines received a lot of attention because crypto-markets had plummeted, they really haven’t lived up to their hype so far. Even if a machine packs a lot of terrahash per second (TH/s), it still has a hard time profiting this year. There are roughly six SHA-256 ASIC machines at the time of publication that are pulling in a profit by mining either BTC or BCH. The most profitable miner today is the Asicminer 8 Nano Pro, a machine that claims to pack a monstrous 76 TH/s. It is followed by the Ebang Ebit E11+ which makes $3.73 per day at current prices and claims to capture 44 TH/s per machine.

The 2018 Bitcoin Mining Ecosystem Saw Record Hashrates and New Devices

The 2018 Bitcoin Mining Ecosystem Saw Record Hashrates and New DevicesAsicminer’s 44 TH/s Nano version is capturing $3.36 per day but the fourth most profitable miner, the Innosilicon T3, isn’t available for purchase yet. Only five of the six most profitable SHA-256 miners can be purchased today and most of these devices process more than 23 TH/s. Also, a big surprise came this week from the manufacturers of the 7nm-powered B2 and B3 miners created by the GMO Group from Japan. According to the company, it won’t be manufacturing these machines going forward and it saw a record loss of $218 million during the last four months. Other mining operations have also recorded deep losses this year, like when Washington-based firm Giga Watt filed for bankruptcy. And local reports stemming from China this past November explained that miners in the region were “selling mining rigs by the Kilo as scrap.”

Even With the Ups and Downs — Hashrate Continues to Increase Over Time

The bear market of 2018 has definitely taken a toll on miners but even more so during Q4. This month, news.Bitcoin.com explained how Chinese miners have been shorting the spot markets in order to break even on electric costs stemming from unprofitable devices. These rigs are then sold on the secondary market and miners keep repeating the cycle until they can buy new machines when prices get bullish. Although our publication also reported on Matt D’Souza, the co-founder of Blockware Solutions, who explained that even though some operations were going bankrupt, other mining facilities have handled the cryptocurrency recession in a more inventive fashion.

Moreover, even though SHA-256 mined coins had their values chopped considerably in 2018 and their hashrate plummeted by 20-25 EH/s, both metrics are still significantly higher than ever before. There will always be highs and lows but an economy with an upward healthy trend over the long run is always a good sign.

What do you think about the hashrate climb this year and all the new machines announced? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support these products or services. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com and the author is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. This editorial is for informational purposes only.


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Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories

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After an intense 2017, filled with cryptocurrency market spikes, the following year was loaded with letdowns as a great majority of digital assets plunged well over 80 percent in value since their all-time highs. 2018 was also filled with lots of headlines about digital currency regulations, exchange hacks, and postponed exchange-traded funds.

Also read: Feed 7 Different Species at the River Forest Farm’s ‘Bitcoin Cash Zoo’

2018 Saw Hundreds of Billions Shaved Off the Entire Cryptocurrency Market Cap

It’s safe to say that 2018 was the exact opposite of 2017 as far as the year-over-year cryptocurrency market price changes. On Dec. 31, 2017, the top ten market capitalizations and the prices of each coin were vastly different than today. The top five coins had considerably more fiat value at the time with bitcoin core (BTC) trading for $13,170 per coin, ripple (XRP) $2.12, ethereum (ETH) $721, bitcoin cash (BCH) $2,459, and cardano (ADA) $0.69.

Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories

Throughout the entire year, all of the biggest coins by market valuation have lost more than three-quarters of their net worth since December 2017. The entire ecosystem’s market valuation saw an all-time high of more than half a trillion dollars and today that metric is just above $100 billion.   

Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories

South Korean Regulation

Throughout most of January and February, talks of digital currency regulation began to heighten across the globe. These two months, in particular, saw a lot of regulatory discussions stemming from South Korea. Headlines deriving from Korean government officials were so frequent and very similar to the countless People’s Bank of China (PBOC) ‘ban’ announcements in the past. At the end of January 2018, for the first time ever a South Korean court ruled that bitcoin has economic value. Moreover, the country introduced a nationwide cryptocurrency account system, which banned the anonymous trading of digital assets in South Korea.

Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories
After the country became a cryptocurrency hotbed in 2017, the first quarter of 2018 saw a lot of digital currency regulation in South Korea.

Compromised Exchanges

In addition to all the news about South Korea, the Japanese exchange Coincheck was compromised for $400-534 million USD worth of the cryptocurrency NEM, on Jan. 26. While digital asset proponents witnessed yet another historic exchange hack, the platform’s loss didn’t affect markets that much. Another hack took place this past April, when the Indian cryptocurrency exchange Coinsecure’s wallet was breached for $2.7 million worth of BTC. At the time, the company blamed it’s CSO Amitabh Saxena for playing a role in the incident. Last September, Indian law enforcement filed charges against a few suspects and explained that an insider had helped facilitate the crime.

Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories
Coincheck and Coinsecure were the biggest exchange hacks of 2018.

Lots of ICOs Fail Miserably

Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories2018’s Q1 saw the beginning of big initial coin offerings (ICOs) having lots of troubles with special agencies like the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). One of the first busts last year was when the Texas Department of Banking Commissioner issued a cease and desist order to an alleged ‘decentralized cryptocurrency-bank.’ The Bitshares-connected Arise Bank was one of the first of many ICOs that started having troubles with the law. In February, the cryptocurrency community had learned that 46 percent of 2017’s ICOs had already failed. All year long, there have been numerous crackdowns throughout the world specifically targeting ICO operations. U.S. regulators charged music producer DJ Khaled and the boxer Floyd Mayweather this past November for failing to disclose payments they took for ICO promotion.

Maduro’s Petro

Another interesting story this year was the introduction of the world’s first state-issued cryptocurrency in Venezuela. Well, no one’s really sure if the ‘petro’ works yet, but all year long Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro has touted the benefits of the ‘oil-backed’ token. This past November, the Ministry for Communication and Information enacted a new law which established the petro for commercial transactions inside the country. Further, just recently, Maduro raised the petro’s price from 3,600 to 9,000 bolivars. The entire world has been watching the Venezuelan people suffer from economic hardships, while Maduro and fellow associates toy around with a so-called ‘multi-asset backed’ cryptocurrency created in secrecy.

Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories
Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro is pushing the first state-issued cryptocurrency called the Petro. 

Delayed Institutional Trading Products

Even though markets dumped all year long, cryptocurrencies did see a lot of institutional interest this year. Crypto-advocates will remember patiently waiting for a U.S.-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) approval once again in 2018. Back in July, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) filed an application for a BTC-based ETF that will be tethered to the Vaneck Solidx Bitcoin Trust. The same month, the SEC postponed its decision concerning five bitcoin-related ETFs filed by NYSE Arca.

Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories
US regulators postponed many ETF decisions in 2018.

This was the case throughout all of 2018, as Bitcoin ETFs were delayed all year long. U.S. regulators had also asked for public opinion concerning Cboe’s ETF filing and received an overwhelming response. On Dec. 6, the SEC delayed its decision again and explained it will decide on the fate of the Vaneck Solidx bitcoin ETF in February 2019. Moreover, bitcoiners have been waiting for the Bakkt bitcoin daily futures contracts offered by the Intercontinental Exchange, which was supposed to start trading this month, but the product was also delayed.     

Bitcoin Cash and the Tale of Two Forks

The Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network had an interesting year, to say the least, as it underwent two forks in 2018. The first fork in the spring was quite successful, resulting in a bunch of new features like re-enabled opcodes and a 32MB block size increase. Since the upgrade, BCH saw a huge influx of development, including many new applications like Memo.cash, Blockpress, Joystream, Marco Coino, Coinfundr, Akari, Telescope, Simple Ledger Protocol, Wormhole, and more. In the first week of September, the Bitcoin Cash network processed millions of transactions on a daily basis during a week-long ‘stress test.’

Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories
Back in May, the BCH protocol upgraded successfully with new opcodes and a 32MB block size increase. However, in November the scheduled fork on the 15th became contentious and led to a blockchain split.

On Sept. 1, BCH miners confirmed 2,060,041 transactions (tx) in 24 hours and statistics showed that the BCH chain had processed 85,835 tx per hour, and 23.8 tx per second.

However, after the stress tests, the planned hard fork for Nov. 15 became contentious and the fork resulted in a blockchain split. After gaining the most proof-of-work and a majority of the infrastructure support, the Bitcoin ABC side of the fork was rewarded with the “BCH” ticker, and the other network’s ticker is listed as “BSV” across global exchanges. The BCH community is steadily moving on from the split, and the decentralized cryptocurrency saw a 140 percent increase in value over the last week.

In 2019 the Crypto-Landscape Is Sure to Be Interesting

Most crypto-markets have done much better during the end of this December, and many enthusiasts are curious about what next year will bring. Of course, most cryptocurrency supporters believe the long haul will pay off in the end, and there will always be some hurdles along the way. There was a whole lot of other interesting events in 2018 and 2019 is sure to be just as intriguing. One thing is for certain, no matter what year it is — There’s never a dull day in Bitcoin-land.

What do you think about 2018 and cryptocurrencies this year? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


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Almost 5,000 Crypto Pump and Dumps Posted on Discord and Telegram in 6 Months

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A report compiled by researchers from Tel Aviv University, The University of Tulsa, and the University of New Mexico has found nearly 5,000 advertisements for cryptocurrency pump and dump signals on social platforms Discord and Telegram posted during the first half of 2018.

Also Read: Asian News Headlines Exert Significant Impact on Cryptocurrency Prices

Nearly 5,000 Ads For Crypto Pumps Posted to Discord and Telegram in First Half of 2018

Almost 5,000 Crypto Pump and Dumps Posted on Discord and Telegram in 6 Monthsreport examining the prevalence of advertisements for cryptocurrency pump signals across Discord and Telegram has found the phenomenon to be “widespread and often quite profitable.”

The authors collected five-minute interval price data for “nearly 2,000 coins across 220 cryptocurrency trading exchanges from Coinmarketcap” from mid-Jan. 2018 to early July 2018. “Pump data” was then obtained through “collecting messages posted to hundreds of dedicated Discord and Telegram channels using their APIs and manually labeling messages that signaled pumps,” and “consistently mapped to the trading data.”

In total, the researchers found 1,051 pump signals advertised on Discord and 3,767 ads on Telegram pertaining to more than 200 different cryptocurrencies.

The report asserts that the “proliferation of cryptocurrencies” and “changes in technology” have aided those who wish to conduct pumps, with a large number of the roughly 2,000 cryptocurrencies currently trading being “illiquid” and “characterized by very low trading volumes on most days, with occasional volume and price spikes.”

Twice as Many Low-Cap Pumps Promoted on Telegram Than Discord

Almost 5,000 Crypto Pump and Dumps Posted on Discord and Telegram in 6 MonthsThe report describes the volume and market capitalization ranking of a coin as “the most important factor in determining the profitability of the pump,” adding that “pumping obscure coins (with low volume) is much more profitable than pumping the dominant coins in the ecosystem.”

The median price increase for coins ranked within the top 75 by market cap was 3.5 percent on Discord, and 4.8 percent on Telegram. For projects ranked from 76 to 200, the median price increase was 5.2 percent on Discord and 6.5 percent on Telegram. Coins ranked from 201 to 500 saw median gains of 5.3 percent on Discord and 8.1 percent on Telegram. Cryptocurrencies ranked below 500 produced median gains of 23.2 percent on Discord and 18.7 percent on Telegram.

Of the coins ranked in the top 75 by market cap, 52 saw pumps promoted on Discord and 56 on Telegram. Among projects ranked 76 to 200, 58 were pumped on Discord and 62 on Telegram. Of the cryptocurrencies ranked 201 to 500, 75 pumps were advertised on Discord and 84 on Telegram. Lastly, 80 coins ranked below 500 were pumped using Discord, while pumps for 176 lower-capitalized projects were promoted on Telegram.

The report notes that “January-July 2018 was a period in which cryptocurrency prices and trading volume were falling significantly,” emphasizing the success of the examined pumps despite the relatively moderate gains when contrasted with the 2017 bull market.

Do you think that we will see regulators seek to crack down on pump and dumps? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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