Bitmain is clearly intent on introducing a lot more ASIC miners in quick succession. Their latest unit is the Antminer Z9 mini, which is primarily designed to mine cryptocurrencies relying on the Equihash algorithm. Although none of those currencies are even remotely popular, it seems there may still be some interest in this mining unit.
THE PURPOSE OF THE ANTMINER Z9 MINI
One has to commend Bitmain from suddenly releasing so many different ASIC miners. It seems the company has been working on ASIC chips for specific mining algorithms, including CryptoNight, Equihash, and a few others. This begs the question as to how long the Chinese firm has been “secretly” mining these cryptocurrencies and driving up the prices accordingly.
Even so, the release of the Antminer Z9 mini comes at a rather interesting time. For those unaware, there are a few cryptocurrencies which make use of this particular algorithm, although none of them will be on most speculators’ short lists right now. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a market for such currencies, but releasing a dedicated ASIC miner for them seems a bit odd. That is, unless Bitmain acknowledges that mining those coins with their own hardware is no longer profitable enough to keep going.
It remains to be seen how many people will actually order this mining unit, which is priced at $1,999. In exchange for their hard-earned money, customers will get a machine capable of hashing away at 10,000 solutions per second. The unit consumes 300 Watts of electricity, which is more than acceptable compared to some of the other goodies sold by the company. As with most other ASIC miners, customers should not expect a refund for any orders of this unit.Among the currencies using the Equihash algorithm are Bitcoin Gold, Zcash, Komodo, ZClassic, ZenCash, and a few others. Other than Zcash, it may not even be worth buying such an ASIC miner, although that decision should be made by users individually. We do know the Bitcoin Gold team is already preparing to fork away from this mining algorithm to avoid the ASIC threat altogether. Whether or not that’s a smart decision is something else entirely.
Unsurprisingly, Bitmain has no plans of accepting payments through Equihash currencies for this mining unit. Instead, they’ll stick with the same traditional options, such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. Whether or not anyone will even purchase this unit remains to be seen, as none of the Equihash coins have gained much traction. It is another somewhat odd decision by Bitmain, although we will have to wait and see how things play out.
It is evident a lot of things are changing in the world of cryptocurrency right now. Bitmain seemingly has a finger in every pie, which means the company may be responsible for controlling most hashrates of individual currencies on the market today. Anything that is not an ERC20 token or non-mineable asset is potentially subject to Bitmain’s interference in one way or another. That is not a positive thought by any means.
Crypto market overview: The top three coins face minor bearish correction
- Bitcoin bulls managed to keep the price above $10,500.
- Bitcoin SV (BSV) was the biggest winner among the top 20 coins.
The market faced slight bearish correction this Friday as the top three made minor losses. Let’s take a closer look at how the top three did and then reveal the biggest winners and losers of the day, among the top 20 coins.
Top three coins
- Bitcoin: BTC/USD fell at the $10,650 resistance level and went down to $10,528. The bulls did manage to keep the price above $10,500.
- Ethereum: ETH/USD went down from $225.85 to $220.65 this Friday. ETH/USD has significant market resistance at $226.
- Ripple: XRP/USD went down from $0.321 to $0.320 this Friday. The asset reached a maximum of $0.3227 and a minimum of $0.31.
Biggest winners and losers (top 20 coins)
- Bitcoin SV (BSV) was the biggest winner among the top 20, as it went up by 8.26% and is priced at $146.33.
- Tron (TRX) went up by 8.07% and is priced at $0.028
- Stellar (XLM) went up by 5.41% and is currently priced at $0.093.
Anchorage Chose South Dakota for Its Crypto Custody – Here’s Why
During a tense Senate Banking Committee hearing on Tuesday, in which Facebook blockchain lead David Marcus was skewered over the social media company’s ambitious Libra project, Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) started his remarks with a brief announcement:
“Mr. Marcus, thanks very much for appearing here before us today. Before I begin my questions, I just want to take a moment to commend the South Dakota Division of Banking for their forward-thinking and willingness to allow for innovation in the digital currency space. Another founding member of the Libra Association, Anchorage, just received permission from the Division of Banking to become a South Dakota chartered trust company.”
Observers may have found it odd given the tenor of the hearing, but indeed, Rounds had it right. “Anchorage, which is a Silicon Valley crypto startup,” he said, “has chosen to open its second headquarters in Sioux Falls.”
Amidst the fear, uncertainty and doubt hanging over the hearings, Anchorage was improbably enjoying its moment in the sun.
The startup recently raised a $40 million Series B on the promise of crypto custody services for institutional investors that are “both more secure and more usable.” Anchorage’s technology avoids the traditional dichotomy of internet-connected hot wallets and offline cold storage in favor of specialized hardware security modules (HSMs). The company’s custom HSMs “will process a given transaction only when certain criteria are met,” according to a company blog post from April.
In June, Anchorage also snagged a seat at the table of the Libra Association alongside some of the world’s most powerful brands. (Anchorage investors Andreessen Horowitz and Visa are also founding members of Libra’s initial 28-company consortium.)
CoinDesk spoke with Anchorage CEO Nathan McCauley the day after the Senate hearing about why shopping jurisdictions made sense and what the benefits of launching a subsidiary in South Dakota are expected to be.
While Wyoming is perhaps the most notable state to court the crypto industry, others have also joined in. Montana passed a crypto-friendly securities law in May. In South Dakota, Anchorage is following in the footsteps of fellow crypto custodian BitGo, which got the green light from state regulators in 2018.
Below is an edited transcript of our discussion.
The cost of living is among the lowest in the U.S. and there are no income taxes, but are there specific reasons you selected South Dakota for your new Anchorage Trust subsidiary?
South Dakota knows trust administration, and that kind of institutional memory means abundant access to legal counsel, auditors, office space and talent. There were others states we talked with where a trust company hadn’t been created in over a decade, and “over a decade” was considered recent.
From top to bottom the state is really interested in seeing innovation happen. The South Dakota Trust Charter allows companies to operate on a national level so you can serve clients from every state. There is regulatory clarity that allows crypto natives to increase yields for clients through banking, staking and other kinds of participation. And surprisingly, South Dakota is one of the largest holders of institutional assets in the country, more than $3 trillion, according to the FDIC, three times the size of New York, followed only by Ohio.
It’s also a really nice business climate. We’re hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony in a few weeks and the local chamber of commerce is helping put it together.
How long did it take to get the charter?
We were motivated to do it quickly because from the get-go we knew we wanted to be a qualified custodian for our institutional-investor clients. Initial contact was late December. We met with the Division of Banking three or four days before Christmas and we received our charter on July 16, so it took six, seven months.
Who else is part of the South Dakota crypto community?
BitGo and Kingdom Trust are here as well.
What challenges do you foresee at the federal level?
SEC broker-dealer guidance continues to be a work in progress. We’re in good shape because of our licensure but more regulatory clarity is needed for the industry.
Any plans to expand internationally?
Right now our focus is on the United States because the U.S. remains the center of gravity for institutional investment, but we’re open to conversations with folks from the EU and Asia as many of them are interested in working with a U.S.-based custodian.
You recently deepened your ties with fellow Libra Association members Visa and Andreessen Horowitz, which are both investors in your Series B round. What are you most excited about going forward?
The investment from Visa is an important part of our story because it speaks to the kind of investor we’re attracting and the growing interest in cryptocurrency. It’s also very exciting that social networks like Facebook are getting involved in cryptocurrency to make financial services available to a larger portion of the population in a user-friendly way.
We’re just thrilled to be part of it.
BitMEX May Be the First Target of the U.S.; Which Crypto Platform is Next?
The crypto industry was taken aback earlier today when news broke regarding popular leveraged crypto trading exchange, BitMEX, being investigated by regulatory authorities in the United States.
Importantly, news regarding this investigation came about shortly after top officials within the US government criticized the nascent crypto markets, with the Treasury Secretary warning that they would be implementing and enforcing “very strong” regulations in the near-future.
Crypto Trading Platform BitMEX Under Instigation by CFTC
Earlier today, news broke that BitMEX is currently being investigated by the United States Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for allowing Americans to utilize the platform without having the proper licensing and registrations.
The news, which was first reported by Bloomberg, came closely on the heels of comments from top officials within the US government, who offered a less-than-positive perspective on the crypto markets, deeming them as markets rife with crime and fraudulent activity.
HDR Trading Limited, BitMEX’s parent company, declined the opportunity to comment on the investigation, but BitMEX CEO, Arthur Hayes, has previously stated that the company does ban users from the US who attempt to undermine the company policy – which technically does not allow US residents to access the platform.
It remains unclear as to where this investigation could lead, or as to what the consequences could be. But prominent critic of both crypto and BitMEX, Nouriel Roubini, noted in a recent tweet that be believes the allegations set forth by the CFTC are just a “fraction of the sleeze going on in BitMEX.”
US Government About to Crackdown on the Nascent Markets
The CFTC’s probe of BitMEX comes just one day after US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, told CNBC in an interview that the government would begin policing crypto with “very, very strong” regulations.
Mnuchin further added that the goal of these regulations would be to ensure that Bitcoin and other cryptos don’t become the equivalent of “Swiss-numbered bank accounts.”
Because it is not possible to actually regulate decentralized cryptocurrencies themselves, it is highly probable that the first target of regulators will be crypto exchanges, as many of them have been operating in the shadows beneath the nose of regulators.
In other countries that have more progressive regulations, like Korea, federal regulators first started targeted crypto exchanges, forcing them to adhere to the strict rules that govern the banking industry.
Although it still remains clear as to when and how the US will go about slapping the “very strong” regulations on the markets, it is likely that more exchanges will begin facing increased scrutiny from groups like the CFTC in the near-future.