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.
Reddit Investigation Reveals Scope of Manipulation within Online Crypto Communities
A Reddit user by the name /CryptoMaximalist recently revealed the results of an investigation into manipulation within the online cryptocurrency community. The investigation looked into how a group of certain users has been hijacking threads in the r/CryptoCurrency and r/CryptoMarkets subreddits to promote and shill specific products and projects.
Manipulation, shilling, and self-promotion are no strangers to the cryptocurrency industry so many will not be surprised by the news, but the investigation gives some interesting insight into the scope of these activities and how they are conducted. Throughout the investigation, the user managed to uncover 50 Reddit accounts which he dubbed the “Dream Network”. These accounts appear to be working together to perform specific types of manipulation known as Astroturfing and Vote Manipulation.
Vote Manipulation is relatively self-explanatory, and Astroturfing is the act of making the promotion of a specific project look natural and organic – when in fact the users promoting the project are all involved in the scam. In order to make a project look legitimate, several users will begin long and detailed comment threats featuring questions, answers, and discussions that all appear to come from separate individuals with their own opinions. While they may appear to be separate accounts, often the questions and responses are all instigated by the same person in real life or have been agreed upon beforehand.
Several big projects implicated
Crypto projects that have been implicated in the manipulation include Ontology, Bitmax, Ultra Token, OOOBTC, MOAC, Contentos, and Dreamr, amongst others. While it is not conclusive that the operators of these projects elicited the manipulative behavior, it makes sense that those conducting the manipulation stand to make a profit from the success of the project.
To discover which accounts are likely involved in manipulation the investigation looked into the historical behavior of the accounts. Many were found to have long periods of inactivity followed by a sudden change in personality – indicating the account had likely been sold to a ‘shill‘. Shills will often buy existing accounts with high karma and a long history so that they appear more authentic. Other questionable behavior includes ‘karma farming’ – posting comments in popular threads like r/aww that typically accrue karma with very little effort.
As mentioned above, manipulation is not exactly a new concept in cryptocurrency, but hopefully, this investigation will help some newbies not lose money by investing in rubbish ‘pump n dump’ schemes.
Blockstack’s SEC-Regulated Crypto Token Offering Successfully Raises $23 Million
Blockstack, the first SEC-regulated token offering, successfully raises $23 million in two stages – the SEC regulated and the international offering including Asia’s strategic rounds.
The first US Securities exchange commission (SEC) regulated token offering, Blockstack, completed yesterday successfully raising $23 million USD in the process. The official announcement by the CEO and co-founder of Blockstack, Muneeb Ali, further confirmed the company is looking for a further $5million+ from international investors. The international investors will be offered tokens in a private placement or an SEC-regulated token offering again.
The total stats for the Stacks (STX) token stands at 74 million tokens disbursed at a price between $0.12 and $0.30 USD in the past 60 days. The tokens were offered in two batches – the first one, the SEC approved token under Regulation A+ and the second, the international token offering under regulation S – raising $15.5 million and $7.5 million respectively.
The report reads,
“We want to thank the thousands of you that have participated. For the first time, retail investors in the United States were able to participate in a token offering qualified by the SEC. More than 4,500 individuals and entities participated in the 2019 token offerings.”
Some of the top investors in the token offering includes, Union Square Ventures, Lux Capital, Recruit Holdings, Arrington Capital, Hashkey Group, Fenbushi Capital, Frontier Ventures, Spartan Group, and other funds.
More On The SEC-Regulated Stacks (STX) Token
Earlier in June, BEG reported the SEC had given Blockstacks the go ahead to offer their tokens to the public under certain regulations. The regulations are less stringent than those of a regular IPO, requiring less disclosure of details. The fork to distribute the tokens will commence in the next 30 days and continue for a further 30 days if need be.
Once the token offering and release period is over (in the next 30 days or so) the company will start building and developing its Blockstack decentralized computing network. The announcement further confirmed US exchanges will not list the STX token and US traders will not be able to access trading of the token once it launches this October.
Crypto Exchange OKEx to List Hedera Hashgraph’s Token HBAR
Cryptocurrency exchange OKEx announced that it will soon list enterprise-focused decentralized network Hedera Hashgraph’s native token HBAR.
As OKEx’s spokesperson told Cointelegraph, the platform will add HBAR to its spot market with HBAR/BTC, HBAR/USDT and HBAR/USDK on Sept. 17. Deposits and withdrawals will open on Sept. 16 and Sept. 24 respectively. Head of Asia Pacific at Hedera Hashgraph Edgar Seah added:
“Hbars play a crucial role in the function, growth, and security of the Hedera network, and it is important that they are available to those who wish to use or create applications on the network. OKEx’s focus on listing projects with practical uses cases is in line with our belief that making coins easily accessible to developers is important for the development of decentralized ledger platforms such as Hedera.”
As Cointelegraph reported recently, OKEx announced that the exchange will support Ethereum Classic’s (ETC) upcoming Atlantis hard fork that is planned to occur between Sept. 12 and Sept. 13 at block height 8,772,000.
On Aug. 30, it was reported that Boeing will join IBM on Hedera Hashgraph’s governing council, although the aircraft giant has not officially confirmed the news.