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.
Circle is weathering crypto-winter like every other crypto company, says CEO; refutes valuation rumours
Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of Circle, spoke to Fortune Studios about the company’s activities, and plans for the future, while also discussing how the company weathered the crypto bear market over the years.
Allaire explained that all companies in the crypto business were undergoing the same issue as Circle, and that “business was down,” for all. He continued,“When there’s no volatility or prices are down, then volumes are down… We had very significant growth year last year, even though there was a crypto bear market.”
Despite the bear market however, Allaire revealed that the company’s user base and revenues had increased over the previous year. According to Fortune, Circle was valued at $3 billion, after it acquired the cryptocurrency exchange, Poloniex.
There were rumors of Circle’s valuation falling below $1 million after its lead investor, Bitmain, faced issues of its own, following the fall in crypto prices. Additionally, Circle’s shares were allegedly selling at a steep discount due to the collapse in prices.
Allaire however, refuted the rumors, stating,“I can’t comment on specific transactions or specific prices or things like that, but the way that was characterized was inaccurate. There are secondary platforms, people list the things they are offering… but that doesn’t mean they’re actually trading and the way that was characterized was inaccurate”
Circle closed its acquisition of SeedInvest, an equity crowdfunding site, earlier this month. The acquisition will allow Circle to get into the regulated sphere of issuing securities, which would become a major part of Circle’s business in the near future.
He added,“We’re going to look at ways that we can bring the benefits of digital assets, crypto technologies, and blockchains into this whole area of issuing securities over the internet.”
Allaire also spoke about Facebook’s stablecoin, adding that he looked forward to the competition, and that internet companies issuing cryptocurrencies was a good sign for crypto in the long term
Galaxy Capital-Backed Caspian to Offer Crypto Derivatives Trading
Galaxy Capital-backed institutional trading and portfolio management platform Caspian is launching trading in cryptocurrency derivatives.
Caspian announced Wednesday that it has integrated its platform with the Deribit exchange to offer futures and options (F&O) trading in crypto assets.
Deribit offers futures and options trading for bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH), and also provides another perpetual swap product for bitcoin. The exchange does not charge for deposits and withdrawals and “up to 100x leverage”, Caspian said.
Robert Dykes, Caspian CEO, said:
“Our goal at Caspian is to provide crypto traders and investors the same standard of tools and service that exist in the traditional markets.”
The Caspian platform is connected to Deribit through an application programming interface (API) that supports “high volumes with ultra-low latency,” and provides traders with access to Deribit’s full options order book, Caspian said..
Caspian is a joint project between Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency investment firm Kenetic Capital and the U.S.-based based trading systems firm Tora.
The project raised $16 million in funding via a token presale last September, with backing from Kenetic Capital, Galaxy Capital, Octagon Strategy, Global Advisors and others.
Kenetic Capital managing director David Wills called Caspian “a frictionless on-ramp for crypto traders” at the time.
Back in 2017, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and CME Group both famously launched futures products.
Financial markets technology platform LevelTradingField launched a cryptocurrency derivatives exchange last August using the ethereum blockchain. And, in December, cryptocurrency exchange OKEx launched a bitcoin derivative product with no expiry date, meaning that positions can be held indefinitely.
CoinMarketCap Crypto Indices Launch on Nasdaq, Bloomberg, Reuters
Two cryptocurrency benchmark indices from data provider CoinMarketCap will launch today on financial data feeds from Nasdaq Global Index Data Service (GIDS), Bloomberg Terminal, Thomson Reuters Eikon (Refinitiv) and Germany’s Börse Stuttgart, as well as on its own platform.
CoinMarketCap announced the news Wednesday, saying that the benchmark indices will be the “most comprehensive” crypto data offerings for the markets, covering the top 200 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, one including bitcoin (BTC) and the other without.
The first index is named CMC Crypto 200 Index (CMC200), which includes bitcoin, and covers more than 90 percent of the global cryptocurrency market, the firm said.
The second, CMC Crypto 200 ex BTC Index (CMC200EX), tracks the market’s performance without the influence of bitcoin. The world’s largest cryptocurrency, bitcoin currently has just over 50 percent dominance of the total market capitalization.
“These indices will promote greater accessibility to cryptocurrency data in an easier-to-digest format,” said CoinMarketCap CEO Brandon Chez.
CoinMarketCap has partnered with Germany-based provider of financial indices Solactive for the effort, which will calculate and administer both the indices, as well as rebalance them on a quarterly basis, according to the announcement. Price data is being provided by CoinMarketCap.
Solactive’s head of sales Fabian Colin said that CoinMarketCap data would also give his firm the opportunity to develop custom indices for clients, adding:
“We are looking forward to developing more crypto indices in the future, which will optimistically result in investable indices and might lead to further products.”
Earlier this week, CoinMarketCap also added crypto asset letter grades to its platform from blockchain analytics startup Flipside. The Fundamental Crypto Asset Score (FCAS) metric developed by Flipside evaluates factors such as developer activity and a broad set of transaction data.