To say that last week was exciting would be a serious understatement. Bitcoin went on to chart a brand new all-time high at around $67K, we saw the approval of the first-ever futures BTC ETF in the US, a massive flash-crash on BinanceUS, and a correction towards $60K. Let’s dive in.
Starting with Bitcoin. The price was trading around $62K last this time last week and even dipped below $60K briefly on Monday. However, the market was propelled higher from then, and this culminated in a new all-time high around $67K on Wednesday. It was a major event for the community – it took BTC exactly 6 months and 6 days to paint a fresh peak.
This came on the wings of some tremendous news. The SEC approved the first-ever futures-backed Bitcoin ETF ticked BITO. On its opening day on Tuesday, the product did over $1 billion in trading volume, making it one of the most successful ETF launches in history. Meanwhile, we also saw a flash-crash on BinanceUS, which took the price for BTC down to around $8.2K in a second before recovering. It also happened on other exchanges but not with such gravity.
Since peaking, though, Bitcoin’s price has been wobbly and, perhaps somewhat expectedly, tumbled towards $60K once again. This might be considered a healthy correction, given that there were no real shakeouts in the past few weeks.
Altcoins also followed suit to a certain extent. Solana and Ethereum literally came a couple of dollars away from marking new all-time highs but failed to do so.
This Chinese Security Company Launched Tool to Monitor Crypto Mining, Here’s What They Found
The latest update in China’s crypto ban saw the Chinese security firm, 360, launch a system that monitors cryptocurrency mining behavior. To facilitate implementation of the Chinese government’s rectification measures to ban crypto mining, 360’s latest tool known as the ‘threat situation monitoring system’, has developed a mining variant. The system supports large network asset mapping and mining threat intelligence, which further helps in acquiring network-wide mining host data.
Furthermore, according to the monitoring data obtained in the month of November by 360’s Threat Situation Monitoring System – 109,000 active cryptocurrency mining IPs have been detected. Additionally, it has been revealed, that most used network types are – residential broadbands, enterprise dedicated lines, and data centers. These networks are mainly situated in Guangdong and Jiangsu, along with Zhejiang and Shandong Provinces.
360 swears by its “test + cure” strategy, where the company first acquires macro level mining data through statistical monitoring on multiple dimensions including geographic area and network type. Meanwhile, depending on the requirement to take action against illegal activities, 360 puts together a detailed list of these mining hosts. The content of the more elaborate list includes, IP address, geographic location, network type, connection frequency, disposal recommendations, and other information of the mining host involved in the unit, which provides the regulators with considerable information to take further action.
China Targets Crypto Mining
With multiple failed efforts at an absolute crypto ban, China’s authoritarian government has now opted for a more isolated approach by targeting specific categories of crypto. Currently, the government is focusing on clamping down crypto mining, aiming for both, public and private entities, to secure a crypto mining free nation.
Last month, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) confirmed that the commission is set to shut down industrial-scale Bitcoin mining activities, along with cracking-down state companies that have participated in the same, given the unsustainable nature of the activity. Furthermore, the government has levied crypto mining as an “extremely harmful” practice, which threatens to jeopardize China’s Carbon Neutral ambitions. Henceforth, the authorities plan on imposing a hike in electricity prices on companies that continue to disobey the ban.
Bitcoin mining is an environmental disaster
- Tom Seyer likens Bitcoin mining to an environmental disaster.
- He says that Bitcoin miners can shift to a renewable source of energy.
- Cambridge university report says 39% of crypto miners use renewable energy.
Bitcoin is no doubt the biggest and most performing digital asset across the crypto market as of today. The digital asset, developed in 2009 by pseudonymous founder, Satoshi Nakamoto has witnessed a rise of about 700% in value. But despite the asset providing traders and investors alike with chances of taking in profits, some individuals are still opposed to the asset. On such people is a billionaire and environmental advocate, Tom Seyer. According to Seyer, Bitcoin can be likened to an environmental disaster.
Bitcoin mining electricity consumption
In an interview with Yahoo Finance, Seyer mentioned that Bitcoin consumes a huge amount of electricity during its mining process. He pointed out that combined with the massive amount of electricity it uses, it emits dangerous gases into the environment. However, he opined that his views about damaging the asset could change if Bitcoin miners use a more environmentally friendly mining method.
Seyer stated that he believes that Bitcoin can use clean electricity, and this way, it does not damage the environment. Seyer also said that he had been approached with an investment opportunity in a Bitcoin mining operation. He told the Bitcoin mining operation was close to a coal plant, and he was brutally honest about his stance. He said that the idea was to create a cheap Bitcoin mining rig using coal, and it was a vast profit-taking opportunity, but it signaled a disaster to the environment.
Crypto consumes high renewable energy
Seyer’s stance is that should Bitcoin miners begin to use renewable and environmentally friendly mining methods. It would be a good source of investment. However, the idea is not something that has been put to practice before. As per a recent Cambridge University survey, only 39% of the energy burned from mining crypto uses renewable energy sources. This means that Bitcoin’s total amount of energy in a year translates to burning 54 billion pounds of coal.
However, another report from Coinshares paints an entirely different picture. According to Coinshares, renewable energy amounts to 77.6% of the total energy consumed in mining crypto. One thing to note is that Coinshares is also a participant in the crypto market and would reduce the sector’s impact on the environment.
Another example is the report of the Bitcoin mining council, which places the figure at 56%. The council, which was formed after several outcries on the impacts of Bitcoin mining on the environment. When it carried out its survey, it only considered about 32% of the global hashrate.
This country seized over 100 illegally operating Crypto mining rigs, Here’s what happened
The Venezuelan authorities have revealed yet another takedown of an unregistered crypto mining operation in the nation. According to a local news outlet, a joint operation by the National Superintendency of Crypto Assets and Related Activities (Sunacrip), together with the National Electric Corporation (CORPOELEC), accompanied by the Venezuelan police authorities, cracked down on a “clandestinely” operating unregistered crypto mining operation and seized 104 mining rigs from the Palo Verde sector of Miranda state.
While crypto mining is levied legal in Venezuela, the country is still flooded with illegal mining farms in lieu of strict regulatory policies on mining. Crypto mining operations are required to get approval from Sunacrip to become registered. However, to avoid regulatory oversight crypto mining farms prefer to stay unregistered. Nevertheless, they get caught due to excess energy consumption which puts them on the power grid. This is exactly what happened with the latest illicit crypto mining farm, which was eventually located by the authorities given the strain it was imposing on the power distribution system of its territory.
Former Unregistered Crypto Mining Operations
Earlier this year, during the month of June, Venezuelan authorities confiscated over 400 illegally operating mining rigs in two separate investigations. According to local news, in the first operation, the military seized 79 Inosilicon T2 brand machines, hidden in a house located in the Cuatricentenaria sector, Barinas municipality. Following the former, the authorities caught a truck that was transporting illegal crypto mining equipment. A total of 332 Bitcoin machines were being transported, with 56 brand Inosilicon T2, 136 Antminers S9J-14.5T, and 140 Aladdinminers.
Crypto Mining Vs. Sustainability
While the world is now divided into pro and anti-crypto groups, with an ongoing crypto crackdown, many nations are focused on bringing down crypto mining centers to break the base itself. Last month, the New York State’s local businesses, labor groups, and several organizations came together against allotting the city’s old fossil-fuel power plants to build crypto mining centers. One of their main arguments was crypto mining farms’ unsustainable nature. This is proof that unless the entire crypto industry upgrades to an absolute sustainable energy approach, they will continue to face considerable backlash.