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Byron Bay to Become Australia’s Bitcoin Mining Hub: Report

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The potential bitcoin mining center, employing renewable energy, could become the largest such facility in Australia.

The Nasdaq-listed company Mawson Infrastructure Group reportedly inked a partnership with Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners to set up one of Australia’s largest bitcoin mining operations. It will be located in the beachside town – Byron Bay – and will use 100% renewable energy.

Australia Aims at Green BTC Mining

Apart from being one of the leading touristic hotspots in Australia, Byron Bay could also become the center of the country’s bitcoin mining. A recent report reads that the new facility, seeing the light of day thanks to Mawson Infrastructure Group, will add around 0.4 exahash to global cryptocurrency mining.

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Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners – a US private equity firm that invests in low carbon and green initiatives – will use renewable energy for mining.

“That was key in the deal, that we were willing to do that curtailment at peak network load times. Our ability to just turn on and off reduces overall power costs and allows us to put more power back into the grid at the right time.” – explained James Manning – Chief Executive of Mawson Infrastructure.

Interestingly, the news came days after the Senate’s Committee on Australia as a Technology and Financial Center (ATFC) proposed that local bitcoin miners should receive a tax discount of 10% if they use renewable energy.

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Ready for Further Expansion

Manning added that his company has recently purchased 4000 more ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) bitcoin miners. The investment should increase the operational capacity by 11.7% by the middle of 2022. As such, the top executive did not hide his ambitions to stretch Mawson Infrastructure Group’s scope throughout the rest of the continent:

“We have a lot more infrastructure available to us now, and we’d love to build more in Australia and the tax incentive helps us redirect some of that to Australia.”

Aussies Open up for Crypto

As CryptoPotato reported last week, the ATFC recommended that the nation should set up favorable regulations such as tax discounts for digital asset trading and establish a licensing regime for exchanges to encourage the development of the industry.

Senator Andrew Bragg – Head of the Committee – noted that if Australia implements a comprehensive crypto framework, it could compete with leading nations like the USA, Singapore, and the UK.

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It is also worth noting that the general population in Australia has increased its interest in the asset class compared to 2020. According to a study, 17% of the locals are crypto hodlers as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Dogecoin (DOGE) are the three most popular tokens.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin tests traders’ nerves as analyst reissues $400K BTC price forecast

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Bitcoin (BTC) was on repeat on Dec. 2 as markets watched another attack on $60,000 end in defeat.

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BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

“Nothing has changed”

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/USD back at $57,000 Thursday, having come full circle in 24 hours.

The pair had briefly hit $59,000 into the Wall Street open the day prior, this failing to hold as another round of macro triggers skewed sentiment to the downside once more.

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Bitcoin thus fell in line with stocks reacting, it seemed, to continued concern over the new coronavirus omicron variant. The S&P 500 ended the day down 1.2%.

With a sense of frustration pervading crypto markets, analysts took the opportunity to reassert a longer-range perspective.

“It’s very simple. Below $60K I’ve remained cautious/bearish as I’d like to see that area flip,” Cointelegraph contributor Michaël van de Poppe summarized.

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“Levels to watch for buys; $53K-54K zone and $47-50K zones for Bitcoin. When to buy altcoins? December. Nothing has changed past weeks.”

Those buy target lows were accompanied by renewed predictions for this cycle’s bullish peak, which, as in April this year, place BTC/USD at up to $400,000.

Fellow analyst TechDev, eyeing Fibonacci levels on the two-week chart, also described Thursday as “another day to zoom out.”

Open interest stays near all-time highs

On exchanges, open interest, meanwhile, remained a source of concern due to its sheer volume relative to price action.

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Data from on-chain analytics firm Glassnode showed open interest on Bitcoin futures recently matching its second-highest levels in history, nearing its April record.

“At some point, this open interest is going to get flushed out one direction or the other,” analyst William Clemente commented.

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Bitcoin futures open interest 7-day moving average chart. Source: William Clemente/Twitter

With cyclical price action characterizing the week, the mood thus stayed favoring an ultimate exit up or down, with derivatives structures being “reset” as a result.

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Funding rates were mostly neutral across exchanges Thursday.

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Post-Twitter Dorsey Moves Deeper into Bitcoin ‘Spiral’ as Square Goes ‘Block’

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The Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s payments firm Square has taken on an extra dimension – likely a crypto-themed one – as the company has changed its name to Block.

In a press release, the firm announced that “as a result of the name change,” its Square Crypto unit, a “separate initiative of the company dedicated to advancing bitcoin (BTC),” has changed its name to Spiral

Its Twitter handle has also changed to @spiralbtc – a clear nod in the direction of bitcoin.

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Dorsey stepped down as Twitter boss late last month.

The witty PR wordsmiths at Spiral rationalized the name change on Twitter, writing:

“Square Crypto is now Spiral. Since our formation, the spiral emoji has been a part of our brand lore, and given the opportunity to rebrand to CoinSomething or BitWhatever, we went a different way. Spiral looks and sounds cool. What other reason do we need?”

As for what the newly rebranded firm will do, the company explained in a blog post that it plans “to double the number of full-time [developers] working on projects under the Spiral umbrella in 2022,” adding: “We also plan to write more grants than ever in the coming year.”

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Spiral continued:

“Square Crypto was never the best name for our team.”

The firm lamented the fact that its former name “drew a direct line between the corporate benefactor we are supposed to be independent of [namely Square] and us.”

Also on Twitter, the still-extant Square account noted:

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“Obviously Square Crypto no longer makes sense, so the team is changing its name […]. This rebrand reflects their focus on bitcoin as it continues to grow like a spiral from a single point, encompassing more and more space until it touches everything.”

The bitcoiner and investor Stephen Cole noted the significance of the BTC in the @spiralbtc handle.

Dorsey has frequently made his views on bitcoin known online, often seeming to side with so-called bitcoin maxis and downplaying the potential of rival blockchain protocols – a fact that has often drawn ire from Ethereum (ETH)- and altcoin-centered communities.

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In August, the Twitter founder appeared to “accidentally” share an ETH-bashing post from a bitcoiner, leading ETH advocates to accuse Dorsey of baiting them. He answered by claiming that he was “not trolling” or “fighting” rival “projects” but instead “agreeing” with the concept that ETH “wasn’t a good idea.”

Dorsey’s Block business empire also comprises TBD (TBD54566975), a planned decentralized bitcoin exchange project.

As for the main Block/Square company and brand, the firm explained that Block had not entirely squashed Square, noting:

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“The Square name has become synonymous with the company’s Seller business, which provides an integrated ecosystem of commerce solutions, business software, and banking services for sellers, and this move allows the Seller business to own the Square brand it was built for.”

However, away from the world of BTC-themed symbolism, some expressed tongue-in-cheek reservations about the name change. Another sharp-witted soul, this time a Redditor on the r/bitcoin sub, pointed out that while spiral might sound cool for bitcoiners, in the world beyond crypto, it can often have negative connotations. The poster remarked: 

“Spiral is a terrible name for a financial company.”

Meanwhile, Square/Block’s Cash App mobile payments app has started supporting Taproot. 

Taproot is considered to be Bitcoin’s largest upgrade in more than four years. Finally activated on November 14, it came with Schnorr, a soft fork that improves privacy, scalability, and speed, and encodes multiple keys into one.

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VanEck Filed for Digital Assets Mining ETF

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Global investment manager VanEck, with more than $60 billion assets under management, has filed an application to establish an exchange-traded fund that will track the price and yield performance of the Global Digital Asset Mining index.

Fund’s investment principles

The Global Digital Asset Mining index is being used to track the performance of companies that are somehow engaged in digital assets mining activities, including Bitcoin or altcoin mining operations. Additionally, companies that provide various services like software development, as well as hardware suppliers, also fall into the category of mining operations providers.

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The fund will invest at least 80% of its total assets in securities in the DAMC but, at the same time, the company is not allowed to invest in digital assets by using derivatives products like options or futures. Hence, the fund is not going to track the price movement of any cryptocurrency.

The VanEck ETF will be able to provide exposure to companies that are in fact operating with digital assets or holding them on their balance sheet and are also being presented in the Global Digital Assets Mining index.

Risks for investors

The application also contains a section related to the risks behind the digital assets mining industry. According to the filing, the main risks for investors are technological obsolescence, supply chain issues and certain issues with obtaining new hardware.

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Additionally, the fund agrees that most digital assets mining companies are exposed to the issue of relying on third-party companies that are located and functioning overseas.

Bitcoin Daily Chart
Source: TradingView

In addition to risks tied to hardware wearing, digital assets miners generate revenue from selling their assets on various cryptocurrency exchanges, and the price of their assets is a subject of high volatility that could lead to the value loss of their holdings.

While most cryptocurrency miners remain in high profit from their operations, rapid change of assets like Bitcoin may potentially lead to additional losses of those companies and, therefore, losses for investors that receive direct exposure to the aforementioned index.

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