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Industrial Bitcoin mining breathes new life into tiny Texan town

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Two Bitcoin (BTC) mining giants are duking it out for cheap electricity in a tiny town in Texas.

Both Bitdeer, a mining firm that spun out from Chinese giant Bitmain, and Riot Blockchain, one of the leading publicly traded Bitcoin mining firms in the United States, are operating data centers hosted at a former aluminum smelting facility in the Texan town of Rockdale.

The town’s aluminum smelting plant was previously the world’s largest, until the company that ran it, Alcoa, began winding up operations in 2008. According to Lee Bratcher, president of the Texas Blockchain Council, the facility’s energy capacity was wasted from Alcoa’s departure until the miners set up shop.

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Despite Rockdale being a tiny rural town of just 5,600 people, it exhibits all the benefits sought after by industrial-scale miners — crypto-friendly politicians, large plots of land hosting abandoned industrial infrastructure ripe for repurposing, and dirt-cheap electricity prices thanks to Texas’ deregulated market.

Rockdale Mayor John King describes the relationship between the local grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, and miners as mutually beneficial. He emphasized that miners regularly consume electrical power that would otherwise be wasted, and they can also shut down operations instantly should power be needed elsewhere. He added:

“Miners are committed to buying a certain amount of power and what they do is they sell it back at market [value] and make a profit. They have a contract of two cents or three cents…and they can sell it for $9 a kilowatt hour.”

As reported by Cointelegraph on Oct. 7, Riot Blockchain has more than tripled its Bitcoin production this year.

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The firm now estimates that the facility is producing more than 500 BTC per month from its facility in Rockdale. At current prices, the mined coins equate to $30 million per month. Riot said the site hosts 100,000 mining rig

Texan lawmakers are pushing for a further expansion in the state’s Bitcoin mining embrace, with Senator Ted Cruz describing mining as a means to capture natural gas that the state currently flares.

Speaking during the Oct. 10 Texas Blockchain Summit, Cruz argued that natural gas is currently being flared in West Texas because “there is no transmission equipment to get that natural gas where it could be used the way natural gas would ordinarily be employed.”

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“Use that power to mine Bitcoin. Part of the beauty of that is the instant you’re doing it you’re helping the environment enormously because rather than flaring the natural gas you’re putting it to productive use,” he added.

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ETH/BTC Ready to Break Higher? Not So Fast, Some Analysts Say

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A much-discussed chart among crypto traders in recent days has been the ethereum (ETH)/bitcoin (BTC) chart, with many claiming it looks primed for a sharp move higher. However, some are still betting on an opposite outcome, with investor demand also indicating stronger appetite for bitcoin.

The potential break-out for ETH has gotten a fresh round of attention following strong outperformance of ETH over BTC during the past week. At 11:57 UTC on Tuesday, ETH was up 11% over the past 7 days, while BTC was up 2.5% over the same time period.

The notable difference in performance came at a time when the stock market has tumbled over renewed coronavirus fears, with the US S&P 500 futures currently down by about 2.9% from its all-time high on Monday last week.

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And as has been pointed out by many in recent weeks, bitcoin is still behaving more like a risk asset that fluctuates with the stock market, than a safe haven hedge like gold. This relationship has once again been demonstrated in recent days, some crypto traders have argued.

The ETH/BTC chart has also been pointed to by Raoul Pal, founder & CEO of Real Vision, who said recently that he sees it as “the most important chart in digital asset markets right now.”

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“A break higher will lead to more risk seeking into year end,” Pal said, suggesting that we may be entering a new bullish period for altcoins.

Source: Raoul Pal via Twitter

However, as usual, not everyone agrees with the narrative that ethereum is about to break higher relative to bitcoin. According to the popular crypto trading educator and Crypto-TA.nl founder Crypto_Ed, the ETH/BTC chart is not breaking out yet, and instead may be looking at a move lower.

“I see many tweeting ETHBTC chart looks so good….. All I see is a rising wedge with bearish divergence and it looks more like it’s gonna break down,” he said, adding that the same also holds true when looking at the same chart with a longer time frame.

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Similar takes were also shared by other traders.

Growing capital flows

According to last week’s Digital Asset Fund Flows report from CoinShares, bitcoin appears to be enjoying greater momentum than ethereum in terms of capital flows into regulated investment vehicles.

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As reported, last week, BTC saw the largest inflows in 5 weeks totaling USD 247m (compared with USD 114m a week earlier) following the launch of another investment product in Europe, they added. ETH saw inflows totaling USD 23m last week, compared with around USD 13m a week earlier. 

MTD – month-to-date; YTD – year-to-date; AUM – assets under management. Source: CoinShares

Moreover, Marcus Sotiriou, a sales trader at the UK-based digital asset broker GlobalBlock, is also demonstrating a bullish stance towards bitcoin.

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“Bitcoin appears to be forming a falling wedge pattern which is historically bullish and has a higher probability of breaking to the upside than the downside,” the trader wrote in an emailed comment, adding:

“If the down trending line of resistance is broken, bitcoin may be on its way to retest the all-time-high as the technical target is around that region.”

At 11:57 UTC, BTC traded at USD 57,600, up 1.4% over the past 24 hours. At the same time, ETH stood at USD 4,581, up 6.3% over the same time period.

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Ethereum Price Analysis: ETH gains 20 percent from the Sunday low, peaks at $4,750?

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  • Ethereum price analysis is bearish for the rest of today.
  • ETH/USD saw further upside above $4,550 previous high.
  • Resistance is currently found at $4,750.

Ethereum price analysis is bearish today as we expect a retracement to follow after a strong spike higher was seen again today. However, ETH/USD bulls are likely exhausted after reaching $4,750, and we can expect a retracement over the next 24 hours.

Ethereum Price Analysis: ETH gains 20 percent from the Sunday low, peaks at $4,750? 1
Cryptocurrency heat map. Source: Coin360

The cryptocurrency market has seen bullish momentum continue today. The market leaders, Bitcoin and Ethereum, have gained 2.45 percent, while Ethereum 8.1 percent. Meanwhile, the rest of the top altcoins follow with similar results.

Ethereum price movement in the last 24 hours: Ethereum retests $4,400 as support, spikes to $4,750

ETH/USD traded in a range of $4,332.10 – $4,753.27, indicating strong volatility over the last 24 hours. Trading volume has increased by 37.24 percent, totaling $26.25 billion, while the total market capitalization trades around $555.6 billion, resulting in a market dominance of 20.73 percent.

ETH/USD 4-hour chart: ETH rejects further upside at $4,750

On the 4-hour chart, we can see the Ethereum price reacting after reaching the $4,750 resistance, likely indicating the end of the current rally.

Ethereum Price Analysis: ETH gains 20 percent from the Sunday low, peaks at $4,750?
ETH/USD 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Ethereum price has seen strong bullish momentum return since Sunday. The rally came after a strong drop of almost 15 percent on Friday when Ethereum found support at $3,950 once again. 

From there, consolidation followed until another test of the support was seen late in the weekend. Bulls quickly rejected further downside, leading to a swift rally higher over the next 24 hours.

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By the start of Today, Ethereum price had already cleared past the $4,400 previous resistance. After a slight retracement, another more upside followed Today, leading ETH to a new high at  $4,750.

Ethereum Price Analysis: Conclusion 

Ethereum price analysis is bearish today as we saw strong resistance reached at $4,750 after a 20 percent advance over the past days. Therefore, we assume bulls are exhausted, and ETH/USD should be headed for a retracement later today.

While waiting for Ethereum to move further, see our articles on the Best Crypto Wallet 2021, Decred Wallet, and Ripple vs SEC.

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Bitcoin close to US$57,000, Omicron and Hard Fork variant from BSC – Market Summary

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This Tuesday (30), although bitcoin (BTC) has not yet managed to surpass the level of US$59,000, altcoin Shiba Inu (SHIB) increased about 30% after being listed on brokerage Kraken.

Check out today’s Market Summary the focus of local investors, who have moved from the new Covid variant to the Precatório PEC, and the news on the cryptocurrency market that could impact your portfolio.

Bitcoin and the stock market

Over the weekend, bitcoin suffered from the high volatility of the cryptocurrency market as well as fears over the new Covid variant. So it was trading lower, close to $55,000.

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Consequently, the drop ended up suggesting to some investors that the correlation between Bitcoin and the stock market would be greater than we had imagined.

One good thing about Bitcoin is that it tends not to be correlated with most other major asset classes. In particular, outside of liquidity crises, where everything tends to move in parallel, Bitcoin and the stock market have largely been decoupled.

According to analyst firm Ecoinometrics, Bitcoin’s recent downward movements do not necessarily condition a correlation between the two markets. As the company says, “just zoom out”. For a long period of time, Bitcoin was not correlated with the stock market.

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“Cracks are exactly what you expect during a liquidity crisis and a recovery fueled by printing money,” according to Ecoinometrics. “When Bitcoin establishes itself in periods of lower volatility, the correlation with the stock market increases. When we have volatility peaks, the correlation goes back to zero,” he added.

So, for all practical purposes, you can still regard the BTC and the stock market as standalone bets.

Correlation between Bitcoin, MicroStrategy and Nasdaq shares – Source: Ecoinnometrics

At the moment, the leader of cryptocurrencies is trading at US$ 56,998 – R$ 319,261 in the main Brazilian brokers, according to CoinGoLive. Its market capitalization is still below $1.1 trillion and dominance below 40%.

Ômicron scares

The strong tumble of global markets last Friday opened room for a correction movement in most risky assets on the Brazilian stock exchange yesterday.

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Brazilian investors, attentive to the progress of the Precatório PEC and without neglecting the news about the omicron variant of the new coronavirus, saw the Brazilian stock market close with a moderate rise. Stock market rose 0.58%.

After some discomfort with reports that the government is considering a new “war budget” if the PEC dos Precatórios does not pass, the speech of the secretary of the National Treasury, Paulo Valle, reinforced that the government does not have a “plan B” for the aid Brazil.

At the same time, the president of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco (PSD-MG), reiterated that the PEC can be analyzed by the House’s plenary on Thursday.

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Read more: Federal Police are in panic because of cold bitcoin wallets, says newspaper

In the exchange market, the real ended up falling. The correction of emerging currencies was uneven, amidst the discussion about what will be the Fed’s monetary policy reaction to the omicron threat. Therefore, the American currency closed up 0.28%, to R$ 5.61.

Binance Smart Chain prepares to fork

Most altcoins have remained relatively calm on a daily scale. Ethereum (ETH) has an increase of less than 2% in one day, but is above $4,400. A few days ago, ETH had dropped to less than $4,000.

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Binance Smart Chain (BSC), the blockchain created by the eponymous brokerage, is getting ready to go through a hard fork on Tuesday.

The upgrade to version v1.1.5 of the BSC, dubbed ‘Bruno’, will be done during block 13,082,000 and represents a complete fork of Binance’s core network, needed to introduce a number of ecosystem improvements.

The main change in this update is the introduction of a new real-time token burning engine, first introduced in late October in proposed BEP-95 enhancements. In addition to the new economic model, the hard fork ‘Bruno’ also promises to speed up the synchronization of nodes by more than 60%.

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Despite the lull among altcoins, Shiba Inu (SHIB) jumped about 30% after being listed on brokerage Kraken.

The result of the main altcoins in the last 24 hours is as follows: Ethereum (+3.32%), Binance Coin (+1.10%), Solana (-1.06%), Cardano (+0.08%), Ripple (+0.84%), Polkadot (+0.91%), Dogecoin (+6.03%), Shiba Inu (+30.07%), Avalanche (+7.73%) and Earth (+10 .90%).

According to CoinGoLive, the market capitalization of all crypto assets rose to $2.7 trillion on Tuesday.

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Follow the crypto market news on the Cointimes Telegram group (log in) and have a great day of trading.

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