Crypto Mining Giant Bitmain Reports 88% Decline in Bitcoin Mining Power

Beijing-based crypto mining rig manufacturing giant, Bitmain, recently reported that its internal Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash mining operations have …

Beijing-based crypto mining rig manufacturing giant, Bitmain, recently reported that its internal Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash mining operations have generated 88% less computing power compared to a month ago. The major cutdown has been revealed by the company in its monthly hashing power disclosure.

As per the hashing power disclosure, on May 7th, the hash rate of all Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash mining hardware which are running on the SHA265 chips has dropped significantly. Comparing on a monthly basis, the combined hash rate of the company was at 2,072 hashes per second (PH/s) which had fallen 88% to just 237.29 quadrillion PH/s.

Bitmain is pushing the edges of computing power by developing top-tier crypto mining chips. Bitmain is also the market leader in the development of integrated circuits specific to cryptocurrency mining and mining hardware under the Antminer brand. It also operates two of the largest crypto mining pools called Antpool.com and BTC.com.

Bitmain has started disclosing the monthly hash rate of the mining hardware it owns since July last year. checking out the hash report of that month available online, the hash rate was 1,692 PH/s that month, and then increased to 2,339 PH/s in October. In March, the company reported the figure dropped below 1,700 PH/s which was the result of a steep decline in Bitcoin price. However, it recovered slightly in April before falling down significantly. Bitmain’s stake on the Bitcoin network’s total computing power has also reduced to 0.4% from 4%.

Having all the hashing power coming from the more widely used AntMiner S9 (with each having a hash rate of 14 Tera hashes per second (TH/s)), the company has stopped operating more than 130,00 mining hardware to mine for itself. The cutback might also be the result of the new trend in China where miners have started relying more on cheap hydroelectric power. Bitmain is also planning to put $80 million worth of mining machines on work which will reportedly run on hydroelectric power.

Such a whopping decline in computing power doesn’t initially mean that the company has ceased all its mining equipment and shut down all or any operations. In contrast to Bitcoin, the hash rate of Bitcoin Cash network has been steady around 2,000 to 2,500 PH/s since early this year.

“It is [in the] natural course of the mining business where the hash rate owned by one body at one instant may be owned by someone else at another instant,” Bitmain spokesperson stated.

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Bitfinex Has Already Raked in $1 Bln for Its IEO via Private Sale

As reported by U.Today, Bitfinex decided to launch its own IEO called LEO in order to get out of its predicament. By issuing 1 bln LEO tokens and …

Jihan Wu, the former CEO of mining juggernaut Bitmain, will visit Moscow in order take part in The Way Summit on May 18, a local industry outlet reports. Notably, he is heading to Russia right after Consensus, the main crypto event of the year that will take place in New York on May 13-15.

A high-profile cryptocurrency event

Bitmain, the biggest mining company, opened its office in Russia back in 2018. Now, the Beijing-based behemoth continues to focus on one of the biggest cryptocurrency markets in the world.

During the upcoming speech, Wu will touch upon the centralization issue that remains a hot topic in the Blockchain community. Bitmain faces a lot of criticism due to its near-monopoly status in the crypto mining industry.

Other notable speakers that will appear in Vegas City Hall include ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ Roger Ver and Accenture’s Mike Spellacy.

Russia bets big on Blockchain

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are riding a new wave of interest in Russia. Vladimir Mau, the Russian economist who has been a member of Gazprom’s Board of Directors since 2011, recently said that cryptocurrencies do have a future. Shortly after that, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller discussed the potential of Blockchain with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

On Apr. 3, Miller announced that the state-owned gas giant could soon start utilizing the disruptive DLT technology in order to execute business contracts and keep track of them.

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Fundamental Labs Fund to Invest $44 Million in Brand-New Bitcoin Miners

Fundamental Labs, a blockchain fund manager that’s backed Binance, Coinbase and Canaan Creative, is investing $44 million in top-of-the-line …

Fundamental Labs, a blockchain fund manager that’s backed Binance, Coinbase and Canaan Creative, is investing $44 million in top-of-the-line bitcoin miners, a longer-term bet than most are making in the sector.

Revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, the Shanghai-based firm plans to run 20,000 to 30,000 units of brand-new mining equipment starting in June to capture on the cheap hydropower electricity during the rainy summer in China’s southwestern region.

“Mining is the fundamental block to support the whole crypto ecosystem. That’s why we invest in mining farms, equipment and pools and participate in mining ourselves,” Howard Yuan, managing partner of Fundamental Labs, told CoinDesk.

But unlike what most retail miners have been doing – buying second-hand miners ahead of the summer – Yuan’s firm is maximizing its mining scale by investing in the latest and most powerful equipment on the market, such as Bitmain’s AntMiner S17.

The unit price of these newest mining models made by manufacturers like Bitmain, InnoSilicon and MicroBT, ranges from $1,500 to $2,000 each, and will be ready for shipment in large quantities over the next two months.

“We don’t buy old machines since our focus is to participate in mining for the long term. And second-hand equipment like AntMiner S9 won’t be useful once the summer season ends,” Yuan said.

The capital for this investment comes from a 300 million yuan, or $44 million, mining fund that Fundamental Labs recently closed, which is the first phase of its overall plan to raise 1 billion yuan ($150 million) this year exclusively for further deployment in cryptocurrency mining.

Yuan said the firm was launched in 2016 with about $30 million of its proprietary capital, and has since then grown the total portfolio to over $500 million through five series of funds. Its holdings include an equity investment in Coinbase (which the U.S. crypto exchange confirmed to CoinDesk) and Binance’s BNB token.

The firm declined to disclose the names of its limited partners, except to say they are from the traditional industries as well as family offices in China.

Because it’s using brand new products, Yuan said Fundamental also will be less risk-averse than individual miners when facing bitcoin’s price volatility. He told CoinDesk:

“We think crypto mining will become more institutionalized in the future. It’s crypto capitalism. Retail miners will be gradually squeezed out because of challenges like price volatility and increasing computing difficulties.”

Hash rate boost

Such new capital entering the crypto mining space with more powerful equipment will likely give another boost to bitcoin’s total hash rate in the coming months.

While InnoSilicon and Bitmain’s new products, such as T3 and AntMiner S17 can compute as much as 45 to 50 trillion hashes per second (TH/s), Shenzhen-based MicroBT claims its latest M20S can even reach 70TH/s.

Even assuming Fundamental Labs will run all of its 20,000 to 30,000 units with the least powerful of those, its plan could increase the bitcoin network’s total hash rate by at least 1,000 quadrillion hashes per second (PH/s).

That would account for about two percent of bitcoin’s total hash rate at the moment, which is around 50,000 PH/s, according to data from Blockchain.info.

On May 2, the bitcoin network’s total computing power reached a six-month high above 58,000 PH/s. Mining farm operators in China previously estimated this figure will go up to 70,000 PH/s during the summer.

Yuan said with the plan to raise a total of $150 million for its mining fund this year, the firm will further build up and maintain a mining scale that consumes about 200,000 kilowatts per hour (kWh).

Given the company only considers the latest mining equipment, which mostly consumes two to three kWh, each, that means it aims to scale up its facility to run 60,000 to 100,000 units of new equipment in total throughout the year.

That could translate to a hash rate boost between 3,000 PH/s to 5,000 PH/s to the bitcoin network. By comparison, mining giant Bitmain currently owns about 2,000 PH/s, or four percent, of the bitcoin blockchain’s computing power.

After the summer season, Yuan said his firm will shift its focus to other provinces in China like Xinjiang which has more fossil fuel power stations, as well as central Asian countries like Kazakhstan.

Howard Yuan image courtesy to Fundamental Labs

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Bitmain Suffers loss, reduction of 88% in Bitcoin Mining Power

Bitmain has also claimed that the hash rate of the bitcoin cash network is steady. Without disclosing any further information, a spokesperson from …
  • Bitmain’s internal bitcoin mining operations suffer loss.
  • Bitmain was said to be planning to deploy $80 million worth of its machines this summer.

Bitmain suffers loss as it is generating 88 percent less computing power than the previous month, which suggests that the industry’s capacity has shortened. The hash rate of all Bitmain-owned hardware had dropped to just 237.29 quadrillion hashes per second (PH/s) according to the hashing power disclosure that the company releases each month. It was at 2,072 PH/s last month.

The company started revealing the hashrate of the machines since July 2018 on a monthly basis. Initially, the hash rate was 1,692 PH/s that month and then increased to 2,339 PH/s in October.

The figure reached 1,700 PH/s in March due to the overall decline of the bitcoin network’s total computing power since November 2018 when bitcoin’s value reached below $4,000. The figures climbed again in April to its sudden decline during last month.

Consequently, Bitmain’s share of the bitcoin network’s total computing power has also dropped from four percent to now just 0.4 percent. Nevertheless, bitcoin’s total hash power just reached a six-month high over 58,000 PH/s on May 2. Bitmain has also claimed that the hash rate of the bitcoin cash network is steady. Without disclosing any further information, a spokesperson from Bitmain said:

“It is [in the] natural course of the mining business where the hash rate owned by one body at one instant may be owned by someone else at another instant.

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‘One-Stop Shop’ for Crypto Mining and Trading to Launch Spot Market May 23

The Chicago-based company has tentatively set May 23 as the go-live date for bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, and litecoin, co-founder and chief marketing …

UPDATE (May 7, 2019, 14:00 UTC): This article was updated to note that Bcause is operating under bankruptcy protection.

———

Cryptocurrency exchange and mining startup Bcause LLC says it’s a few weeks away from launching its spot market, despite operating under bankruptcy protection.

The Chicago-based company has tentatively set May 23 as the go-live date for bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, and litecoin, co-founder and chief marketing officer Thomas Flake told CoinDesk. In anticipation of the launch, it has obtained money transmitter licenses in eight states, with 20 more applications pending, Flake said.

Among the first states where Bcause will be available are Illinois, Virginia, Washington and Texas. Bcause has also applied for New York’s BitLicense, but the team doesn’t expect to launch in the state any time soon as the process can take up to two years, Flake said.

Bcause also registered as a money services business with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). And earlier this year, the firm announced that it would be using Nasdaq’s matching engine, clearing and market surveillance tech when it launches trading.

Ultimately, Bcause aims to be a one-stop shop for crypto mining and trading, including derivative contracts, and it’s applied to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to become a registered designated contracts market and a designated clearing organization. This is going to take some time, too, so the futures market will be launched later. The company is served by a “bank in Illinois,” Flake said, declining to name it.

It entered bankruptcy proceedings last month after a supplier of equipment to its mining facility tried to garnish its bank account, according to a letter to shareholders explaining the Chapter 11 filing. The resulting freeze of those funds caused the company to fall behind on payments to utility Dominion Energy, which is its largest creditor, owed $1.5 million.

However, the company’s general counsel told Crain’s Chicago Business it is continuing operations and seeking to restructure, not liquidate. Companies regularly emerge from Chapter 11, sometimes as quickly as a few months.

When asked about the situation, Flake said: “We continue to move forward with the process and at this point all creditors have shown a willingness to work together for a positive outcome.”

Bcause also took advantage of the Prairie State’s “substantial history in the derivatives market and a good pool of talent,” Flake said; in December it quietly hired George Sladoje, a former executive vice president of the Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Stock Exchange, and later a COO of a Nasdaq subsidiary, OMX Commodities Clearing Company. Sladoje is now Bcause’s chief financial officer.

More certainty for miners

Currently, Bcause operates a data center in Virginia Beach, Virginia where it hosts miners for clients. It believes combining this service with spot and eventually derivatives trading will give customers more confidence: they will be able to sell the crypto they mined on Bcause’s facility easily on the spot market or secure futures contracts to sell them later at a comfortable price.

Flake explained:

“You get rid of some of the uncertainty, which makes investors much happier. If you go from saying, ‘I don’t know what the price of bitcoin will be in nine months,’ to saying, ‘I’ll be able to liquidate it because I have options at $6,500 in December next year,’ suddenly, a lot of uncertainty is off the table.”

This model will help make the mining business more attractive for financial institutions, Flake said.

Bcause is not mining crypto for itself at this initial stage; it’s only hosting customers’ miners. However, it’s investigating possible proprietary mining in the future, Flake said.

Right now, the data center in Virginia has miners with a joint capacity of 50 megawatts, mostly Antminer S9 machines manufactured by Bitmain. The demand for mining power is low now, Flake admitted, especially compared with a year ago:

“In the first quarter of 2018, we had to turn away $250,000 of contracts — we just didn’t have capacity. In the last quarter of 2018, that demand dried out completely. But in the last six weeks, we started seeing one or two inquiries a week.”

When the bitcoin price eventually rebounds to $7,000, demand for miners “will take off again,” Flake said.

In January 2018, Bcause struck a deal with the city of Virginia Beach, which granted $500,000 to the company for building the mining facility in town and creating new jobs there.

Bcause LLC mining farm image courtesy of the company

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