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Crypto Mining: Why You Should Be Concerned

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Chinese bitcoin mining

The mainstream media gives much attention to daily movements of Cryptocurrency prices and a bit less attention to the uses and benefits.  There is so much noise how most of the money going into Bitcoin and others is coming from speculators who know precious little about what they are buying.

One of the less glamorous areas that gets little notice is crypto mining.  This provides some of the essential plumbing to a blockchain and without these folks, the blockchain could not function.  Mining is already generating billions of business but who is making the big bucks and how it affects you is a rapidly changing story.

Here are some of the relevant details about mining.  It can be practiced by literally anyone with enough capital and technical savvy.  The raw ingredients include specialize equipment typically containing chips fabricated by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and lots of electrical energy. Electricity consumption in mining is a huge cost. Even in low cost areas, electricity consumer about 90% of all operating costs.

Pennies From Heaven

Mining is frequently portrayed as a good second source of family income.  We disagree with most of these arguments because they are based on the need for electric costs of $0.09 or less per kilowatt for electricity.   Louisiana is the only state the clearly fits the description. Eight other states around $0.09 and this leaves most Americans out of the picture.

Even for those who live in one of the low costs states, the rewards seem unattractive.  One analysis we read noted that if a theoretical minor put down $5000 for the equipment, happened to capture electric costs below $0.09 and chose to right currencies to mine, they might expect to make $50 per day.  OMG, that is only about $18,000 a year.  If that same $5000 had been invested in most any cryptocurrency last year it would have returned a whole lot more.

Big Business

What this means is that the big corporations are working with cities like Seattle and Virginia Beach to create mass scale mining operations.  And these guys are serious spenders.  For example Taiwan Semiconductor custom mining chip revenues are currently running at over $1 billion annually.  That is bigger business than they do with Apple’s iPhone.

I am at a disadvantage not being a network engineer but this concentration of power would seem to run counter to the whole concept of a decentralized network that is not controlled by any one player.  If you are disciple of Bitcoin, consider Bitmain China.

Locate in a desolate region of Mongolia and subsidized by the Chinese government, this Bitcoin mining operation has the scale to crank out over $300,000 daily.  Nothing wrong with that, it is pure capitalism, even in this Communist country.  Bitmain accounts for about 5% of daily cryptocurrency creation.  That makes them big but not overpowering.  Now for  the punchline; Bitmain accounts for two-thirds of the daily creation of Bitcoin.  That places them in a risk position.  

Remember that only 8 states in the US have electric rates that are attractive for mining. In those states where favorable rates exist local government is welcoming data miners with open arms.  Take Douglas County near Seattle where electric rates at $0.03 per kilowatt the wave of minors flocking to the area is beginning to test the capacity of the electric grid.

In recent days the City of Virginia Beach created a $500,000 grant to a private company, Bcause, to establish a new Bitcoin mine.  The mine has been under construction and is expected to open within the next month.  In addition to the grant, Bcause will be able to enjoy reduced taxes on the data center equipment.

The Virginia Beach action follows the same model created by Montana when they offered a similar $416,000 grant with tax breaks.  

This Is An Issue of Security

Perhaps it is too early in the game to be concerned but there if there is a flaw in the cryptocurrency story, energy is where to find it.  Simple economics dictates that as long as energy consumption is such a big factor in mining, low cost locations will suck in miners of creating a concentration in certain regions.  Try to imagine the day when Bitcoin represent a sizable share of global transaction volume. Malicious hackers disrupt the power grid in just a few strategic locations.  Perhaps I am missing something but this is not a pleasant scenario.  It has a sound that is not different than the financial crisis of 2008.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.4 stars on average, based on 115 rated postsJames Waggoner is a veteran Wall Street analyst and hedge fund manager who has spent the past few years researching the fintech possibilities of cryptocurrencies. He has a special passion for writing about the future of crypto.




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Altcoins

60 Minutes Showcases Potential of DNA and Genetic Genealogy; Opportunity for Crypto Investors

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DNA Storage

Throughout the years, 60 Minutes has been responsible for reporting on some of the biggest stories in the world.  Many of the most memorable episodes have involved world leader interviews, stories on endangered animals, profiles of famous celebrities, and occasionally, segments on promising developments in business and science.  A week ago, 60 Minutes had a very interesting report on how the authorities used Genetic genealogy to solve the case of the Golden State Killer, and how the authorities plan to keep using this new field to solve more cold cases in the future.

On April 25, 2018, authorities in Sacramento announced that they had solved the notorious case of the Golden State Killer.  Authorities were able to use a promising new technique called Genetic genealogy to help identify 72-year-old former police officer, Joseph DeAngelo, as the suspected killer.

Genetic Genealogy

Genetic genealogy is a mixture of high-tech DNA analysis, high speed computer technology, and family genealogy.  The end goal is to determine the level and type of genetic relationship between individuals.

In the case of the Golden State Killer, DNA came into play because the killer had committed at least 12 murders, 50 rapes, and many home burglaries.  Investigators were able to obtain DNA from the killer at one of the reported crime scenes.  After many years of frustrating dead ends, a cold case investigator submitted the obtained DNA sample to GEDmatch.  GEDmatch is the largest public genealogy database in the world.  After uploading the sample, authorities were able to generate a handful of leads which eventually led to the front doors of Joseph DeAngelo.

In addition to the Golden State Killer case, authorities have used Genetic genealogy to make arrests in at least 11 other cold cases.  While the science appears to be sound, there is a legal question that has yet to be answered.  There is no doubt that attorneys for the accused will raise the question of privacy and whether using databases, thought to be private, should be legal.

Opportunity for Crypto Investors

While I’ve invested in equities and crypto for many years with varying degrees of success, I’ve never had the opportunity to invest at the beginning of a new frontier.  Fortunately, the opportunity has come.  Encrypgen (DNA) is a genomic blockchain network that provides customers and partners with best-in-class, next generation, blockchain security for protecting, sharing and re-marketing genomic data.  This creates a fair marketplace for a person’s DNA that can be stored private and sold (if a person wishes to do that).

Over the past few months, Encrypgen has been gaining attention in the mainstream media because of their revolutionary technology as well as the fact that their closest competition is still years away.

In August, Encrypgen released a beta version of its Gene-Chain.  The Gene-Chain allows consumers to upload their genetic profile and for researchers to purchase that genetic data.  Within the next 2 weeks, the company plans to release the full version of the Gene-Chain which will officially make them a new pioneer in the field of genomic blockchain security.

With the DNA token hovering at approximately 5 cents, the time is running out to accumulate at bargain basement prices.  I fully expect the token to achieve utility in the next several months which will cause a rocket-like explosion in the token price.  There is no looking back now, only forward, and I love what I see.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Fantom – The Next Big Thing?

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Fantom (FTM) is a a Directed Acrylic Graph (DAG) based smart contract platform in which the more nodes participate in the network, the greater the transactions per second. The project is aiming for 300,000 transactions per second, which would be applied to multiple industries such as food technology, financial services, telecom, logistics, etc. Fantom is designed to offer instant payments, near zero costs, and unlimited processing scalability. Like Ethereum, Fantom supports Smart Contracts but they run on the Fantom Virtual Machine vs the Ethereum Virtual Machine. Why is that important? Because the FVM will allow developers to write dApps that support smart contracts just like ethereum but run light-speed times faster.

A lot of new blockchain projects talk as if they will challenge the top blockchains and take over their spot. While this is speculation and mostly hot air spoken by many projects, Fantom has a great shot at taking off as one of the top blockchains. Andre Cronje, well respected in the ICO scene as a technical blockchain expert, was added as part of the technical team recently. Having a team and community as strong as Fantom does gives it the extra push needed to take off. While other projects are implementing directed acyclic graphs (DAGs), Fantom is the first to do this with smart contract support.

Fantom operates on a system called OPERA, which is divided into three layers:

  • OPERA CORE LAYER – processes transactions, maintains consensus across all nodes via the Lachesis Protocol
  • OPERA WARE LAYER – supports smart contracts, executes functions
  • OPERA APPLICATION LAYER – supports third-party applications, provides publicly available APIs for dApps

Partnerships with credible companies definitely help the legitimacy of an ICO and Fantom has already made numerous significant partnerships such as the Korea Food-Tech Association and Oracle that will significantly enhance their chance of success. The company, in collaboration with NEM Blockchain, has recently announced it’s expansion outside of Korea into Australia. Fantom has chosen Australia due to their innovative culture and supportive government. Fantom is committed to working with local communities and governments to utilize Fantom technology across multiple industries. They are focused on creating real-time use cases of their platform by on-boarding Australian businesses in the next twelve months. Australia has hundreds of merchants who already accept cryptocurrency including the first airport in the world to do so. Fantom has already been working behind the scenes engaging with payment providers about using Fantom token as they expand globally.

Multiple blockchain projects are claiming to be the fastest with the highest tps, but have not come through on their promises. Fantom has an excellent shot at actually accomplishing this and immediately becoming a major player surpassing those that have fallen short.

Unlike many recent ICOs, which are constantly delaying and postponing the release of their tokens due to current market conditions, Fantom is unlocking and listing on October 29th. The project recently released a recent Technical Whitepaper concerning the Lachesis Consensus Algorithm, making another version of the Technical Whitepaper detailing the Fantom Framework ready, and preparing a testnet demo video to be available soon.

With major funds invested for the long haul and markets such as the USA, China, and Korea unable to participate in the much-hyped ICO, there should be quite a bit of immediate interest and demand upon listing on exchanges. The last ICO with similar hype was QuarkChain which also did amazingly well in this market. Fantom had a hard cap of $39 MILLION at the time of ICO raise and is expected to perform well.

Diclaimer: The author has invested in Fantom.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 53 rated postsKent Hamilton - Co-Founder of CryptoDayTrader.io, where we are building Pro Crypto Tools




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Why Investors Should Pay Attention to Blocknet

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Even in the “crypto winter” we are currently living in, the blockchain industry is still growing. This is a good thing for the industry in many ways, but all of these various networks have developed in a siloed and separated way.

Some companies have emerged that seek to help the various networks work together and harvest synergies. If blockchain was meant to be a new manifestation of the internet, these networks could be considered a new manifestation of blockchains. One such company is Blocknet.

Blocknet’s Mission

Blocknet is often referred to in the colloquial as “Block” and functions as a decentralized platform-as-a-service service. The basic goal is to connect the nodes of different blockchains to create a network of networks. The endgame here is to make it possible for applications to be developed on one blockchain but be used on another.

The network is composed of three key components: a node exchange, coin exchange, and data exchange. The XBridge is the blockchain router than connects nodes on different blockchains and makes it possible for them to communicate with each other.

The XBridge also enables cross-chain atomic swaps using a coin exchange protocol. We will go into more detail into this in a bit, but it is essentially a DEX. Finally, there is the inter-chain data transport that allows for feature sharing and smart contracts to be executed across chains.

Market Demand

Blocknet was founded in 2015 and finally launched their mainnet in September 2017. The market has been looking for a solution like this. There is competition from other networks like 0x, but they have already started to integrate their networks with Blocknet. By seeking to be a super-network, it is eliminating the idea of competition.

A big part of Blocknet is the decentralized exchange (DEX) that it runs. What makes it special and sets it apart from the competition is that it is more than just an exchange for ERC-20 tokens. It enables the trading of every coin that is integrated into the network.

The Blocknet DEX will be designed to enable an unlimited amount of trading pairs, and will enable complete anonymity for users. Additionally, by avoiding a central entity, you always retain complete control over your funds.

BLOCK Token

The token has two functions. First, they are used to pay trading fees and for the operation of applications on the network. Second, they are required to be staked as a service node or staking node. These are the nodes that distribute trade fees or confirm network transactions.

BLOCK trades on Bittrex, and in terms of recent performance, we have seen a heavy decline from the highs that BLOCK reached last year. However, it seems to have reached a bottom and found a support level. As we head in the last quarter of 2018, it could be time for a recovery, and BLOCK seems poised to take advantage of this.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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