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Is Sergey Brin’s Ethereum Mining Operation Running on the Cloud?

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One person you might not expect to see at a blockchain event is Sergey Brin. The Google co-founder was seemingly a last-minute add to the event, which took place in Marrakesh and was hosted by Richard Branson. Incidentally, the FANG stocks have been surprisingly accepting of their decentralized peers.

It’s well known that Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak is a bitcoin bull, and now Brin disclosed that he operates a mini Ethereum mining operation with his 10-year old son, according to Forbes.

Cloud Mining?

One Twitter follower wants to know if Brin is using the Google Compute Engine to create more ETH, or cloud-mining. Reddit members have suggested that using Google Compute Engine for mining is not a profitable endeavor.

Meanwhile, the price dynamics for mining Ethereum have been a roller coaster, with the ETH price having surpassed the $500 threshold over the weekend for the first time since June 21, according to Coin Market Cap. The ETH price has since retreated back below $500.

It’s unclear when Brin and his son launched their ETH mining operation, but what is clear is that falling crypto values have eaten into profits. As PC Gamer described, last year at about this time, a miner of ETH using a “GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card” for mining ETH would have earned a daily profit of $6, which amounts to a little less than $200 per month after electricity costs.

Today, a similar operation would only deliver a little more than 50 cents per day based on the same hashrate, which is a reflection of the capacity to mine new coins. So clearly the economics of mining Ethereum aren’t as attractive as they once were, but things can change on a dime in this industry.

Miners Flock to Japan

Cryptocurrency miners are increasingly flocking to more rural areas of  Japan to set up shop. Cities like Fukui, which boasts approximately 250,000 residents and borders the Sea of Japan. The cool sea breeze coupled with cheaper electricity costs in the region is an ideal spot for bitcoin miners to operate, and that’s exactly what Tokyo-based Alt Design has done, according to Nikkei Asian Review.

Alt Design mines both bitcoin and Ethereum at an abandoned factory in Fukui. The operation is comprised of 500 servers that run constantly and give off an extreme amount of heat that require around-the-clock cooling. Nikkei Asian Review suggests the operation’s monthly production is approximately 200 ETH, which at current rates amounts to about $86,000.

Alt Design’s Chief Analyst told the publication: “Industrial-use electricity is cheaper [in Fukui] than in Tokyo, and we can cheaply rent a large space that fits all our equipment.”

Fundstrat Co-Founder Tom Lee recently pointed out, the difficulty for mining bitcoin is increasing. “The reason bitcoin looks really good here is the cost of mining around $7,000 fully loaded. And the difficulty is rising. So by the end of the year, it’s going to be $9,000,” Lee said to CNBC.

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 69 rated postsGerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.




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Crypto’s Watershed Moment Could Be Q1 2019

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If there’s one thing that the 2018 cryptocurrency market has taught investors it’s that you have to be able to see the forest from the trees. Even as the bitcoin price remains approximately 70% from its peak, Fidelity Investments and Bakkt have proven that the industry infrastructure that has been missing has begun to take shape. Today the bitcoin price is hovering at $6,542 on modest volume of $3.2 billion. In order for any gains to take hold, however, trading volume will have to strengthen to more robust levels.

Meanwhile, market strategists like Fundstrat’s Thomas Lee are sticking to their bullish price forecasts of more than $20,000 by year-end while Galaxy Digital’s Mike Novogratz has revised his outlook to the downside. One thing the market seems to agree on is that institutional capital will be a catalyst for gains, and if you ask traders like BKCM’s Brian Kelly, the tide has already begun to turn.

“I would expect over the next three months, six months you start to see the proverbial herd really start to turn in this direction,” he said, adding that based on anecdotal evidence from his hedge fund clients, the plans of big investors to enter crypto are afoot.

The first quarter of 2019 is largely expected to be a watershed period for crypto, as not only are big investors expected to enter the market but according to Kelly, it’s also when traditional retail brokerage houses could unveil their crypto trading solutions to the market.

Fidelity Investments is a first-mover, but their product leaves out individual investors. In an interview with CNBC, Kelly suggested that Schwab and E*Trade could already be working on crypto solutions for retail investors that could be introduced as soon as Q1 2019. Kelly pointed to crypto trading apps like Robinhood, which was able to attract 1 million users to its crypto trading app in a few short days while traditional competitors missed out.

Satoshi’s Vision

But not all of the crypto community is anxiously awaiting institutional adoption. Jackson Palmer, who created one of this year’s best-performing cryptocurrencies, Dogecoin (DOGE), warned that “the institutionalization of crypto will heavily recentralize both power structures and token distribution. So you can say goodbye to much of the original vision for the technology.”

Indeed, Satoshi’s vision was for a “peer-to-peer electronic cash system”, and as the launch of bitcoin futures has proven, the impact of institutional trading products could have negative consequences. But as Kelly pointed out, the industry needs “fresh capital.” And institutional involvement is also a sign of a maturing Bitcoin network, one whose adoption is likely to increase as recognizable brands continue to enter the space.

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 69 rated postsGerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.




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Altcoins

Zcash Price Analysis: What is Behind the Recent Surge in Price?

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  • Zcash had jumped over 17% over the period of 12-18th October, before running into sellers.
  • The foundation set to launch the Sapling protocol upgrade. To improve efficiency for shielded transactions.

Zcash over a 6-day period from 12-18th October gained a whopping 17%. Moving quickly from as low as $108, to then be above $126. Since, the price has run into some sellers and touted profit-takinggiven the large run in such as short time frame.

What Is This ‘Zcash’ (ZEC)?

Zcash was a hard fork of Bitcoin in 2016. Unlike the number one ranked crypto by market cap, privacy is ensured via Zcash. Personal and transaction data are kept confidential. This being facilitated through zero-knowledge proofs, allowing conducted transactions to go through verification without any required details about the sender, receiver as well as the transacted amount.

Zcash Set to Launch Sapling Protocol Upgrade

The Zcash foundation recently updated via their blog ‘Sapling Transaction Anatomy’. Full breakdown details can be read there as they are set to launch the Sapling protocol upgrade.

Sapling, this will be a network upgrade that aims to substantially improve efficiency for shielded transactions – paving the way for broad mobile, exchange as well as vendor adoption of Zcash shielded addresses. Their motivations for the Sapling upgrade are to increase speed on these shielded transactions.

Coinbase Speculation Continues to Do Rounds

The community around Zcash continues to speculate on whether the privacy-focused crypto will be added to Coinbase. Earlier in the year, Coinbase said they were exploring the possibility of listing Zcash and others, such as Cardano, Basic Attention Token, Stellar Lumens and 0x on its platforms. This covered back in July and does not guarantee it will be added, but the hope still appears to be flowing through the community.

Zcash Jumps to 20th Largest by Market Cap

Earlier this week, Zcash managed to break into the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market cap. It overtook Dogecoin. The current market cap at time of writing seen at $588,429,693, ahead of DOGE at $513,884,230.

Technical Review – Daily Chart

ZEC/USD daily chart

ZEC/USD has been cooling over the past two sessions, after its recent 17% price run. It isn’t too much of a surprise to see the current easing, given the fast surge higher. Near-term support can be found around $115 area, then further south within a demand zone tracking from $110-105. Looking to the upside, sellers are camped heading into the $130 territory. A higher near-term target would be eyed at $145, price last traded here on 28th September.

This year Zcash is still down some 80% from the highs in January, up over the $800 price level. It has failed to sustain any upside momentum, rallies continue to be sold by the bears. This is something that has been seen across the other cryptocurrecies, not just Zcash. The market continues to search for a bottom.

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.

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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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4.5 stars on average, based on 33 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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Pantera Capital’s CIO Predicts 10x Growth in Next “Huge” Crypto Bull Run

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Bull pattern

Joey Krug, who is the co-chief investment officer at Pantera Capital, believes cryptocurrency prices have bottomed or at least come close to it, but that doesn’t mean institutional capital will flood the market right away. Pantera Capital, which is a crypto investment fund that oversees approximately $700 million in AUM, participated in Bloomberg’s recent crypto conference in which Krug gave the temperature of the market.

While the bitcoin price may have bottomed, it has been stuck in a trading range, something that Krug doesn’t expect will change until a couple of catalysts take hold. The market drivers will be two-pronged, including the scalability of decentralized apps and the high cost of converting fiat into cryptocurrencies, the latter of which Krug expects is “going to change a lot over the next six to nine months.”

Pantera has been backing blockchain startups that are designed to solve the scalability issue. For instance, while the Bitcoin network can handle seven transactions per second (TPS) compared to “tens of thousands” TPS for Visa and Mastercard, Krug isn’t convinced that Bitcoin will ever reach a similar capacity. “But I do think we will see blockchains as fast as Visa or Mastercard in the next couple of years,” he added.

Incidentally, Spencer Bogart, who is a partner at Blockchain Capital, a crypto and blockchain investment firm that is similarly based in San Francisco, seems to be focused on a similar theme, saying today –

Meanwhile, Pantera’s Krug pointed out that to convert fiat to crypto on U.S.-based crypto exchange Coinbase, the cost is 150-400 basis points via a debit card or ACH bank transfer. “I think within the next year, that will be down to 50 basis points,” said Krug, adding: “Maybe not Coinbase, maybe some upstart.” For instance, the proliferation of crypto trading institutions like Bakkt and Fidelity should drive costs lower.

Market Rally

Fidelity’s move into crypto custody, meanwhile, didn’t make a splash in terms of prices because these days the market is more interested in “actual adoption,” a phenomenon that first requires scalability. While real scalability may remain a couple of years away, that doesn’t mean investors need to wait that long for the next Bitcoin rally. “We could see a rebound before then, but I think that’s going to be the real catalyst that drives the huge next bull run in my opinion,” said Krug, adding: “The crypto space overall [could grow] a good 10x from here.”

Pantera’s bitcoin fund has been performing similarly to the BTC price, while the broader digital asset fund is down more severely as investors flee altcoins and flock to bitcoin as a safe haven. Meanwhile, Pantera Capital is in the process of raising a $175 million crypto fund, the first close for which occurred over the summer and the next close for which is expected by year-end.

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 69 rated postsGerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.




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