$1.5 million invested in CryptoKitties

Ethereum blockchain is occupied by collectible kitties that have 15% of total traffic. Suddenly these cryptocreatures appeared to be everywhere and somebody was even not too lazy to count them: 16 603 by the end of the counting. However they replicate and their number is increasing.

A startup called “CryptoKitties”, was launched only several days ago but has already managed to collect more than $ ‎1 500 000!
The army of kitties will expand until the beginning of 2018 with a new zero-generation kittie appearing every 15 minutes.

Users manage to spend a lot of money on the game within a few days. Several kitties were sold for $ ‎23 000 (50 ETH), and the most expensive kittie costed $ 113 000.

As you may have already figured out it is not just a primitive game. Every kittie has its own unique features and is actually a separate Ethereum token.

The U.S.-China Trading War Influences Cryptocurrency World, Bitmain Suffers Most

Not long ago, we discussed that Bitcoin was in danger, since Chinese authority was able to attack it any time. The US decided to keep up with opponents and stroke the crypto world of China, namely crypto asset industry.

These two countries are currently in a state of trading conflict, introducing tariffs on goods traded with each other. In June the USA changed the classification of ASIC miner, called Antminer S9, in a way that Chinese miners can be at a loss. That month the “electrical machinery apparatus”, the given category to the ASICs, had a 2.6% tariff.

Later in August, the tariff raised by 25 per cent. At the moment, Chinese mining producers deal with the fee of 27.6 per cent on their US shipments.This action has a colossal impact on Bitmain, the company based in Beijing and being the biggest Chinese mining hardware maker.

Bitmain tried to cope with the pressure by filing for a Hong Kong IPO. It could reportedly rise $3 billion. The company’s filing also mentioned the fact that about 62.8% revenue came from overseas in first half of 2018, though there was no comment on how many sales had come from the US.

The crisis came to Bitmain at a very bad time. IPO filing showed the company’s turnover dropped in second quarter of 2018 drastically, losing about $400 million in compare to $1.1 billion net profit in the first quarter.

One of the analysts, Mark Li, reckons the US tariffs aim at making Chinese hardware less competitive than opponent ones produced in other countries. He also added that Bitmain’s boardship is more aware of technology arms race, where the company is falling behind

The cold trading war between China and States can last for a long time, yet no one is sure how much loss or profit it can bring, we are only able to watch and wait. Now we want to remind you

Mining Complexity: What It Is and Where It Will Get

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A Man in Norway Was Killed after Selling Bitcoins

As reported by the Norwegian news outlet, a 24-year-old man was slaughtered to death after he sold Bitcoins for a big amount of money in person.

Supposedly, the victim met with the buyer and then brought the received money back to his apartment in Oslo. A few hours later, his body was discovered by one of his roommates.

The law-enforcement agencies are currently investigating the case. The police officer in charge of investigation claimed:

We know about possible connection with Bitcoin, but we cannot yet provide any information of the case.

Unfortunately, the number of Bitcoin-related crimes is growing. We remind you:

A Jealous Woman from the USA Wanted to Kill Her Rival, Having Paid in BTC for It

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TRON Is Partnering Up with Baidu: What Is the True Purpose of This Collaboration?

A decentralized blockchain platform TRON, which is one of the main competitors of Ethereum, announced its partnership with the Chinese web services giant Baidu.

Although, the TRON team assures the aim of this partnership is spreading blockchain solution among the crypto community, there has been a lot of speculation regarding this issue.

Many people believe that TRON is currently working on the launch of its own platform for video content, as an alternative to YouTube. Such assumptions were caused by the comments from TRON developers regarding the recent access issues on YouTube. They claimed that this would not have happened on TRON.

We remind you:

Justin Sun Offers the Venezuelan President to Connect Petro to Tron instead of Ethereum

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Harry Potter’s Voldemort Might Solve the Most Pressing Problems of Bitcoin

An anonymous developer who is hiding under the nickname Tom Elvis Jedusor (Tom Riddle in French, i.e. the most famous villain from the Harry Potter series) published a paper with the possible way to hide the exact amount of transaction until the very moment Bitcoins are transferred.

According to the paper:

These future improvements could cause it so that the each others amounts would not be known even by the actual members of the anonymity group.”

The interesting fact is that this “Voldemort” actually published one more protocol a couple of years ago dealing with the issues of Bitcoin scalability and anonymity. Some members of the crypto community compare his papers with the horcruxes of the Voldemort from Harry Potter.

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Bitcoin Mining: How Are the Most Popular Coins Mined Today?

How to mine BTС today?

Quite a lot of people really managed to make a fortune out of Bitcoin mining. And many still manage to do so today. In this article, The Coin Shark will tell what mining is, how the most popular cryptocurrency is mined today, when the latest Bitcoin will be mined, what are the prospects of the digital currency mining industry and other things that every crypto-enthusiast is interested in.

Content:
(please, click the topic to scroll down to it)

  1. What is mining?
  2. How is Bitcoin mined?
  3. How many Bitcoins can be mined and what’s the time period for that?
  4. Types of Bitcoin mining
  5. Prospects of Bitcoin mining
  6. Conclusion 

1. What is mining?

Today, even those who are not really familiar with cryptocurrencies have definitely heard something about mining. However, it is not always clear what it actually is.

Mining is a computing operation. In fact, this is a kind of an attempt to solve a complex mathematical problem. The particular “X” that must be found as the result of the calculations is called a hash. If it is successfully found a new block is generated in the cryptocurrency blockchain. A block is a structural unit where the information about cryptocurrency transactions is recorded. It is sometimes not that easy to get all those terms, so let`s take a look at a rather simple example: a block is a kind of a banknote. Any banknote is a legal tender only if it looks in a certain way. It has a special design, watermarks, other security features, particular density, etc. Each banknote must meet certain specified parameters, otherwise, you will not manage to buy something for it and it will be just a piece of paper. The same thing with cryptocurrencies! Transactions are confirmed by being recorded into the blocks, and the blocks must be valid, must have a particular form. To meet this form, to generate a valid block, a hash with required parameters should be found as the result of computing operations. And that is exactly what miners are responsible for!

2. How is Bitcoin mined?

Bitcoin is a Proof-of-Work algorithm-based digital currency, that is why BTC is mineable. Proof of work actually means that transactions are confirmed, and the blocks are generated only if a certain work is done – new coins are issued only when one has managed to find the hash and create a new valid block. Every new block is generated approximately once every ten minutes. The Bitcoin code is written in such a way that, depending on the computing power in the network, the difficulty of the hash varies. In other words, the more powerful the miners are, the more difficult it is for them to find the hash. That is how the system maintains the balance between the available computing power and the complexity of the calculations. It does not matter whether only several personal computers are engaged in Bitcoin mining (as it was in 2009) or huge industrial mining farms (as it is happening today) – it will always take approximately ten minutes to generate every new block.

So, when miners do their calculations successfully and manage to find the hash, they are rewarded. This reward used to be as huge as 50 BTC. However, back then the number of coins was not actually a significant fortune. According to the Bitcoin code, this reward decreases by half every 210 thousand blocks. Since each block of Bitcoin is generated in about 10 minutes, it takes about four years to get 210 thousand blocks. So, every four years the reward is reduced by half. In 2012, there was the first reduction from 50 BTC to 25. The next reduction took place in 2016. Today miners get 12.5 Bitcoins for each generated block.

3. How many Bitcoins can be mined and what’s the time period for that?

It is only possible to mine a total of 21 million BTC. This maximum amount of cryptocurrency is provided by its programming code. First of all, this limitation is designed to prevent inflation and preserve the value of Bitcoin. Actually, those things are usually valuable, that have a limited supply, and if Bitcoin had an unlimited emission, like Ethereum and some other virtual currencies, it would have been potentially subject to inflation. As of mid-October 2018, according to coinmarketcap, the number of BTC coins in circulation reached 17,332,325, which means that only a bit more than 3.5 million coins remain to be mined. It would seem not a big deal – almost all Bitcoins have already been mined! But truth is, it will take more than a century to mine the remaining coins!

So, let’s see how long will it take for miners to get all Bitcoins. To calculate this, we should make several mathematical operations. Of course, these operations are not as complicated as those required to find Bitcoin hash. The computing power of your calculator will be enough! So that is what we have:

The reward is reduced by half every 210 thousand blocks (approximately once every four years). Accordingly, the number of coins issued will decrease every four years. So, 10.5 million BTC was issued during the first “four-year cycle”, when the reward for each block was 50 BTC. Then the number of coins is reduced by half with each cycle. According to this formula, the very last BTC will be mined about the year 2140! Interestingly, in the first seven “four-year cycles”, miners will extract 99% of the coins, and it will take more than a century to get the remaining 1%.

4. Types of Bitcoin mining

About ten years ago, when the first peer-to-peer decentralized payment system with a cryptographically protected digital cash (yep, it’s all about Bitcoin) was launched, there was only one, or perhaps several miners, in the network. Probably it was an ordinary PC or laptop owned by Satoshi Nakamoto – the mysterious Bitcoin developer – and maybe some other PCs owned by those involved in the development of Bitcoin. So initially users were able to mine Bitcoin using their own devices. The computing power of their processors was enough to perform necessary calculations and find Bitcoin hash. This type of mining was called CPU-mining. However, with the growing popularity of Bitcoin, more and more people joined the system, the load and difficulty increased, and eventually, it became clear that even the most powerful PC had not enough power to mine Bitcoin effectively. A casual user with his laptop was left behind. And the reason is that a probability of getting a reward is equal to the ratio of your individual computing power to the power of the entire network. So a new solution was found – users started mining Bitcoins using the computing power of video cards. That new type of mining was called GPU-mining. Several video cards were connected to a computer and the entire powerful device used special software to mine BTC. Today, a number of cryptocurrencies can still be mined using processors or video cards, but this is not working out with Bitcoin. To be able to find Bitcoin has users should make really complex calculations and special high-performance devices are required. These are ASIC-miners – a special equipment with high computing power and price.

Today users who have special equipment for BTC mining combine their computing power in special mining pools. Pools are groups of miners who use their computing power together and jointly perform the operations necessary to obtain Bitcoin hash. The probability of getting a reward is much higher than if users mine the cryptocurrency solely. This reward is then distributed in proportion to the computing power “invested” by each individual miner.

Moreover, cloud mining is also relatively popular. This, in fact, means that a user simply rents computing power from owners of large mining farms, who are often the manufacturers of mining equipment. Despite the fact that today this type of mining is gradually becoming less attractive, it still has its advantages – users do not need to buy equipment, place it, set up, maintain its operation, update hardware, pay for electricity, etc.

5. Prospects of Bitcoin mining

Many believe that the mining era is almost over and there are some reasons for this. After all, as we have already figured out, even the cryptocurrency code itself provides a reduction of the reward. If Bitcoin rate does not increase significantly, nobody will be interested in running expensive mining equipment and earning a couple of thousand satoshi (1 satoshi is 0.00000001 BTC).

Today mining is a fairly centralized industry with and it is rather difficult for beginners to join it. Especially for those who do not have a lot of money. Even owners of huge industrial mining farms experience some problems. For example, some of them realize that the equipment they used in 2017 cannot provide the same profitability in 2018. Today BTC mining is largely controlled by mining pools one hand and owners of huge industrial mining farms on the other and this tendency for mining to become more centralized is likely here to stay.

6. Conclusion

So, Bitcoin mining is not a “gold rush” anymore. The increased difficulty made it way more centralized and way less available for casual users. Today, mining still provides big profit for those who own huge mining farms or at least some high-performance equipment. The Bitcoin rate is far from the historical maximum, but nevertheless, it remains quite significant, and most importantly, according to many experts, has prospects for an even greater increase. However, today it is practically impossible to make money on mining without big preliminary investments. Mining prospects depend on the rate of cryptocurrency, and on the other hand, are also predetermined by the Bitcoin programming code itself. However, this predetermination can be defined differently. Yes, the reward is reduced every four years, so mining can become less appealing in the future. But this reduction can be compensated if Bitcoin price increases. Anyway, today many crypto enthusiasts consider other mining options. Sometimes it is easier to mine other coins, and then, if desired, exchange them for Bitcoin. One thing is clear – the mining industry has been changing, and the time will tell,  what will happen to it in the medium term.

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The Blockchain-Based Platform of Telegram Is Almost Ready

Telegram (cosmonaut)

As reported by the news media Vedomosti, the first news about the upcoming release of the blockchain of Telegram Open Network (TON) appeared in September and were privately sent to the major investors.

The project is approximately 70% ready. The main component, Virtual Machine, is fully completed, meanwhile, the developers are finishing up with the actual blockchain: the structure for creating new blocks and storing data in them.

Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram messenger, and his team managed to raise almost $2 billion for this platform. It will be functioning some time at the end of November.

We remind you that the first stage of this blockchain, the Telegram Passport, which is a verification and authentication service, successfully went live in July.

Telegram Launches Passport Authorization Service

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