Bitmain’s BCH Client Team Was Dismissed Right Before Christmas

Bitmain’s Blockstream Chief Strategy Officer, Samson Mow, has tweeted that the entire team, named Copernicus, was laid off. The team was in charge of development of BCH client database. Unfortunately, the dismissal happened right before Christmas Eve.

As we all know, bad luck always comes in threes: this tweet has spread panic among other Chinese employees. Rumours state that Bitmain allegedly plans to lay off 50% of its stuff next week.

Bitmain has nearly 2000 staff workers, if the rumors are credible, and Bitmain indeed is about to fire 1000 workers, that will cause a big damage not only to a mining world, but also to the whole crypto market.

The first question that comes to your mind – “Why would they do this?”. Although, the official reason has not been announced yet, many people think the core of the problem is significant downfall of Bitcoin’s price. We also should not forget that Bitmain possess substantial assets of Bitcoin Cash, which has been under big pressure since its hard fork on November 15. It is worth to mention that the company filed an IPO back in September, even though the IPO was considered to be lucrative one then, now the company is struggling with it.

Read more: What Should BTC Miners Expect in the New Year of 2019?

This year’s autumn season was not the greatest for Bitmain, first, the company’s WeChat account was banned, as many others crypto-related accounts due to Chinese government ban of the cryptocurrency. Second, the U.S.-China trading war has also brought losses to Bitmain as its equipment has a tariff of 27,6%. Third, 617 BTC were stolen from Bitmain’s account, so they had to file a suit against the criminal.

In addition, we want to recall the report which shows how much Bitmain has lost this year, the number is quite impressive, about $740 million. This loss makes the fall the worst in Bitmain’s history. Nevertheless, we all have to believe that the biggest breakthroughs almost always come after the most enormous setbacks.

We remind you

Bitmain Closed Its Branch In Israel Due To Crypto Market Situation

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Bitcoin Miners Are Fooling Around While Earning Tens of Millions of Dollars

According to the recent research made by Diar: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Dash miners made more than $18 billion without any transaction.

Let us start with the two most famous cryptocurrency – Bitcoin and Ethereum. These two coins were the most popular proof-of-work blockchains, however, they processed the fewest amount of empty blocks, the report shows that Ethereum paid out $65 million in rewards for such blocks in 2017.

Bitcoin Cash, in his turn, has created more than 3300 empty blocks since the end of summer of 2017. It means that monthly about $5 million was gained across all networks. Moreover, Bitcoin Cash miners have earned more than $1 billion since its for on November 15, 2018.

Litecoin is a fast cryptocurrency, and due to its network underutilization, the coin has the most empty blocks. Litecoin miners are mostly hunting for lite blocks, thus its block time is considered to be about 2 minutes. Indeed, the time varies from the difficulty of mining, but in overall every 2 mins, the block is created.

The report suggests miners “fooling around”, because a lack of transactions rises up their reward by far less than gaining the block reward. Let us look on the example.

Block 1586699 which was processed on Tuesday has only transaction less than 1 LTC, nonetheless, the block paid out the mining reward of 25 LTC. It means that the miner has made over $1000 to process less than $50. There is another example, block 1586709, the miner has earned more than $1000 for processing $0 in transactions. Unfortunately, there is no such a thing in the fiat world.

We remind you

How to Get Bitcoin And How Profitable is Mining in 2019

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Bitmain Launches A New Chip For Miners While Jihan Wu Is Leaving His Post: What Is Real Here?

Bitmain is a Chinese-based mining giant which produces equipment for all types of mining activity. There have recently been rumours that Jihan Wu, the CEO of Bitmain, leaves the company to create its own a BCH-focused crypto mining firm while the company is launching a new updated product. So what is true here?

A new efficient crypto mining chip

According to the official press release, Bitmain launches the BM1397. This chip is supposed to be much more powerful than its predecessor, the efficiency difference accounts for 38%. This is a breakthrough in mining industry, the product uses just 30 joules per terrahash. It means that this chip replace the existing hashpower as 33 terrahash can be powered by just 1 kilowatt of power.

Source: blog.bitmain.com

In terms of terrahash capability, the model will be more powerful than existing ones, as a result, a user will have to pay more for electricity. A new generation of mining chips is already real.

Jihan Wu and rumours of his quitting

The person who started the rumours is Dovey Wan, founding partner of Primitive Ventures. She wrote in his Twitter that Jihan Wu will probably leave his position to build a new company which is a spin of Bitmain focusing on BCH.

https://twitter.com/DoveyWan/status/1100002158261428225

The company has not released any statements yet. Though we understand that Bitmain has been suffering a lot since the beginning of bearish market, not to mention U.S.-China trading war which has a great influence on the company. The company has also closed its two offices in Israel and the Netherlands.

We remind you

Is Bitmain Really Dying, or How Much Money Was Lost in 2018?

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CryptoMining.Farm Scam: 30 Victims Lost $1.34 Million

Thirty people have filed complaints to Thailand’s Technology Crime Suppression Division stating that they were victims of crypto mining scam, they allegedly lost 42 million baht ($1.34 million). The police thinks that the amount of victims can be bigger.

According to the victims’ words, the leaders of the scam convinced them to invest money into CryptoMining.Farm, a blockchain-mining website. One anonymous victim said to the Bangkok Post that one of the leaders promised investor an impossibly high return – 70% a year.

The victims signed contracts when they entered the website, the documents said that a customer may withdraw money at any time he/she wanted without any additional condition. However, the situation has changed since August. The victim stated that:

“From August the owner began imposing conditions for withdrawing the money. Then at the start of this month, the site announced it would start paying back investors in 84 installments which would take over seven years to complete. The payments were supposed to be made in foreign currencies [which] is not permitted by Thai laws.”

After a preliminary investigation, the police is sure that not 30, but 140 people became victims of the scam. Moreover, it can be related to a big scandal which happened in August 2018, when a popular Thai actor and his siblings stole about 797 million baht ($25.5 million).

According to the Bangkok Post, the company has two official offices in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, which may make the victims think that the company’s operations are legal.

Thailand treats digital money with caution and tries to regulate it. The Thai Ministry of Finance even issued a document last year where all the country’s cryptocurrency activities were regulated, including the taxation of participants of crypto market.

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Japanese Giant GMO Internet Lost ¥1.3 Billion in 2018: Report

One of the biggest Internet companies in the world, Japan-based GMO Internet Inc., posted a report on its financial performance. An operating loss accounts for ¥1.3 billion (~$11.75 million) in 2018.

GMO’s mining business

According to the report, mining business fared very poorly in 2018 which resulted in great losses. The company explained that the business did not increase as expected due to the collapse of cryptocurrency market in Q4. The report provides  the table where we can see the real revenue and real loss of the company. The data provided below does not include “extraordinary losses” of approximately $319.2 million.

Source: GMO Fiscal Report 2018

Alongside, Internet giant announced that it would implement a policy change regarding to their mining business model. The company will sell its bitcoin mining assets at cheaper rates to compensate for a portion of its annual losses.

Moreover, GMO plans to relocate mining centers to the regions where power supply is cheaper. The centers allegedly will be somewhere in Northern Europe.

GMO’s Bitcoin exchange

Source: GMO Fiscal Report 2018

According to the report, the company’s quarter-revenue has fallen by 66.7%, even though the company annually posts about its 7% profit from its crypto exchange GMOCoin.

In 2018, GMOCoin recorded a net sales of ¥4.02 billion (~$36.33 million). In Q1, crypto exchange has lost about ¥76 million, yet, high sales of next quarters compensated them. The fall of cryptocurrency market has also played a significant role in GMO’s revenues. Each phase ended on a lower note than a previous one in terms of sales, while the profits remained marginal.

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Mozilla Firefox Is Working On Security To Adopt Crypto Mining and Fingerprinting Blockers

Mozilla Firefox has become the fastest and safest web browser in the world after a major upgrade in 2018. The browser has always been known for its flexibility and support for extensions, yet, it does not stop here. According to the report of Techdows, Firefox decided to pursue implementation of strong privacy tools, creating blockers for crypto mining and fingerprints.  

How did it all start?

At the end of August, 2018, Mozilla Firefox made a post in its blog stating that they would change the approach to the anti-tracking. To be more specific, they made a decision to improve load page performance.

In accordance with the study made by Ghostery, more than half of time required to open a page is spent to load third-party trackers. On this reason, Mozilla ran a test version of a feature that blocked trackers and other “harmful practices”, including cryptocurrency mining malware scripts, in Firefox Nightly with the possibility to make it automatically in Firefox 63.  

Keeping in mind that cross-site tracking protection may break all the websites in the browser, Mozilla decided to add features one by one and they go even further in Firefox 67.

What does Mozilla offer now?

First is the ability to block cryptocurrency miners. As we all know, operating systems are often affected by different mining malwares, like it happened with Linux system back in November, 2018. That is why, Mozilla takes measures to prevent it.

Second is blocking of fingerprinting. Identifying your unique device may not be as harmful as mining malwares, yet still it is better to use it as a privacy matter. Only generic information will be sent to the websites that you visit, and your hardware configuration will be harder to distinguish from others on the web.

The way these extensions will look in the browser is shown below:


Source: https://techdows.com/

In fact, Mozilla continues to do what other browsers have already started long ago.

Opera thought about how to protect users from miners in December, 2017, showing the world its beta version of a browser extension NoCoin that had an embedded anti-mining mode to protect users from hidden miners. Later, it turned to mobile version of the browser.

Google Chrome also launched extensions for protection from illegitimate mining and cryptocurrency theft in October, 2018.

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Ethereum Mining: Features, Pools and Prospects in 2019

Ethereum has became a real sensation in the cryptocurrency world, the launch of this platform has served as a catalyst in the development of the entire industry. In this article we will talk in detail about the mining of this cryptocurrency, as well as discuss its prospects in 2019.

1. General information about the Ethereum project

Ethereum is a platform where you can create other decentralized projects. ETH is a coin of the same name which is needed for working with the platform.

The well-known programmer, Vitalik Buterin, has been at the origins of the Ethereum, he still takes an active part in the life of the project, but most of the tasks are performed by a large staff. The total capitalization of the project, as of beginning of 2019, is just over $11 billion. Ethereum firmly consolidated on the third place in the global Coinmarketcap rating.

2. ETH mining algorithm

The growing popularity of the coin have forced many miners to transfer their computing power into Ethereum blockchain. The unlimited emission is one of the features of Ether. This is a both plus and minus of the project: on the one hand, miners, potentially, can endlessly mine new coins, but on the other hand, such an approach can lead to inflation and devaluation of coins.

Now, the confirmation in the network is made by using PoW algorithm (Proof of Work), which allows you to mine coins in the usual way, by providing the network with your computing power. But the development team has worked quite a while on transferring the network to the PoS (Proof of Stake). According to Buterin, this innovation will reduce the inflation of the coin by several times. But all the people who are now engaged in the ETH mining will be forced to reconfigure their equipment for mining other coins.

3. What do you need for ETH mining?

  • Computing equipment, you can use the power of the CPU on a PC, but it is better to have several video cards (ideally, DDR 5 memory).
  • Uninterrupted access to the Internet, whereby high speed is not needed, a good ping is more important.
  • A good and reliable pool for mining, as the mining of ETH cryptocurrency in solo mode is absolutely unpromising for the vast majority of people. Only real giants who are engaged in mining on an industrial scale can afford their own mining, but even they often prefer to work in a pool.
  • A wallet that supports ETH, fortunately, there are so many of them.
  • Proper equipment maintenance and overheating protection. For that, you need to carefully consider the system of ventilation and space cooling.

4. Pools for mining

Choosing the right pool is very important. Below you find a list of the most popular and relevant pools of the second half of 2018:

  • Minergate works not only with Ethereum. It is one of the most popular pools in the world. Best of all it works with nvidia graphics cards. The resource has a simple and intuitive interface, which is clear for any average person.
  • NiceHash is also a multi-currency pool. Mining software is very easy to set up. The software automatically selects the best algorithm, based on the features of the video card or CPU.
  • Ethereumpool. From the name it is already clear that this pool is focused exclusively on Ethereum. It works relatively recently, but its computing power already reaches almost 2% of the total power.
  • WeiPool. Another young pool that can impress with small commissions (1.5%) and a user-friendly interface.
  • ETH Supernova. This pool is quite famous for many users, but recently it has begun to operate with Ethereum. The issue of reliability and safety comes first. The pool has been operating for more than one year and during this time has managed to gain the confidence of the miners.

5. Conclusion

Now, Ether is not having its finest hour, the coin rate has fallen to the psychological mark of $108. The profitability of Ethereum mining significantly decreased in 2018, but by and large, it can be said about almost any cryptocurrency.

It is important to remember that fundamentally nothing has changed and Ethereum is still the most technologically advanced platform. ETH mining should not be considered as a short-term opportunity to earn money, this should be treated as an investment in the future. Now the development team is actively working on elimination of the system shortcomings. Taking into account this information, we can make a conclusion that the project’s chances of a bright future are quite high.

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