Mining Industry in China Suffers From Loss Due To The Collapse of Bitcoin Price

One of the biggest crypto mining pools, F2Pool, has posted in Weibo that due to significant fall of Bitcoin price, and other altcoins as well, crypto mining operation are selling off the equipment. What is more important, the selling is carried out not by units but by kilos.

The Bitcoin price reached its low, less than $4000, last weekend, it is about 80 percent lower than in December 2017. This influenced the whole mining industry in itself, thus, F2Pool reported the cost of maintaining and operating such equipment is higher than the profit of mining using it.

Let us look at the figures. If one machine costed $2885 one year ago, now the price decreased to $144. It is just 5% of its original value.

The report emerged just in the middle of a so-called “hash war”. About 10 days ago, Bitcoin Cash blockchain split into two new chains, this fact is known as “hard fork”. Supporters of these two chains are deploying big amounts of mining powers to make their chain into the dominant network.

According to Finance Magnates, some people, one of those is Craig Wright, who publicly identified himself as Satoshi Nakamoto, reckon this “hash war” is at fault for decreasing the cryptocurrency prices on the whole market, since large amounts of Bitcoin may be being sold off to pay for rented hash power.

We remind you

The Forecast of Bloomberg Analysts: Bitcoin Rate Will Drop to $1 500

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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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Details About Bitcoin Cash Cryptocurrency And Its Recent Hard Forks

The first cryptocurrency Bitcoin already had several dozen hard forks for its whole history, but all these projects did not receive adequate support and popularity in wide circles. The only branch of the original Bitcoin that really deserves attention is Bitcoin Cash. This cash appeared in August 2017 and immediately chained to itself attracted attention from the entire cryptocurrency community. Subsequently, this project got its own hard fork, which divided the coin into two projects: BCH ABC and SV. In this article, we will discuss this topic in more detail.

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

  1. What is Bitcoin Cash?
  2. The main features of Bitcoin Cash cryptocurrency
  3. Hard fork BCH on November 15, 2018
  4. Where is it possible to buy Bitcoin Cash now?
  5. Conclusion

1.What is Bitcoin Cash?

Answering in simple words to the question “What is Bitcoin Cash?”, we can say that this is a cryptocurrency project, which is an improved version of the original Bitcoin. This project was formed due to the hard forks of the first BTC cryptocurrency held on August 1, 2017. The main reason for its holding was the disagreement of developers about the future of BTC, in particular, its scaling. As it is known, the Bitcoin blockchain bandwidth is not very large, for this reason, during a heavy load on the network, it is possible to wait for confirmation of transactions for several hours or even days. The development team decided to fix the above problems, thus Bitcoin Cash appeared on the market.

2. The main features of Bitcoin Cash cryptocurrency

As mentioned above, the Bitcoin Cash algorithm is designed to minimize transaction confirmation time. This kind of delays that occur on the original Bitcoin network and they happen due to many factors, including the small size of one block (1Mb). At Bitcoin Cash, this indicator is much larger, its block size reaches 8 MB.

Another fundamental difference between Bitcoin Cash and the original Bitcoin is the inability to extract BCH using specialized ASIC computing equipment. The fact is that for several years already, Bitcoin mining cryptocurrency has been profitable and is available only for large players since it can be mined using so-called Asics. Such equipment is quite expensive and only large miners can afford it. Since the hashrate of the Bitcoin Cash network is much smaller than that of its older brother, it is more cost-effective to mine BCH, using ordinary video cards. This feature makes BCH much more decentralized than BTC.

The third, but not the least important issue that Bitcoin Cash developers were able to solve is the number of transaction commissions. As it is known, miners receive impressive commissions for their work in the Bitcoin network, this is absolutely justified since they incur huge costs. But this hard fork is much less costly to maintain, respectively, users can make transactions and pay low commissions for it.

3. Hard fork BCH on November 15, 2018

The unity of the BCH development team did not last very long – thirteen and a half months, after which the project split into two parts. News about Bitcoin Cash, which filled all the profile media in November 2018, was only about the loud hard fork.

As we all remember, on November 15 last year, the BCH network was divided into two parts: BCH ABC and BTC SV. It worth noticing, that the split in the network was not very friendly. SV’s proponent Craig Wright was extremely categorical and allowed himself angry remarks about the ABC supporters, led by Roger Ver.

All market participants will remember this event for a long time, because literally right after it, the largest (in the last 7 years) drop in the coin rates began in the cryptocurrency market. In just two weeks, the market lost more than 50% of its total capitalization. Up to the end, it is not known how closely these two events are connected, but a partial correlation is definitely traced.

4. Where is it possible to buy Bitcoin Cash now?

To purchase BCH ABC currency is possible using a variety of online exchanges as well as cryptocurrency exchanges.  As for the BTC SV coin, the list of sites that supports it is a bit shorter, but in any case, you can buy SV at large sites (Gate.io, Binance, etc.)

5. Conclusion

So, Bitcoin Cash cryptocurrency is an improved version of the original Bitcoin. It was created by a group of developers who decided to go their own way and review some features of the work of BTC. So how does Bitcoin Cash work?

  • increased block size (up to 8 MB), which significantly speeds up the network;
  • the inability to mine BCH using ASIC, which has a favorable effect on network decentralization;
  • miners can conduct low commission transactions due to network optimization.

Answering the question “how fast is Bitcoin Cash?”, it should be said that the BCH network is able to process about 60 transactions per second. This indicator in the original Bitcoin is located at 7 transactions per second.

Subsequently, Bitcoin Cash was also divided into two separate branches: ABC and SV. This event struck the project a bit and slowed down its development. As of February 2019, Bitcoin Cash ABC takes the 6th place in the global Coinmarketcap ranking, with a total capitalization of just $2.092 billion. As for Bitcoin SV, it takes the 11th place, and its total capitalization is equal to 1.1 billion dollars.

If to talk about forecasts, then with much greater probability, Bitcoin Cash ABC has a much better chance of further development than Bitcoin SV.

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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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Soft Fork and Hard Fork in Simple Words

Many people do not want to understand the subject of cryptocurrency, because they think it is very difficult, and to understand how everything works, it is necessary to spend a lot of time. Indeed, for an unprepared person, some terms may seem very complicated: blockchain, hard fork, soft fork, etc. Of course, if you want to learn how to code, create algorithms or new cryptocurrencies, then you need to get a profile education, which will take more than one year. But if your goal is a trivial desire to understand the basics, then you will need to read just a couple dozen guides, which, by the way, you can find on our website.

In this material, we will tell you in simple words how hard fork differs from soft fork, and also recall the main Bitcoin hard forks.

1. What is soft fork?

Soft fork is the process of software updating or changing the code of a particular cryptocurrency. When conducting softfork, there is no need for a total replacement of computer software that ensures the operability of the coin network. All innovations that are made during the soft fork have full compatibility with older versions of the network. This means that if the coin creators want to cancel this update, they can do it without any problems.

To make it clear for an ordinary person who does not understand the nuances of the blockchain’s work, let us draw an analogy with the denomination of the ruble of the Russian Federation. In 1998, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation artificially raised the rate of the national currency in 1000 times. But after that, old-style banknotes were still in use for some time. If the Central Bank specialists considered this experiment unsuccessful, they could have easily canceled it and returned the previous exchange rate of the ruble.

Basically, soft fork is conducted because of the need to improve the network, as well as the liquidation of detected errors. During these updates, there is no change in the basic principles of the network.

2. What is hard fork?

Cryptocurrency hard fork is a cardinal change of the blockchain network code, which implies the lack of compatibility with older software. Roughly speaking, in the process of carrying out hard fork, a completely new cryptocurrency is being created, which cannot work with the old version within the same network. After hard fork, an alternative blockchain is created and it works on a completely different principle.

To simplify the process of understanding the above information, let’s also give an analogy from real life. Most people know that the euro currency has now been entered as legal tender in the European Union. Its introduction began in 1999. In the process of development, the euro has stopped to depend on the franc or dychmark and has become an absolutely independent currency.

The main reasons why developers spend cryptocurrency hard fork:

  • implementation of improvements that require major changes;
  • elimination of major bugs;
  • a desire to create a new cryptocurrency based on an already working product.

The main hard fork meaning is to create a separate blockchain, which will have its own miners.

3. The main hard forks of the first cryptocurrency Bitcoin

Hard forks in Bitcoin happen much more often than in any other cryptocurrency. Now let’s talk about the main forks what happened in Bitcoin network lately.

Bitcoin TX. This project is noticeable by only the fact it was the first hard fork in the Bitcoins network. The development team led by Mike Hearn held this hard fork in August 2015. The principal difference between the new project and the original Bitcoin was an increased block size (up to 8Mb). This solution would increase the capacity of the blockchain to 24 transactions per second. For the further development of Bitcoin XT, it had to be supported by ¾ of all the miners of the original Bitcoin network. But in fact, the first hardfork got support of only 12% miners. For this reason, the project was forgotten over time, and its network became incapable.

Bitcoin Classic. The developers of this project took into account the Bitcoin XT errors and decided to smoothly increase the block size: initially increase it to 2 MB, and only after 24 months – double it to 4 MB. It occurred in January 2016. But, unfortunately, this hard fork also failed. The reason was all the same low support from the miners. Officially, the project was closed in November 2017.

Bitcoin Cash. As of today, it is the most successful and popular Bitcoin hard fork. It is the only BTC fork, which not only got, but also stayed for a long time in the list of TOP-10 cryptocurrency projects. It was initiated in August 2017. The main advantages of this project over the original BTC are: increased capacity, low commissions. Subsequently, Bitcoin Cash had its own hard fork (November 15, 2018), which slightly weakened its position, but the project is not forgotten and continues to develop.

4. Conclusion

Briefly and in simple words, hard fork definition is a large-scale update of an existing cryptocurrency, in the process of which a new coin appears. Soft fork can be compared with a planned software update, which does not imply the emergence of a new cryptocurrency.

If to look at the history of Bitcoin hard forks, it appears, that no project has even managed to come close to BTC, so far. At the moment, the only more or less successful project is Bitcoin Cash, but developers need to put much efforts to help their brainchild to compete to its older brother.

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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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