Bitcoin Casino – Bitcoin Information and Data – Bitcoinx
Bitcoin Casino – Bitcoin Information and Data – Bitcoinx
Blockchain Bites: It's Never Been Harder to Mine Bitcoin
Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Drops 9% to January Levels
Why hackers use bitcoin and why it is so difficult to
First Mover: Bitcoin at Last Passes $10K, but Why Has It
White Paper, Miner, Pizza … | "Old Objects" in the Cryptocurrency Museum
https://preview.redd.it/giu1ssilga151.jpg?width=900&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=41510785ccdc0d99544ec74229f62427d1c0ce3e Museum has played the role of a time recorder. Talking about bitcoin, more than ten years has passed since the creation of it. Although it is uncomparable to the stock market with a hundred years of history, during the ten years, in the different stages of the development of bitcoin and blockchain have continuously poured in geeks, miners, speculators, newbies, leaving keywords such as sudden rich, myth, scam, belief, revolution, etc. There are also many “old objects” with stories in the “Museum” of the cryptocurrency realm. On Museum Day, let ’s review the stories brought by these “old objects”. The First Digital Currency White Paper — Bitcoin White Paper On Oct. 31, 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto released the Bitcoin white paper — A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System in the cryptographic mail group where he belongs, and Bitcoin was born since then. A white paper is a document that explains the purpose and technology used in cryptocurrency. Usually a cryptocurrency uses the white paper to help people understand what it provides, and it is also an important information channel for investors to understand a project. Therefore, the level of the white paper affects people’s confidence towards the coin. In a word, in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry, the value of a white paper is equivalent to that of a standard financing speech. The white paper plays a vital role in this emerging market. The First Public Bitcoin-Physical Transaction — Pizza Since Satoshi Nakamoto mined the Bitcoin genesis block on January 3, 2009, Bitcoin has only been spread among the small crowd and has not realized its value. Not until May 22, 2010, Bitcoin enthusiast “Laszlo Hanyecz” bought a pizza coupon worth $25 with 10,000 bitcoins. This is the first public bitcoin-physical transaction. Bitcoin has its price with 0.3 cents per bitcoin. This day has also become the famous “Bitcoin Pizza Day” in Bitcoin history. Bitcoin as the imagination of the financial system has more practical significance. The tenth anniversary is coming. How will you commemorate it? Will you buy a pizza? The First Digital Asset Exchange — Bitcoinmarket.com After the birth of Bitcoin, in addition to mining, the only way to get Bitcoin in the early days was to conduct transactions on forums or IRC (commonly known as Internet Relay Chat). However, this method involves both long transaction time and great security risk. In March 2010, the first digital asset exchange — Bitcoinmarket.com launched. However, due to lack of liquidity and transaction depth, it disappeared soon after its establishment, but Bitcoinmarket.com opened the era of the operation of the cryptocurrency realm exchange 1.0. On June 9, 2011, China’s first Bitcoin exchange — Bitcoin China (BTCChina) launched. Its founder, Yang Linke, translated Bitcoin into Chinese “比特币” for the first time. In 2013, China’s bitcoin trading entered the golden age, and exchanges sprung up. China monopolized more than 90% of the world’s bitcoin transactions. Now, if the top three exchanges Binance, Huobi Global, OKEx are the Exchange 2.0, then the index exchange represented by 58COIN called the 3.0 version, leading the trend. The First Generation of High-Performance Miner — ASIC Miner When Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin, the only way to get it is to use computers (including home computers) to mine, mainly relying on the CPU to calculate. However, as the value of digital currencies such as Bitcoin has become higher and higher, mining has become an industry with the competition is getting fiercer, accompanied by increasing difficulty of mining. Therefore, hardware performance competition starts. In July 2012, the genius Jiang Xinyu (Internet nickname is “Friedcat”) from the junior class of the University of Science and Technology declared at the forum that he could make ASIC miners (chips). As far as mining computing power is concerned, ASICs can be tens of thousands or more higher than the same-generation CPUs and GPUs. At the beginning of 2013, Zhang Nanqian (Pumpkin Zhang), a suspended doctoral student from the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, developed the ASIC miner and named it “Avalon”. In June 2013, the Friedcat’s miner USB was finally released, and it maintained 20% of the computing power of the entire network. At the end of 2013, Wu Jihan, used the tens of millions yuan earned from Friedcat through investment, worked together with Jenke group, to develop the Antminer S1. Since then, the miner manufacturer Bitmain began to enter the stage of history. It is no exaggeration to say that Friedcat and Zhang Nangeng have opened the domestic “mining” era. The Birthplace of China’s Bitcoin — Garage Coffee It is not only the “old objects” that record history, but also a place that everyone in the cryptocurrency realm aspires to. Guo Hongcai once said, “Without no The Garage Café, there will be no cryptocurrency realm today. Since it is a very mysterious place that all waves of people from the café joint together to create today’s digital asset industry. ▲ In March 2013, American student Jake Smith successfully purchased a cup of coffee at The Garage Café with 0.131 bitcoins. This move attracted the attention of CCTV, and it conducted an interview. Indeed, The Garage Café is the world ’s first entrepreneurial-themed coffee shop. It has been legendary since its establishment in 2011. The Garage Cafét is not only the core coordinate on China’s Bitcoin map, but also the birthplace of the Chinese cryptocurrency circle, where digital asset realm tycoons including Guo Hongcai, Zhao Dong, Li Xiaolai, Li Lin have made their ways. The development of digital currency is only 11 years old. Through these “old objects”, we review the various stories of this wave of technology together, hoping to help you understand the development process of the digital currency field. Meanwhile, I also remind all practitioners to use history as a mirror and forge ahead. Website: https://www.58ex.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/58_coin Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coin.58COIN Telegram: https://t.me/official58 Medium: https://medium.com/@58coin_blog/
The Great Bitcoin Bull Market Of 2017 by Trace Mayer
By: Trace Mayer, host of The Bitcoin Knowledge Podcast. Originally posted here with images and Youtube videos. I just got back from a two week vacation without Internet as I was scouring some archeological ruins. I hardly thought about Bitcoin at all because there were so many other interesting things and it would be there when I got back. Jimmy Song suggested I do an article on the current state of Bitcoin. A great suggestion but he is really smart (he worked on Armory after all!) so I better be thorough and accurate! Therefore, this article will be pretty lengthy and meticulous. BACKGROUND As I completely expected, the 2X movement from the New York Agreement that was supposed to happen during the middle of my vacation flopped on its face because Jeff Garzik was driving the clown car with passengers willfully inside like Coinbase, Blockchain.info, Bitgo and Xapo and there were here massive bugS and in the code and miners like Bitmain did not want to allocate $150-350m to get it over the difficulty adjustments. I am very disappointed in their lack of integrity with putting their money where their mouths are; myself and many others wanted to sell a lot of B2X for BTC! On 7 December 2015, with Bitcoin trading at US$388.40, I wrote The Rise of the Fourth Great Bitcoin Bubble. On 4 December 2016, with Bitcoin trading at US$762.97, I did this interview:
As of 26 November 2017, Bitcoin is trading around US$9,250.00. That is an increase of about 2,400% since I wrote the article prognosticating this fourth great Bitcoin bull market. I sure like being right, like usual (19 Dec 2011, 1 Jul 2013), especially when there are financial and economic consequences. With such massive gains in such a short period of time the speculative question becomes: Buy, Hold or Sell? FUNDAMENTALS Bitcoin is the decentralized censorship-resistant Internet Protocol for transferring value over a communications channel. The Bitcoin network can use traditional Internet infrastructure. However, it is even more resilient because it has custom infrastructure including, thanks to Bitcoin Core developer Matt Corrallo, the FIBRE network and, thanks to Blockstream, satellites which reduce the cost of running a full-node anywhere in the world to essentially nothing in terms of money or privacy. Transactions can be cheaply broadcast via SMS messages. SECURITY The Bitcoin network has a difficulty of 1,347,001,430,559 which suggests about 9,642,211 TH/s of custom ASIC hardware deployed. At a retail price of approximately US$105/THs that implies about $650m of custom ASIC hardware deployed (35% discount applied). This custom hardware consumes approximately 30 TWh per year. That could power about 2.8m US households or the entire country of Morocco which has a population of 33.85m. This Bitcoin mining generates approximately 12.5 bitcoins every 10 minutes or approximately 1,800 per day worth approximately US$16,650,000. Bitcoin currently has a market capitalization greater than $150B which puts it solidly in the top-30 of M1 money stock countries and a 200 day moving average of about $65B which is increasing about $500m per day. Average daily volumes for Bitcoin is around US$5B. That means multi-million dollar positions can be moved into and out of very easily with minimal slippage. When my friend Andreas Antonopolous was unable to give his talk at a CRYPSA event I was invited to fill in and delivered this presentation, impromptu, on the Seven Network Effects of Bitcoin. These seven network effects of Bitcoin are (1) Speculation, (2) Merchants, (3) Consumers, (4) Security [miners], (5) Developers, (6) Financialization and (7) Settlement Currency are all taking root at the same time and in an incredibly intertwined way. With only the first network effect starting to take significant root; Bitcoin is no longer a little experiment of magic Internet money anymore. Bitcoin is monster growing at a tremendous rate!!
SPECULATION For the Bitcoin price to remain at $9,250 it requires approximately US$16,650,000 per day of capital inflow from new hodlers. Bitcoin is both a Giffen good and a Veblen good. A Giffen good is a product that people consume more of as the price rises and vice versa — seemingly in violation of basic laws of demand in microeconomics such as with substitute goods and the income effect. Veblen goods are types of luxury goods for which the quantity demanded increases as the price increases in an apparent contradiction of the law of demand. There are approximately 16.5m bitcoins of which ~4m are lost, ~4-6m are in deep cold storage, ~4m are in cold storage and ~2-4m are salable. (http://www.runtogold.com/images/lost-bitcoins-1.jpg) (http://www.runtogold.com/images/lost-bitcoins-2.jpg) And forks like BCash (BCH) should not be scary but instead be looked upon as an opportunity to take more territory on the Bitcoin blockchain by trading the forks for real bitcoins which dries up more salable supply by moving it, likely, into deep cold storage. According to Wikipedia, there are approximately 15.4m millionaires in the United States and about 12m HNWIs ($30m+ net worth) in the world. In other words, if every HNWI in the world wanted to own an entire bitcoin as a 'risk-free asset' that cannot be confiscated, seized or have the balance other wise altered then they could not. For wise portfolio management, these HNWIs should have at least about 2-5% in gold and 0.5-1% in bitcoin. Why? Perhaps some of the 60+ Saudis with 1,700 frozen bank accounts and about $800B of assets being targetted might be able to explain it to you. In other words, everyone loves to chase the rabbit and once they catch it then know that it will not get away. RETAIL There are approximately 150+ significant Bitcoin exchanges worldwide. Kraken, according to the CEO, was adding about 6,000 new funded accounts per day in July 2017. Supposedly, Coinbase is currently adding about 75,000 new accounts per day. Based on some trade secret analytics I have access to; I would estimate Coinbase is adding approximately 17,500 new accounts per day that purchase at least US$100 of Bitcoin. If we assume Coinbase accounts for 8% of new global Bitcoin users who purchase at least $100 of bitcoins (just pulled out of thin error and likely very conservative as the actual number is perhaps around 2%) then that is approximately $21,875,000 of new capital coming into Bitcoin every single day just from retail demand from 218,750 total new accounts. What I have found is that most new users start off buying US$100-500 and then after 3-4 months months they ramp up their capital allocation to $5,000+ if they have the funds available. After all, it takes some time and practical experience to learn how to safely secure one's private keys. To do so, I highly recommendBitcoin Core (network consensus and full validation of the blockchain), Armory (private key management), Glacier Protocol (operational procedures) and a Puri.sm laptop (secure non-specialized hardware). WALL STREET There has been no solution for large financial fiduciaries to invest in Bitcoin. This changed November 2017. LedgerX, whose CEO I interviewed 23 March 2013, began trading as a CFTC regulated Swap Execution Facility and Derivatives Clearing Organization. The CME Group announced they will begin trading in Q4 2017 Bitcoin futures. The CBOE announced they will begin trading Bitcoin futures soon. By analogy, these institutional products are like connecting a major metropolis's water system (US$90.4T and US$2 quadrillion) via a nanoscopic shunt to a tiny blueberry ($150B) that is infinitely expandable. This price discovery could be the most wild thing anyone has ever experienced in financial markets. THE GREAT CREDIT CONTRACTION The same week Bitcoin was released I published my book The Great Credit Contraction and asserted it had now begun and capital would burrow down the liquidity pyramid into safer and more liquid assets. (http://www.runtogold.com/images/Great-Credit-Contraction-Liquidity-Pyramid.jpg) Thus, the critical question becomes: Is Bitcoin a possible solution to the Great Credit Contraction by becoming the safest and most liquid asset? BITCOIN'S RISK PROFILE At all times and in all circumstances gold remains money but, of course, there is always exchange rate risk due to price ratios constantly fluctuating. If the metal is held with a third-party in allocated-allocated storage (safest possible) then there is performance risk (Morgan Stanley gold storage lawsuit). But, if properly held then, there should be no counter-party risk which requires the financial ability of a third-party to perform like with a bank account deposit. And, since gold exists at a single point in space and time therefore it is subject to confiscation or seizure risk. Bitcoin is a completely new asset type. As such, the storage container is nearly empty with only $150B. And every Bitcoin transaction effectively melts down every BTC and recasts it; thus ensuring with 100% accuracy the quantity and quality of the bitcoins. If the transaction is not on the blockchain then it did not happen. This is the strictest regulation possible; by math and cryptography! This new immutable asset, if properly secured, is subject only to exchange rate risk. There does exist the possibility that a software bug may exist that could shut down the network, like what has happened with Ethereum, but the probability is almost nil and getting lower everyday it does not happen. Thus, Bitcoin arguably has a lower risk profile than even gold and is the only blockchain to achieve security, scalability and liquidity. To remain decentralized, censorship-resistant and immutable requires scalability so as many users as possible can run full-nodes. (http://www.runtogold.com/images/ethereum-bitcoin-scability-nov-2017.png) TRANSACTIONS Some people, probably mostly those shilling alt-coins, think Bitcoin has a scalability problem that is so serious it requires a crude hard fork to solve. On the other side of the debate, the Internet protocol and blockchain geniuses assert the scalability issues can, like other Internet Protocols have done, be solved in different layers which are now possible because of Segregated Witness which was activated in August 2017. Whose code do you want to run: the JV benchwarmers or the championship Chicago Bulls? As transaction fees rise, certain use cases of the Bitcoin blockchain are priced out of the market. And as the fees fall then they are economical again. Additionally, as transaction fees rise, certain UTXOs are no longer economically usable thus destroying part of the money supply until fees decline and UTXOs become economical to move. There are approximately 275,000-350,000 transactions per day with transaction fees currently about $2m/day and the 200 DMA is around $1.08m/day. (http://www.runtogold.com/images/bitcoin-transaction-fees-nov-2017.png) What I like about transaction fees is that they somewhat reveal the financial health of the network. The security of the Bitcoin network results from the miners creating solutions to proof of work problems in the Bitcoin protocol and being rewarded from the (1) coinbase reward which is a form of inflation and (2) transaction fees which is a form of usage fee. The higher the transaction fees then the greater implied value the Bitcoin network provides because users are willing to pay more for it. I am highly skeptical of blockchains which have very low transaction fees. By Internet bubble analogy, Pets.com may have millions of page views but I am more interested in EBITDA. DEVELOPERS Bitcoin and blockchain programming is not an easy skill to acquire and master. Most developers who have the skill are also financially independent now and can work on whatever they want. The best of the best work through the Bitcoin Core process. After all, if you are a world class mountain climber then you do not hang out in the MacDonalds play pen but instead climb Mount Everest because that is where the challenge is. However, there are many talented developers who work in other areas besides the protocol. Wallet maintainers, exchange operators, payment processors, etc. all need competent developers to help build their businesses. Consequently, there is a huge shortage of competent developers. This is probably the largest single scalability constraint for the ecosystem. Nevertheless, the Bitcoin ecosystem is healthier than ever before. (http://www.runtogold.com/images/bitcoin-ecosystem.jpg)(/images/bitcoin-ecosystem-small.jpg) SETTLEMENT CURRENCY There are no significant global reserve settlement currency use cases for Bitcoin yet. Perhaps the closest is Blockstream's Strong Federations via Liquid. PRICE There is a tremendous amount of disagreement in the marketplace about the value proposition of Bitcoin. Price discovery for this asset will be intense and likely take many cycles of which this is the fourth. Since the supply is known the exchange rate of Bitcoins is composed of (1) transactional demand and (2) speculative demand. Interestingly, the price elasticity of demand for the transactional demand component is irrelevant to the price. This makes for very interesting dynamics! (http://www.runtogold.com/images/bitcoin-speculation.jpg) On 4 May 2017, Lightspeed Venture Partners partner Jeremy Liew who was among the early Facebook investors and the first Snapchat investor laid out their case for bitcoin exploding to $500,000 by 2030. On 2 November 2017, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-02/blankfein-says-don-t-dismiss-bitcoin-while-still-pondering-value)said, "Now we have paper that is just backed by fiat...Maybe in the new world, something gets backed by consensus." On 12 Sep 2017, JP Morgan CEO called Bitcoin a 'fraud' but conceded that "(http://fortune.com/2017/09/12/jamie-dimon-bitcoin-cryptocurrency-fraud-buy/)Bitcoin could reach $100,000". Thus, it is no surprise that the Bitcoin chart looks like a ferret on meth when there are such widely varying opinions on its value proposition. I have been around this space for a long time. In my opinion, those who scoffed at the thought of $1 BTC, $10 BTC (Professor Bitcorn!), $100 BTC, $1,000 BTC are scoffing at $10,000 BTC and will scoff at $100,000 BTC, $1,000,000 BTC and even $10,000,000 BTC. Interestingly, the people who understand it the best seem to think its financial dominance is destiny. Meanwhile, those who understand it the least make emotionally charged, intellectually incoherent bearish arguments. A tremendous example of worldwide cognitive dissonance with regards to sound money, technology and the role or power of the State. Consequently, I like looking at the 200 day moving average to filter out the daily noise and see the long-term trend. (http://www.runtogold.com/images/bitcoin-price-200dma-nov-2017.png) Well, that chart of the long-term trend is pretty obvious and hard to dispute. Bitcoin is in a massive secular bull market. The 200 day moving average is around $4,001 and rising about $30 per day. So, what do some proforma situations look like where Bitcoin may be undervalued, average valued and overvalued? No, these are not prognostications. (http://www.runtogold.com/images/bitcoin-price-pro-forma.png) Maybe Jamie Dimon is not so off his rocker after all with a $100,000 price prediction. We are in a very unique period of human history where the collective globe is rethinking what money is and Bitcoin is in the ring battling for complete domination. Is or will it be fit for purpose? As I have said many times before, if Bitcoin is fit for this purpose then this is the largest wealth transfer in the history of the world. CONCLUSION Well, this has been a brief analysis of where I think Bitcoin is at the end of November 2017. The seven network effects are taking root extremely fast and exponentially reinforcing each other. The technological dominance of Bitcoin is unrivaled. The world is rethinking what money is. Even CEOs of the largest banks and partners of the largest VC funds are honing in on Bitcoin's beacon. While no one has a crystal ball; when I look in mine I see Bitcoin's future being very bright. Currently, almost everyone who has bought Bitcoin and hodled is sitting on unrealized gains as measured in fiat currency. That is, after all, what uncharted territory with daily all-time highs do! But perhaps there is a larger lesson to be learned here. Riches are getting increasingly slippery because no one has a reliable defined tool to measure them with. Times like these require incredible amounts of humility and intelligence guided by macro instincts. Perhaps everyone should start keeping books in three numéraires: USD, gold and Bitcoin. Both gold and Bitcoin have never been worth nothing. But USD is a fiat currency and there are thousands of those in the fiat currency graveyard. How low can the world reserve currency go? After all, what is the risk-free asset? And, whatever it is, in The Great Credit Contraction you want it! What do you think? Disagree with some of my arguments or assertions? Please, eviscerate them on Twitter or in the comments!
Joint Statement on Broker-Dealer Custody of Digital Asset Securities
WASHINGTON – Market participants have raised questions concerning the application of the federal securities laws and the rules of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) to the potential intermediation—including custody—of digital asset securities1 and transactions. In this statement, the staffs of the Division of Trading and Markets (the “Division”) and FINRA (collectively, the “Staffs”)—drawing upon key principles from their historic approach to broker-dealer regulation and investor protection—have articulated various considerations relevant to many of these questions, particularly under the SEC’s Customer Protection Rule applicable to SEC-registered broker-dealers.2 As a threshold matter, it should be recognized by market participants that the application of the federal securities laws, FINRA rules and other bodies of laws to digital assets, digital asset securities and related innovative technologies raise novel and complex regulatory and compliance questions and challenges. For example, and as discussed in more detail below, the ability of a broker-dealer to comply with aspects of the Customer Protection Rule is greatly facilitated by established laws and practices regarding the loss or theft of a security, that may not be available or effective in the case of certain digital assets. The Staffs are aware of, and encourage and support, efforts to address these issues such that compliance with the Customer Protection Rule and other federal securities laws and FINRA rules is reasonably practicable. In recent months, the Staffs have been engaged with industry participants regarding how industry participants believe a particular custody solution for digital asset securities would meet the possession or control standards prescribed in the SEC’s Customer Protection Rule. The Staffs have found these discussions to be very informative and appreciate market participants’ ongoing engagement on these issues. The Staffs encourage and support innovation and look forward to continuing our dialogue as market participants work toward developing methodologies for establishing possession or control over customers’ digital asset securities. Contact information for Commission and FINRA staffs is provided at the end of this statement. Importance of the Customer Protection Rule Entities seeking to participate in the marketplace for digital asset securities must comply with the relevant securities laws.3 An entity that buys, sells, or otherwise transacts or is involved in effecting transactions in digital asset securities for customers or its own account is subject to the federal securities laws, and may be required to register with the Commission as a broker-dealer and become a member of and comply with the rules of a self-regulatory organization (“SRO”), which in most cases is FINRA. Importantly, if the entity is a broker-dealer, it must comply with broker-dealer financial responsibility rules,4 including, as applicable, custodial requirements under Rule 15c3-3 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”), which is known as the Customer Protection Rule. The purpose of the Customer Protection Rule is to safeguard customer securities and funds held by a broker-dealer, to prevent investor loss or harm in the event of a broker-dealer’s failure, and to enhance the Commission’s ability to monitor and prevent unsound business practices. Put simply, the Customer Protection Rule requires broker-dealers to safeguard customer assets and to keep customer assets separate from the firm’s assets, thus increasing the likelihood that customers’ securities and cash can be returned to them in the event of the broker-dealer’s failure. The requirements of the Customer Protection Rule have produced a nearly fifty year track record5 of recovery for investors when their broker-dealers have failed. This record of protecting customer assets held in custody by broker-dealers stands in contrast to recent reports of cybertheft,6 and underscores the need to ensure broker-dealers’ robust protection of customer assets, including digital asset securities. Various unregistered entities that intend to engage in broker-dealer activities involving digital asset securities are seeking to register with the Commission and have submitted New Membership Applications (“NMAs”) to FINRA. Additionally, various entities that are already registered broker-dealers and FINRA members are seeking to expand their businesses to include digital asset securities services and activities. Under FINRA rules, a firm is prohibited from materially changing its business operations (e.g., engaging in material digital asset securities activities for the first time) without FINRA’s prior approval of a Continuing Membership Application (“CMA”).7 The NMAs and CMAs currently before FINRA are diverse: Some of the NMAs and CMAs cover proposed business models that would not involve the broker-dealer engaging in custody of digital asset securities. On the other hand, some NMAs and CMAs include the custodying of digital asset securities, and therefore implicate the Customer Protection Rule, among other requirements. Some of these entities have met with the Staffs to discuss how they propose to custody digital asset securities in order to comply with the broker-dealer financial responsibility rules. These discussions have been informative. The specific circumstances where a broker-dealer could custody digital asset securities in a manner that the Staffs believe would comply with the Customer Protection Rule remain under discussion, and the Staffs stand ready to continue to engage with entities pursuing this line of business. Noncustodial Broker-Dealer Models for Digital Asset Securities As noted, some entities contemplate engaging in broker-dealer activities involving digital asset securities that would not involve the broker-dealer engaging in custody functions. Generally speaking, noncustodial activities involving digital asset securities do not raise the same level of concern among the Staffs, provided that the relevant securities laws, SRO rules, and other legal and regulatory requirements are followed.8The following are examples of some of the business activities of this type that have been presented or described to the Staffs.
One example is where the broker-dealer sends the trade-matching details (e.g., identity of the parties, price, and quantity) to the buyer and issuer of a digital asset security—similar to a traditional private placement—and the issuer settles the transaction bilaterally between the buyer and issuer, away from the broker-dealer. In this case, the broker-dealer instructs the customer to pay the issuer directly and instructs the issuer to issue the digital asset security to the customer directly (e.g., the customer’s “digital wallet”).
A second example is where a broker-dealer facilitates “over-the counter” secondary market transactions in digital asset securities without taking custody of or exercising control over the digital asset securities. In this example, the buyer and seller complete the transaction directly and, therefore, the securities do not pass through the broker-dealer facilitating the transaction.
Another example is where a secondary market transaction involves a broker-dealer introducing a buyer to a seller of digital asset securities through a trading platform where the trade is settled directly between the buyer and seller. For instance, a broker-dealer that operates an alternative trading system (“ATS”) could match buyers and sellers of digital asset securities and the trades would either be settled directly between the buyer and seller, or the buyer and seller would give instructions to their respective custodians to settle the transactions.9 In either case, the ATS would not guarantee or otherwise have responsibility for settling the trades and would not at any time exercise any level of control over the digital asset securities being sold or the cash being used to make the purchase (e.g., the ATS would not place a temporary hold on the seller’s wallet or on the buyer’s cash to ensure the transaction is completed).
Considerations for Broker-Dealer Custody of Digital Asset Securities Whether a security is paper or digital, the same fundamental elements of the broker-dealer financial responsibility rules apply. The Staffs acknowledge that market participants wishing to custody digital asset securities may find it challenging to comply with the broker-dealer financial responsibility rules without putting in place significant technological enhancements and solutions unique to digital asset securities. As the market, infrastructure, and law applicable to digital asset securities continue to develop, the Staffs will continue their constructive engagement with market participants and to gather additional information so that they may better respond to developments in the market10while advancing the missions of our respective organizations: for the SEC, to protect investors; maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets; and facilitate capital formation; and for FINRA, to provide investor protection and promote market integrity. The Customer Protection Rule Overview A broker-dealer seeking to custody digital asset securities must comply with the Customer Protection Rule. As noted, the rule is designed principally to protect customers of a registered broker-dealer from losses and delays in accessing their securities and cash that can occur if the firm fails. The rule requires the broker-dealer to safeguard customer securities and cash entrusted to the firm, as discussed below. If the broker-dealer fails, customer securities and cash should be readily available to be returned to customers.11 In the event the broker-dealer were to be liquidated under SIPA, the SIPA trustee would be expected to step into the shoes of the broker-dealer and expected to be able to transfer, sell, or otherwise dispose of assets in accordance with SIPA.12 Among its core protections for customers, Rule 15c3-3 requires a broker-dealer to physically hold customers’ fully paid and excess margin securities or maintain them free of lien at a good control location.13 Generally, a broker-dealer may custody customer securities with a third-party custodian (e.g., the Depository Trust Company or a clearing bank),14 and uncertificated securities, such as mutual funds, may be held at the issuer or at the issuer’s transfer agent.15 In either case, there is a third party that controls the transfer of the securities. This traditional securities infrastructure (including, for example, related laws of property and security) also has processes to reverse or cancel mistaken or unauthorized transactions. Considerations for Digital Asset Securities There are many significant differences in the mechanics and risks associated with custodying traditional securities and digital asset securities. For instance, the manner in which digital asset securities are issued, held, and transferred may create greater risk that a broker-dealer maintaining custody of them could be victimized by fraud or theft, could lose a “private key” necessary to transfer a client’s digital asset securities, or could transfer a client’s digital asset securities to an unknown or unintended address without meaningful recourse to invalidate fraudulent transactions, recover or replace lost property, or correct errors. Consequently, a broker-dealer must consider how it can, in conformance with Rule 15c3-3, hold in possession or control digital asset securities. In particular, a broker-dealer may face challenges in determining that it, or its third-party custodian, maintains custody of digital asset securities.16 If, for example, the broker-dealer holds a private key, it may be able to transfer such securities reflected on the blockchain or distributed ledger. However, the fact that a broker-dealer (or its third party custodian) maintains the private key may not be sufficient evidence by itself that the broker-dealer has exclusive control of the digital asset security (e.g., it may not be able to demonstrate that no other party has a copy of the private key and could transfer the digital asset security without the broker-dealer’s consent).17 In addition, the fact that the broker-dealer (or custodian) holds the private key may not be sufficient to allow it to reverse or cancel mistaken or unauthorized transactions. These risks could cause securities customers to suffer losses, with corresponding liabilities for the broker-dealer, imperiling the firm, its customers, and other creditors. The Books and Records and Financial Reporting Rules Overview The broker-dealer recordkeeping and reporting rules18 require a broker-dealer, among other things, to make and keep current ledgers reflecting all assets and liabilities,19 as well as a securities record reflecting each security carried by the broker-dealer for its customers and all differences determined by the count of customer securities in the broker-dealer’s possession or control compared to the result of the count with the broker-dealer’s existing books and records.20 The financial responsibility rules also require that broker-dealers routinely prepare financial statements,21 including various supporting schedules particular to broker-dealers, such as Computation of Net Capital under Rule 15c3-1 and Information Relating to the Possession or Control Requirements under Rule 15c3-3 under the Exchange Act.22 The books, records, and financial reporting requirements are designed to ensure that a broker-dealer makes and maintains certain business records to assist the firm in accounting for its activities. These rules also assist securities regulators in examining for compliance with the federal securities laws and as such are an integral part of the financial responsibility program for broker-dealers. Considerations for Digital Asset Securities The nature of distributed ledger technology, as well as the characteristics associated with digital asset securities, may make it difficult for a broker-dealer to evidence the existence of digital asset securities for the purposes of the broker-dealer’s regulatory books, records, and financial statements, including supporting schedules. The broker-dealer’s difficulties in evidencing the existence of these digital asset securities may in turn create challenges for the broker-dealer’s independent auditor seeking to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence when testing management’s assertions in the financial statements during the annual broker-dealer audit.23 We understand that some firms are considering the use of distributed ledger technology with features designed to enable firms to meet recordkeeping obligations and facilitate prompt verification of digital asset security positions (e.g., regulatory nodes or permissioned distributed ledger technologies). Broker-dealers should consider how the nature of the technology may impact their ability to comply with the broker-dealer recordkeeping and reporting rules. Securities Investor Protection Act of 1970 Overview Generally, a broker-dealer that fails and is unable to return the customer property that it holds would be liquidated in accordance with SIPA. Under SIPA, securities customers have a first priority claim to cash and securities held by the firm for securities customers. Customers also are eligible for up to $500,000 in protection (of which up to $250,000 can be used for cash claims) if the broker-dealer is missing customer assets. These SIPA protections apply to a “security” as defined in SIPA and cash deposited with the broker-dealer for the purpose of purchasing securities.24 They do not apply to other types of assets, including, importantly, assets that are securities under the federal securities laws but are excluded from the definition of “security” under SIPA.25 Considerations for Digital Asset Securities In the case of a digital asset security that does not meet the definition of “security” under SIPA, and in the event of the failure of a carrying broker-dealer, SIPA protection likely would not apply and holders of those digital asset securities would have only unsecured general creditor claims against the broker-dealer’s estate.26 Further, uncertainty regarding when and whether a broker-dealer holds a digital asset security in its possession or control creates greater risk for customers that their securities will not be able to be returned in the event of a broker-dealer failure.27 The Staffs believe that such potential outcomes are likely to be inconsistent with the expectations of persons who would use a broker-dealer to custody their digital asset securities. Control Location Applications As a related matter, the Staffs have received inquiries from broker-dealers, including ATSs, wishing to utilize an issuer or transfer agent as a proposed “control location” for purposes of the possession or control requirements under the Customer Protection Rule. As described to the Staffs, this would involve uncertificated securities where the issuer or a transfer agent maintains a traditional single master security holder list, but also publishes as a courtesy the ownership record using distributed ledger technology. While the issuer or transfer agent may publish the distributed ledger, in these examples, the broker-dealers have asserted that the distributed ledger is not the authoritative record of share ownership. To the extent a broker-dealer contemplates an arrangement of this type, the Division will consider whether the issuer or the transfer agent can be considered a satisfactory control location pursuant to an application under paragraph (c)(7) of Rule 15c3-3.28 As noted, the Staffs encourage and support innovation in the securities markets and look forward to continuing to engage with investors and industry participants as the marketplace for digital asset securities develops. To contact Commission staff for assistance, please visit the Commission’s FinHub webpage or contact Thomas K. McGowan, Associate Director, at (202) 551-5521 or Raymond Lombardo, Assistant Director, at (202) 551-5755. To contact FINRA staff for assistance, please visit FINRA’s FinTech webpage or contact Kosha Dalal, Associate Vice President and Associate General Counsel, FINRA, (202) 728-6903. 1 For the purposes of this statement, the term “digital asset” refers to an asset that is issued and transferred using distributed ledger or blockchain technology, including, but not limited to, so-called “virtual currencies,” “coins,” and “tokens.” A digital asset may or may not meet the definition of a “security” under the federal securities laws. For the purposes of this statement, a digital asset that is a security is referred to as a “digital asset security.” 2 This statement represents staff views of the Division of Trading and Markets and FINRA. This statement is not a rule, regulation, guidance, or statement of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) or FINRA, and the Commission and FINRA’s Board have neither approved nor disapproved its content. This statement does not alter or amend applicable law and has no legal force or effect. 3 For purposes of this statement, the Staffs use the term “entities” to refer to both firms and individuals. 4 The financial responsibility rules include Rule 15c3-1 (the net capital rule), Rule 15c3-3 (the customer protection rule), Rule 17a-3 (the record making rule), Rule 17a-4 (the record retention rule), Rule 17a-5 (the financial reporting rule), and Rule 17a-13 (the quarterly securities count rule) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”). This statement does not address all federal securities laws that may be implicated by a broker-dealer seeking to maintain custody of digital asset securities. Further, this statement does not address other securities laws or rules that may apply to digital asset securities. 5 Rule 15c3-3 was adopted by the Commission in 1972. See Broker-Dealers; Maintenance of Certain Basic Reserves, Exchange Act Release No. 9856 (Nov. 10, 1972), 37 Fed. Reg. 25224 (Nov. 29, 1972). 6 For example, one blockchain forensic analysis firm estimated that approximately $1.7 billion worth of bitcoin and other digital assets had been stolen in 2018, of which approximately $950 million resulted from cyberattacks on bitcoin trading platforms. The estimate of total losses in 2018 is 3.6 times higher than the estimate of such losses in 2017. See CipherTrace, Cryptocurrency Anti-Money Laundering Report, 2018 Q4, at 3 (Jan. 2019) (available at: https://ciphertrace.com/crypto-aml-report-2018q4/). 7 Firms can discuss with FINRA whether a contemplated change in business operations such as engaging in digital asset securities activities may require the filing of a CMA through the materiality consultation process. 8 These business models and transactions must comply with other provisions of the securities laws or regulations. The Staffs offer no views about whether such business models would be in compliance with other securities laws or regulations. 9 Entities that perform functions to facilitate the clearance and settlement of transactions in digital asset securities may be required to register as a clearing agency under Section 17A of the Exchange Act. See 15 U.S.C. 78q-1. 10 See, e.g., Statement on Digital Asset Securities Issuance and Trading, Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Investment Management, and Division of Trading and Markets, Commission (Nov. 16, 2018) (available at: https://www.sec.gov/news/public-statement/digital-asset-securites-issuuance-and-trading); see also e.g., Engaging on Non-DVP Custodial Practices and Digital Assets, letter issued by staff, Division of Investment Management, Commission, dated Mar. 12, 2019 (available at: https://www.sec.gov/investment/engaging-non-dvp-custodial-practices-and-digital-assets). 11 See Financial Responsibility Rules for Broker-Dealers, Exchange Act Release No. 70072 (July 30, 2013), 78 Fed. Reg. 51824, 51826 (Aug. 21, 2013). In addition, if the broker-dealer is liquidated in a formal proceeding under the Securities Investor Protection Act of 1970 (“SIPA”), the securities and cash held by the broker-dealer for its customers would be isolated and readily identifiable as “customer property” and, consequently, available to be distributed to customers ahead of other creditors. Id. 12 See 15 U.S.C. 78fff-1 (setting forth the powers and duties of a SIPA trustee). 13 See paragraphs (b) and (c) of Rule 15c3-3. An entity’s designation as a good control location is based, in part, on its ability to maintain exclusive control over customer securities. See, e.g., paragraph (c)(5) of Rule 15c3-3 (deeming a “bank” as defined in Section 3(a)(6) of the Exchange Act to be a good control location so long as, among other things, the bank has acknowledged that customer securities “are not subject to any right, charge, security interest, lien or claim of any kind in favor of a bank or any person claiming through the bank” and the securities are in the custody or control of the bank). 14 See paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(5) of Rule 15c3-3. 15 The Commission often receives applications under paragraph (c)(7) of Rule 15c3-3 to designate an issuer or the transfer agent of various types of uncertificated securities as a control location. The Division has delegated authority to “find and designate as control locations for purposes of Rule 15c3-3(c)(7) [under the Exchange Act] certain broker-dealer accounts which are adequate for the protection of customer securities.” See 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(10)(i). The Commission has stated that mutual funds in particular may be held at the issuer or the issuer’s transfer agent. See, e.g., Broker-Dealer Reports, Exchange Act Release No. 70073 (July 30, 2013), 78 Fed. Reg. 51910, 51951 (Aug. 21, 2013) (stating that “[g]enerally, mutual funds issue securities only in book-entry form. This means that the ownership of securities is not reflected on a certificate that can be transferred but rather through a journal entry on the books of the issuer maintained by the issuer’s transfer agent. A broker-dealer that holds mutual funds for customers generally holds them in the broker-dealer’s name on the books of the mutual fund”). See also Form Custody for Broker-Dealers, 17 CFR 249.639 (providing broker-dealers with a field to indicate that they custody mutual fund securities with a transfer agent). The Division has also previously issued no-action letters regarding the maintenance of certain other uncertificated securities at the transfer agent. See, e.g., letter to Fantex Brokerage Services, LLC from Mark M. Attar, Senior Special Counsel, Division of Trading and Markets, Commission, dated Dec. 19, 2014 (providing that the staff would not recommend enforcement action if a broker-dealer treats a transfer agent for uncertificated securities as a good control location, under certain circumstances). These prior no-action letters do not address whether blockchain or distributed ledger technology, in connection with the maintenance of the single master security holder list, establishes control of uncertificated securities by the issuer (or transfer agent). 16 See, e.g., paragraph (d) of Rule 15c3-3 (requiring that, not later than the next business day, a broker-dealer, as of the close of the preceding business day, shall determine the quantity of fully paid securities and excess margin securities in its possession or control and the quantity of such securities not in its possession or control). 17 Cf. supra note 13. 18 See generally Rules 17a-3, 17a-4, and 17a-5. 19 See paragraph (a)(2) of Rule 17a-3. 20 See paragraph (a)(5) of Rule 17a-3. 21 See generally Rule 17a-5. 22 See paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of Rule 17a-5. 23 See generally PCAOB Auditing Standard 1105, Audit Evidence (describing sufficient appropriate audit evidence and stating that audit evidence consists of information that supports and corroborates management’s assertions regarding the financial statements and information that contradicts such assertions). 24 The SIPA definition of “security” is different than the federal securities laws definitions. See 15 U.S.C. 78lll(14) (excluding from the SIPA definition of “security” an investment contract or interest that is not the subject of a registration statement with the Commission pursuant to the provisions of the Securities Act of 1933). This means there may be digital assets that are: (1) securities under the federal securities laws and SIPA, and thus are protected by SIPA; (2) securities under the federal securities laws, but not under SIPA, and thus not protected by SIPA; or (3) not securities under the federal securities laws and therefore not protected by SIPA. 25 If a broker-dealer holds securities that are not protected by SIPA, the broker-dealer must nevertheless comply with the physical possession or control requirements under Rule 15c3-3 with respect to those securities. 26 Generally, in a SIPA liquidation, assets not included in customer property (other than customer name securities) are liquidated and paid out to general creditors on a pro rata basis. See 15 U.S.C. 78fff-2(c); 15 U.S.C. 78fff(b). 27 See supra note 16. 28 See paragraph (c)(7) of Rule 15c3-3.
The BCH Halvening will happen seven-weeks before the BTC Halvening, will there be any investment money left for BTC after the BCH frenzy?
BTC is expected to halven on May 29th, 2020. In actuality, any bull-run between then and now will likely lead to increased hashing power that moves the Halvening date up by a few weeks up to a month. When will BCH halven? According to this site, the expected date is 4/6/2020, a month and a halve sooner than BTC. It will happen sooner because early in BCH's history miners would switch back and forth between BCH and BTW whenever the difficulty targets made it more profitable to mine on one or the other chain. This led to some difficulty on both chains early on in BCH's life, and this was solved by the adoption of the DAA, difficulty adjustment algorithm, which solved the problem by rapidly increasing/decreasing the difficulty when new hashing power arrives or leaves. One side-benefit to this is that BCH is much less vulnerable to network slow-down if lots of hash-power suddenly leaves the network, whereas BTC has a difficulty-adjustment every 2016 blocks no matter what, with a cap on how much it can change each time, and if they lost half their hash-power suddenly it could take them weeks or months to get back to where the network is working smoothly again. Because lots of hash power back then was switching to mining BCH when the difficulty was low, resulting in blocks being found very quickly compared to BTC, the BCH blockchain is ahead of the BTC blockchain by about seven weeks, and is likely to remain in that position. We've had two halvenings in bitcoin history, the first in November 2012 shortly before the price spiked from $12 to $230 and then ran the rest of 2013 up to $1000, the last being in July 2016 where the price doubled around this time from about $400 to $700+ and kept climbing throughout 2017, peaking at $19,000. It would not be an exagerration to say that 2017 brought crypto-investing into the mainstream. And the fact that crypto's prices did not absolutely collapse in the last six months means a lot. Because of this, the next Halvening will bring an absolute FRENZY of investment speculation. Likely many traders are already salivating and preparing their strategies. But it occurs to me that BCH will halven six weeks before BTC halvens, this creates a significant dilemma for investors. We could very well see a situation where investors are forced to choose between BTC and BCH. And since BCH halvens first, we may see most investors dropping deep pockets into BCH to see where it goes. And you can't exactly just jump right out after a Halvening, you need to ride it until the peak. So, what are the chances people will just jump out of BCH and buy into the BTC Halvening soon after? Pretty low, I'm guessing. Sure many BTC stalwarts will avoid BCH and buy BTC, but those people will have their passions tempered thereafter when they do the math and figure out they could've earned a lot more by being in BCH, assuming that's what goes down at that time, as I expect. Dunno what's going to happen, but this will be the most exciting Halvening of our lives, and I am really curious to see how the market approaches this one. It may become the point when BCH surpasses BTC in price, and that will be the single most exciting moment in BCH history, and a solid base to launch the future of crypto with. I'm sure a lot of you will say that BCH will surely have surpassed BTC in price by then, but I think that is too optimistic to hope for. In my experience, such moves take longer to start than you expect, then happen far more rapidly than you would expect. The good news is that the next halvening is not too close for BCH to differentiate itself and prove its quality by the time people must begin making the choice of where to put their money. And to those who think the market will price-in the Halvening ahead of time--you guys said the same thing at the 2016 Halvening on the run-up to $400, and the price still doubled afterwards--the price can never be completely priced-in ahead of time due to uncertainty about the future. So, we shall see, but it certainly looks like timing and circumstance are in our favor. (If you want a Halvening reminder, here's the ones I'm using that will remind us 15 days ahead of time, which will account somewhat for the Halvening date moving up in time, as it tends to do when new hashpower is added. Note: the "RemindMe!" command is case-sensitive.) BTC: RemindMe! 747 days "Bitcoin (BTC) Halvening expected on May 29th 2020" BCH: RemindMe! 695 days "Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Halvening expected on April 6th 2020"
Bitcoin mining is a term that everyone in the cryptocurrency and even many outsiders are familiar with. This is a process performed by high-powered computers (also known as nodes), which solve complicated computational math problems. While distinct, there are certain similarities between bitcoin mining and actual mining for precious metals such as gold, for example. Both processes are carried out with the intention to earn a reward. Furthermore, bitcoins actually exist in the bitcoin protocol but they haven’t been brought out yet – just as gold exists in the ground but it hasn’t been mined yet. But the aim of bitcoin mining is, however, twofold. For once, when the above-mentioned high-powered computer or any other type of mining hardware, for that matter, successfully solves the complex math problem on the network of Bitcoin, they produce a new bitcoin. On the other hand, by solving the computational math problems, bitcoin miners are actually making the payment network a secure through the proof-of-work consensus algorithm.
WHY IS BITCOIN MINING NECESSARY?
In order to break down bitcoin mining, there are a few important considerations that need to be taken into account. Consumers tend to trust different types of printed fiat currencies because they are backed by central banks. In the US, for instance, this is the Federal Reserve. This is even true for digital payments made with fiat currencies. Bitcoin, however, is not regulated by any central authority. It can be said that it is ‘backed’ by the computing power, which secures the network. This vast network of computers and mining hardware records transactions and make sure that they are accurate. Unlike central authorities, however, bitcoin miners are spread throughout the entire world and record the transactional information on a public ledger available to anyone. This ledger can be viewed using a block explorer and there are many different websites that provide this service. In other words, bitcoin mining is necessary for two different reasons – first, it is needed to create new bitcoin and second, it’s needed to confirm the transactional information. So, in theory, if you don’t want to buy Bitcoin, you can earn it through mining. Whether or not that’s efficient for you as an individual miner, however, is a different story.
HOW DOES BITCOIN MINING WORK?
In order for a bitcoin miner to get block rewards, there are two conditions which need to be met. First, the miner needs to confirm a certain amount of transactions and second, which is the trickiest part, solve a complex computational math problem. Put simply, if that’s at all possible, each miner is competing with all of the others to come up with a 64-digit hexadecimal number which is referred to as a “hash” which is less than or equal to the hash which is targeted. In other words, the computer will be spitting out different hashes at a certain rate per second guessing all of the possible 64-digit numbers until they reach the correct solution. Therefore, computational power is essential – the more powerful your mining equipment, the larger hash rate per second you’d be able to achieve. This is why the Bitcoin mining hardware is particularly important. Naturally, the cost of mining would be based on a the operation costs such as electricity, internet connection, hardware maintenance, and so forth. This is the main reason for which back in 2013 bitcoin miners started to use machines which were specifically designed for mining cryptocurrencies. These are called Application-Specific Integrated Circuits or ASIC mining, for short. ASIC mining devices can cost a serious amount of money but are more efficient than traditional computers. There are a few important things to be considered when it comes to BTC mining. These are some of its pillar components, so to speak.
One of the things to be aware of in the world of Bitcoin mining is blocks. Transaction data is recorded in files which are called blocks. Think of it as a page from your city’s recordbook. Blocks are organized into a chain in chronological order – hence, blockchain. New transactions, as they are being confirmed by miners, go into new blocks, with each new block is being added to the end of the chain. This is why blockchain is also referred to as records of blocks.
Is Bitcoin mining profitable? This is probably the most commonly asked question. Unfortunately, there is no one answer. Block rewards are what miners compete for. Other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin Cash, for instance, also have their own block rewards which differ from those of Bitcoin. At inception, every single bitcoin block reward was worth 50 BTC. However, the protocol works in a way where the block reward is being halved after 210,000 blocks have been discovered. This takes roughly around four years to complete. As of July 9th, 2016, the reward for discovering one block is 12.5 BTC. So is Bitcoin mining profitable? It depends. One would have to calculate the current block reward based on the current prices and compare that to the cost of mining, which varies from miner to miner. It’s worth noting that the reward for successful Bitcoin miners will drop once again in May 2020 and it will decrease to 6.25 BTC per block from the current 12.5.
To put it in the most basic terms, hash rate represents the speed at which bitcoin mining hardware can guess the correct hash. Therefore, the faster your hash rate is the higher the chances of discovering the new block you have. BTC mining has become highly competitive and, as such, you need to consider getting powerful bitcoin mining hardware. Individual miners, can, on the other hand, take advantage of cloud mining or mine a coin with lower difficulty, but more on that later.
The difficulty of bitcoin mining is adjusted frequently in order to maintain an average time of about 10 minutes to process a block. The rate is recalculated every 2,016 blocks. In case you wonder why ten minutes – it’s because bitcoin developers have decided that this is the time needed for a steady and diminishing flow of producing new coins.
WHAT IS A MINING POOL
When it comes to cryptocurrency mining, a mining pool is the combined resources by miners who are sharing their overall computational power over a network in order to split the reward equally based on the amount of work that they have contributed to discovering a new block. A “share” would be awarded to each member of the mining pool who manages to present a valid partial proof of his work. Mining pools became popular as the difficulty of bitcoin mining increased over time and when it became apparent that individual miners could no longer compete with bigger pools and large-scale mining operations.
WHAT IS CLOUD MINING
Cloud mining, on the other hand, is what allows individual miners to participate in the process without having to purchase particularly expensive bitcoin mining hardware. If you want to take part in BTC mining but you don’t want to spend the time and resources to get powerful machines, you can use shared processing power provided by remote data centers. The only thing you’d need is a home computer. Generally, there are three types of cloud mining that you can take advantage of. These include:
You can lease a mining machine which is hosted by the provider.
Virtual Hosted Mining
This is a method which would require you to create a virtual private server and after that install your own mining software.
Lease Hash Power
Cloud mining also allows you to lease a certain amount of hash power without having the best bitcoin mining hardware. This is likely to be the most popular method of all. Most of the providers offer comprehensive calculators that you can take advantage of to determine the current profitability based on the resources you are ready to spend. However, it’s important to pay special attention when it comes to cloud mining as there are fraudulent service providers. It’s crucial to make proper and in-depth due-diligence, especially if you intend to lease hash power. One of the largest cloud Bitcoin mining companies out there is Genesis Mining.
ENERGY CONSUMPTION: THINGS TO BE AWARE OF
Mining bitcoin is intentionally designed to be energy intensive. The computational power needed to solve the abovementioned complex math problems requires a lot of electricity to power up the specialized mining hardware. On the flipside, it requires even more resources to attack the network than to defend it, making Bitcoin the most secure blockchain today. In fact, there is an entire pseudo-environmentalist brigade which aims to have the regular user believe that Bitcoin mining would somehow be the death of the planet. A lot of their arguments revolve around the fact that large data centers used for carrying out the math computations use tremendous amount of electricity. However, Bitcoinist recently outlined three reasons for which this rhetoric is complete nonsense. According to clean energy researcher Katrina Kelly-Pitou, the entire debate on the overall electricity consumption by bitcoin mining facilities is headed in the wrong direction. The research outlines that electricity consumption can increase while, at the same time, have minimal impact on the environment. This is because those facilities gradually begin to use more efficient, sources of energy which are renewable. Not only does this make mining more profitable, but it also lowers the impact on the environment. The researcher also outlined that banks use three times more electricity than Bitcoin’s network. What is more, a brand new report concluded that 80 percent of Bitcoin mining is running on renewable energy. This is unsurprising since miners are naturally incentivized to seek the cheapest and cleanest sources of energy, many of which are renewables such as hydroelectricity (e.g. Iceland). If you’re worried about Bitcoin consuming too much energy, you might want to think twice about lighting up the Christmas lights this year. That’s right – the lights that American consumers alone use to decorate their homes for the occasion make up a gigantic 6.63 billion kilowatt hours of electricity consumption every single year. That’s more than the entire national energy consumptions of a lot of the developing countries every year. For example, both Ethiopia and El Salvador used less electricity per year. However, if you decide to set up a mining rig in your garage, you can most definitely expect a more expensive electricity bill next month.
BEST BITCOIN MINING HARDWARE: THINGS TO CONSIDER
There are a few key parameters to look out for when it comes to choosing the best bitcoin mining hardware. These include:
Naturally, you want to be aware of how much electricity does your miner consume. The lower this number, the better.
As we explained above, the hash rate is essential for bitcoin mining. The larger this number is, the better the machine is, generally.
This measurement accounts for the efficiency of your machine. If this particular number is low, it means that the machine will consume less power for the same amount of work done by the machine. There is a range of different devices produced by some of the largest companies in the field such as Bitmain Technologies, Canaan Creative, Halong Mining, Innosilicon Technology, and others of the kind.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU MINE?
Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency which can be mined. It’s worth noting, though, that if you are using a specialized cryptocurrency mining hardware you’d have to check the compatible digital currencies, as some of the devices would only allow you to mine selected cryptocurrencies. However, apart from Bitcoin, other popular choices include Bitcoin Cash, Monero, Dogecoin, Litecoin, and so forth.
If you managed to make it thus far, you should have a general understanding of the main principles behind bitcoin mining and why it is essential to its network. At the same time, bitcoin mining represents an alternative method to acquire the digital currency. Of course, if you don’t feel like investing time and efforts into it, let alone designating specialized bitcoin mining hardware, you can always check our detailed guide on to how to buy cryptocurrencies. We’ve gone in depth on how to buy Bitcoin with Paypal, credit card, debit card, and even with cash. We’ve also covered some of the most popular platforms where you can buy Bitcoin. Once you’ve done that, you can hop to our comprehensive guide to Bitcoin wallets and determine whether you want a web-based one or an offline, hardware solution instead.
What is FLO? FLO is a cryptocurrency that introduces a worldwide public record for storing information. FLO coins are needed to pay for storage capacity, and coins are issued to reward participants for their work to secure and distribute information. FLO is used to send payments and store data. This encourages building applications because anyone has the ability to write data into FLO. How does FLO work? FLO is a network similar to bitcoin where the open ledger is secured by miners competing to find proof-of-work. FLO has its own ledger, called the FLO blockchain, that can be thought of as a digital public space for storing information.
40 second block generation allows for fast confirmations, but not too fast to cause problems with network synchronisation.
No pre-mine, super-blocks or zero-blocks at the start.
Quick difficulty adjustment should limit insta-mining in the first hours after launch.
A floData can be added to any coin transaction. This can be used to attach a simple message or reference to a transaction, or for any other purpose decided by the coin receiver and sender. floData is currently limited to 1040 characters. Both the GUI and RPC interface have been extended to implement this feature.* The floData field can be seen under the "Transactions" tab when you double click on a a transaction ("Transaction information"). Also available from the terminal by doing "listtransactions".
Note that floData is stored in the block-chain and are therefore public. If you want to send private information in your floData you should encrypt the message using a method agreed upon by the sender and receiver.
floData has minimal impact on the size of the block chain due to small size (relative to the size of a block in the chain) and the fact that it does not take up any extra space when not used in a transaction. Transaction costs (calculated on transaction size) also offset the impact of slightly larger transactions when floData is included.
Block target spacing: 40 seconds Difficulty retargets every blocks Block reward: 100 FLO, halving every 800,000 blocks (about 1 year) Maximum coins: 160 million FLONetwork port: 7312RPC port: 7313
bit_by_bit's mining-cost analysis is wrong - here's mine
bit_by_bit publishes a daily mining-cost-per-coin watch. Though his work is thorough and commendable, it is unfortunately incorrect, and his conclusions naive. I'm sure he has misled people on this board, so I'm here to set the record straight. Roughly using bit_by_bit's assumptions:
difficulty increase is (probably) impossible to predict
I'm 100% sure your miner would not arrive and be switched on today
Given those two huge, highly variable (and unpredictable) factors, trying to work out a cost-per-coin is ... more-or-less impossible. It's simply enough to assume that mining is extremely unprofitable at the moment and (probably) a very poor investment. Here are some examples of variability:
Cointerra TerraMiner IV
cost per coin
0% difficulty increase
20% difficulty increase
15% difficulty, but starting at 30bn difficulty
How are these numbers so different from bit_by_bits?
His calculations do not factor in an exponential difficulty increase. Instead, he says (in his maths) : "if the bitcoin network were composed of the miners here, and no extra miners are added/removed (i.e. difficulty remains the same) what would those miners (on average) achieve as a cost per coin over six months."
The problem with these numbers is
The percentage of miners he uses to compose the network is unknowable, and as you see above, miner performance varies greatly. I'm quite sure that huge operations custom manufacture their machines and never sell them. Their performance is unknown. (an unknowable unknown)
The makeup of the mining network in the future is unknowable, and difficulty will undoubtedly increase, but we can't know by how much. It has previously plateaued. Will it do the same? nobody knows.
They assume the very latest miners, shipped immediately. Historically, new miners are not shipped on time. It's been suggested that the manufacturers keep them and do highly profitable day-zero mining with them.
Also, to suggest that it is possible to predict market movements (and depth) is naive as it asserts that demand is constant, and that supply is the major, or key, factor. This is highly unlikely to be the case.
Let's talk about mining's effect on bitcoin price or, first should we talk about the effect of the price of bitcoin on the mining industry?
The two are intimately linked chicken-and-egg in a feedback loop. For a manufacturer to decide to make a rig, they need to design chips, get industry contacts, produce things (in china), make sure they work, then ship. They also need to get orders and decide if they are able to get the whole project in time for market. These projects are multi-month/year, and I've heard success is largely decided by who you know in china (china's pretty busy already). There is some kind of lag. Investors also pre-order, and must take a wild guess at future conditions with no guarantee whatsoever. At times like now, where mining is so unprofitable, which miners are actually selling coins (at a loss)? Large operations have large overheads, but to sell now, when the price might rise by 10x again would be idiotic. So, really this "supply" aspect of the supply-demand equation is very difficult to get a decent hold on, though I would love somebody to attempt it as a PHD. The blockchain should provide some answers. The other side of it (what miners will be produced) is also difficult to know. It could be that right now (with an unprofitable industry, and miners actually being quite close to desktop PC chip-size - i.e. as fast as humans can make them) no miners are in the pipe-line. This could (in crazy theory) lead to a zero difficulty increase for the lucky new owners of the above rigs. In that case, bit_by_bit's numbers would be spot on. Unfortunately, it's absolutely unknowable.
So... why do people buy miners now?
Quite simply, getting your head around an exponential anything is hard. The exponential difficulty increase is a motherfucker. But it's good for bitcoin (it protects our network from meddlers). Also, you could gamble that mining difficulty has to slow down... surely...
In my experience, looking at price charts is far more informative about future market movements. But, whilst I've got the microphone, I would remind newbies not to trade their coins.
$0.15 (varies quite a bit from country-to country, like 0.7 canada to 0.2 UK?)
price per BTC
I got these numbers off bit_by_bit. I don't care about the details. My argument is that it's not an answerable question. Result:
2252/600 = 3.75 BTC
7446/3.75 = $1985
Please, if I've made a mistake, let me know and I'll send bit_by_bit some flowers.
"Why are you just posting stuff directly against another user: that's not cool"
Well, it's whatever motivates you eh? I just go wound up by our discussions. But, I'm quite sure there are people on this board who don't know this stuff, so ... it's probably beneficial. Have fun EDIT: Ok, so I genuinely thought that I had made a fact-based post. Er, I added a few comments that I thought were funny, but I guess that wasn't a great idea. I removed one of my comments myself, but it's true that the moderators were in touch..... And - to bit_by_bit, I am sorry, because some of the things I said were above and beyond "spirited discussion". I absolutely agree that polite conduct is the way forward, and my initial "hang on a minute" reply to him was nice. But, I do have to admit that this subject has wound me up a fair amount. I genuinely believe that he's made a quite serious mistake - but I am happy to be proved wrong. Right now - I just want to get to the bottom of this. More Edit:
I am a miner
I didn't want to add this before, because I'm sure it (incorrectly) gives my argument more weight. But I need you to understand that bitcoin difficulty is a total motherfucker. I pre-ordered a BFL single for 11BTC in May 2013. The difficulty was about 4 million, and I worked out I'd make 30BTC/day at those conditions. It arrived at around 30 million difficulty, and I think now we're 18 billion. I've made about 0.7 BTC mining, and It's on the limit of believability that I'll make 1BTC before I throw it in the bin. I have a suspicion that it will be useful in the future for some altcoin/blockchain like thing. Also, I got free heating (which was the whole reason I discovered bitcoin in the first place!) Horrific loss. I think it makes about $1 more than it costs in electricity to run (at current price......) This whole post is not a "bitter miner" but somebody who has experienced bitcoin's exponential difficulty First Hand. Honestly, it is unbelievable. I genuinely think that the guy that does the profitability calculator deliberately does not explain what the 'profitability decline per year' is ... because he knows it will adversely harm bitcoin and the manufacture of miners. Even More EDIT:
Am I sure I've got the difficulty increase thing right?
So, I've made a spreadsheet thing to see if the 0.0022 difficulty thing is right. It is. All this table tells you is that in order to calculate 15% difficulty increase, you need to use a number LIKE 0.0022 in the 'profitability decline per year' box, and not 0.98 (which bit_by_bit calculated). I've sanity checked my numbers against the 'profitability calculator' and they don't quite line up, but they're close enough. The difficulty is not the same either, but it's in the same region. I don't know why. Also, the months aren't exact fortnights, so they don't line up. These are details. This proves my above workings to my satisfaction.
what is this horrible data?
It shows how much BTC your miner earns each 2 weeks (average difficulty change period). The last 2 rows (calc:) are from the profitability calculator website (and so are right). My attempt is on the left. Fortnight 13 is 6 months. Oh, this graph uses 14.07% difficulty.
BTC earned accumulated
calculator says BTC
2 bold numbers. 1 is approximately the 3.75 coins that gives you $1900 / coin whatever. 2 is the "profitability decline per year" as a tiny number. The pro tool comes up with 0.01095125 and I got 0.02257 but I don't care - it's close enough. My whole point is that these numbers are totally unworkably all over the place. You can't calculate them meaningfully.
I CANNOT BELIEVE the amount of effort that I have had to go to in order to show you that you made a minor mistake. (at time of writing you still deny it). There is no doubt in my mind now that I was right in the first place. Your calculations do not include a significant difficulty increase. I wish you well.
An explanation of the bubble-watch chart, to warn the naive and pacify the critics I got my prices from the daily weighted price on bitcoincharts.com. A quick look at the log chart for bitcoin shows two obvious patterns: http://imgur.com/JTAPJY5 Pattern 1: The price has risen exponentially over time. Pattern 2: There have been bubbles in the price at regular intervals. The bubble-watch chart is an attempt to answer the following question: "Assuming both patterns hold for the remainder of 2014, how would the price behave?" To answer that question, first let's introduce the "lower boundary" curve. This curve is defined by line segments on the log chart that have the following properties:
One line segment per bubble.
Line segments are positioned with their endpoints on the "troughs" on either side of each bubble.
http://imgur.com/zj6Weul By using these line segments we can see changes in the exponential slope over time. In particular, notice that the slope was very high at the beginning and then the June 2011 bubble came along. Then the slope was very low, until the April 2013 bubble. Here is a bar chart to show how the slope has changed over time: http://imgur.com/RcnPGar Second, let's graph the difference between the ln(price) and the y value of the lower boundary curve: http://imgur.com/yjxmbh4 At this point we have mathematically separated the two patterns. We have an exponential slope component that looks like this: http://imgur.com/H0Rw3Nl ... and we have the above graph showing the periodic bubbles. To answer our question of what would happen during the rest of 2014 we need to extrapolate each component