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How #Crypto Miners Are Adapting to Survive the #BearMarket

Crypto Winter Is Taking Its Toll

This year, a number of mining operations have closed globally and around tens of thousands of mining rigs have been shut down in #China. However, the bear market has ignited a wave of creativity among resourceful market participants, allowing their mining operations to thrive by capitalizing on new cost-efficient strategies.

Matt D’Souza, co-founder of Blockware Solutions and a consultant at KPMG based in #Chicago, also operates one of the largest mining pools for Aion #Network. D’Souza acknowledges that while the bear market has caused many facilities to close shop, experienced miners are getting creative and capturing greater market share.

It is the miners who built inefficient and large indoor facilities a few years ago and bought mining rigs Q3 2017 – Q2 2018 that are in trouble. D’Souza explains that the mining market participants currently going out of business most likely purchased rigs and signed hosting contracts between Q4 2017 and Q2 2018 while #BTC was trading over $9,000. Within that timeframe, S9s sold for over $2,000, and a two-year hosting contract averaged $120+ per S9 per month.

Survival of the Fittest

According to Blockware in the U.S., under current market conditions the going rate for hosting an S9 is between $60-75 per month, depending on the number of units. “It is just like every market cycle – the inefficient get wiped out but innovative participants observe the incumbents’ mistakes, run lean, cost-efficient operations, and establish long-term competitive advantages. Our mine will be able to still thrive at [a BTC price of] $1,500,” said D’Souza.

On average, solo miners pay $0.13+ per kWh to run their rigs at home or anywhere with residential rates. According to Blockware, miners have been able to reduce their total costs by over 40 percent during the BTC correction by contracting with a hosting facility and locking in a $0.06- $0.07 per kWh rate. “Miners locking in a two-year hosting contract at present market rates is analogous to a value investor purchasing BTC at $3,500 with a two-year outlook. #bitcoininfo


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Zurcoin Co-Founder Alleges Most #Exchanges Manipulating #Cryptocurrency Market
Zurcoin co-founder Daniel Mark Harrison has alleged that the majority of crypto exchanges are actively engaged in manipulating digital asset markets, which threatens the long term stability of the market and also fundamentally contradicts cryptocurrency’s principle of decentralisation.

In a post published on his Medium page, Harrison stated that exchanges are effectively stealing from their customers by acting in ways that move crypto prices downward until customers simply abandon their holdings, enabling exchanges to increase their crypto asset holdings through the back door in an operating climate that is otherwise unattractive due to high operating costs and low margins.

Deliberate Depression of Crypto Prices
In Harrison’s opinion, the market situation that shows increased volumes amidst reduced capitalisation is fundamentally impossible according to rational market behaviour, and can only be the result of manipulation by exchanges with the aim of gaining custody of user crypto funds be exploiting the psychology of retail investors.

Citing Bitcoin as an example, he explained that in December 2017, Bitcoin’s volume was around $14 billion on market capitalization of $284 billion. By 2018, the volumes were held at $4.3 billion on a market capitalization of $59.9 billion, showing that while volumes stood at 4% of market capitalization in 2017, despite an 82 percent price drop over the next 12 months, the volumes as a percentage of market cap increased to 9%. According to Harrison, it is impossible to explain such a scenario within the context of anything other than deliberate downward price manipulation by exchanges.

Explaining why exchanges would do this he said:

The cause of this behaviour is clearly that running an exchange is by and large, an extremely cost-intensive, highly competitive, low-margin business, which holds next to appeal for entrepreneurs wishing to cash in on the new digital gold rush. #bitcoinnews #bitcoininfo


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#Malaysia Files Criminal Charges Against Goldman Sachs

Following months of investigation into the 1MDB scandal in Malaysia, the country’s attorney general Tommy Thomas has filed criminal charges against Goldman Sachs International and two of its Asian subsidiaries alongside former Goldman Partner Tim Leissner, alleged scam mastermind Jho Low and former 1MDB counsel Jasmine Loo. The Wall Street Journal reports that Malaysian authorities earlier today released a statement confirming the prosecution for omitting material information and publishing untrue statements, which are offenses under Malaysia’s securities laws.

In the statement, the attorney general revealed that the offenses in question were in relation to documents for international bond sale offering in 2012 and 2013 by Malaysia’s state-run investment ehicle 1Malaysia Development Bhd., also known as 1MDB. According to the prosecution, of $6.5 billion worth of bonds that were arranged by Goldman Sachs in that period, about $2,7 billion was embezzled, with the bank making profits of over $600 million in the process.

Since that time, 1MDB has become a political and legal black hole, bringing down the government of former prime minister Najib Razak and becoming the focus of a vast international investigation led by the United States Justice Department alongside authorities across Southeast Asia and Europe. Goldman Sachs is front and centre of the investigation, with former executive Roger Ng currently fighting extradition to the face charges by the Justice Department.

An excerpt from the statement reads:

Malaysia considers the allegations in the charges against the accused to be grave violations of our securities laws, and to reflect their severity, prosecutors will seek criminal fines against the accused well in excess of the $2.7 billion misappropriated from the bonds proceeds and $600 million in fees received by Goldman Sachs, and custodial sentences against each of the individual accused: the maximum term of imprisonment being 10 years.

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bitcoin.info The Daily: #Binance Offers Multiple Accounts, #Huobi Plans Institutional #Exchange

Binance Introduces Subaccount Feature

Binance, currently the largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, has announced the launch of a subaccount feature for institutional clients. The upgrade will allow them to set up multiple trading accounts within an organization, providing them with improved control and asset audit tools.

Entities will be able to create up to 200 subaccounts, maintaining control over the movement of digital assets from their main account. They can also grant permissions for different access levels. Each subaccount will have its own API limits which will enable API users to trade with more freedom and capacity, the exchange detailed in a post on Medium.

Under the new arrangements, master accounts will be able to view all data and balances, transfer funds between accounts and exert managerial control. Both types of accounts can place orders, but subaccounts will be allowed to cancel only their own orders. The same applies to API features, where only master accounts will be able to delete keys.

Binance assures customers that the new feature has been designed with security in mind. “Account login information has been properly subdivided to maximize security and minimize risk,” the trading platform noted in the announcement.

Huobi to Launch Regulated Exchange for Institutions

Digital asset exchange Huobi, which was recently granted a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) license in Gibraltar, has announced plans to create a global platform for institutional customers. According to a press release, the DLT license allows the Singapore-based company to store and transmit cryptocurrencies on behalf of clients around the world. It also simplifies the exchange between fiat and digital currencies.

Lester Haoda Li, head of Global Institutional Business at Huobi’s London office, emphasized that well-designed regulatory regimes are a key part of the future for the cryptocurrency industry. #bitcoinnews #bitcoininfo


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bitcoin.info Wirex Introduces Iban for All #European #Crypto Card Accounts

Iban Added to Wirex Accounts in the EEA

The #UK.-based fintech startup has rolled out Iban functionality across #Europe after a successful pilot in four countries over the last couple of months. In September, the company launched Iban support for accounts opened in Spain and France. Later Italy and Germany were added. U.K.-registered accounts had Iban numbers even earlier. The company also raised the funding limits for account holders in the EEA to £15,000, €16,000 and $20,000.

Iban, or international bank account number, is a system of identifying bank accounts that allows international payments. Each Iban is unique and consists of up to 34 alphanumeric characters representing country code, domestic bank account number, branch identifier, and routing information. The Iban also has two check digits which allow the verification of the number and reduce the risk of errors.

Wirex has been a popular choice for cryptocurrency users in Europe since it became the first platform to reintroduce crypto debit cards after they were suspended by Visa last year. Its cards allow users to spend several major cryptocurrencies – bitcoin core (BTC), litecoin (LTC), ethereum (ETH), and ripple (XRP) – in stores and online, anywhere Visa is accepted. That’s possible thanks to instant conversion to three leading fiat currencies – British pound (GBP), euro (EUR) and U.S. dollar (USD). Wirex wallets support all three currencies and can be linked to the Wirex plastic and virtual cards.

Expansion in North America
The British fintech startup has announced plans to offer its services to customers in North American markets. In August, the company was granted a Fintrac and Money Service Business registration by regulators in Canada, where users can already set up and use Wirex cryptocurrency wallets. The next step is to introduce fiat currency accounts and start issuing contactless crypto debit cards.

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bitcoin.info #German Stock #Exchange Giant to Launch #Crypto #Trading — How it Will Affect the #European Market

On December 12, Boerse Stuttgart, the second-biggest stock exchange in Germany and the ninth-largest in Europe, said in an official statement that it plans to introduce a crypto trading platform by the second quarter of 2019.

Alexander Höptner, the CEO of Boerse Stuttgart GmbH, stated: “With its combination of technology and banking expertise, solarisBank is a great partner for us to offer central services along the value chain for digital assets. solarisBank’s Blockchain Factory supports us in taking trading in crypto currencies and tokens to the next level and in setting new standards in transparency and reliability.” In the upcoming months, Boerse Stuttgart will collaborate with solarisBank to establish an end-to-end infrastructure for cryptocurrencies, allowing investors in the public market to trade digital assets.

What Effect Will it Have on Europe?
Throughout the past five years, despite its lead in infrastructure and talent, Europe has struggled to compete with up-and-coming markets that were rapidly establishing the infrastructure around cryptocurrencies.

Consequently, markets like Singapore, South Korea, and Japan have become the largest cryptocurrency markets in terms of volume and the value of startups based in the three countries, just behind the United States.
According to cryptocurrency market data provider CryptoCompare, less than a year ago, major cryptocurrencies in the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum both have had most of their daily volumes concentrated in Japan, South Korea, and the United States.

crypto exchange volume by country and exchange
Source: CryptoCompare
However, over the past several months, possibly influenced by the G20’s call to regulate crypto and the open-minded stance of a handful of European countries such as the U.K. and France toward cryptocurrencies, the euro (EUR) trading pair has started to account for a fair share of both #Bitcoin and #Ethereum’s volumes.

#bitcoininfo #bitcoinnews


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bitcoin.info #Japan Calls All #Coins ‘Crypto Assets’, #Russia Defines #Cryptocurrency as Property

Japanese Regulator Renames #Cryptocurrencies

Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) has decided to call all cryptocurrencies “crypto assets,” the country’s leading daily Yomiuri Shimbun reported. The reasoning behind the decision is to help traders avoid confusing digital coins with legal tender recognized by the government in Tokyo. The regulator notes the price of many cryptos fluctuates wildly, there’s no evidence of value and it’s often unclear who is issuing them.

FCA’s advisory panel has produced a report this week in which its members claim the term “virtual currency” could cause misunderstanding, calling for its substitution. According to the document, the regulator’s recommendation is to revise all relevant Japanese laws and regulations. The revision is expected to cover different pieces of legislation such as the Payment and Services Law, which regulates the use of cryptocurrencies in the country.

The panel has also emphasized the need to establish a mechanism aimed at protecting users in events such as a “cash outflow,” as reported by Japan Times, the newspaper’s English language edition. To achieve that, the Financial Services Agency intends to oblige Japanese companies operating with crypto assets to implement strict management systems.

Cryptocurrency Is ‘Other Property’ Russian Ministry Says

Russia’s Justice Ministry has once again confirmed the property status of digital currencies. According to an official statement, “cryptocurrency can be classified as an object of civil rights and be subject to obligations.” The document has been issued by the ministry in response to a request for a legal interpretation of the term and reaffirms a previously declared stance.

The query has been filed by a group of traders who have been trying to attract the attention of Russian authorities to the case of the now inactive Wex crypto exchange, successor of the infamous BTC-e. They’ve published a copy of the statement in their Wex Initiative Group #Telegram channel. #bitcoininfo #bitcoinnews


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bitcoin.info Busted: Indian #Crypto #Ponzi Scheme Lured #Muslims With Halal Investment Promises

An Indian cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme masquerading as an investment company has crumbled in the aftermath of the Reserve Bank of India’s declaration of #cryptocurrency as “illegal tender”. The Deccan Chronicle reported this week that Ambidant Marketing and Investment Company, run by father and son duo Syed Fareed and Syed Afaq Ahmed, used promises of Halal #investments alongside misused Ulemas (Islamic theology scholars) to position itself as a Sharia-compliant investment program for Muslim investors, bringing in huge amounts of investor money without declaring its crypto investment positions.

Deceitful Investment Practices
According to reports, the company used the cover of Halal businesses and investments to attract Muslim investors who were then promised fantastic monthly returns of as much as 50 percent per lakh Rupees (approximately $275). Specifically targeting Muslim investment, the company also allegedly used Ulemas to market its activities as Halal. Without informing investors, the company would then invest the takings in cryptocurrencies where it made a fortune, enabling it to pay the promised returns for a while until the scheme grew bigger. Its crypto investment positions and exposure were never revealed to investors through this time.

As more investors joined the ponzi scheme, payout sizes declined first to 25 percent, and then to 11 percent before finally paying out 9 percent in January 2018, which was its last payout. Before it stopped paying out, some investors had earned up to double their initial investment amounts, which ranged from Rs 50,000 (about $685) to over Rs 1 crore (roughly $137,165). Following the RBI’s declaration of bitcoin as “illegal tender”, India’s Enforcement Directorate which oversees financial law enforcement turned its attention to Ambidant’s activities. It was one of over 4,000 companies placed under similar investigation, but unlike the majority of the others, its investors had no idea about its cryptocurrency investment exposure.

#bitcoinnews #bitcoininfo


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