The percentage of the global Bitcoin mining industry running on renewable power increased by 1% to 58.5% in the fourth quarter of 2021 according to new data.

The Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC) announced the findings of its fourth quarter survey on Jan. 18.

The survey focused on three metrics: sustainable power mix, technological efficiency and electricity consumption.

Founded in May 2021, the BMC is a voluntary global forum of Bitcoin mining companies such as Bit Digital, BitFury, Bitfarms and Atlas Mining, and other industry organizations.

Michael Saylor, the Founder and CEO of MicroStrategy, and a key member of the BMC noted:

“This quarter we saw the trend continue with dramatic improvements to Bitcoin mining energy efficiency & sustainability due to advances in semiconductor technology, the rapid expansion of North American mining, the China Exodus, and worldwide rotation toward sustainable energy and modern mining techniques.”

The voluntary survey compiled sustainable energy information from miners accounting for more than 46% of the global Bitcoin network. According to the survey, the members of the Mining Council itself are harnessing electricity with a sustainable energy mix of 66.1%.

The self-reported data was then used to estimate the global Bitcoin mining industry’s sustainable energy mix was approximately 58.5% during Q4, an increase of one percentage point on Q3’s figure. The industry’s estimated technological efficiency grew by 9% as well, to 19.3 petahash per MW.

Co-founder of Core Scientific and the BMC Darin Feinstein noted that the hashrate of the BMC participating members increased by 77% in Q4.

Related: Georgian citizens made to swear an oath to stop mining crypto

The environmental impacts of Bitcoin mining have been heatedly debated for some time and U.S Congress is now preparing to take a thorough look at the energy impacts of Proof of Work blockchains. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce has just announced key witnesses to testify on the energy and environmental impacts of crypto mining at a hearing on Jan. 20.

Notable witnesses include the CEO of BitFury Brian Brooks, Cornell Tech professor Ari Juels and the CEO of Soluna Computing John Belizaire.

Bitcoin miners are increasingly looking for sustainable energy sources as the pressure mounts from the public, shareholders and governments. Investors like Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary, also known as Mr. Wonderful, say they are looking to purchase stocks of mining companies that use sustainable energy.

One avenue that could be explored further is nuclear energy. At the Bitcoin & Beyond Virtual Summit in early November, Vice President of Griid Harry Sudock said nuclear energy could present an opportunity to introduce large amounts of clean, carbon-free energy.




Cointelegraph By Surajdeep Singh

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Strike’s digital wallet has become the fifth most popular finance app in Argentina within a week of its launch.

The firm, led by hoodie-wearing CEO Jack Mallers, rolled out its crypto payment services for the Argentinian market on Jan 12. Strike is famed for enabling Bitcoin (BTC) payments via the Lightning network, particularly in El Salvador.

However, according to local media and user reports, the firm’s app in Argentina reportedly currently only supports the use of Tether’s stable coin USDT for transfers via Lightning. Users are able to purchase Bitcoin via the app though, and send it to a third party wallet.

Mallers tweeted on Jan. 18 that Strike’s app is currently ranked as the fifth-highest finance app and the top new app overall on the Argentinian Apple app store, as he emphasized the importance of the Bitcoin network:

“The best monetary network in human history is here, it’s open, and will disrupt the world quicker than anyone thinks. Open networks win.”

Mallers stated earlier this week that Strike is working to bring additional BTC support and features to the app soon, noting that the company is taking the “exact same” same approach to El Salvador.

Neither Strike nor Mallers highlighted the use of Tether as part of the company’s initial announcement, however the CEO did note that the app would enable the Argentinian people to “hold a stable cash balance that can be spent both instantly and with no fees.”

According to a rough translation of a Jan. 11 report from local media outlet iProUP, the terms of service for Strike’s app states that it is partnered with the Bittrex exchange for asset custody and fund transfers, and specifies that the app will provide “a currency that users can use to protect themselves” from inflation.

“Although the solution is being promoted as being based on BTC technology, it is actually based on the Ethereum network, as it is the Tether USD (USDT) stablecoin, under the ERC-20 token technology standard,” the publication wrote.

Related: Uruguay reportedly installs its first Bitcoin ATM

A local Strike user named “Nico” on Twitter stated that he able to receive Bitcoin via the app but it was instantly converted into USDT, while Argentinian crypto Journalist Luis David Esparragoza responded the same thing happens on the reverse transaction, where users send USDT to Bittrex which is then converted in BTC.

One function that reportedly supports Bitcoin directly in Argentina, is the BTC tipping feature on Twitter, with Mallers alluding to such via a screen recorded via on Twitter last week.

Cointelegraph has reached out to Mallers for comment regarding the use of USDT, and will update the article if he responds.




Cointelegraph By Brian Quarmby

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Miami-based fintech startup Milo is introducing what it claims is the world’s first “crypto mortgage.” The digital bank will allow crypto investors to leverage their digital assets to purchase real estate in the U.S.

At the moment, only customers wanting to use Bitcoin (BTC) as collateral qualify for Milo’s 30-year mortgage loan. Both American and International customers will be able to use the service to purchase real estate in the U.S. Milo’s website states:

“Instead of selling your crypto for a down payment to qualify for a mortgage, a crypto mortgage lets you leverage your crypto to invest in real estate.”

Milo says it has already granted some loans as part of its early-access stage, and expects the service will be available to most applicants on its waiting list in the coming months.

It remains unclear how much BTC will be needed to secure a loan, or the level of overcollateralization needed to balance out the digital asset’s volatility. Cointelegraph has asked Milo for more details and will update this story when we hear back.

Josip Rupena, CEO and Founder of Milo said that the idea came in response to seeing the “countless stories” of people cashing out their BTC to purchase property, only to see it increase in value later on.

“The existing ways for crypto consumers to access home credit has left them with unintended tax liabilities of selling for a down payment or worse the opportunity cost of seeing their crypto increase in value.”

Milo says that the company’s other mortgage solution for foreign nationals has originated millions of dollars in loans already and seen applicants from over 63 countries. It allows non-U.S.-based customers to close their housing loans remotely, without the need to travel to the U.S. or to an embassy.

Introducing Rupena at the North American Bitcoin Conference on Jan 17, pro-crypto Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said that the Bitcoin mortgage is a “groundbreaking achievement” for advancing U.S. dominance in the Bitcoin ecosystem.

“To become the Capital of Capital, Miami needs companies like Milo who are willing to innovate and ideate,” he added.

Milo isn’t the first company to have its sights set on a crypto mortgage.

In Aug 2021, United Wholesale Mortgage started testing the waters for crypto mortgage repayments with Ether and BTC in a pilot program. However, by Oct, it had dumped its plans due to regulatory uncertainty.

Related: Propy rallies 227% as real estate NFTs become reality and PRO lists at Coinbase

Milo raised $6 million in seed funding from investors including QED investors, Metaprop, and 10x Capital in Jan 2021.

Rupena has formerly worked at multinational Investment banking companies Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.




Cointelegraph By Keira Wright

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UFC heavyweight title holder Francis Ngannou has announced he will take half of his UFC 270 prize purse in Bitcoin (BTC) via Cash App.

The French-Cameroonian MMA fighter will take on the undefeated Ciryl Gane on Jan. 23 and is set to earn a guaranteed $750,000. In a tweet published on Jan. 18, Ngannou noted that:

“After doing a lot of research on Bitcoin, I really believe it is the future of money, man. Bitcoin is valuable, secure, and no one can mess with it.”

The event will take place inside the 18,000+ capacity Honda Center in Anaheim, California. In what is the first defense of Ngannou’s title reign, the fight is an intriguing heavyweight clash in which both fighters will enter the arena fresh off their best performance to date and the winner could very well be the new face of heavyweight for years to come.

Tickets are still up for grabs and the fight will be broadcast on ESPN + PPV in the US. Cash App is spending big on the fight, with another $300,000 giveaway for followers who post about the campaign on Twitter.

The Cash App marketing campaign has witnessed eminent personalities give away Bitcoin to their social media followers. Earlier in December, Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow announced that she was giving away $500,000 in BTC to her Twitter and Instagram followers via a Cash App partnership.

Ngannou is also not the first professional MMA fighter to receive earnings in Bitcoin. In a Dec. 17 interview, Kevin Lee said the Russia-based Eagle Fighting Championship will pay him in BTC.

Related: Crypto.com partners with Los Angeles’ Angel City Football Club

Billions of people watch sports and crypto brands are leveraging the power of sports partnerships to target mainstream users.

In one of the biggest crypto sports partnerships in Australia, the Aussie Rules women’s division called the AFLW has just secured a $25 million deal with Crypto.com. Crypto.com also secured a $700 million deal in mid-November to rebrand the Staples Arena, Los Angeles to the Crypto.com Arena for 20 years.

The crypto company also signed hefty sponsorship deals with Formula 1 and UFC as well, in June and July respectively.

Cash App has formed partnerships with several NFL players, including Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The partnership will allow them to receive their salary in BTC.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady took an equity stake in FTX Trading and will receive crypto as part of the endorsement deal. He is acting as an ambassador for the crypto exchange. FTX also has deals with Miami Heat and Major League Baseball.




Cointelegraph By Surajdeep Singh

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Residents of Svaneti, Georgia, have reportedly been made to pledge a holy oath they will not mine cryptocurrency in order to deal with energy shortages blamed on Bitcoin mining.

The economy of the northwest Svaneti region of Georgia depends on tourism spending, which rose every year from 2000 to 2019 according to Macrotrends. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, however, tourism plummeted in 2020 and has only recently begun to return to pre-Covid levels of growth.

To make do, hundreds of residents turned to mining crypto which has been blamed for severely disrupting the electrical supply.

A video cited by local media outlet Sputnik Georgia show miners crowding a church on Dec. 30 2021 to pledge a holy oath to St. George that they would not mine cryptocurrency. Such pledges are traditionally seen as unbreakable bonds.

Crypto mining has become a controversial topic, with residents staging protests in the Svaneti town of Mestia and the electric company that provides them with power, Energo Pro, threatening to increase electricity tariffs.

Svaneti is a mountainous region of Georgia which currently enjoys free electricity in some parts, which makes mining more attractive.

This situation is becoming increasingly common around the world. Bitcoin miners have flocked to countries with cheap energy to the chagrin of local residents. In the cases of Kosovo and Kazakhstan, governments have banned crypto mining in order to preserve the gr.

The municipality of Mestia issued a statement at the end of 2021 explaining the extent to which crypto mining has disrupted the local energy supply. It said, “In comparison with earlier years, consumption has grown by 237% this year.”

Energy company Energo Pro called the vast increase in consumption “unsustainable.” On Jan. 5, the company stated to local media that the region was consuming 27 megawatts, nearly four times the amount of power the infrastructure was designed to handle.

Related: Bitcoin miners’ resilience to geopolitics — A healthy sign for the network

Kosovo in southern Europe recently banned crypto mining due to a dangerous winter supply drain. The Kosovar government seized 300 mining rigs on Jan. 10, forcing mining operations to sell their rigs or move to nearby countries.

Kazakhstan was the second most active country for Bitcoin mining but effectively pulled the plug on miners amid political protests in the first week of this year. An internet blackout in the central Asian country led to a 13.4% decrease in hash power across the Bitcoin network.


Cointelegraph By Brian Newar

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Fear and volatility remain the theme of the week as Bitcoin (BTC) continues to face stiff resistance near the $42,000 price level and stock markets were also hard hit on Jan. 18. Investor fear over this year’s proposed rate hikes continue to apply bearish pressure and at the closing bell the DOW was down 530 points, or 1.4%.

Despite the downturn, altcoins managed to overcome the noise and several posted double-digit gains on Tuesday.

Top 7 coins with the highest 24-hour price change. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that the biggest gainers over the past 24-hours were Elsastos (ELA), API3 (API3) and Prometheus (PROM).

Elastos launches a token buyback program

Elastos protocol, a web3-focused project aiming to become the “blockchain-powered version of the internet” broke out with a notable 22% rally.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that after hitting a low of $2.80 on Jan. 8, the price of Elastos has blasted 120% higher to reach a daily high of $6.16 on Jan. 18 as its 24-hour trading volume spiked 142% to $7.57 million.

ELA/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The surge in price and trading volume for ELA came after the Elastos Foundation announced plans for an upcoming ELA buyback program. The platform’s first decentralized exchange, Glide Finance, also saw an uptick in the total value locked for its protocol.

API3 and “first-party” oracles

API3 is a protocol focused on enhancing the communication capabilities between smart contracts and application programming interfaces (APIs) as a way to facilitate the secure and reliable transfer of up-to-the-minute data.

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for API3 on Jan. 18, prior to the recent price rise.

The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historical and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. API3 price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for API3 spiked to a high of 77 on Jan. 18 around one hour before its price began to surge 26% over the next two hours.

The surge in interest for API3 comes as the protocol’s first-party oracles are gaining momentum within the crypto community.

Related: Analysts warn that Bitcoin could dip to $38K ‘before an eventual breakout’

Prometheus prepares to launch

The Prometheus protocol offers users a decentralized framework for data monetization designed to facilitate the secure and private exchange of data.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that PROM spiked 30.84% to reach a daily high of $14.68 on Jan. 18 amidst a 300% surge in its 24-hour trading volume.

PROM/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The price turnaround for Prometheus comes as the project prepares for its full mainnet launch. This will include the initial support for seven assets including Binance Coin (BCH), wrapped BTC, PROM, Tether (USDT), USD Coin (USDC) and Wrapped Ethereum (WETH).

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $1.973 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 40%.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.


Cointelegraph By Jordan Finneseth

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Reports indicate that Intel, one of the largest computer processor manufacturers, intends to reveal a new “Ultra-Low-Voltage Energy-Efficient Bitcoin Mining ASIC” known as Bonanza Mine at the upcoming IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference in February 2022. 

Intel submitted a patent in November 2018 outlining similar ideas for “high-performance Bitcoin Mining.” It is suspected that the processes described in the patent could make their way into the product being shown off at the ISSCC.

According to the patent, The ASIC behind the Bonanza Mine will be able to finish calculations just as effectively as other ASICs while eliminating the need for repeated or redundant computations. This system is proposed to reduce overall power consumption by approximately 15%.

The processors used for mining crypto have notoriously been subject to shortages and diminishing sales before. Intel would become a competitor against companies like Bitmain, with a proposed Ether ASIC still pending release and Nvidia, a company that was also struck by multiple instances of declining chip sales. Demand for crypto mining has been rising steadily despite constant processor shortages and inconsistent production costs

Representatives from Intel seemed confident in regards to entering the crypto mining industry and with the new chip, commenting:

“Intel has done design work around SHA 256 optimized ASICs for several years beginning with pathfinding work done in Intel Labs.”

At time of publication, it is unclear whether Intel will release the bonanza mine for retail sale or if it will be strictly for industrial or research purposes. Regardless, this could potentially catapult Intel into becoming a main competitor within the crypto-mining industry.


Cointelegraph By Griffin Shenkel

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The cryptocurrency market faced another day of weakness on Jan. 18 as the price of Bitcoin (BTC) dropped lower and additional pressure was also put on the altcoin market. Currently, the crypto Fear and Greed Index registered “Extreme Fear” among investors and some traders caution that BTC price could soon fall below its recent $39,000 swing low.

Crypto Fear & Greed index. Source: Alternative

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that bulls lost control of the $42,000 support level during the early trading hours on Jan. 18 as bears hammered the BTC price to a daily low of $41,250.

BTC/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingViewJanuary is historically weak for Bitcoin

Many crypto holders who were disappointed by the lack of a blow-off top to close out 2021 are also expecting fireworks to start 2022, but historically speaking, January “has been one of the most disappointing months for BTC,” according to a recent report from Delphi Digital.

BTC/USD normalized year-to-date performance. Source: Delphi Digital

Delphi Digital pointed to “a slowdown in global liquidity growth and tighter policy expectations” as the primary source of headwinds for Bitcoin and they highlighted that these factors have also led to weakness in the stock market, which is considered to be strongly correlated with the price movements seen in BTC.

Another source of weakness identified by Delphi Digital was a lack of liquidity in the perpetual and futures markets along with a drop in BTC open interest over the past two months.

Delphi Digital said,

“For the most part, the price contraction stemmed from liquidity issues in the perp/futures market, which triggered a series of liquidations that exacerbated BTC’s initial price weakness.”

As for what comes next, Delphi Ditial indicated that “short-term momentum indicators appear to signal the worst may be behind us” and the analyst noted that the Fear & Greed index is at levels not seen since May 2021.

Related: Bitcoin hodlers ‘under siege’ at $42K as 30% of BTC supply flips from profit to loss

Bitcoin price could dip under $38,000

A similar trend of weakness was addressed by crypto market intelligence firm Decentrader, which observed that the number of overly bullish “I’m buying the dip” traders on crypto Twitter was challenged at around $41,000.

The analysts suggested that based on the size and consistency of the BTC drawdown over the past two months, “a move out of the range to the upside is the most probable outcome eventually and they expect the price “to run towards the 200DMA and the point of breakdown in the summer at around $49,000 – $50,000.”

BTC/USD 1-day chart. Source: Decentrader

Decentrader said,

“It is our view that we may need to see some further ranging between $44,000 and potentially $38,000 before an eventual breakout.”

For traders hard hit by this latest drawdown, Twitter user John Wick issued a positive perspective.

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $1.976 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 40%.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.




Cointelegraph By Jordan Finneseth

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In this week’s episode of “The Market Report,” Cointelegraph’s resident experts showcase where to find some of the best stablecoin yields in decentralized finance, or DeFi.

But first, market expert Marcel Pechman carefully examines the Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) markets. Are the current market conditions bullish or bearish? What is the outlook for the next few months? Pechman is here to break it down.

Next up, join Cointelegraph analysts Benton Yaun, Jordan Finneseth and Sam Bourgi in a debate over the best platforms for stablecoin yields. Will Bourgi’s pick, Convex Finance — with its sizable community, reputation and multiple ways to earn yield — come out on top, or will Yuan’s choice of Beefy.Finance — with its multichain yield optimizer — outshine the rest? Not to be outdone by Bourgi and Yuan, Finneseth lays down his reasoning for picking Anchor Protocol, which pays out yields in TerraUSD (UST). Which protocol do you think has the most potential? Leave a comment, and vote in the chat room poll!

Stick around after the showdown for insights from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, a platform for crypto traders who want to stay one step ahead of the market. Using Markets Pro, the analysts identify two altcoins that stood out this week: Ocean Protocol’s OCEAN and Secret Network’s SCRT.

Do you have a question about a coin or topic not covered here? Don’t worry! Join the YouTube chat room and write your questions there. The person with the most interesting comment or question will be given a free month of Cointelegraph Markets Pro, worth $100!

The Market Report streams live every Tuesday at 12:00 pm ET (5:00 pm UTC), so be sure to head on over to Cointelegraph’s YouTube page and smash those like and subscribe buttons for all our future videos and updates.


Cointelegraph By Cointelegraph

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El Salvador, the first country to make Bitcoin (BTC) a legal tender, has onboarded 4 million users for its government-backed BTC wallet Chivo in partnership with digital identity provider Netki, according to an announcement.

Netki has announced that Chivo wallet onboarded over 4 million new users in 45 days using the company’s flagship Know Your Customer (KYC)/Anti-Money Laundering (AML) product, OnboardID. The platform also claimed that it had facilitated the compliant onboarding of 70% of the country’s previously unbanked population. 

El Salvador passed the Bitcoin bill in June of last year and officially made Bitcoin a legal tender in September. Nayib Bukele, the president of the small Central American nation, made it clear that the goal was to offer digital banking facilities to more than 70% unbanked population in the country. To promote BTC use and ease of transactions, the government launched a national crypto wallet named Chivo and a $30 airdrop in BTC.

Major financial institutions, including the World Bank and the IMF, shared drastic forecasts while warning El Salvador of unwarranted economic consequences. However, President Bukele continued to promote Bitcoin use in the country and rebuked all the fear-mongering. After the IMF rejected $1 billion financial aid, the El Salvador government launched Bitcoin volcanic bond as Bitcoin proponent Max Keiser advised.

Earlier today, President Bukele also responded to Moody’s recent downgrading of El Salvador’s sovereign debt and said, “BREAKING: EL SALVADOR DGAF”

Related: El Salvador’s dollar debt dives on Bitcoin bond plans

Chivo has been instrumental in making El Salvador the first country to make using Bitcoin as easy as fiat. Apart from transferring money worldwide, Chivo wallets are being used for daily transactions at restaurants, cafeterias, malls and every other retail market.

The government has also deployed hundreds of Bitcoin ATMs across the country that facilitates millions in cross-border remittance. Chivo has managed to do what banks haven’t been able to do in decades. 




Cointelegraph By Prashant Jha

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