In a bid to raise awareness about the crypto industry’s energy consumption, the Institute of Human Obsolescence, a Dutch organization focused on data ownership, explored the energy usage of Bitcoin and found that 44,000 would need to provide their body energy for a month in order to mine a single Bitcoin, Motherboard reported on January 3, 2017.

Bitcoin’s Troubling Ecological Footprint Yields Impressive Experiments

The most popular cryptocurrency on the market today, both by market cap and trading volume, has frequently been dubbed the future of finance and is often regarded as the most revolutionary invention of the century. However, Bitcoin does come with its own set of shortcomings, with the least mentioned being its energy consumption.

Back in 2017, before the sudden spike in popularity, a single Bitcoin transaction required as much energy as ten households use in a week. According to a Motherboard report, the Bitcoin network used more energy than the entire country of Bulgaria during 2016.

The troubling ecological footprint Bitcoin has already left on the environment has prompted companies to search for alternative means of energy to stay profitable. One company, however, went to the extreme and tested out whether it would be viable to harvest energy from the human body to power mining.

A Dutch organization called the Institute of Human Obsolescence (IoHO) decided to take advantage of the human body heat and transform it into pure energy.

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(Source: NewsRescue)

The Human Body Is a Battery, Just Not an Efficient One

According to Motherboard, an adult human body generates approximately 100 watts of power while at rest, with around 80 percent of it being wasted as excess body heat. IoHO’s experiment tried to capture some of that energy by using wearable thermoelectric generators, which were used to power the computers mining cryptocurrency.

The experiment started back in 2015 when 37 volunteers contributed 212 hours of mining time to generate a total of 127.2 watts of power. On average, each of the volunteers contributed about 0.6 watts/hour of energy, which means that IoHO collected less than 1 percent of the body heat generated by its volunteers.

Manuel Beltrán, an artist and founder of IoHO, told the publication that the energy generated in the experiment wasn’t used to mine Bitcoin.

“We exclusively mined altcoins, and some of them have risen over 46,000 percent in value. What in the beginning was just small cents now became substantial amounts of money,” Beltrán said. It would take nearly 4,600 people lying still during an entire year to produce 1.2 Bitcoin, with each person earning less than $1 or their year-long endeavor at current Bitcoin prices.

However, Motherboard decided to explore a much different scenario – one where the thermoelectric generators would be much more efficient and able to collect almost all of the heat generated by the human body. In this scenario, there would have to be 44,000 people providing their body energy every second of every day for an entire month to mine a single Bitcoin.

This post is credited to btcmanager

According to an article published by Deutsche Finanz, November 29, 2018, Munich-based private equity firm Xolaris is set to launch a $50 million bitcoin farming fund to expand its business into the Asian market. This comes at a time when the market crash has forced many small-scale miners to throw in the towel due to the increasing cost of mining cryptocurrencies.

Large Companies Unfazed by the Market Bloodbath

The German equity firm opened its office in Hong Kong in July 2018, and will now work towards setting up a big-scale mining farm in Asia. Notably, November saw crypto industry’s market cap shrink by more than $70 billion.

The firm is also primed to launch a European fund this week ranging from €30 billion to €50 billion; targeting an annual return of close to 21 percent. The proceeds will, in turn, be used to finance an existing bitcoin mining farm in Sweden.

Stefan Klaile, managing partner of Xolaris Group, stated the Asian fund would be open for subscription in December, after the launch of the aforementioned European fund. He added:

“For our fund, we see the current price decline in bitcoin rather positively. Bitcoin mining return is affected by a combination of drivers including bitcoin price levels, hashrate, mining difficulty and the price of mining equipment such as servers. We see recent developments as giving [our mining farm operator] the opportunity to increase market share.”

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Thanks to the November 2018 bloodbath, bitcoin hashrate has fallen a great deal in the past one month. On November 25, the hashrate was 36 PH (petahash per second), compared to 60 PH at the end of October. Klaile noted the plunge in mining hashrate is a testimony to the existing fear of uncertainty among bitcoin miners.

Existing nervousness can further be explained by the fact that many small-scale miners in China are reportedly selling their equipment at dirt low prices due to their inability to breakeven costs.

Looking at the positive, Klaile stated the slump in the Bitcoin Network processing power had opened opportunities for large-scale mining operators. Small players getting weeded out have reduced the mining competition, and cleared the path for mining behemoths like Bitmain to utilize the opportunity.

Is Small-Scale Mining Passé?

In recent times, some large companies have shown interest in crypto mining. BTCManager reported on August 11, 2018, how crypto mining firm Soluna announced its plans to build a 900MW wind farm in the Sahara Desert. Many other companies the world over have followed suit.

It will be interesting to see how the entry of an increasing number of big players will impact the small-scale miners.

This post is credited to btcmanager

A new report from CoinShares says that Bitcoin mining is much more environmentally-friendly than is normally reported.


The usual narrative applied to cryptocurrency mining is that it’s very energy-intensive and damaging to the natural environment. Critics say that the increasing power consumed by mining outfits will lead to disastrous consequences in the future. It is also pointed out in most media stories that 5 million homes can be powered with what crypto miners consume. However, a new study says we should put a brake on such notions.

Bitcoin Mining Not Draining the Planet’s Power Dry

Researchers from CoinShares, a digital asset firm, have released a new study called “The Bitcoin Mining Network” that takes a critical look at cryptocurrency mining and its environmental impact. They note that the perception that miners are taking too much power is entirely misplaced.

Bitcoin mining

The researchers (Christopher Bendiksen, Samuel Gibbons, and Eugene Lim) say:

“We keep stressing these facts because the common public narrative surrounding the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining is overwhelmingly negative.

“Our view is that cryptocurrency mining — while costly — is doing little meaningful harm as far as the environment is concerned, and is also unlikely to do so in the foreseeable future.”

Crypto Mining in China is Not the End of the World

The researchers note that over two-thirds (77.6%) of crypto miners use renewable energy to power their operations. They also point out that almost half of all bitcoins are mined in Sichuan, China, where 90% of all the generated power comes from renewable sources. They also note that the vast majority of locations where crypto is mined in China takes place in regions that are predominantly cool, thus reducing the need for additional power to keep the mining rigs cool and running.

LBN Renewable Energy Blockchain Singapore

Another point of consideration is that miners flock to areas around the world that boast cooler climates and renewable energy sources, which means cheap power and lower operational costs. Such locations include Iceland, the Pacific Northwest, and Scandinavian countries.

It should be noted that the hysteria over power consumption is just that – hysteria. There’s no finite amount of power that, once used, will be gone forever. More oil and natural gas are being found every day, nuclear power offers tremendous energy output, and renewable energy sources are becoming more efficient as time goes by.

Another factor that is often ignored when it comes to Bitcoin mining is the addition to the overall global economy. Fadi Aboualfa, head of research at Diar, says:

“I think it’s very important to emphasize that there is a philosophical question in play regarding energy use and bitcoin’s independence from third parties as part of a system that can transfer value.”

Finally, it should be considered that the power consumed by Bitcoin mining pales in comparison to other industries, such as banking or the mining of gold.

Do you think the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining is overblown? Let us know in the comments below.

This post is credited to livebitcoinnews

NTC Services AS revealed that a foreign investor had stopped an $116 million investment into a crypto mining facility which was going to be built in Norway’s Tydal municipality.

The data center consultancy told E24 that the investor went cold feet after hearing about the Norwegian government’s decision to exempt crypto mining centers from electricity tax subsidies. He decided to cancel the arrangement that took several staff-years to reach a balanced conclusion.

“It was about one billion [NOK] in investment,” explained Erik Vennemoe, partners with NTC Services. “Everything was planned, and the data center should have been in operation as of July next year. Then the statement came from the government, and then it stopped the next day.”

As reported on CCN earlier, the Norwegian government ruled by the Christian Democratic Party (KRW) took a unilateral decision to call off tax subsidies given to data centers involved in cryptocurrency mining. They believed that crypto centers were consuming a whole lot of power compared to any other form of data centers. A parliamentary representative even called bitcoin “the dirtiest form of cryptographic output,” making it clear that they were not happy with the ways things were going in Norway’s local crypto mining sector.

“It requires a lot of energy and generates large greenhouse gas emissions globally,” said Lars Haltbrekken.

The Norwegian government also cleared that it only wants to extract unnecessary tax subsidies to allocate a huge portion of tax collection towards generating jobs and arrange capital for other people-centric initiatives.

Shutdown Likely

Now with an end to the allowance, bitcoin miners will have to hand over a good percentage off their mining rewards to the government as taxes. The decision has made Norway one of the least attractive destinations to begin a mining pool, especially when their neighboring countries continue to be mining-friendly.

Vennemoe fears that all the investments promised to Norway would now move to Sweden, Denmark, and Finland.

“These countries offer so far low fees to all types of data centers, including those who use crypto,” he said.

As of now, it costs about $7,700 to mine one Bitcoin in Norway, which is almost half the current rate of the digital currency. In comparison, Suadi Arabia and China offer the cheapest mining options, with each bitcoin unit costing about $3,100 to mine. It explains that Norway bitcoin mining community was already undergoing huge losses.

Jon Ramvi, chief executive of blockchain advisory group Blockchangers, supported the government’s decision, saying that the bitcoin network didn’t need more miners than it already has.

“The only function of more miners is securing the network further,” he added. “It means that if you want to hack the network, you will need to have more computational power than the other machines in the network. However, the Bitcoin network has been extremely secure for over a year now so there should be no need for more miners.”

The Norwegian mining companies are now left with two options: either move to other countries or shut down their operations entirely. They are less likely to make any profit unless bitcoin price forms parity with the cost of mining, anyway.

This post is credited to ccn

The Blockchain Technology Foundation, which is also referred to as the Commons Foundation, has been based in South Korea since its inception, but recently completed talks with the government of Paraguay regarding the establishment of something rather massive: the world’s largest bitcoin mining farm and crypto exchange.

Many readers may be surprised to know that Paraguay is a hub of renewable energy, having all of its electricity produced by hydroelectric dams. Its Itaipu Hydroelectric Power Plant is the “most significant” in the world with an annual output of 103 TW. Only 20 percent of the nation’s power is consumed by the country, and the rest is exported.

Importantly, the power grid is nationalized, and the Commons Foundation has secured a deal with the government for at least five years of competitively priced power — around 80 percent cheaper than any deal the foundation could secure in South Korea.

Additionally, the government is providing five plots of land, a total of 50,000 square meters, for the launch of the “Golden Goose” project, which purportedly comprises the largest bitcoin exchange and cryptocurrency mining outfit the world has ever seen.

Cryptocurrency Respected by Constitutional Revision?

The Commons Foundation intends to fund development of the project on the ICO model, calling it an “initial exchange offering.” Token holders are promised 30 percent of mining profits and 70 percent of exchange profits daily, which will be paid in MicroBitcoin, a little-known cryptocurrency that is tradeable against the US dollar on several exchanges.

“The Paraguay government will actively support the Commons Foundation’s ‘Golden Goose project’ and provide tax breaks through constitutional revisions,” said Hugo Velazquez Moreno, vice president of Paraguay, according to a press release provided to CCN.

The last bit of Moreno’s quote is quite significant. If it turns out to be true and the Paraguay parliament actually passes revisions to the country’s constitution to provide tax breaks — or even simply to acknowledge the existence and legal status of cryptocurrency — that would be a major breakthrough for cryptocurrency on a global level.

No timeline for development of the token offering or the project had been established at time of writing, but CCN will follow the story and post updates as they become available.

This post is credited to ccn

Cryptocurrency mining operations in China are reportedly selling mining machines by weight, as opposed to price per unit. This selloff was reported by local Chinese crypto outlet 8BTC Wednesday, Nov. 21, with reference to the cryptocurrency mining pool F2Pool.

Cryptocurrency markets experienced widespread decline throughout last week, with Bitcoin (BTC) declining to as low as $4,300 per coin.

The decline has resulted in a similar drop in mining profitability and forced Chinese operators to sell their mining devices at a loss, according to 8BTC. The news outlet has reported that the miners are being sold “by kilo,” citing a post made by the founder of F2Pool on the Weibo microblogging platform.

Crypto miners are reportedly especially eager to sell the older models, including Antminer S7, Antminer T9, and Avalon A741, as these have reached their “shutdown price.” According to local Chinese outlet Tencent News, the earnings from mining are no longer enough to cover electric power and other associated costs.

The market slump has reportedly affected mostly small and medium-sized mining operations in the Chinese regions of Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia. There, 8BTC reports, some mining machines are being sold on the second-hand market for merely 5 percent of their original value. A mining machine bought at a price of up to 20,000 yuan ($2,885) a year ago is reportedly currently sold for just 1,000 yuan ($144).

Bitcoin’s price has kept falling, along with the rest of the crypto market, since the hard fork network upgrade of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) that took place Nov. 15. The update has led cryptocurrency exchanges around the world to suspend BCH trading and withdrawals.

Earlier this month, Bitcoin mining giant Bitmain announced plans to reach out to local mining farms in the coal-rich province of Xinjiang, and deploy around 90,000 Antminer S9 devices in the region. Bitmain’s move is reported to be a strategic one in the computing “power war” associated with the BCH hard fork.

At press time, the crypto markets have calmed down, with most of the top ten cryptocurrencies seeing only mild losses. BTC has today hovered between $4,450 and $4,630.

In September, the CEO of F2Pool published an infographic that indicated that if Bitcoin price would reach lower than 36,792 Chinese yuan (about $5,376), mining the cryptocurrency with an Antminer T9 would become unprofitable. In the case of an S7 model miner, the break-even point amounted to a significantly higher Bitcoin price point of about 79,258 yuan (about $11,581).

This post is credit to cointelegraph

Small cities and towns in Canada have emerged as popular destinations for cryptocurrency mining companies.


Canada’s Largest Mining Farm

Medicine Hat, a city in Alberta, a western province of Canada has traditionally been the hub of the oil and gas-based industry.

Now the city is known for a different reason. The town is the home to the largest mining operation in Canada, reveals an article published earlier on Wednesday in macleans.ca.

The mining farm is located on the outskirts of the city and has been built by Hut 8, a cryptocurrency mining and blockchain infrastructure company. The mining operation was set up earlier this year and happens to be the firm’s second site in Alberta after Drumheller.

The firm claims to be the largest miner in Canada and has partnered with the Bitfury group, a full-service technology company that creates software and hardware for blockchain mining infrastructure.

The mining operation employs 40 locals. One of them, Brian Cave, an electrician by profession earlier worked with the oil and gas industry. According to the article, he did not know much about Bitcoin before taking up the job with Hut 8.

On knowing about the project’s electricity demand he had commented, “How could it need that much power?” The operation according to the article consumes about 63 Megawatts of power at any given time which reportedly is the same as that consumed by the whole city on a cold day. The town has a population of 63,000.

A Popular Mining Destination

While China maintains its position as the leading mining nation, Canada has emerged as a favorite destination too. Locations like Alberta provide ideal conditions like cold weather and cheap electricity.

“We can get really cheap power in Venezuela, we can get really cheap coal-based power in Kazakhstan or Romania, but the fact that you can get good stable government in Canada makes it a great combination,” says Andrew Kiguel, the company’s co-founder and CEO of Hut 8.

The company claims that so far it has mined more than 3500 Bitcoins in the district. The farm is powered under a 10-year contract by the city’s grid that produces power from natural gas.

“I’m in the business of making electricity and selling it to industrial users,” said Ted Clugston, the city’s mayor. He further stated that the city itself has not invested in Bitcoin. According to him, the new firm in town is “mining for ones and zeros” by converting “gas into electricity, which is being turned into Bitcoins.”

The city has been looking to diversify the local economy and eliminate the dependency on oil and gas. Most people in Medicine Hat and Drumheller are employed in the oil and gas sector and have faced job losses on industry downtrends.

Hut 8 has been contributing to the community by sponsoring the junior hockey teams in both cities and plans to donate $20,000 in scholarships to Medicine Hat College.

Canada is now home to a growing number of mining companies due to the ideal conditions it provides along with a friendly and stable government.

Do you think Canada will emerge as the most popular mining destination? Let us know in the comments below.

This post is credited to livebitcoinnews

Plattsburgh, New York is pushing to regulate crypto mining operations in order to protect their residents’ safety and wallets.


To thrive, Bitcoin mining operations require access to cheap electricity and – preferably – cooler climates. However, in the case of the former, this could result in non-mining entities, like city residents and businesses, having to pay higher tariffs when it comes to power. It’s not just about a bigger bill either. The high level of noise is a concern for people living or working close to mining operations.

There are a few courses of action in place in different cities. Some authorities feel that miners need to be paying more for electricity, while some areas, like Ephrata in Washington, have issued moratoriums to halt the approval of new mining operations in the city.

Blockchain

Customers Carry Expense

According to the Press-Republican, the city of Plattsburgh in New York believes that, like with most things crypto-related, more regulation is needed. A statement by the City of Plattsburgh Common Council reads:

The public is well aware that the cryptocurrency industry has been relying heavily on the city’s cheap industrial power rates.

These tariffs are due to the fact that the city’s Municipal Lighting Department (MLD) purchases cheap hydropower from the New York Power Authority operations on the St. Lawrence River. However, once this power is all used, the MLD needs to purchase more on the open market, which is not as cheap. In fact, its seven times more expensive.

This happened during crypto’s fantastic reign in December last year and January this year, which, in turn, resulted in MLD customers paying an extra $300 for their power. This then led to the city requesting the Public Service Commission to instruct crypto mining operators to pay for the surplus:

The city, and other similarly concerned municipalities, were successful in petitioning the Public Service Commission to impose a new tariff structure that requires the cryptocurrency industry to pay for the entire amount of electricity quota overages they induce. No longer would other ratepayers have to pay for a problem of the cryptocurrency industry’s creation.

Bitcoin mining

Mining Should be Regulated

While trying to figure out the best way to deal with crypto mining in the city, authorities, like those in Ephrata, opted to introduce a 12-month moratorium on any new mining operations. During this time, a commission is being tasked with investigating the best solution moving forward. The press release explained what has been thought of so far:

The result of these efforts is a proposed local law which defines this activity, requires fire suppression within a contained structure, imposes heat and noise limits, and enacts zoning changes so that these mines would only be allowed via a special use permit within an industrial zone.

These regulations aren’t meant to stunt industry growth. It’s about finding the most suitable course of action for those living in these cities. The release concluded:

The combination of our petition to the New York State Public Service Commission and these sensible proposals to modify our local laws should protect our citizens and act as a model for other municipalities around the country and the world that are trying to cope with such rapid growth of this industry in their communities.

Do you think that regulating crypto mining is the best solution? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below!

This post is credited to livebitcoinnews

The cryptocurrency mining industry gets a lot of attention lately. Its perceived energy usage remains a topic of substantial debate. Icelandic farmers may have come up with a viable and sustainable solution in this regard. Several initiatives show how this business can be accommodated without any side effects.


A Different Take on Cryptocurrency Mining

The reports condemning cryptocurrency mining and its electricity use are growing in number. A lot of experts have different views on this business model and how it affects communities and even cities. In Iceland, several Bitcoin mining firms are in operation today. All of them rely on the country’s abundance of renewable energy. At the same time, even that approach may not be entirely sustainable.

To counter this problem, local farmers have come up with a new solution. Especially smaller operations can benefit from this approach in its current form. One small cryptocurrency mining operator pays neighboring farmers for their excess geothermal energy. Moreover, she installs the mining hardware to use excess power for other uses, such as heating. The conditions in Iceland are unique, as they allow for such business models to thrive.

The excess geothermal energy can be converted to electricity. With this electricity, her mining units can heat up stables and other storage spaces remaining empty otherwise. It is a business model which creates a win-win situation for all parties involved. For the mining operator, it removes any concerns regarding the scaling of her operation at her own farm. A very unorthodox business model which seems to work out quite well so far.

Scaling the Model Beyond Small Farms

This particular business model can be lucrative under the right conditions. However, it is not necessarily a concept which can be taken to the next level with ease. There are plenty of farms with geothermal energy across Iceland, but not every owner will approve the idea of having a cryptocurrency mining operation generate heat on their premises.

Convincing farmers is still an issue, even for this small mining operation. Installing strange and noisy machines in their barns is a very alien concept. A lot of people are still unfamiliar with cryptocurrency mining despite its popularity growing significantly. At the same time, those who take advantage of the opportunity appear to be happy with the business deal. How long this “peaceful” situation remains in place, is unclear.

Ventures like these show cryptocurrency mining is an evolving industry. Rather than disrupting power grids, enthusiasts and companies are looking for more sustainable solutions. Conditions in Iceland are unique in this regard, which allows for out-of-the-box thinking. Solving cryptocurrency’s ecological “problems” will not happen overnight. Even so, it is not the most harmful mining industry in the world today.

Do you think that this solution can be scaled to work for larger crypto mining operations? Let us know in the comments below.

This post is credited to livebitcoinnews

Bitmain’s $3 billion initial public offering (IPO), as well as that of other Chinese bitcoin mining equipment manufacturers such as Canaan and Ebang, may be adversely affected by the June categorization of the firm’s Antminer S9 ASICs miners as “electrical machinery apparatus.”

The move by the U.S government added the equipment to the list of Chinese goods subject to nearly 30 percent tariffs, up from zero previously, reported the South China Morning Post on October 16, 2018.

Chinese-U.S Trade War Bad for Bitmain and other Chinese ASICs Makers

As reported by BTCManager, earlier in August 2018, “the big three” in the Bitcoin mining equipment manufacturing industry, Bitmain, Canaan Creative, and Ebang are making active preparations to launch their IPO targeted at raising billions of dollars for their business expansion.

However, with the June 2018 reclassification of Bitmain’s Antminer S9 bitcoin mining equipment as “electrical machinery apparatus” by the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), and the new import tariffs on Chinese goods by President Trump which went live on August 23, 2018, attracting nearly a 30 percent tariff on Chinese cryptocurrency mining machines, the future undoubtedly looks very bleak for these firms.

“All manufacturers of mining rigs based in China will likely be affected by the tariff code change and, in turn, captured by the U.S. trade tariff,” said Ben Gagnon, co-founder of LuTech, a Bitcoin mining equipment developer.

While Canaan and Ebang are reportedly looking to raise $400 million and $1 billion respectively in their IPOs, the world’s largest bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain seeks to generate a whopping $3 billion from the fundraiser.

End of the Road for Bitmain?

Per sources close to the matter, the highly reputed ASICs cryptocurrency mining machine maker will be most affected by the ongoing trade war between the United States and China, as the firm’s overseas sales reportedly contributed an impressive 51 percent and 51.8 percent of its total revenue in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

Although Bitmain did not mention the specific regions it made the most overseas sales last year, it’s most likely that the U.S. market may have had a hand in the company’s previous success, since the firm has already expanded operations to the United States.

On the other hand, Canaan and Ebang International have stated that overseas sales only contributed a meager 8.5 percent and 3.8 percent to their total 2017 revenues respectively.

As reported by BTCManager on September 20, 2018, it may be almost impossible for Bitmain to achieve the same level of success it enjoyed last year, as more competitors are venturing into the crypto mining space and the new U.S. trade tariff will only worsen the situation for the Beijing-based bitcoin big whale.

This post is credited to btcmanager