Regulator Rules Cryptocurrency Mining Contracts Can be Securities

<p>The financial markets authority of Quebec (AMF) is requesting that investors in a cryptocurrency mining company contact them. The announcement comes after Technologies Crypto Inc. was issued with a series of freezing orders in connection with existing securities regulations earlier this month. Technologies Crypto Inc. reportedly took over $300,000 from investors that were under the<a href="">...</a></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Regulator Rules Cryptocurrency Mining Contracts Can be Securities</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">NewsBTC</a>.</p>

Bitcoin Needs To Reach At Least $7,000 to Save the Mining Industry: Analyst

<p>The economics of Bitcoin (BTC) is a touchy subject. Case in point, debates regarding the subject matter are the catalyst for some of the project&rsquo;s leading forks. And while discourse regarding the subject has dissipated, especially as Craig Wright and Roger Ver have gone on their merry way, the long-term sustainability of Bitcoin&rsquo;s consensus mechanism<a href="">...</a></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Bitcoin Needs To Reach At Least $7,000 to Save the Mining Industry: Analyst</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">NewsBTC</a>.</p>

BloqLabs Introduces Cryptocurrency Mining Management System

<img alt="Titan bloq mining.jpg" height="529" src="" width="800"><br><div><div><p>BloqLabs has opened up the beta waitlist for <a href="">Titan</a>, a fully integrated software suite for managing cryptocurrency <a href="">mining</a>. The project was introduced by Bloq CEO and co-founder Jeff Garzik onstage during a brief speech at Binance Fair in Singapore in an overview discussion of <a href="">BloqLabs</a>.</p><p>Cryptocurrency mining can be profitable but optimizing and managing devices manually can be a pain-point for miners. From tweaking the power limit of the GPU to fixing the downtime problem at the moment it happens, these are just some of the difficulties crypto miners have to contend with when mining cryptocurrencies.</p><p>In an email correspondence with <i>Bitcoin Magazine</i>, principal blockchain engineer at Bloq and CEO of Titan, Ryan Condron, said Titan is the result of years of developing tools to manage their company's mining farms. Along with Titan's CTO, Kyle Howlett, the team believes they have found a way to help businesses maximize their ROI on mining.</p><p>"In the process of developing tools to manage our mining farms, we&rsquo;ve gotten very good at fingerprinting various types of mining devices once they are plugged into a network,&rdquo; said Condron. &ldquo;Then, given our understanding of what makes these devices function optimally, we&rsquo;ve written ways to interface with the device&rsquo;s firmware. Pull all of that into a single interface, and you have a very powerful tool."</p><p>The Titan software is free to download, and it can be installed and set up immediately on a network of mining devices. Once configured, the developer said Titan would balance the entire mining variables needed to deliver maximum profitability to the miner.</p><p>"This means adjusting for mining difficulty, coin prices, electricity costs, and so on. And, yes, it learns as it goes," Condron explained.</p><p>Coupled with machine learning capabilities, Condron claims Titan can increase or decrease the hash power of mining farms by double digits, if configured correctly.</p><p>One way is by overclocking the GPU, where the internal clock rate is increased so that the chip can run faster. According to Condron, Titan can also leverage other factors like "maximizing uptime across the entire mining farm, temperature (internal and external) optimization, and smart electricity throttling" to optimize the mining devices.</p><p>The crypto market downturn has dragged with it some heavyweights of the crypto mining sector. One such example is China-based mining giant Bitmain, who has <a href="">whittled down</a> its activities across the world, shutting down several of its overseas offices and restructuring its operations. This unsettled mining environment could pose a conundrum for Titan, whose product is coming at a time when the mining morale is low. Condron, however, sees an opportunity.</p><p>"Titan has a powerful value proposition for miners who have scaled down their operations during the market downturn. Titan will help them ensure they are mining the most profitable coin, as well as maximize the useful life of their capital equipment and manage both fixed (e.g., headcount) and variable (e.g., electricity) operational costs," he explained.</p><p>Titan's beta version is targeted at a specific market of miners &mdash; medium&ndash; to large-scale miners who still rely on a manual process to manage the performance of their mining equipment.</p><p>The current software can work with devices that mine bitcoin, litecoin, ether, zcash, dash and monero. Additional crypto tokens should be rolled out before the beta release. The Titan software suite of products will be free to use, but Titan will receive a percentage of the proceeds derived from Titan-optimized hashrates.</p></div></div> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="">Bitcoin Magazine</a>.</em></p>

BetterHash Protocol Lets Pool Miners Regain Control Over Their Hash Power

<img alt="BetterHash.jpg" height="529" src="" width="800"><br><div><div><p>One problem that concerns many is the centralization of mining within the Bitcoin ecosystem. Fortunately, there are talented developers working to solve this problem and Matt Corallo, full-time Bitcoin developer at Chaincode Labs, is one of them. His <a href="">BetterHash Mining Protocol</a> is intended to significantly decrease the problems associated with mining pool centralization.</p><h4><b>What Are Mining Pools?</b></h4><p>First, it is important to understand there are different types of miners on the network. For the purpose of this article, we&rsquo;ll refer to a &ldquo;solo miner&rdquo; as someone who mines alone, a &ldquo;hasher&rdquo; is someone who mines in a mining pool, and a &ldquo;pool operator&rdquo; controls the mining pool.</p><p>Solo mining is risky, as there is only a relatively small share of hash power contributing to the generation of the block. When a solo miner finds a block the reward may be larger, but the payouts will be less frequent. For this reason, many miners join pools so that they can receive frequent payouts of smaller amounts. Pooling is when a number of miners (hashers) join together and pay their block rewards into a single pot. When any of them finds a block, instead of getting the entire block reward, the amount gets distributed to all of the hashers in the pool proportionate to the amount of hash rate they contribute to the network (minus a fee for the pool operator). This way, a smaller hasher receives consistent payouts on a daily &mdash; and, in some cases, hourly &mdash; basis.</p><p>Overall, the primary function of a mining pool is to provide consistent payouts to miners so that they can reduce their risk. Mining pools also serve important secondary functions that improve the overall network. For instance, a smaller and less technical miner may not want to deal with the complexities a <a href="">pool operator</a> faces such as block propagation, block creation and other highly technical matters. Joining a mining pool gives less-technical miners a simple way to access the network so they can focus on their strengths, such as running an efficient mining business or locating cheap power.</p><p>However, because of this, currently only a <a href="">few, large mining pools</a> dominate the network, which results in a high degree of centralization within the system.</p><h4><b>What Is Stratum?</b></h4><p><a href="">Stratum</a> is the protocol layer between mining pools, clients and mining hardware. Users connect and communicate with the pool through the Stratum protocol. On a mining hardware device such as an <a href="">ASIC</a>, there is a control board which runs a variant of software, such as <a href="">CG Miner</a>, which then &ldquo;speaks&rdquo; Stratum and connects to the pool. The pool tells the ASIC what to work on, and the ASIC responds by submitting back shares to the pool. A share is work that an ASIC has done, essentially not-quite valid blocks, but enough to prove that the miner has contributed work for the pool.</p><p>Corallo&rsquo;s first objective for BetterHash is to replace <a href="">Stratum</a> and improve upon its weaknesses. In Corallo&rsquo;s <a href="">Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP),</a> he describes some of the current drawbacks of Stratum:</p><p>&ldquo;Difficult to implement and poorly documented, the design of the Stratum protocol requires pool operators to build and distribute block templates to their clients. Without a diverse body of miners constructing block templates, the network's censorship resistance is jeopardized (e.g. pool operators may use their position of power to restrict the flow of protocol upgrades).&rdquo;</p><p>With Stratum, a pool operator confirms that each miner has contributed work for the pool. The pool operator is also responsible for creating a block template which handles transaction selection. With the inability to create a block template, miners have no control over what they are mining. A pool operator controls the entire pool&rsquo;s hash rate.</p><p>This is problematic because a pool operator, or a small group of pool operators, could potentially collude by using this hash power to perform malicious attacks on the network. A bad actor with this amount of hash power could initiate a <a href="">51% attack</a> and perform double spends or censorship on the network. Alternatively, if a malicious actor were to hijack a pool&rsquo;s DNS server or IP space, an attacker could steal hash rate until all the miners power cycled their ASIC hardware.</p><h4><b>BetterHash vs. Stratum</b></h4><p>BetterHash is intended to prevent these kinds of attack vectors because it is designed to allow users to run their own full node and build their own block template. Building your own block template means you can select your own transactions; for example, transactions which may have otherwise been censored. Additionally, miners can select which blocks they are mining on in order to prevent double-spend attacks.</p><p>Although block templates are customizable, pools will continue to act as they normally would, redistributing block rewards relative to hash power with the same business properties and payout frequency.</p><p>Corallo commented in an <a href=";t=1501s">interview</a> with Bitcoin developer Jimmy Song:</p><p>&ldquo;We could have just one pool for the entire network, and it wouldn&rsquo;t really be a big deal.&rdquo;</p><h4><b>BetterHash Protocol Overview and the Advantages of Weak Blocks</b></h4><p>BetterHash is comprised of a set of protocols which, when combined, are intended to provide more documentation, efficiency, security and decentralization to mining pools. In Matt Corallo&rsquo;s <a href="">BIP</a>, he describes the two main protocols in &ldquo;BetterHash: Work and Pool.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;The work-carrying protocol replaces both getblocktemplate and Stratum when passed directly to mining hardware, while the payout protocol manages all pool&lt;-&gt;client communication. The segregation of these functions provide pool participants with the ability to construct block templates with transactions they (or another pool of their choice) have selected while the pool oversees the distribution of payouts.&rdquo;</p><p>These protocols provide hashers with the information on how they should build a coinbase transaction (the block reward) as well as where to send the mining reward. Additionally, they provide users with the information on how to upload shares to the pool so miners can prove they have contributed work for the pool. Overall, the separation of these two protocols enables hashers to create custom block templates while still receiving the economic benefits a mining pool offers.</p><p>An additional feature of the pool protocol is the ability to send weak blocks, which helps pools optimize block propagation. Corallo describes this protocol in his proposal:</p><p>&ldquo;The Pool Protocol has an optional additional feature for pools which wish to optimize block propagation, whereby clients send WEAK_BLOCKs to the pool server so that uploads of full blocks are efficient.<i>&rdquo;</i></p><p><a href="">Weak blocks are not a new idea</a>, but they can be beneficial when implemented successfully. Weak blocks are shares that users frequently submit to a pool. Remember, a share is work that has been performed by mining hardware but is not enough for a full block. Every time the pool finds a new block with the same <a href="">difficulty</a> as an old weak block, the pool can send a compressed version of the weak block and compare it with the new block. Users of the pool submit valid shares via WINNING_NONCE or SHARE/WEAK_BLOCK messages. This comparison allows the pool to upload full blocks faster and ultimately increase mining efficiency.</p><p>Although BetterHash is intended to give back power to the miners, it takes technical knowledge to create a block template. Not all miners want to deal with these complexities. For this reason, Corallo <a href=";t=1137s">explained</a> that he is not expecting less technical miners to switch to BetterHash overnight:</p><p>&ldquo;Pools optimize software on behalf of their users. For this reason, I don&rsquo;t think a lot of pools (hashers) have interest in adopting a protocol (BetterHash) like this when it requires them effort such as managing and running a full node.&rdquo;</p><h4><b>Criticisms of BetterHash</b></h4><p>While many are optimistic about BetterHash&rsquo;s potential to decrease mining centralization, Corallo&rsquo;s proposal has received some criticism. One of the most prominent criticisms of BetterHash came from Eric Voskuil, Libbitcoin developer and founder of Bitware Co. Voskuil&rsquo;s primary argument is that BetterHash does not meaningfully decrease decentralization. He described his perspective on <a href="">GitHub</a> as well as in a <a href="">Twitter</a> discussion:</p><p>&ldquo;This proposal [BetterHash] does not increase the security of <a href="">#bitcoin</a> through increased decentralization, it merely shifts the point of centralization. This is essentially the same flaw that he [Matt Corallo] produced in his work on relays.&rdquo;</p><p>The reason BetterHash is criticized for &ldquo;merely shifting the point of centralization&rdquo; is because pool operators still maintain a large amount of control as they could force hashers to censor certain transactions at the threat of not receiving payouts.</p><p>In response to this argument, Corallo told <i>Bitcoin Magazine</i>:</p><p>&ldquo;While it is true that pools could still exert influence over their clients by telling them to run certain rules or they will refuse payouts, this requires active action on the part of both the pool and the client. Today, a pool could simply switch without telling their users and it would require some significant effort on the part of the clients to even discover this, let alone inform other users of the same pool and switch to a competitor. With Betterhash, a pool would need to inform their users, at which point it would be easier for users to switch pools than to switch out their nodes.&rdquo;</p><p>Although the software to build a mining pool and use BetterHash is currently available, no large mining pools are using it. Today, Corallo continues to work on (among other things) increasing the adoption of BetterHash so miners will have additional options in the future.</p></div></div> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="">Bitcoin Magazine</a>.</em></p>

Bearish Crypto Market Claims Another Victim in Mining Space

<p>The long-running bearish sentiment of cryptocurrency market has claimed another victim. Giga Watt, a US-based Bitcoin mining firm, sent an email to its customers, stating that it has decided&nbsp;to close down operations. The company clarified that it had lost access and power to its mining facilities because it didn&rsquo;t have adequate funds to continue the<a href="">...</a></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Bearish Crypto Market Claims Another Victim in Mining Space</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">NewsBTC</a>.</p>

Bitmain’s Struggle is Real But Analyst Says Crypto Miners are Fine

<p>Just in the past two months, Bitmain has fired more than half of its staff, has closed an entire office in Tel Aviv, has shuffled top management, and removed two of its chief operations officers. And today, the Chinese bitcoin mining giant decided that it would close another overseas workplace &ndash; this time in Amsterdam.<a href="">...</a></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Bitmain&rsquo;s Struggle is Real But Analyst Says Crypto Miners are Fine</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">NewsBTC</a>.</p>

Crypto Mining Giant Bitmain to Appoint New CEO, Texas Plant Plans Shelved

<p>The bear market of 2018 has hit crypto mining companies particularly hard as mining on certain types of hardware is no longer profitable. Falling prices and hashrates have dropped difficulty somewhat but not enough to prevent the founders of the world&rsquo;s largest mining company to step down as it readies to appoint a new boss.<a href="">...</a></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Crypto Mining Giant Bitmain to Appoint New CEO, Texas Plant Plans Shelved</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">NewsBTC</a>.</p>

Researcher: Ethereum Constantinople “Couldn’t Come At A Worse Time”

<p>Since the Ethereum Constantinople&rsquo;s activation date was confirmed, a mass of leading crypto researchers, analysts, and commentators have claimed that the pertinent blockchain upgrade is a net positive for this industry. However, a deep-dive, research-backed expos&eacute; from an industry insider has gone against popular belief, claiming that Constantinople &ldquo;couldn&rsquo;t come at a worse time.&rdquo; Constantinople<a href="">...</a></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Researcher: Ethereum Constantinople &ldquo;Couldn&rsquo;t Come At A Worse Time&rdquo;</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">NewsBTC</a>.</p>

Report: Bitcoin Mining Equipment Manufacturer Canaan is Considering U.S. IPO

<p>China&rsquo;s number-two Bitcoin mining equipment manufacturer, Canaan, is reportedly considering an initial public offering (IPO) in the United States. The new development comes after the company shelved plans to go public in Hong Kong just a few months ago. Although an IPO would be a great way for Bitcoin mining companies to raise funding, the<a href="">...</a></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Report: Bitcoin Mining Equipment Manufacturer Canaan is Considering U.S. IPO</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">NewsBTC</a>.</p>