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The economics of Bitcoin mining

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Launched in 2009, Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency to have ever existed. It is still the most important token by market capitalization, and it is also one of the most traded coins. Both retail traders and institutional investors are looking for ways to be part of this new decentralized economy offered by Bitcoin and take advantage of an asset that is not really correlated with any traditional markets and offers the possibility of great returns.

 

Whilst trading Bitcoin has become a popular way for investors to get involved in the crypto market, an increasing number of people are looking into mining BTC tokens to earn block rewards, especially in countries where the price of electricity is cheap.

So, what is mining exactly? Is it still profitable? Should you start mining BTC? Let’s have a look at the economics of Bitcoin mining.

What is Bitcoin mining?

Bitcoin relies on the blockchain technology to work and secure its network. To avoid double-spending issues, Bitcoin uses the proof-of-work (PoW) protocol to authenticate, validate, and add transactions to the blockchain. This process is done by solving complex mathematical calculations through a process called mining.

If you’re mining Bitcoin, you’re called a “miner”, and you participate in the process of securing the Bitcoin network by using your computational power. If you succeed in solving the complex equations before someone else does, you will be rewarded for the time and energy you spent by receiving newly released BTC tokens. It is often said that mining is the process by which Bitcoin tokens are created, but this is not entirely correct, as BTC tokens earned through mining are not created from scratch, they’re simply released or unlocked from the total amount of Bitcoin that exist (21 million).

At the time of writing, the Bitcoin block reward is 6.25 BTC. This number isn’t fixed, as it needs to reflect the token’s inflation rate and the pace at which new BTC coins enter in circulation. Every four years, the rewards received by BTC miners are reduced by 50% – this is called halving. The last Bitcoin halving happened on May 11, 2020, with the block rewards going from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC, and the next one should occur in spring of 2024.

How to decide if Bitcoin mining could be profitable for you

Bitcoin mining is a great way to earn Bitcoin tokens without having to put down money to buy tokens first. However, there are a few things to take into consideration when thinking about getting into mining, as you need to be sure that it is going to be a profitable activity for you. Moreover, the latest developments in China’s crypto mining regulations, also affect the mining of Bitcoin and it’s price, as seen in last June.

While BTC mining could initially be done with personal computers, it has become increasingly complicated to do so nowadays. Today, there are many companies offering powerful hardware you can use to mine BTC, but this has a cost. Such mining machines require a lot of electricity to run, which means that your energy consumption will increase if you start mining Bitcoin tokens. That’s why mining is normally only efficient if you’re based in a country where electricity is cheap.

Another important factor to take into consideration is the difficulty of solving mathematical problems to earn the block reward. This difficulty is usually measured by the “hash rate”, which changes depending on how many miners enter the network. The algorithm of the Bitcoin network is also programmed to automatically adjust the level of mining difficulty every 2,016 blocks, to maintain the block time at around 10 minutes.

Finally, you need to take into consideration the price of Bitcoin at the time of mining, as well as its growth prospect to determine how this will impact your overall potential profitability.

Source: Plato Data Intelligence

Blockchain

Blockchain & Infrastructure Post-Event Release

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GBA addressed the eroding US dollar, coinciding with the rise of cryptocurrency during their recent Blockchain & Infrastructure event.

In August of 2021, the US Senate approved a $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill, as part of the $3.5 Trillion Budget Bill. Language in this bill suggested that $28 Billion in funding would come from enforcing tax-reporting requirements on cryptocurrency brokers. In response, the Government Blockchain Association (GBA) partnered with a coalition of blockchain associations to present Blockchain & Infrastructure, a two-day hybrid event coupling an educational seminar with a networking reception. Aimed at educating government policymakers, Blockchain & Infrastructure addressed the impact of cryptocurrency adoption on government, along with other financial trends that are outpacing regulatory understanding. Renowned leaders in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, such as Dr. Scott Stornetta, one of the founders of blockchain technology, and Charles Hoskinson, the Founder of Cardano and one of the original creators of Ethereum, brought their insights to the current landscape.

Streamed to over 11,000 individual IP addresses, Blockchain & Infrastructure aimed at educating governments on this movement, and those who wished to learn tuned in.

The live event, stepping into the remains of a COVID world, was attended by over 200 guests, braving pandemic uncertainties. Culminating in an evening reception at the Whittemore House, Ambassadors, a crypto billionaire, blockchain leaders, and government policymakers continued their discussions.  In this beautiful and historic mansion, deals were made, affecting the trajectory and infrastructure of the blockchain future.

As blockchain technology continues to impact all systems, the Government Blockchain Association (GBA), will provide high content events to help the public and private sectors connect, communicate, and collaborate. Join the GBA community in January 2022 for The Future of Money, Governance, & the Law; live in Washington DC, and streamed globally.

Source: Plato Data Intelligence

 

 

 

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Analyst Puts Bitcoin Bottom At $50,000, Here’s Why

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With bitcoin rallying, all the focus has been on predicting where the price of the asset will be by the end of the year. The digital asset is undoubtedly going to enter a period where various crashes will send the price down, popularly known as a bear market. Not a lot of attention has been paid to where the price of the asset might bottom out when the market inevitably goes into another bear market.

This usually long stretch of low momentum has seen bitcoin lose 94%, 87%, and 84% of its peak value respectively in the last three bear markets. One recurring theme of the bear markets has been the diminishing percentages of total value lost. At this rate, it is expected that BTC will see between 75% and 80% loss from its peak this cycle. Market analyst Justin Bennett uses this to predict where BTC will bottom out next.

The Next Bitcoin Bottom

Bennett put the next bitcoin bottom at $50,000 after analyzing the possible price movements of the digital asset. With the current cycle, the analyst sees the price of bitcoin hitting $200,000 before the bull run is over, hence a 75% to 80% pullback in a bear market will see the bottom of the asset land around the $50,000 range.

Related Reading | Bitcoin Leads Charge Of Large Cap Altcoin Dominance In October

This bottom is solely based on the cryptocurrency hitting the price range that Bennett expects the asset to peak at by the end of the rally. If BTC does not hit this price point before the bull rally is over then we might see a BTC bottom land at a much lower price range.

BTC goes into the red ahead of Friday opening | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

Bennett’s pullback analysis has a lot of credit given that markets are historically known to see lower pullbacks as assets mature. So the 75% to 80% mark does resonate with what the market is known to do. However, if the price of BTC falls short of Bennett’s prediction or doesn’t move the needle much from its current price point, then the BTC bottom may land in the $10,000 to $15,000 range using the pullback analysis.

The Peak Before The Fall

Bennett’s analysis did not focus solely on the crash of the digital asset. He put forward his argument for the price of BTC at $200,000 using technical analysis of the market. The analyst points to Fibonacci extensions as indicators of where the price of bitcoin may peak during this cycle.

For the Fibonacci extensions, comparisons between the 2.272 and 2.414 extensions from previous cycles have both given a target area which the asset had hit both times. Going by this, Bennett sees the asset peaking between $207,000 and $270,000 before the current cycle is over.

Related Reading | Bitcoin New All-Time Cleared, $100,000 Straight Ahead?

Moving forward, the analyst plans to use the monthly RSI to time market exits “Notice how BTC tends to end cycles when the monthly RSI reaches above 90,” Bennett says. “It’s also exhibited a double top pattern each cycle, which leads me to believe it happens again.”

Bennett plans to use a combination of net unrealized profit/loss (NUPL) and the monthly RSI to slowly exit the asset over the next couple of months.

Featured image from YouTube, chart from TradingView.com

Source: https://www.bitcoinnewsminer.com/analyst-puts-bitcoin-bottom-at-50000-heres-why/

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Binance Smart Chain Devs Propose Ethereum-Like Gas Fee Burning Mechanism

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binance

Developers of the Binance Smart Chain, the Binance-backed decentralized blockchain platform, have proposed applying a mechanism to burn BNB tokens based on the utilization of the network. According to the proposal, this would benefit both validators and holders due to the increase in value that the token would experience thanks to token burns. The proposal, called Binance Evolution Protocol 95 (or BEP-95), bears a striking resemblance to EIP-1559, an already implemented Ethereum proposal that also burns fees.

Binance Smart Chain Could Burn Gas Fees

Binance Smart Chain, the decentralized blockchain backed by Binance, could be implementing a gas-burning mechanism in the near future. Developers of the chain unveiled a proposal that points in that direction. The proposal, called BEP-95, would burn some of the fees that users spend to make transactions or to interact with smart contracts on the network.

Normally these fees would go to validators as rewards for securing the network. But with BEP-95, 10% of these funds would be burned depending on network activity. This percentage is subject to change, and members can change this number via community vote. According to the proposal, the goal of this new implementation would be to “speed up the BNB burning process and improve its intrinsic value by burning a portion of gas fees.”

Chasing Sustainability

Binance Smart Chain developers could be betting on this change to make BNB more sustainable. Currently, Binance conducts BNB burns that are announced on a regular basis. But the exchange only agreed to burn 100 million BNB tokens. After this number is reached, no more burns will be conducted by the exchange.

By changing the economic policy of the network, developers aim to ensure that the currency remains competitive, decreasing the amount of BNB in the market and making it more scarce. This move seems to be mimicking the proposal that Ethereum approved earlier this year, called EIP-1559, that also implemented burning a part of the fees that would normally go to miners. This new economic proposal seems to have contributed to the price growth that Ethereum has experienced since its approval.

BNB and Ethereum don’t have a max supply, so there is a common interest in keeping the issuance and supply in check to maintain price stability. The proposal is still in its initial stages, and could change before being implemented on the BSC blockchain.

What do you think about Binance Smart Chain devs proposing to burn BNB coming from gas fees? Tell us in the comments section below.

Source: https://www.bitcoinnewsminer.com/binance-smart-chain-devs-propose-ethereum-like-gas-fee-burning-mechanism/

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Week Ahead – Between a rock and a hard place

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Inflation is a growing concern

For years central banks have been operating under the assumption that inflation will eventually return to target while having the flexibility to wait until the economy is fully ready for higher rates. That luxury is a thing of the past and many now feel stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Most are hoping that a modest tightening of monetary policy will begin the address the problem and buy them enough time for inflation to show itself to be as transitory as they believe. Some are taking more drastic action with larger rate hikes to quickly bring inflation under control. And then there’s the CBRT.

Next week it’s the ECB’s turn to shed some light on how it will deal with inflation which is running well above target, an unusual problem for the central bank after a decade in which the threat of deflation has been a much greater risk.

Earnings season keeps investors positive

ECB prepares for the end of PEPP

Lira slides as CBRT loses credibility

Country

US

The calm before the November 3rd Fed storm should have investors focus on the advance reading of third-quarter GDP, mega-cap tech earnings, and the final version of President Biden’s economic package.  The economy was dealt a blow from the delta variant but most of the lost growth appears to be pushed back to next year.  On Thursday, analysts expect the economy in the third quarter to slow from 6.7% to 3.0%, which is a reflection of current supply chain issues and not falling demand. 

Risk appetite has remained intact as Wall Street continues to overlook supply chain issues, surging commodity prices, and rising transportation costs, but that could change if inflationary pressures intensify.  The next round of mega-cap tech earnings from Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook could change Wall Street’s expectation on how much pricing pressures are persisting. 

Optimism is growing that after some large concessions, Democrats will get Senators Manchin and Sinema on board with President Biden’s economic package.  The US economic outlook next year is still looking bright as pent up demand and more stimulus will spur growth.  

EU 

The ECB meeting next week is the obvious standout event as markets look for clues on how the PEPP program will be replaced when it expires in March and whether it will be tempted to follow other central banks in tightening monetary policy. Headline inflation may be above target but there appears to be a firmer belief than elsewhere that this is temporary and they’ll be back below before long. With that in mind, investors will be keen to know whether other stimulus measures will be introduced in March. They may have to wait until December though when new economic projections will be prepared.

UK

UK businesses and households are facing a squeeze over the next year from higher energy prices, taxes, prices and interest rates as the BoE prepares to raise interest rates to counter high supply-side driven inflation. 

That makes the Chancellors Autumn budget on Wednesday all the more important. While the governments focus in the coming years will have to be on paying for the pandemic, they won’t want to act too fast and turn an already sluggish recovery into something worse. 

Russia

The ruble rallied strongly after the Bank of Russia raised interest rates by 0.75% on Friday, surpassing expectations of a 0.25% or 0.5% hike. Clearly, unlike their Turkish counterparts, the CBR is taking the threat of inflation serious and is prepared to raise them further as it raised its inflation forecast at the end of the year to 7.4-7.9%, almost double its 4% target.

The announcement saw the dollar fall briefly back below 70 against the ruble for the first time since June last year. Higher rates and soaring energy prices have supported the currency in recent months and with more hikes and a possible winter crisis in the pipeline, it could remain in favour for some time.

The unemployment rate on Friday is the only notable release.

South Africa

PPI and trade balance releases are the only releases of note next week.

Turkey

The lira fell more than 3% to a record low on Thursday and has continued to slide on Friday after the CBRT cut rates by 2%, at least twice as much as markets expected. The move ends the debate, if there was one, that the central bank is being influenced by President Erdogan, whose long-held views that high-interest rates spur inflation are well known.

The central banks’ credibility under Şahap Kavcıoğlu is ruined and its only hope of avoiding further troubles down the road is inflation falling significantly and very soon. Even then, central bank credibility is important, as is the divide between politics and monetary policy and they are both irreversibly damaged under Kavcıoğlu. The lira could remain under severe pressure for some time.

China

Evergrande has paid an offshore bond coupon today, one day before the grace period expiry. That has removed the immediate financial contagion threat from Mainland markets and reduced weekend risk. It faces another coupon payment deadline on the 29th though and this story is probably not going away soon.

China has no significant data this coming week, but with the central committee meeting due on the 8th of November, authorities will be doing their utmost to ensure that markets remain “serene” until then.  

PBOC officials have expressed comfort that the Yuan is fairly priced at these levels, so strength may continue. With China needing to source energy stocks “at any cost” a strong Yuan is probably their favoured position.

India

The Indian rupee recovery continues, but the story is more a weak US dollar one than a strong rupee one. A strong US earnings season is causing dollar weakness and this story means the rupee rally may have more life in it. 

India is entering the holiday season over the next two weeks and market volumes are likely to decrease, potentially amplifying short-term moves. No significant data releases this week. 

Australia & New Zealand

The Aussie and New Zealand dollars rallied strongly as global risk sentiment improved thanks to a strong US earnings season so far. Melbourne and Sydney’s reopening will also lift sentiment and the huge New Zealand inflation number leaves the RBNZ 0.50% hike trade, pencilled in for next month, in full swing. Going forward both will continue to be buffeted by swinging sentiment shifts in overseas markets. 

Australia has inflation data this Monday and PPI and Retail Sales on Friday. The RBA had to intervene in the 3-year bond market to cap rate hikes as markets locally started pricing in a change in RBA guidance from ultra-dovish. 

New Zealand markets continue ignoring rising delta cases and are myopically focused on pricing in a large RBNZ hike next month. Although the trade is now crowded, kiwi outperformance will continue as long as global risk sentiment remains positive.

Japan

The Bank of Japan announces its latest policy decision next week on Thursday. However, there is little chance of any change before November’s FOMC and ahead of the Lower House election on October 31st. Electioneering will dominate the headlines in Japan next week, but despite the noise, the Nikkei is following the Nasdaq closely. It would take a huge shift in polling away from the ruling LDP to shift the narrative negatively into domestic markets. 

USD/JPY remains near 114.00 and continues to be a purely US/Japan rate differential play. With rates firming in the US, and Japan low forever, USD/JPY’s path of least resistance continues to be higher. 


Key Economic Events

Sunday, Oct. 24

Events

By-elections will be held for upper house seats in Japan’s Shizuoka and Yamaguchi prefectures

Bank of England policymaker Mann speaks at the 3rd Bund Summit, China Finance Forum 40 on a panel about “Asset prices, inflation expectation and exit from economic stimulus.”

Monday, Oct. 25

Economic Data/Events

The ASEAN Business and Investment Summit speakers include US President Biden and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

EU energy ministers hold an extraordinary council in Luxembourg to discuss rising energy prices in the bloc.

Germany IFO business climate

Mexico Unemployment

Singapore CPI

Japan leading index

Switzerland domestic sight deposits

Turkey real sector confidence

BOE policymaker Tenreyro speaks at an event hosted by CEPR and the central bank.

Tuesday, Oct. 26

Economic Data/Events

FDA advisory panel meeting may decide on whether children ages 5 to 11 could get a COVID vaccine

Bank of France Governor Villeroy de Galhau speaks at a sustainable finance event in Paris.

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau may announce the new cabinet

Australia ANZ consumer confidence

China Bloomberg economic survey

Hong Kong trade

PPI: Spain, Sweden, Japan

South Korea GDP

Mexico international reserves

Japan bond purchases

Singapore industrial production

U.S. new home sales, U.S. Conf. Board consumer confidence

South Africa leading indicator

Finland unemployment

Wednesday, Oct. 27

Economic Data/Events

UK Chancellor of Exchequer Rishi Sunak to unveil the government’s autumn budget including new forecasts from the Office of Budget Responsibility.

US wholesale inventories, U.S. durable goods

Bank of Canada (BOC) rate decision: Expected to keep interest rate steady at 0.25%

New Zealand trade, ANZ business confidence

Australia CPI

China industrial profits

Germany GfK consumer confidence

Thailand manufacturing production index, capacity utilization

Mexico trade

Russia industrial production, CPI (weekly)

France PPI

Turkey trade, economic confidence

EIA Crude Oil Inventory Report

Thursday, Oct. 28

Economic Data/Events

US Q3 Advance GDP Q/Q: 3.0%e v 6.7% prior, initial jobless claims

BOJ rate decision: No change in policy expected, could lower growth forecast for this year and raise 2022 forecast

Japan retail sales

ECB rate decision: No change to policy, possibly setting up December as pivotal meeting for a decision on APP; President Lagarde holds a post-rate decision press conference

Eurozone economic confidence, consumer confidence

Germany CPI, unemployment

Australia export and import price indexes

Singapore unemployment

Russia forex and gold reserves

Sweden GDP, retail sales

South Africa PPI

Apple and Amazon report earnings after the bell

Turkey central bank Governor Kavcioglu discusses inflation 

EU economy and finance ministers meet online to talk about the implementation of the recovery and resilience facility.

Friday, Oct. 29

Economic Data/Events

G-20 joint finance and health ministers meet before the weekend leaders’ summit

US consumer income, University of Michigan consumer sentiment

Eurozone GDP, CPI

UK mortgage approvals, money supply, consumer credit

Germany GDP

Czech Republic GDP

Mexico GDP

France GDP, CPI

Italy GDP, CPI

Poland CPI

Russia unemployment

South Africa trade balance, private credit, money supply, budget balance

Japan unemployment, Tokyo CPI, industrial production, housing starts

Australia retail sales, private sector credit, PPI

Singapore money supply

India fiscal deficit, eight infrastructure industries

Hong Kong money supply, budget balance

New Zealand ANC consumer confidence

Thailand trade, BoP, trade, foreign reserves, forward contracts

Russia consumer data

Sovereign Rating Updates

– Germany (Fitch)

– Czech Republic (S&P)

– Poland (Moody’s)

– Norway (Moody’s) 

– Italy (DBRS)

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Craig Erlam

Based in London, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a market analyst. With many years of experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while producing macroeconomic commentary. His views have been published in the Financial Times, Reuters, The Telegraph and the International Business Times, and he also appears as a regular guest commentator on the BBC, Bloomberg TV, FOX Business and SKY News. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and is recognised as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.

Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

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Source: https://www.marketpulse.com/20211022/week-ahead-rock-hard-place/

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