MoonLite Is Giving Investors A Chance To Get Started In Cryptocurrency Mining

With the overall market capitalization of cryptocurrencies gradually trending towards $1 trillion, increasing from just under $20 billion at the start of 2017 to over $700 billion at the beginning of the current year, it’s simply a good time to invest in the revolutionary technology called blockchain. Last year alone, bitcoin, the pioneer cryptocurrency, which introduced the blockchain technology too, rose from the $1000 region at the beginning of the year to over $19,000 at a point during the year.

Over the past month, or so, cryptocurrencies including ethereum, litecoin and ripple have enjoyed impressive rallies too. With governments and financial institutions around the world exploring the possibilities of issuing some form of cryptocurrency to benefit from the improved efficiency that blockchain powered money brings to the digital world, it’s safe to say that cryptocurrencies are here for the long haul and they’re likely to change the way we use money. The case for investing in blockchain and cryptocurrencies has never been stronger. The problem, however, is that the cryptocurrency market is plagued with instability and many useless coins, making it difficult for long-term investors to find a good entry points. Moreover, at present, partly because it’s still early days, it’s currently difficult to determine what a fair value is for cryptocurrencies. So this leaves the question of how to, genuinely, benefit from the blockchain and cryptocurrency revolution over the long term.

One effective way is to invest in cryptocurrency mining, the process that generates new cryptocurrencies. Many of the major cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin depend on mining to function.

What miners do and why they’re important

Mining cryptocurrencies simply has to do with the process of verifying cryptocurrency transactions and adding them to the public ledger. Recall that crypto transactions are peer-to-peer, which means there are no intermediaries. In order to maintain the integrity of the system and avoid double spending, which had been one of the things that the traditional banks do, miners serve as witnesses to transactions. To verify transactions, miners use a computer or group of computers to solve a mathematical puzzle, called cryptographic function and they are rewarded with freshly generated cryptocurrency – the part that’s actually the mining. Miners can either sell the cryptocurrency rewards for fiat money on exchanges or keep them as an investment to bet on an increase in the value of the cryptocurrency. Just to point it out, it’s the process of mining described here that leads to an increase in the number of cryptocurrencies in circulation.

Is cryptocurrency mining profitable?

In a similar fashion to the saying that “not all cryptocurrencies are created equal,” all cryptocurrencies aren’t equally profitable. Cryptocurrency mining is designed to increase in difficulty as the number of miners of a particular cryptocurrency increases and the number that cryptocurrency in circulation increases. Consequentially, the cost of mining a cryptocurrency tends to increase as the usage of that cryptocurrency increases. So there’s simply no one formula to determine if cryptocurrency mining is profitable on an overall basis. Like all businesses, it would depend on the set up — like how much computational power is allocated to the mining of the cryptocurrencies of interest and the energy tariffs at the mining site. On a general basis, setting up a mining operation that is profitable depends on the ability of the owners to identify areas where energy costs are relatively lower and the cryptocurrencies that offer lower costs on a relative basis so they can assign them more computing power just to optimize operations.

Specific cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum have been said to be profitable for miners. For instance, bitcoin miners in China reportedly break even at $6,925 per bitcoin when energy cost in China is at its highest, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. With bitcoin hovering around the $14,000 mark, this means that bitcoin miners in China potentially making about 100 percent profit.

In addition, a calculation on the website Ethereumin suggests that, with a Geass ASIC setup, which cost about $2,289 with the capability to provide 200 MH/s (mega hashes per second) in hash rate, your profit could be 18.215 ETH in a year. With this sort of profit margin, it’s safe to say that a properly set up mining business should be profitable over the long haul.

How to Invest In Cryptocurrency Mining

There are mainly two ways to invest in the cryptocurrency mining business. You can setup either your own mining operation or investing in a mining business. If you have the technical expertise and time to start your own mining rig, as it’s commonly called, it could be profitable. However, for most people, the best option would be to invest in a mining business and one of the easiest options is to buy tokens during the ICO of a cryptocurrency mining company.

MoonLite is one of such companies. The MoonLite project is an industrial scale cryptocurrency mining operation focusing on the mining of all forms of bitcoin, litecoin and dash.

Cryptocurrency mining operations have been under pressure in recent times for the amount of energy they consume. In fact, Power Compare, a U.K. energy tariffs comparison platform cited Digiconomist, a cryptocurrency power usage tracking website, to suggest that bitcoin mining operations now account for approximately 0.13 percent of the total global electricity consumption. Going by that number, if bitcoin miners were a country, they would be the 61st largest consumer of electricity in the world. While some researchers have argued that Digiconomist’s data has a few layers of error in it, there’s no denying that bitcoin mining consumes a considerable amount of energy — just like any set up of computers doing high-level computation.

These consumption issues have started making governments around the world look into crypto mining operations. In the end, only cryptocurrency mining projects built to be efficient in terms of energy would win. That’s one thing to like about the Moonlite project.

Moonlite is building its first datacenter in Iceland, which is the unofficial capital of the world datacenter due to its inherent need for more heat energy that datacenters could offer. Moonlite datacenter will be running at roughly 14.6MW with 100 percent of the power coming from green sources. The mining company has been able to lock down a 12-year fixed and guaranteed energy cost with the Icelandic Power Producer at a huge discount to the local energy cost. It’s worthy to note that Iceland already has one of the cheapest energy tariffs in the world.

MoonLite plans to start its ICO on February 28 although it’s currently offering a presale, which will end before the start of the main ICO. Another unique thing about the MoonLite ICO, unlike many ICOs, is that the MoonLite tokens confer voting rights on all of the company’s financial, HR and branding affairs through Secure.Vote. That offers an extra layer of security and transparency that’s often missing in the ICO market.

To bring it all together, in world that’s filled with over a thousand cryptocurrencies from which one is to decide which ones are worth an investment, it might help to look in the direction of companies like MoonLite who help bring cryptocurrencies to the market.

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According to their co-chairman Kong Jianping, a company making Bitcoin mining hardware has posted sales of over 1.2 billion yuan (US$ 185.2 million) during 2017. This translates in a profit of a staggering 300 million yuan (US$ 46.6 million). Kong told Chinese media outlet Yicai Global that he anticipates Canaan Creative’s profits to reach 5 billion yuan. This would mean they’d made sales of 10 billion yaun. However, the mining hardware chairperson did not specify a time frame for such a prediction.

Ejinsight, a domestic technology resource claims that Canaan Creative plan to list its shares on the National Equities Exchange and Quotations stock exchange – an over-the-counter way of selling shares in public limited companies in China.

Canaan Creative are one of the planet’s largest manufacturers of ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) chips. Such components have been tailored towards solving the complex algorithms required to “unlock” the remaining Bitcoin of the total supply of 21 million. The company filed their interest in listing shares on the NEEQ in August of last year.

Canaan Creative itself was founded in 2013 and according to Ejinsight, units they’d sold up until last April accounted for 22% of the global mining hash power on the Bitcoin network. Sales have been steadily increasing inline with surging interest in cryptocurrency since they began selling hardware chips designed for the purpose of mining. The local technology news source claims that of the 400 unique customers Canaan Creative have served, 97% of them are based in China.

However, with news of Chinese hostility towards the cryptocurrency mining industry and so many of Canaan Creative’s clients being located within the country, it seems hard to believe the projections of Kong. Recently the Chinese government have made efforts to squeeze Bitcoin miners out of their nation. Whilst the Beijing government has not expressly banned the practice, certain clampdowns on allowed electricity and land usage, as well as environmental regulation and tax collection, targets those engaging in the highly profitable and hugely power consuming activity.

According to the Financial Times, as part of their agenda against Bitcoin miners, a multi-agency task force has been set up to aid companies from exiting the mining industry.

The clampdown on mining is not the only hostility the Chinese government have shown towards the cryptocurrency space. During September of last year, legislators there banned the innovative fund raising practice known as initial coin offerings (ICOs). On top of this, several key exchanges also ceasing doing business in the second half of 2017. Evidently, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are not currently seen as being inline with Chinese economic interests.

Remember that dude from 2013 who accidentally threw away his hard drive full of Bitcoin? Well, he’s back hitting headlines again as the recent surge in BTC price has encouraged him to restart his treasure hunt. He’s prepared to get his hands pretty dirty too… by digging up a landfill site.

James Howells from Newport, Wales was an early cryptocurrency miner. He started back in 2009 and had amassed some 7,500BTC by solving the complex equations used to secure the Bitcoin network. During a big cleanup of his home in 2013, the hard drive upon which he’d stored his private keys got mistakenly thrown out. The value of the cryptocurrency stored on it at the time was then several hundred thousand dollars. That was when Bitcoin was trading at around $130 a coin.

Today, with the price of Bitcoin being almost hundred times the 2013 figure, the hard drive is worth $85 million. It’s therefore hardly surprising that the Newport-based IT worker is keen to be reunited with his stash. He’s now considering having the landfill excavated. This, of course, is no small job. Howells explained to The Independent:

A modern landfill is a complex engineering project and digging one up brings up all sorts of environmental issues such as dangerous gasses and potential landfill fires… It’s a big, expensive and risky project.

Howells had stopped mining long before Bitcoin started to grab headlines in quite the way it did during late 2013. He’d sold most of the components of the computer he’d used on eBay but was savvy enough to make sure he kept the hard drive containing his private keys. Unfortunately, during a clear-out, he believes that this ended up being put in a general waste bin at a local landfill site. This will then have been emptied onto the tip and will since have been buried by many tons of junk. Howells blames “family life and moving house” for the mishap.

Whilst it’s certainly the largest case of lost Bitcoins known about today, Howells’ tale isn’t the only example of such a colossal mistake. A similar story comes from the editor of Gizmodo Australia, Campbell Simpson, who threw around 1,400 BTC away back in 2012. When he’d originally bought the Bitcoin, they’d only cost him $25 AUD. Today, buying such a quantity of the cryptocurrency would set you back almost $16 million.

However, the largest cache of lost Bitcoin might be those of their original creator themselves. Recent research from the blockchain data-crunchers at Chainalysis hints that the one million Bitcoin reserved for Satoshi Nakamoto will most likely never enter the wider market. It’s believed that these are spread out over many thousands of wallets and their owner has either lost the private keys, or has since been killed. If the person or people behind Bitcoin are still alive, they’re either the dictionary definition of the perfect “hodler”, or kicking themselves much harder than either Campbell Simpson or James Howells.

 

Image: PixaBay

With all eyes looking at the charts and wondering when Bitcoin will ever stop its upward march over ten thousand dollars, many overlook what is actually involved in creating one. According to reports, the popularity of Bitcoin has created a global surge in energy consumption. Digiconomist’s Bitcoin Consumption Index claims that the current estimated annual electricity consumption is over 30 TWh.

A TeraWatt hour is a pretty big number and equates to 1012 (1 followed by 12 zeros) watts per hour – which is a lot of energy. That is the equivalent of around 0.14% of total global electricity consumption. It doesn’t sound a great deal but Bitcoin mining is currently using more electricity than 159 countries. Almost 10 US households can be powered for one day by the electricity consumed for a single Bitcoin transaction. With a continuous power drain of 3.4GW, the BTC network consumes five times more electricity than is produced by the largest wind farm in Europe.

This colossal amount of energy is used to power the computers and graphics processors which do the number crunching to mine Bitcoin. Mining is the process by which blockchain transactions are verified and added to the public ledger. As the block reward becomes harder to mine more energy is required to carry out the calculations in this computational arms race. If Bitcoin miners were their own country they would rank 61st in the world for electricity consumption. This puts them above Ireland and Nigeria.

According to the report, Bitcoin mining energy consumption has increased by almost 30% in the last month alone. The monumental rise in price has created a flurry of interest as people want to jump on the gravy train. Many are unaware of the mathematical complexities that mining involves and the level of hardware and power required doing it. As much as 80% of the mining is currently done in mega-factories in China where banks of computer rigs and fans stretch away as far as the eye can see. Companies rent these rigs out to individuals who get a cut of the mining action.

In comparison one of Visa’s two US data centers reportedly runs on around 2% of the power required by Bitcoin. Between them, those two servers conduct around 200 million transactions a day while the Bitcoin network handles less than 350,000. With Bitcoin’s price increase over tenfold since the beginning of the year and this unsustainable energy draw in keeping up with it, many speculate that the bubble may soon burst.

With the news of Bitcoin all-time high prices almost every week, it’s easy to forget that the world’s leading cryptocurrency is also setting new tops by other metrics almost as frequently. One of these is electricity consumption. According to an energy price comparison service in Britain, the environmental cost of mining Bitcoin might be far greater than most realise, or would prefer not to admit.

For Bitcoin to stay secure and immutable, processing units must solve and check complex algorithms. This is known as “mining” and those who use computer systems to provide this work are called “miners”. In Bitcoins beginning, mining occurred on a handful of laptop computers across the globe. As the price of Bitcoin has increased, so too has the profitability of performing the computational tasks required to ensure that the network runs smoothly. This has caused an effective arms race. Chip designers create ever-more complex machinery to perform the necessary “proof of work” and thus generate a greater proportion of the miner rewards that incentivise network participants. These specialised units also use a lot of electricity.

Today, not only has equipment become more expensive to run in terms of power, but greater numbers of miners than ever before are competing for rewards from the network. Miners whose equipment successfully solves the algorithm first earn themselves 12.5BTC, or around $100,625 at the time of writing. This has, of course, led to unprecedented increase in the amount of electricity used to mine new Bitcoins.

Power Compare, an energy price evaluation platform from the UK, recently published the total amount of electricity required by the Bitcoin network. As of Monday November 20th, 2017, Bitcoin was estimated to be consuming as much as 0.13% of the total global electricity consumption. To put that into perspective, it requires more electricity than the entire nation of Nigeria, or Ireland. In fact, the price watchdogs reckon the total burden of mining in terms of resources makes the Bitcoin network less energy efficient than 159 countries.

The UK company published various other statistics about Bitcoin’s power consumption too. They estimate that the amount of electricity that the network uses is equivalent to the usage of 2.4 million Americans, or 6.1 million Britons. It’s thought that all that juice costs over $1.5 billion annually. Meanwhile, mining is thought to rake in a total of $7.2 billion in the same period of time. Clearly, with such margins, it’s easy to see why so many are seeking to try their hands at Bitcoin mining. However, if increases in mining interest continue at the rate they are today, how long such power-hungry operations are permitted to continue remains to be seen.

 

Image: PixaBay

 

A small mining rig manufacturer in Singapore has reported a huge surge in sales in recent months. Dexter Ng of Mining.sg estimates that the company has gone from selling around 15 rigs each month in July to now selling over 100. He told Channel News Asia:

Customers come in and order 50 rigs on their own. Compared to last time, probably one person only buys one or two. Now we get customers who buy 10, 20 or even 50.

In a few short months the company has expanded from a couple of friends selling specialised graphics processing units online to a fully-equipped office space in Geyland Lorong, Singapore. There, they have facilities in which to build up to 45 rigs at once. Each one can sell for between S$5,500 and S$6,500. In USD, that’s $3,670 to $4,770. Ng went on to talk about his company’s early days:

“We posted photos online, on Facebook, and people started asking how much is this and they wanted buy it off… So I sold it to people who queried on Facebook, and after a while, we started selling many on Facebook, so we decided to incorporate this company.”

The explosive growth of many different cryptocurrencies in 2017 is driving the interest in mining hardware both in Singapore and elsewhere. The price of a single Bitcoin is currently up around 6.5x in this year alone. During the last eleven months, one BTC has gone from costing around $1,000 to between $6,000 and $7,000 at the time of writing. This has encouraged many to turn to mining as a way of generating a passive income and getting involved in the space.

Likewise, the soaring market cap of the entire industry has caused a huge uptake of interest in crypto exchanges. Singapore’s Coinhako reported that the numbers of users on their books had doubled since the start of the year.

Meanwhile, the Singapore regulators are reluctant to approach the space with too heavy a hand. The Monetary Authority of Singapore told Bloomberg in October that there were no plans to regulate cryptocurrencies at present. However, they did confirm that were monitoring the space for risk.

Image: ShutterStock

 

In a break from tradition, one of the planet’s leading tech-manufacturers are attempting to show that there’s life remaining in their products, even after most users have deemed them obsolete. At their recent developer’s conference, Samsung debuted a range of ways consumers could re-purpose their older devices. Known as the C-Lab, the team of visionaries showed off a facial recognition unit created using an old mobile phone, and a Galaxy S3 which had been “upcycled” into a fishtank control unit/photography suite.

Most interestingly of all perhaps was the cryptocurrency mining rig created from 40 Samsung Galaxy S5s. According to an information sheet provided at the conference, the creative division of the electronics giant estimate that it takes just eight S5s to mine at a greater efficiency than a desktop computer. Based on the specifications on display, the rig that the team showed off sounds like it would struggle to compete with the vast ASIC farms used to mine Bitcoin. However, it seems it would perform just fine mining any other proof-of-work coin and there are no shortage of options for users to choose from.

According to Kyle Wiens of iFixit, the problem with old electronics is often not with the hardware itself but with the software. This makes it incredibly wasteful to just let them gather dust in a drawer waiting for three days use when you accidentally leave your main-piece down the side of your mate’s couch at the weekend. The components comprising modern devices are still powerful. However, various insecurities within the operating systems don’t allow support for the most up to date applications. Wiens posited the question to Motherboard:

If you have this perfectly functional piece of hardware that doesn’t have good software anymore and you want to keep it running for ten years, how do you do that?

The answer is exactly what C-Lab is working towards. They plan on releasing designs for various upcycling projects as well as all the necessary software to wipe the old Android operating system off units, and replace it with programming that allows for its re-purposing. Wiens explained that the company had setup a placeholder github page with videos showing the potential uses for products which have been rendered obsolete. He continued to state that the project was completely open and would allow users to make and upload their projects and share their ideas with the community. This would allow all those “redundant” 2 to 3-year-old handsets and tablets to retain some value. Something that Wiens deems important given the pace of innovation in the technology industry and the cost of new devices:

The best thing for the planet is for your old devices to be worth as much as possible. There’s a direct correlation between secondary market value and environmental longevity. [Samsung] wants to maintain the value of their devices long term. If they know they’re going to justify a new price of a thousand dollars for a new Note, it’s easier to get people to spend that thousand dollars if they can resell it for five hundred.

Image: ShutterStock

 

 

Most people assume there is no further progress to be made in the Bitcoin mining chip department. We have seen some major breakthroughs over the past few years already GMO Internet, a well-respected Japanese company, has made a shocking announcement. They will introduce 7nm Bitcoin mining chip to the public very soon. An interesting concept, especially when considering how this will be done through an ICO.

When GMO Internet announced their Bitcoin mining venture, people were taken by surprise. A Japanese internet giant getting involved in cryptocurrency mining is rather unusual. That situation becomes even stranger when considering how the company will develop its own hardware. More specifically, the company will develop 7nm chips. Up until this point, no other mining manufacturer has been able to do the same.

GMO Internet Makes a Shocking Announcement

One would expect such a small chip to be far less powerful.Whether or not that is the case, remains to be determined. According to GMO Internet, the chip can mine at 10TH/s. That is a rather high number, though. It is unclear how many of these chips will be put into actual miners. Being able to develop this cutting-edge 7nm technology is a big deal, to say the least. The company also claims these chips will be incredibly energy-efficient.

As we have seen in the past, not all of these promises come true. More specifically, a lot of mining manufacturers claimed major improvements and never delivered. GMO Internet is a far more respected name in the technology industry. However, they have zero experience developing chips or Bitcoin mining hardware. It will be interesting to see how this venture plays out in the long run.

Perhaps the most interesting development is how these chips will be sold. More specifically, GMO Internet will introduce this business through an initial coin offering. Users who buy these tokens will have access to the company’s own cryptocurrency mining facility. There is no mention of effectively bringing these chips to consumers directly. That in itself isn’t surprising by any means, to say the least. Still, the project is well worth keeping an eye on, to say the least.

The Bitcoin mining ecosystem direly needs more decentralization. Although people from all over the world participate a few pools effectively control the network. Japan’s DMM Group will look to change all of this in the near future. The company announced plans to launch a Bitcoin mining operation. The will also create a new mining pool over the coming weeks. This is another validation of how Bitcoin taking off in the land of the rising sun.

The name DMM is well-known in all of Japan. The group made a name for itself thanks to their e-commerce website. On this platform, over 27 million members make purchases on a regular basis. The company has also kept an eye on the proceedings in the world of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. As a result, the group will open its own mining pool in the future. Additionally, they aim to become one of the world’s largest mining farms in existence.

DMM has big Plans Related to Bitcoin Mining

Both of those plans are rather ambitious, to say the least. DMM Group has established a Virtual Currency Division tasked with both of these projects. The mining venture is expected to go live in October of this year. That means these plans have been in development for quite some time now. This mass-scale made-in-Japan quality mining farm will be rather spectacular. With a plan on the table to become one of the world’s top 3 mining farms, there is a lot of work to be done.

It appears the company will mine on their DMM Pool during the first few weeks. If the tests are successful, the pool will be opened to the public. A lot of growth is expected during the first half of 2018 and beyond. There is also an option for interested parties to invest in Bitcoin cloud mining. A bit more competition in this particular market wouldn’t be a bad thing. Not too many details are known regarding the mining chips used by the company, though.

All we know is how DMM plans to use 7mm ASIC chips for Bitcoin mining. Up until this point. No company has used any chips on that scale. It will be interesting to see how this venture will play out. Bitcoin has seen a strong growth in Japan these past few months, that much is evident. With companies such as DMM getting on board as well, the future’s looking bright for the world’s leading cryptocurrency.

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock

Bitcoin mining is an energy intensive process. The sheer hashing power required for profitable mining has got miners looking for the best mining equipment out there. While an investment in the mining equipment is a one-time affair, operating it is a different story altogether.

Rows of mining equipment operated continuously over time leads to mounting operational costs. Apart from the space, the cost includes electricity charges for running the mining hardware and the air conditioning units to maintain optimal conditions within the mining centers. If the costs are too high, it will eat into the margins of the Bitcoin miners, rendering the whole operation ineffective.

Cryptocurrency miners have increasingly started to explore alternative energy sources and cold climates to cut down on the energy costs. The Sichuan province in China is one such place that suits the miners’ requirements.

According to a Chinese publication, the electricity costs in Sichuan province is much lesser than other locations in the country, which makes it the Bitcoin mining hotbed in the region. The publication cites the example of Tianjia, a network company in Mabiana Yi autonomous county within Sichuan. The company is said to own over 1500 units of Bitcoin miners that run round the clock to churn out the most popular digital currency.

The mining centers are keeping their overhead costs low by creating their setup within hydroelectric power stations, which are abundant in the region. These installations are provided with adequate security to ensure the safety and uninterrupted operation of the mining equipment.

The increased mining activity in Sichuan province has made it the largest consumer of Bitcoin mining hardware in the country. Kangding, on the western edge of Sichuan, is the home of over 20 Bitcoin mining companies. The output of an active mining center in the region goes up to 10 Bitcoin per day, which makes it a profitable venture at the time when the digital currency’s price has exceeded $1100.

However, the profitability of Bitcoin mining in the Sichuan region is said to be seasonal as the energy costs rise during summer. At the same time, during the rainy season, these mining centers risk flooding due to increased water levels.

Ref: People.cn | Image: NewsBTC