Japan Roundup: Public Companies Unveil New Mining Plan, Exchange, Token Fund

Japan Roundup: Public Companies Unveil New Mining Plan, Exchange, Token Fund


Three Japanese public companies have individually made announcements regarding their cryptocurrency operations. Forside has grown its mining operation with a plan to sell 7nm bitcoin mining rigs. Farsteps is planning a Singapore exchange launch. Meanwhile, Line Corp, the operator of Japan’s most popular chat app, has added crypto price quotes to its Clova AI assistant and has launched a token fund. In addition, human consultants are now available to answer questions about bitcoin for free from within the Line chat app.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Forside Expands Mining Operation

Japan Roundup: Public Companies Unveil New Mining Plan, Exchange, Token FundA Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed company in the content and real estate-related businesses, Forside Co. Ltd. (TYO:2330), announced last week developments of its mining operation.

“Forside Financial Services Co. Ltd., a consolidated subsidiary of Forside Co. Ltd., received OEM from LC Mining (GPU mining machines) developed by Lucky Cue Co. Ltd.,” the Zaikei Shimbun described, adding that the company will start selling these mining rigs under its brand name, FFSM.

Japan Roundup: Public Companies Unveil New Mining Plan, Exchange, Token FundPicture of mining equipment provided by Forside.

Forside Financial Services has already started a mining operation in Canada. Its parent company says that the mining rig sale is “one of the efforts aimed at realizing the growth strategy development of the virtual currency mining business” at the subsidiary.

Furthermore, Forside announced:

In the future, our subsidiary will use semiconductor chips (mining chips) utilizing state-of-the-art 7nm process technology on its own mining [operation]…[and] selling ‘Next Generation Mining Board’ equipped with the chips.

While Forside did not reveal the supplier of its 7nm mining chips, in Japan, GMO Internet recently started selling 7nm mining rigs with a plan to sell its “Next Generation Mining Board.”

Fasteps Plans Exchange Launch in Singapore

Japan Roundup: Public Companies Unveil New Mining Plan, Exchange, Token FundAnother Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed company, Fasteps Co. Ltd. (TYO:2338), recently announced that its Singaporean subsidiary plans to launch a crypto exchange in Singapore. The company mainly engages in system solution, media solution, and cost management businesses.

In June, Fasteps opened an exchange in Hong Kong called Bitone. It currently offers trading in three markets, with 11 BTC trading pairs, 10 ETH trading pairs, and 5 USDT trading pairs.

Japan Roundup: Public Companies Unveil New Mining Plan, Exchange, Token Fund

Line Launches Token Fund, Adds Prices to Clova

Japan Roundup: Public Companies Unveil New Mining Plan, Exchange, Token FundLine Clova AI assistant.

Line Corporation (TYO:3938), the operator of Japan’s most popular chat app, has added crypto price quotes to its Clova AI assistant for Android and iOS operating systems. Crypto prices are provided by Kraken exchange.

The company also announced last week that its subsidiary, unblock corporation, has established a corporate token venture fund in Hong Kong called “unblock ventures ltd.”

With LVC Corporation, the subsidiary that operates the group’s cryptocurrency and blockchain businesses, as its sole investor, “unblock ventures focuses on token investments and has a capital commitment of USD10 million,” Line explained, adding:

By launching this new corporate token fund, Line is aiming to boost the development and adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

Meanwhile, Tokyo-based consulting center Bitcoin no Madoguchi is offering free consultation via the Line chat app. Users can add the company as a friend inside Line and start asking questions. According to Coinchoice publication, once a question is submitted, an answer will be delivered from a person working at the Bitcoin no Madoguchi office between 30 minutes and 7 hours.

What do you think of these Japanese public companies’ crypto operations? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Forside, Farsteps, Line Corp.

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Second Hand Rigs Are Dumped as the Solo Mining Dream Dies

Second Hand Rigs Are Dumped as the Solo Mining Dream Dies


In the summer of 2017, rising cryptocurrency prices led to a run on high performance graphics cards. Coveted cards with a high hashrate were snapped up like proverbial hot cakes, leaving gamers, scientific researchers, and anyone else who relied on flagship GPUs priced out as the cryptocurrency frenzy escalated. One year on, and those same graphics cards can be acquired for bargain prices.

Also read: SHA-256 Mining Hashrate Climbs Significantly in One Year

From Hot Property to Obsolete Hardware

It was the summer of 2017 and the Geoforce 1070, Nvidia’s second-most powerful graphics card, was retailing for $450. There was just one problem: no one could get hold of one. In PC stores around the world, bare shelves occupied the space where gamers’ go-to upgrade should sit. That’s because a cryptocurrency mining boom, the likes of which had never been seen before, was in full swing, with crypto miners clearing stores and wholesalers of all the units they could lay hands on.

While computer shops in many countries ran dry of desirable GPUs such as the 1070 and Radeon 570, on second-hand marketplaces they could still be acquired – for a premium. From last summer into early 2018, when crypto mania was at its peak, cards such as the $400 1070 regularly traded hands for $800 or more. The wailing of gamers was drowned out by the whirr of cooling fans as miners overclocked their newly acquired GPUs and started crunching numbers in exchange for altcoins. Bitcoin was only minable on ASICs by then, and ethereum was heading that way too, but smaller coins such as sia, monero, and zcash, as well as hundreds of lesser known microcap coins, were still viable.

Second Hand Rigs Are Dumped as the Solo Mining Dream DiesSome of the mining rigs currently listed on Gumtree in the UK

One year on from the summer of shitcoins and the value of all leading cryptocurrencies has taken a tumble, while network hashrates have continued to rise. BTC, ETH, and all the rest might be worth more than they were a year ago, but their ballooning hashrate has meant that mining on GPUs is scarcely profitable, causing secondary market supply to exceed demand once more. It’s now the turn of gamers, data researchers, and scientists to gloat, as they snap up cheap graphics cards offloaded by former miners whose dream has died.

Second Hand Mining Rigs Are Cheap – But Who’s Buying?

Second Hand Rigs Are Dumped as the Solo Mining Dream DiesA look around Craigslist and Gumtree, two of the leading P2P marketplaces in the UK and US, shows the sort of mining rigs that can now be acquired. Many of those for sale have seen less than six months’ use, suggesting that their original owners may not even have turned a profit before offloading them. In the Bay Area, one seller is offering 16x 1080s for $3,950 – or about $246 a card. The seller professes to have paid over $4,000 for them but to have made most of the costs back from mining.

In the same area, someone’s selling a bunch of 1070s and 1080s at $375/$425 apiece. “Since I got too many rigs and electric rates for tier 3 high electric use is too high for me at 45 cents watt rate, I’ve decided I will have to sell some,” they explain. One of the rigs looks precarious, to put it mildly. Over in the UK, Gumtree is currently showing 42 mining rigs for sale, including a build of 7x RX480s, “Now surplus to requirement, built in Q1 2017 for a friend”. There’s also a rig of 8x 1070s going for around $4,500.

For the first time in a long time, single GPUs are selling secondhand for less than their RRP, showing that the crypto mining boom is over, for now. While hashrates – like market prices – can fall, it’s unlikely that conditions will make it profitable to solo mine with a handful of GPUs again. With mining moving to cooler climes with cheaper energy, and from residential spaces to purpose built farms, the era of amateur mining is almost over. Aside from the reduced profitability of solo mining on GPUs, there’s another reason why many sellers seem to have decided to call it a day: there simply isn’t room.

Second Hand Rigs Are Dumped as the Solo Mining Dream DiesThe price of the 1070 spiked in January before declining

Judging by the reasons cited in many classified ads, a change of circumstances – usually an impending move or a new girlfriend – is often the final straw. Like accepting your band will never make it and selling your electric guitar, selling your mining rig can be construed as the acknowledgement that the crypto dream is over without having made you rich. As most sellers will surely aver, though, it was a blast – a noisy, hot blast that was fun while it lasted.

Do you think the era of solo GPU mining is over? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Gumtree, Twitter, PCpartpicker.com and Craigslist.

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SHA-256 Mining Hashrate Climbs Significantly in One Year

SHA-256 Mining Hashrate Climbs Significantly in One Year


Over the last year, SHA-256 mining, the process that’s used to find blocks on both the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Core (BTC) networks, alongside a slew of other cryptocurrencies, has grown exponentially. Digital asset trading markets have been in a slump over the last eight months of 2018, but the bearish sentiment has not affected the hashpower behind these cryptocurrencies and, in fact, it has increased aggressively.

Also Read: Bitmain Offers Wi-Fi Routers Mining Cryptocurrencies

The SHA-256 Mining Hashrate Has Grown Considerably Large Over the Last Year

The SHA-256 mining algorithm and other mining operations involve the process of computing devices verifying and compiling recent blockchain transactions, alongside solving computational problems in order to find a block. Miners who find a block are awarded freshly minted cryptocurrencies and all the fees associated with the transactions in the block. This incentivized system has grown significantly competitive which in turn has innovated both semiconductor production and a significant advancement in Exascale computing. Over the last few months, cryptocurrency markets have been bearish and prices have dropped considerably since the end of 2017. However hash power has not followed suit with the price and, in contrast, it has grown feverishly larger with each waking day.

SHA-256 Mining Hashrate Climbs Significantly in One YearToday BTC captures around 47 exahash per second while BCH holds a little above 4 exahash.

Bitcoin Cash Network Hashrate Has Increased Fourfold in One Year

SHA-256 Mining Hashrate Climbs Significantly in One YearBCH hashrate is averaging around 4.13 exahash today.

The Bitcoin Cash network at the time of writing is capturing around 4.13 exahashes per second today and over the last seven days, it’s averaged around 4. Right now there’s been over 65,000 BCH blocks mined since August 1, 2017, and the chain is over 6,600 blocks ahead of the bitcoin core (BTC) chain. On Sunday, August 19, 2018, the BCH chain is operating at 9.87 percent of BTC’s sum block difficulty. Since last August the Bitcoin Cash network hashrate has increased remarkably and the amount of mining pools has notably changed as well. For instance, during the first week of August 2017, there were only a few mining pools processing BCH blocks such as Viabtc, Bitcoin.com, an unknown miner from Hong Kong, and a few other unknown miners. Weeks later on August 21 many other miners joined the BCH network such as Bitclub, Antpool, Batpool, and BTC.com bringing the BCH hashpower up to approximately 2 exahash.

A Variety of BCH Mining Pools and New Leaders

Now a year later the BCH network has roughly 13 different mining pools including Coingeek, BMG Pool, Rawpool, BTC.com, Viabtc, Antpool, Bitcoin.com, BTC.top, Sbi Crypto, F2pool, Huobi, and a few unknown pools. Mining power has shifted hands since because twelve months ago the unknown miners and Viabtc commanded a large portion of the BCH hashrate. Now the biggest mining pool over the last seven days is Coingeek with 23.4 percent of the network hashrate over the last week and 31.9 percent today.

SHA-256 Mining Hashrate Climbs Significantly in One Year

Then there are two to three unknown mining pools (can be differentiated by coinbase data) that hold about 20 percent of the BCH hashpower. The following top BCH miners include BMG Pool (10%), Rawpool (9.8%), BTC.com (8%), Viabtc (6.7%), and Antpool (6.5%). Other pools like F2pool and GMO Group have mined the BCH chain a few times over the past year as well. Essentially since the first week of August 2017, the BCH hashrate has grown fourfold and a lot more miners are processing BCH blocks.

Bitcoin Core Hashrate Climbs to 48 Exahash Per Second

As far as the Bitcoin Core (BTC) network hashpower is concerned a lot has changed since 2017’s first week of August. During the second week of August 2017, the BTC hashrate was around 8-6 exahash per second but has since increased 500 percent to around 48.2 exahash per second today. Hashrate distribution has changed quite a bit in the BTC mining world as well as there are now roughly 16 different mining pools. Right now there’s an unknown miner processing 13.3 percent of the BTC network. The top BTC mining pools have also shifted quite a bit with the largest pool being BTC.com (16.6%) followed by pools such as Antpool (14.6%), unknown (13.3%), BTC.top (12.3%), and Slush Pool (11%).

SHA-256 Mining Hashrate Climbs Significantly in One Year

The Use of Overt Asic Boost Touches a High This Month

One particular interesting statistic is the use of overt “version-rolling” Asic Boost on the BTC network has increased since the Blockchain Defensive Patent License (BDPL) initiative was announced this past March. According to statistics, the use of Asic Boost whether overt or covert can increase mining efficiency by 20-30 percent. So far since March, the use of overt Asic Boost had crossed roughly 5 percent of the entire BTC network on August 1, 2018.

SHA-256 Mining Hashrate Climbs Significantly in One YearAsic Boost has captured 5 percent of blocks found a couple times so far in August.

On August 13 the network touch around 4.4 percent of all blocks found with Asic Boost and the average is around 3 percent today. Slush Pool has found the most blocks on the BTC network using overt Asic Boost (40%) while F2pool follows slightly behind (20%). Other mining pools utilizing Asic Boost include Ckpool, Bitclub, Bitfury, Wayi.cn, Poolin, and an unknown miner. The unknown mining pool commands 11 percent of the sum of all overt “version-rolling” Asic Boost blocks found.

The Largest Computational Systems Worldwide Have Pushed Semiconductor Tech Forward

All of this means the power of SHA-256 mining has become one of the most powerful computational systems here on earth and it continues to grow. Further Satoshi’s design to create an incentivized system that processes and verifies transactions has also pushed the envelope when it comes to semiconductor and MOSFET innovation. SHA-256 mining has excelled the creation of 10nm and 7nm chips which were one year behind schedule according to Moore’s Law.

SHA-256 Mining Hashrate Climbs Significantly in One YearThe GMO B3 uses 7nm chip technology while the Insilicon T2 uses 10nm chips. 5nm technology should meet production in 2-3 years and SHA-256 mining may make that timeline move faster. 

These chips and the firms that have created super powerful mining rigs like GMO’s B3 (33TH/s), Innosilicon’s T2-Turbo (24TH/s), and Canaan’s newly introduced Avalonminer A9 (26.5-30TH/s) should push the overall SHA-256 hashrate even more exponentially. There are only four foundries worldwide that manufacture 7nm chips (Samsung, Intel, TSMC, and Global Foundries) and Satoshi’s creation has bolstered the demand for these innovative chips. 

Markets may be bearish this year but the mining industry is growing faster than we can fathom, and the computational power behind Satoshi’s invention proves more powerful than the fiat spot price per coin.

What do you think about this year’s mining statistics continuing to grow stronger while the prices of cryptocurrencies have been floundering? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.

Images via Shutterstock, Coindance, Blockchain.com charts, Fork.lol, GMO Group, Innosilicon, and Asicboostdance.

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