As coin prices grind downwards, miners push for consolidation

Leo Zhang

By Leo Zhang

Editor's note

As long-only investors get more squeamish about prices, ASIC miners are charging ahead with plans to expand and consolidate, using their newfound capital to build machines for smaller (and more vulnerable) networks than Bitcoin.

As the rumors of Ethereum ASICs grow, we will get a better pulse on how the second-largest public blockchain community makes decisions under the pressure of a hostile takeover:

This week's news recap

Monday: Does anyone care about Bitcoin improvements anymore?
Tuesday: Privacy coin founder gets defensive about criminal use
Wednesday: How the mining “arms race” is starting to look like private equity in the 80s
Thursday: The "regulator's new clothes" are unpleasant to regard

Further readings this week

Nvidia memory switch wields together massive virtual GPU
(PGI, by Timothy Prickett Morgan)

"The switch chip has a total of 18 ports, which provide 50 GB/sec of bandwidth per port and which, if you do the math, use 25 Gb/sec signaling just like the NVLink ports on the Volta GPU accelerators and the IBM Power9 chips. The NVSwitch has an aggregate of 900 GB/sec of switching bandwidth, and a bunch of the switches can be interconnected and cascades to scale the Tesla network in any number of topologies. The ports on the switch aggregate eight lanes of 25 Gb/sec signaling."

I survived the eternal boy playground, but will Puerto Rico?
(Coindesk, by Bailey Reutzel)

"If it weren't for the fact that Puerto Rico is a U.S. commonwealth, the venture would seem exactly like colonialism - the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers and exploiting it economically. Wait, no, actually it's still colonialism."

Short convexity
(Jill Carlson)

"There’s this concept in bond markets called convexity. Each bond has several different properties. Like all loans, a bond will have a maturity and an interest rate. Because bonds are also traded in secondary markets, they also, naturally, have prices. Those prices reflect whether the market thinks the bond has become more or less risky since it was issued."

Why porn on the blockchain won't doom Bitcoin
(WIRED, by Arvind Narayanan, Kevin Werbach, and James Grimmelmann)

"The truth is otherwise. Blockchains won't make the law go away, and the law won't make blockchains go away. The reason is that both the law and blockchains are capable of adapting to a world with the other in it."

A bank statement for app activity (and thus personal data)

"The underlying idea behind this is that there is 'bad' behavior, and 'good' behavior, and if we could somehow build a machine learning model that is sufficiently powerful, we could automatically decide whether a given piece of software is good or bad."

Trader Peter Brandt's commentary on Bitcoin price