Interests in mining increase despite the bearish price sentiment in Bitcoin

Leo Zhang

By Leo Zhang

Despite prolonged bearish sentiment amongst traders, miners are acting unfazed. In Bitcoin, new hashpower continues to enter the market at a shocking pace. Since May 1st, total hashrate has increased by 25 percent. What is causing the two fundamentally connected parameters to decouple so much? Is the mining market still digesting the over-capacity produced while chasing the December bull run? Or do large miners have a lower production cost than speculators expect?

Difficulty adjustment increased 3.5% in one day

Bitcoin hash rate spiking to all time high... despite price slump
(Crypto is Coming, by Gregg)

"Miners don’t seem to be worried about the price in the short term with new entrants continuing to enter the market. Hash rate is up +100% since January 1st 2018 and around +25% since May 1st as well as +15% from two weeks ago."

Technical Updates

Verifiable delay functions
(By Dan Boneh, Joseph Bonneau, Benedikt Bünz, Ben Fisch)

"One solution is to add a delay function after extraction, making it slow to compute the beacon outcome from an input of raw stock prices. With a delay function of say, one hour, by the time the adversary simulates the outcome of any potential manipulation strategy, the market will be closed and prices finalized, making it too late to launch an attack."

Commentary thread on efforts to quantify decentralization

Decred coin review & guide 2018
(a bit greedy, by Mark Schwarz)

"Decred is unique in that it tries to bring back the original idea of decentrlization that bitcoin operated on. Bitcoin's PoW encouraged individuals around the world where electricity costs are low to design machines that gave them an undue advantage in the mining process."

In seconds, we faked our way into a political campaign, got unsecured voter data
(ArsTechnica, by Cyrus Farivar)

"The website did not even attempt to confirm our alleged email address. Rather, we were simply allowed to login with any made-up email address so long as we also entered a corresponding password. It's easy to imagine a scenario in which someone might attempt to scrape the website or perform other types of malicious social engineering on an unwitting voter."

News & Commentary

Inside the crypto world's biggest scandal
(Wired, by Gideon Lewis-Kraus)

"Arthur and Kathleen Breitman thought they held the secret to building a new decentralized utopia. On the way, they plunged into a new kind of hell. A crypto-tragedy in three acts."

The regulations are coming! Brace your crypto for winter

Lightning mainnet has reached 25 BTC capacity

Crypto-Keynesian Lunacy
(Jimmy Song)

"Bitcoin is sound money and sound money is what allows you to preserve value over the long term. That, in turn allows people to save for large capital projects which, in turn, build up civilization. Crypto-Austrians believe this is the basis for building in the future, not in these pie-in-the-sky projects that don’t deliver value."

Square obtains NY State cryptocurrency license
(Reuters, by Anna Irrera)

"This makes Square the ninth firm to have obtained a so-called 'BitLicense' by the New York State Department of Financial Services. "

Distressed debt funds tap into fears over credit cycle
(CNBC, by Joe Rennison and Lindsay Fortado)

"In total, seven distressed debt funds have raised money this year, with a record average size of $2.2bn, according to data from Preqin. The largest is the GSO Capital Solutions Fund III, which closed in April after drumming up $7.4bn in the fourth-biggest distressed debt fundraising ever."