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$5 Million Campaign Aims to Make Bitcoin More Energy Efficient

A new, $5 million-backed campaign aims to increase awareness for Bitcoin's elevated energy expenditure - and aims to put pressure on a technological change that reduces its energy consumption and carbon impact. Funded by Ripple Labs co-founder Chris Larsen, the campaign, titled "Change the Code, Not the Climate" aims to increase awareness of technological solutions that could replace Bitcoin's expensive Proof of Work security model. A model that has seen power usage for transactions on the cryptocurrency hit historic highs in 2021, averaging an estimated 204 TWh power consumption for the year - around the same energy consumption as that of 70 million-citizen Thailand.

The campaign particularly calls for a change towards Proof of Stake, a transaction validation method that could reduce Bitcoin's energy consumption footprint by 99%. Of course, actually implementing the changes themselves on the live Bitcoin blockchain wouldn't be so easy as simply flicking a metaphorical code switch: Ethereum's implementation of such a transition has taken years already - and this with a more modern, more flexible blockchain. Considering the success of implementation for smaller, more technical aspects of Bitcoin mining - such as Blockchain rewards - has already led to forks of the cryptocurrency. One can only imagine what would happen following such a fundamental shift in technology, blockchain security - and miner payout.

Bitcoin Drops Below the $40,000-mark, Raises Hopes of Graphics Card Availability

The most popular cryptocurrency by market-cap, Bitcoin, has dropped in value to below the USD $40,000-mark, to $38,429 as of this writing. This amounts to a whopping 43% drop in value from its November 2021 peak of roughly $67,600. Ethereum has also seen an 8% fall over the past 24 hours, as has the value of several other cryptocurrencies. While we won't get into the nuts and bolts of Bitcoin volatility or hand out any financial advice, this could have an impact on graphics card availability owing to a multitude of reasons.

As of this writing, we see the GeForce RTX 3080 commanding a scalper price of roughly $1,500 (brand new), for the LHR variant (lower crypto-mining performance), while non-LHR cards that are used, start around $1,900. If the fall in cryptocurrencies continues, we could see increased availability of used graphics cards from crypto miners, as gamers would be willing to buy a used RTX 30-series or RX 6000 series graphics card that's still within its warranty period (of 2 years).

Intel "Bonanza Mine" Bitcoin ASIC Secures First Big Customer, a $3.3 Billion Crypto-Mining Startup

Just a few days ago, we reported that Intel is preparing to unveil the company's first application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) dedicated to mining cryptocurrency. To be more specific, Intel plans to show off its "Bonanza Mine" ASIC at the 2022 ISSCC Conference, describing the chip as "ultra low-voltage energy-efficient Bitcoin mining ASIC." We have yet to see how this competes with other industry-made ASICs like the ones from Bitmain. However, it seems like the startup company GRIID, valued at around $3.3 billion, thinks that the Bonanza Mine ASIC is the right choice and has entered a definitive supply agreement with Intel.

According to the S-4 filing, GRIID has "entered into a definitive supply contract with Intel to provide ASICs that we expect to fuel our growth. The initial order will supply units to be delivered in 2022 and GRIID will have access to a significant share of Intel's future production volumes." There are a few other mentions of Intel in the document, and you can see another exciting tidbit below.

Intel "Bonanza Mine" is a Bitcoin Mining ASIC, Intel Finally Sees Where the Money is

Intel is reportedly looking to disrupt the cryptocurrency mining hardware business with fixed-function ASICs that either outperform GPUs, or end up with lower enough performance/Watt or performance/Dollar to take make GPUs unviable as a mining hardware option. The company is planning to unveil its first such product, codenamed "Bonanza Mine," an ASIC purpose-built for Bitcoin mining.

Since it's an ASIC, "Bonanza Mine" doesn't appear to be a re-purposed Xe-HPC processor, or even an FPGA that's been programmed to mine Bitcoin. It's a purpose-built piece of silicon. Intel will unveil "Bonanza Mine" at the 2022 ISSCC Conference. It describes the chip as being an "ultra low-voltage energy-efficient Bitcoin mining ASIC," putting power-guzzling GPUs on notice. If Intel can clinch Bitcoin with "Bonanza Lake," designing ASICs for other cryptocurrencies is straightforward. With demand from crypto-miners slashed, graphics cards will see a tremendous fall in value, forcing scalpers to cut prices.

BadgerDAO Sees $120 Million Crypto Heist via Cloudflare Hack

BadgerDAO, "one of the most security-minded DAOs in operation", has been hit with a cryptocurrency heist enabled via a JavaScript hack on their website. BadgerDAO enables Bitcoin holders to "bridge" their cryptocurrency over to the smart-contract and DeFi-enabled Ethereum platform via its token, thus allowing access to the world of decentralized finance. After preliminary investigations aided by blockchain security and data analytics Peckshield, it seems that the bad actors inserted a malicious script in the BadgerDAO website - in turn intercepting Web 3.0 transactions and inserting a request to transfer the victim's tokens to the attacker's chosen address. It's currently estimated that around $120 million were siphoned off via this attack. A single transfer saw 896 Bitcoin being diverted this way - a cool $50 million.

As soon as BadgerDAO became aware of suspect wallet activity, the company immediately froze all smart contracts running in its platform - a way to stem the bleeding until the security audit could be conducted. Thursday night, BadgerDAO announced it had "retained data forensics experts Chainalysis to explore the full scale of the incident & authorities in both the US & Canada have been informed & Badger is cooperating fully with external investigations as well as proceeding with its own."

US Becomes Global Bitcoin Mining Leader

The United States has now become the leading country in cryptocurrency mining operations, following China's mining ban and subsequent exodus of its mining operators to less dangerous waters. According to figures published by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, US-based miners reached a 35.4% share in overall bitcoin hashrate in July this year - up 17% compared to April, and only a month after China's move to ban all domestic cryptocurrency mining operations. In the months since, China's Bitcoin hash rate control declined from 44% in May of this year down to 0% as early as July - a far cry from its September 2019 high, which saw the country hold around 75% of the global mining hashrate.

As is usually the case, one country's loss equates to another's "gain", and the same is true for mining operations following the China ban. The US may have become the biggest player in this particular court, but any country with cheap electricity that allows for profits increases is fair game. Countries like Kazakhstan went from 8% to 18% in the same period, claiming the current second spot in overall hashrate, while Russia has now claimed third place after reaching an 11% share - rising from 6.8% three months earlier. It remains to be seen whether these mining operation relocations will see the US face the same migratory phenomenons as China did back when mining wasn't banned: operators spent the dry season on regions like Xinjiang in late autumn, winter and spring, migrating to regions with significant temporary overcapacities in low-cost hydropower, like Sichuan, between May and October during the 'wet season'. The impact of this mining relocation to the US in its power delivery infrastructure (if any) remains to be fully understood.

Chia Miners Resell Used SSDs as Brand New Amidst Coin Plummet

The Chia coin, often dubbed Green Bitcoin, is a project that promised to be a green alternative to all of the previous attempts at creating a coin that can be mined. Using the Proof of Space (PoS) technique requires massive storage space and Chia plotting can destroy modern SSDs in a matter of weeks. However, the green disputes have been questioned widely, and the Chia coin is not considered so much of a green alternative anymore. From its peak of $1645, it has tumbled down by over 80% of that and it is now worth around $281 at the time of writing.

As these prices have declined a lot, miners are starting to look away from the coin and have started to resell their hardware. This massive SSD and HDD reselling has started to obtain new funds for miners to move to another alternative cryptocurrency. In the awe of this, some miners are rebranding their worn-out and used SSDs as brand new, and selling them in China advertising new conditions. As Chia plotting tends to destroy SSDs, it is only a matter of time before these "brand new" drives start failing. After China, we could see other markets flooded with these drives as well, so it is always best to be cautious with your purchase.

Crypto Goes Nuclear: Pennsylvania and Ohio to be Home to Nuclear-Powered Cryptomining

Crypto is going nuclear in the not so distant future, as US company Talen Energy revealed plans to construct a cryptomining data center in the immediate vicinity of the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station in Pennsylvania. Initial power consumption of the installation is expected to settle around 164 MW, with that figure climbing up to 300 MW once the infrastructure is complete - powered by dual 1+GW nuclear units and two independent substations. Talen Energy estimates maximum on-site power in the order of 1 GW.


The idea is to begin a narrative reversal around the environmental cost of cryptocurrency mining - if power is provided by cleaner technology, cryptocurrency mining's carbon footprint is bound to be reduced, in turn increasing attractiveness for environmentally-conscious businesses. Elon Musk, for one, made waves in both news outlets and cryptocurrency markets (and value) when he announced the decision for Tesla to cancel acceptance of Bitcoin as payment for its vehicles, citing environmental concerns regarding power sources keeping Bitcoin's blockchain secure. Another company, Energy Harbor Corp, announced a five-year collaboration with Standard Power to power its Bitcoin blockchain mining center in Coshocton, Ohio, starting December this year.

Biggest Crypto Scam Ever Recorded Sees Appropriation of $3.6 billion in Bitcoin - AfriCrypt

The biggest crypto scam ever recorded (so far, of course) has made investors lose some $3.6 billion. The scam was enacted by a pair of South African brothers, Ameer Cajee and his brother Raees Cajee, who funded crypto investment firm AfriCrypt in 2019. Another element of warning for all crypto investors, in that rug pulls can obviously be done years after the start of a project - so longevity and temporal maintenance of a given project shouldn't be the "be all, end all" of your due diligence when choosing where to invest your money into.

The story goes as follows: circle back to April 2021, when Bitcoin was at its peak value of around $62,000. That was when AfriCrypt's COO and current heist suspect Ameer Cajee informed users of the platform of a hack - and asked investor not to contact authorities or seek legal proceedings, saying that those actions might impede progress in dealing with its effects and recovery of the funds.

Cryptocurrency Market Bleeds Trillions in Less Than 24 Hours; Did the Bubble Pop?

The cryptocurrency market is experiencing another major shakedown in pricing, with the overall crypto market valuation dropping by more than a trillion dollars in less than 24 hours. As of time of writing, leading cryptocurrency by market cap Bitcoin has lost more than 30% in value, dropping to $31,000. Ethereum is down by 40% to $2,424, and memecoin Dogecoin has fallen by 45% - one would think a memecoin would have had its value dropped to zero from the instant of its conception, but that's not the world we live in.

As the market tries to staunch the bleeding, major cryptocurrency platforms Coinbase and Binance are down, citing "network congestion" issues stemming from the unexpected volatility. As investors see their attempts to sell neutered by these network congestion issues, this seems like a way to reduce the amount of cryptocurrencies available in the market, which would feed the descending value cycle even more. Whether or not this is the bubble popping, it's yet another foundational shock to the trust that was already achieved by these platforms and the cryptocurrency market as a whole. How this will affect market availability and demand for graphics cards and hardware is anyone's guess, but even if it does, it'll take some time until we see availability in the main and secondary channels.

Commodore 64 Modded To Mine Bitcoin

We saw the modified Nintendo Game Boy last month which could crank out Bitcoins at a blistering 0.8 hashes per second or ~125 trillion times slower than a modern Bitcoin ASIC miner. If you are searching for something a bit more modest than the Game Boy take a look at the Commodore 64 which has been modded to achieve a Bitcoin mining rate of 0.3 hashes per second. The Commodore 64 was released by IBM in 1982 featuring the MOS Technology 6510 processor clocked at 1.023 MHz and paired with 64 KB RAM and 20 KB ROM.

While the Commodore currently falls behind the Game Boy there is hope on the horizon with the creator of the program claiming a 10x performance improvement to over 3 hashes per second is possible by re-writing the code in machine language. The commodore 64 can be further upgraded with the SuperCPU upgrade which boosts mining speeds to over 60 hashes per second completely destroying the Game Boy but still falling just short of the latest ASIC miners at ~18,000,000,000,000 hashes per second. Obviously, this demonstration was not meant as a practical application but it is interesting to see how cryptocurrency mining can be implemented on older hardware and the amazing rate of technological advancement we have seen over the last 40 years.

Newegg Starts Accepting Payments with Dogecoin

Newegg, one of the leading tech-focused e-retailers in North America, today celebrates #DogeDay by announcing that the company now accepts Dogecoin as an official payment method on Newegg.com.

Newegg has been quick to embrace the shift to cryptocurrency. In 2014, the company was the first major e-retailer to accept Bitcoin for purchases made on the Newegg platform. Similarly, Newegg is among the first to enable customers to pay with Dogecoin while shopping online.

Nintendo Game Boy Modded to Mine Bitcoin

Nintendo's Game Boy handheld console was launched in 1989, making it 32 years old. Being widely regarded as the icon of handheld gaming, it was sold in millions and has been copied countless times. However, with some spare time and a crazy mind, the console has been modified to mine Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Yes, you are reading that right. An 8-bit console is mining the biggest and the most valuable cryptocurrency. An electronics enthusiast named "stacksmashing" has set himself a difficult task - to prove that the console can mine some Bitcoin, at any possible rate. And he has managed to prove it is possible, although with some modifications.

Given that the console lacks any connectivity options to the outside world due to its age, the modder had to use SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) to connect the Game Boy with the Raspberry Pi, which had the task of connecting the Game Boy to the internet to mine some Bitcoin. Using the custom 8-bit Sharp LR35902 processor running at 4.19 MHz, the console is naturally not very powerful. Thus, it can not do any meaningful mining and to compare it to modern mining ASICs is just silly. However, it is interesting to see proof of concept and get to see some engineering fun. For more information, please check out the YouTube video here.

Apple M1 Processor Manages to Mine Ethereum

Ethereum mining has been a crazy ride over the years. In recent times, it has become very popular due to a huge surge in Ethereum prices, following those of the main coin currently present on the market - Bitcoin. However, Ethereum miners use a customized PC stocked with many graphics cards to mine the Ethereum coin. Any other alternative is not viable and graphics cards have a high hash rate of the KECCAK-256 hashing algorithm. But have you ever wondered could you mine Ethereum on your shiny new Apple M1-equipped Mac? Our guess is no, however, there are still some people making experiments with the new Apple M1 processor and testing its capabilities.

Software engineer Yifan Gu, working for Zensors, has found a way to use Apple's M1 GPU to mine Ethereum. Mr. Gu has ported Ethminer utility to Apple's macOS for Apple Silicon and has managed to get GPU mining the coins. While technically it was possible, the results were rather poor. The integrated GPU has managed to get only 2 MH/s of mining power, which is rather low compared to alternatives (desktop GPUs). Being possible doesn't mean it is a good idea. The software will consume all of the GPU power and it will limit your work with the GPU, so it isn't exactly a profitable solution.

Bitcoin Breaks $50,000 Barrier, Hitting the Highest Value Ever

Cryptocurrency has in the past few years gained a lot of popularity, mostly fueled by Bitcoin's rapid growth and its massive price increasing over time. Today, Bitcoin, the world's leading cryptocurrency, has managed to make history and broke the record of 50,000 USD. As of now, on February 17th at 07:00 UTC, Bitcoin has reached 50,452.60 USD value. What is driving the price up you must wonder? It is the market adoption of the currency. Tesla Inc. has invested 1.5 billion USD in Bitcoin as it intends to accept it as payment for its products. Next up is Mastercard, which is preparing to support cryptocurrency on its network. In addition to Mastercard, Apple is also preparing its services for cryptocurrency payments. Right now, the market cap of Bitcoin is $935,359,977,182 at the time of writing, just shy of one trillion USD.

NVIDIA Evaluates Cryptocurrency Mining GPU Production

During the 19th Annual J.P. Morgan Tech/Auto Forum Conference, NVIDIA has talked about the possibility of special graphics cards dedicated to mining purposes. The special edition crypto mining GPU is a form of graphics card that has no display outputs, and possibly a few defective texture units. Usually, GPUs that end up with defective texture units end up as waste, however, as crypto mining requires only the compute element from the GPU, these products could be rebranded as mining GPUs. But, it seems like NVIDIA is currently somewhere in the middle ground and weighing in whatever the company sees something like that as a feasible option.

During the conference, NVIDIA's Colette Kress, a chief financial officer, had said a few things about the possible production of GPUs dedicated to crypto mining. "If crypto demand begins or if we see a meaningful amount, we can also use that opportunity to restart the CMP [mining-specific GPUs] product line to address ongoing mining demand," said Ms. Kress. She added that "We [NVIDIA] don't have visibility on how much of the GeForce RTX 30-series end demand comes from mining. So, we don't believe it's a big part of our business today. Gaming demand is very strong, and we think that's larger than our current supply." And that is an understandable thing. Right now crypto mining is hot because of Bitcoin's price, however, NVIDIA can't predict if it will crash a lot or not, so the company doesn't want to risk starting a big production for something that can burst like a bubble.

Bitcoin Hits All-Time High: Now Worth Over 23,000 USD

Cryptocurrency market capitalization has now hit over $650 Billion, and that is mainly influenced by a single, most wide-spread currency on the network - Bitcoin. The Bitcoin (BTC) is the biggest cryptocurrency available, simply because it was the first one established and well designed. In its history, Bitcoin was priced anywhere from 0.1 cents to tens of thousands of US Dollars. However, in the recent soaring, the cryptocurrency has reached its peak value since it was created. Today, at around 09:14 UTC, the cryptocurrency has reached an astonishing value of 23,441.60 USD, making it a record high value. What is driving the price up and the reason for soaring is unknown, but it is a reflection of the market capitalization of cryptocurrency and its use, so it must mean that the BTC is getting more attention than ever.

Crypto Exchange Binance Hacked, $40M+ Stolen in Bitcoin

This is a pretty high-profile heist, as heist come, since Binance is actually the rworld's biggest crypto exxchange in terms of traded volume. The act was reported by Binance as a well-conducted orchestra, with hackers using seemingly unconnected accounts at the most opportune time to achieve a single, high-value withdrawal of $41M (roughly 7,000 Bitcoin at current pricing) - only 2% of Binance's total value in their so-called "hot wallet".

The hackers also took away with several information on users' accounts: a large number of user API keys, 2FA codes, and "potentially other info" were taken besides the cool $41M in Bitcoin. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao warned that the hackers could still be controlling enough relevant accounts that could allow them to influence pricing and make even more money.

ASUS Thinks It's a Good Idea to Mine Cryptocurrencies When Your GPU Is Idle, Partners with Quantumcloud

Maybe the guys at ASUS haven't noticed it, but this is probably the worst time to announce an effort to promote cryptocurrency mining. The crypto market has fallen about 80% since its peak in 2017, and this November has been an special tough month for crypto investors with Bitcoin going under $4,000 for a few days. Miners are running away and a lot of people think the bubble is finally exploding. Companies such as GIGABYTE are suffering the consequences, but ASUS seems to be quite sure that the situation isn't that bad.

They have partnered with blockchain technology provider Quantumcloud and they will encourage users to use their idle GPUs to mine cryptocurrencies. Yeah, that's right. There are no details on what crypto currencies will be mined with Quantumcloud's software, but at least ASUS is letting now those potential users that they "won't get rich quick, but you can earn some easy money with your idle GPUs". In fact there's a disclaimer telling they do not "guarantee that users of its software will make any earnings or profit" and ASUS adds that users "are responsible for considering their own usage costs". Maybe a year ago this could have been a thing, but the idea seems really uncool right now.

Hodlers Dump Crypto for X'mas? ETH and BTC at Yearly Lows

Prices of the two top crypto-currencies with DIY and small-scale miners, Ethereum and Bitcoin, dropped to yearly lows Monday, with Ethereum falling just a touch below USD $140, and Bitcoin at $4,700. This is in stark contrast to January, when Bitcoin scraped $20,000, making it among the most valuable "currencies" in human history. The direct impact of the crypto-currency slide falls on graphics card prices, at least for currencies which are viable to mine with graphics cards.

Across the board, new graphics card prices are at record lows for the year, with AMD's flagship Radeon RX Vega 64 going for as low as $399 brand-new. These cards were priced upwards of $1,500 and barely available this January. The RX 580, which was priced upwards of $700 in January, can be had for under $200. Prices of NVIDIA "Pascal" graphics cards are similarly low, with the GTX 1070 Ti going for under $400. For whatever strange reason, the GTX 1080 Ti is still marked up, selling for prices on par with RTX 20-series SKUs such as the RTX 2080. You can also expect a torrent of used graphics cards on E-bay and tech forums.

Cryptocurrency Trading Bots Manipulating Bitcoin, Altcoins' Pricing

The Wall Street Journal has come forward with a story confirming what we all knew, but could have been left out of the cryptocurrency narrative for various reasons: that bots are used on a daily basis to manipulate pricing of these digital assets. The practice includes various tricks, such as spoofing (creating a hue order in the ledger and then canceling), pump-and-dump schemes (where players can resort to a variety of manipulation techniques to pump um a given product's pricing in order to then dump all their positions at the ballooned price) and ping-pong transactions (where a holder of multiple wallets makes extensive trades between his assets, never moving crypto in or out of his control, but placing extra orders and volume on the markets.

Of course, most of these practices have been outlawed in real-world investment scenarios, as price manipulation doesn't really bode well for a free market. However, some players in the crypto sphere (trader Kjetil Eilersten, who developed the market-manipulation program Quatloo Trader) go as far as defending pricing manipulation tools' implementation, saying that a market where "everybody manipulates" results in a zero-sum loss for anyone. Now isn't that refreshing.

BIOSTAR iMiner A578X8D Now Available Stateside

BIOSTAR iMiner A578X8D, an easy to set up all-in-one solution for home and professional miners, is now available on Newegg for US$3499. The BIOSTAR iMiner A578X8D is the world's first riser card-free and all-in-one crypto mining solution, offering ultra-mining flexibility for different crypto-currencies (Ethereum, Monero, Bitcoin Gold, Zcash, etc.). This plug-and-mine system requires no additional hardware installation, simply power-on to start mining. The BIOSTAR iMiner A578X8D supports Windows 10, Linux and ethOS for different types of miners, and as an exclusive bundle with Newegg, the iMiner A578X8D also comes with an optional ethOS mining operating system to allow users to set up and start mining immediately.

The Only Thing You Get with Mining Ethereum Now is Room Heating

Cryptocurrency prices continue their downward slide making them no longer viable to mine on GPUs. The value of Ethereum has dropped to USD 256, down from its historic high of $1,250 this January. Bitcoin fell to below $6,000 Wednesday, way down from its late-2017 high of $19,000. A 79 percent devaluation isn't the worst of Ethereum's problems. The currency is facing stiff inflation from conversions to other cryptocurrencies or the Dollar. At its peak, ETH held 32 percent of all cryptocurrency market cap, beaten only by BTC at 39 percent. Now ETH only makes 14 percent.

Intel's "Bitcoin Mining Hardware Accelerator" Patent Filling Published

A filed patent by Intel has shed some light on the company's idea to somewhere, along the fuzzy lines of the future, introduce a Bitcoin mining hardware "accelerator" to the market. The application itself, for a "Bitcoin Mining Hardware Accelerator With Optimized Message Digest and Message Scheduler Datapath" was originally submitted in September 2016, so it's not exactly a novel idea. However, the fact that it has just now been published doesn't really mean there hasn't been work behind closed doors at Intel towards development of working silicon of this technology.

In the filing, it appears it's Intel's intent to create a chip that could augment the existing Bitcoin mining process by increasing energy efficiency. As they themselves put it, "Because the software and hardware utilized in Bitcoin mining uses brute force to repeatedly and endlessly perform SHA-256 functions, the process of Bitcoin mining can be very power-intensive and utilize large amounts of hardware space. The embodiments described herein optimize Bitcoin mining operations by reducing the space utilized and power consumed by Bitcoin mining hardware."

CORSAIR Launches "STOP GPU ABUSE" Campaign With #GPURESCUE

Corsair, in a welcome, interesting and heartfelt marketing ploy, has taken its place on the side of gamers worldwide against the unintended, hear-wrenching abuse felt by graphics cards used for mining everywhere. The soft, unyielding music does a great job of just showing how much of a "crying out" these graphics cards that are being put to sweaty, inhuman, ever-worsening working conditions are releasing.

If you were as touched as other users (and Corsair marketers) in doing this video, there are a lot of ways for you to donate and contribute to the liberation of these shackled miners. For your donation, Corsair will buy back a mining-set graphics card, and send you a photo of your "adopted" GPU happily crunching frames inside a gaming computer - its real home. Just contribute via PayPal, your choice of credit card, venmo, or... Bitcoin?

[The video has been removed since]
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