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GALAX First NVIDIA Partner to Showcase LHR Graphics Cards, Settling Expectations

GALAX has now become the first NVIDIA partner from whom some details on how NVIDIA's push to limit the mining hash rates on their graphics cards will turn out. The new GALAX graphics cards in question are the already-released, unicorn-like RTX 3070 and RTX 3080. The GALAX packaging doesn't seem to have any differences compared to their original launch packaging for these graphics cards, though; however, the product pages for these respective products do have an additional [FG] compared to the original releases. This seems to be in-line with NVIDIA's decision not to differentiate between LHR and non-LHR cards at a packaging level, so as to reduce desirability for miners to just keep gobbling up remaining supply for the non-LHR graphics cards still in the channel.

As we already knew before, the LHR graphics cards feature an NVIDIA-designed solution that identifies the workload you're putting your card through and artificially halves its performance for Ethereum mining workloads. Of course, NVIDIA would prefer to have miners buying their mining-specific CMP (Crypto Mining Processor) cards and free up demand from their gaming-oriented RTX cards, effectively feeding two very distinct markets. It remains to be seen whether this new NVIDIA hashrate limitation survives more than a few days compared to their latest attempt at such a solution.

Salad Invites Gamers To Build World's Largest Supercomputer

Salad Technologies is inviting PC gamers to help build the world's largest supercomputer with their idle rigs in return for digital rewards, following milestone performance metrics on its distributed computing network. The company is launching a marketplace that will lend the combined processing power of its PC gamer user base to partners' advanced computing tasks. In time, private individuals running Salad's application will compete against multimillion dollar supercomputers.

Since its founding in 2018, Salad has made "Chefs" of more than 250,000 PC gamers, leveraging the idle processing power of their hardware to validate blockchain transactions through an open-source desktop app. While away from the keyboard, Salad users share compute resources to earn rewards value for games, gift cards, and subscriptions from a library of more than 15,000 digital rewards.

TSMC to Execute Bitmain's Orders for 5nm Crypto-Mining ASICs from Q3-2021

TSMC will be manufacturing next-generation 5 nm ASICs for Bitmain. The company designs purpose-built machines for mining crypto-currency, using ASICs. DigiTimes reports that the 5 nm volume production could kick off form Q3-2021. Bitmain's latest Antminer ASIC-based mining machines announced last month were purported to be up to 32 times faster than a GeForce RTX 3080 at mining Ethereum. Recent history has shown that whenever ASICs catch up or beat GPUs at mining, prices of GPUs tend to drop. With no 5 nm GPUs on the horizon for Q3-2021, one really can expect market pressure from crypto-miners to drop off when Antminers gain traction.

NVIDIA Silently Relaunching RTX 30-series with "Lite Hash Rate" Silicon Edition

Remember that story regarding NVIDIA relaunching a new RTX 3060 SKU that actually does limit the hash rate for Ethereum mining workloads? Well, not only has it been cemented, but it also has been expanded. Reports are coming in that all but confirm that NVIDIA is on its way to provide its partners with updated silicon that should put mining performance of their RTX 30-series cards into a less palatable price-performance territory for would-be miners. That, in turn, should bring them closer to NVIDIA's CMP (Crypto Mining Processor) cards instead - and as wanted by both the company and consumers.

According to the sources, the new graphics cards will be indistinguishable from those that are still in transit or in stock (all two of them worldwide, of course). NVIDIA is internally describing the revised silicon as "Lite Hash Rate", and that is the message they communicate with AIBs. Apparently, the new "Lite Hash Rate" graphics cards will range throughout the entirety of NVIDIA's already-released RTX 30-series portfolio, from the ill-fated RTX 3060 up to the RTX 3080 Ti - the only absent graphics card is the RTX 3090, apparently, which could mean that NVIDIA is confident enough on that graphics card's cost being too high to be attractive to miners - especially when you consider how much more they are going for above the MSRP that was half-heartedly slapped on it. The new chips carry an update to their SKU identification - the GA102-200 chip that powers the RTX 3080 is being revised to GA102-202, as will all other chips made "lite" in this way. Expect the new cards to start hitting retail come June.

Bitmain Releases Antminer E9 Ethereum ASIC With Performance of 32 RTX 3080 Cards

Antminer has recently announced their most powerful Ethereum miner yet the E9 with performance of 3 GH/s as the price of Ethereum reaches all-time highs. The Chinese manufacturer advertises that this is equivalent to 32 NVIDIA RTX 3080 cards while coming in with significantly less power consumption and likely a lower price. The Antminer E9 achieves its 3 GH/s mining speed with a power consumption of just 2556 W which gives it an efficiency of 0.85 J/M which would make it one of the most efficient Ethereum miners available. While the ASIC appears to offer significant advantages it is unlikely to meet the global demand for global Ethereum miners and is unlikely to affect global GPU shortages. Bitmain did not announce specific pricing or availability information for the Antminer E9 ASIC.

NVIDIA to Introduce a New GeForce RTX 3060 GPU SKU with Ethereum Mining Limiter

Some time ago, NVIDIA introduced its GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card with GA106-300 Ampere GPU SKU. The GPU was the first to feature NVIDIA's latest additions like Resizable BAR and crypto mining algorithm limiter that limited the performance of the card while mining. However, despite NVIDIA's intention to keep the card out of the hands of crypto miners, there has been a lot of flaws in the plan. A lot of people discovered that the card still managed to turn in profits with the limiter enables. Later, NVIDIA accidentally released a driver that actually removes the limiter and enables the GPU to mine at full capacity, making the company's efforts useless.

Today we have new information that NVIDIA will launch an updated GeForce RTX 3060 GPU SKU that features a different ID, in the quest to limit card's mining performance. According to HKEPC, NVIDIA is producing updated GeForce RTX 3060 GKU SKUs with GA106-302 ID that should launch sometime in May, which are supposed to replace the GA106-300 SKUs now present. The software and the drivers will use the new ID to identify new SKUs and limit the performance of the card at mining tasks such as Ethereum mining. That way, it ensures that no driver version or bypass can trick the software to enable the card to use its full mining power and it shall render it unprofitable. Additionally, kopite7kimi, a known hardware leaker, claims that NVIDIA is also preparing updated GPU SKU IDs for GA104 and GA102 GPUs, with GA102-302/202 and GA104-302/202 variants supposedly coming.

Gigabyte Officially Launches First CMP 30HX Mining Card

Gigabyte has recently launched the first NVIDIA Crypto Mining Processor with the CMP 30HX D6 6G (GV-N30HXD6-6G). The entry-level CMP 30HX mining card features an Ethereum hash rate of 26 MH/s and a TDP of 125 W and was slated by NVIDIA for a Q1 2021 launch. Gigabyte is the first manufacturer to officially launch an NVIDIA CMP card and has revealed some interesting information including that the card is listed as having only a three month warranty period and 14 Gbps 6 GB GDDR6 on a 192-bit memory bus. The card features a WINDFORCE 2X Cooling System with alternate spinning 90 mm fans and no video outputs. NVIDIA also announced the CMP 40HX with a Q1 2021 launch date so we expect that partners will list that card shortly. These cards will be followed by the CMP 50HX, and CMP 90HX in May.

AMD Confirms it Won't Block any Workloads on its Graphics Cards - Including Mining

Hot on the heels of NVIDIA's recent Cryptocurrency Mining Processors (CMP) launch and slightly debacled driver-level neutering of popular mining algorithms with their latest GeForce RTX 3060, AMD product manager Nish Neelalojanan confirmed to PC Gamer that AMD's stance is a fundamentally different one: that they won't be the ones to decide what their customers can or can't do with their hardware. His words, precisely, were this: "We will not be blocking any workload, not just mining for that matter."

Nish then went on to speak on how AMD - and its current RDNA2 product stack - have been specifically geared and optimized for gaming workloads. There are some architectural choices present in RDNA2 that automatically reduce its utility and performance when it comes to mining, such as its infinity Cache - an architectural choice that aims to increase gaming performance by improving cache hits, at the expense of overall memory bandwidth (the most important metric for actual mining operations).

NVIDIA Crypto Mining Processor 30HX Card Pictured

The first NVIDIA CMP (Crypto Mining Processor) 30HX card from Gigabyte has been pictured and it closely resembles that of Gigabyte's GTX 1660 SUPER OC 6G. This resemblance makes sense considering the 30HX uses the same TU116-100 GPU found in the GTX 1660 SUPER and is paired with the same 6 GB of GDDR6 memory. The NVIDIA CMP 30HX features a TDP of 125 W and achieves a hash rate of 26 MH/s in Ethereum mining similar to that of the RTX 3060 with it's anti-mining algorithm. The card features no display outputs which limits the cards capabilities once it's no longer profitable to operate. The card should run cool with the dual-fan cooling solution and improved airflow due to the lack of outputs.

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.

NVIDIA Announces New CMP Series Specifically Designed for Cryptocurrency Mining; Caps Mining Performance on RTX 3060

This is a big one: NVIDIA has officially announced a new family of products specifically designed to satiate the demand coming from cryptocurrency mining workloads and farms. At the same time, the company has announced that the RTX 3060 launch driver will include software limitations for cryptocurrency mining workloads specifically correlated with Ethereum mining, essentially halving the maximum theoretical hashrate that could be achieved from a purely hardware perspective. The new family of products, termed CMP (Crypto Mining Processor) series, will see its products under the HX branding, and will be available in four different tiers: 30HX, 40HX, 50HX and 90HX. These products will not have any display outputs, and therefore are not applicable for gaming scenarios.

NVIDIA's stance here is that their new product will bring some justice in the overall distribution of its GeForce graphics cards, which are marketed and meant for gaming workloads. The new cryptocurrency-geared series will be distributed by NVIDIA authorized partners in the form of ASUS, Colorful, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI, Palit, and PC Partner (more may be added down the line). There is currently no information on what silicon actually powers these graphics cards; and of course, the success of this enterprise depends on A) the driver restrictions not being limited to the RTX 3060 graphics card - it isn't clear from NVIDIA's press release if other RTX 30-series graphics cards will see the same performance cap. Even if NVIDIA did release those drivers, however, cryptocurrency miners would just opt to, well, not update them. So it is possible that NVIDIA will release a revision of the RTX 3090, RTX 3080, RTX 3070 and RTX 3060 Ti with silicon enhancements that will only work with the latest GeForce drivers - after allowing the channels to move all of their existing, cryptocurrency-enabled stock.

Chinese Cryptocurrency Miners Are Buying Up Gaming Laptops To Mine Ethereum

The value of Ethereum (ETH) has surged over the last few months, improving the profitability for cryptocurrency miners and increasing the demand for hardware. We have seen several stories where miners are recognized as one of the causes of desktop GPU price rises however it now seems gaming laptops will be their next target. The gaming laptops in question feature RTX 30 series GPUs most commonly the RTX 3070, these laptops come at a significant premium over a bare desktop card showing just how insane the situation has become. This will likely exacerbate the already limited supply of RTX 30 series laptops.

Ethereum Mining Farm with 78 RTX 3080 Graphics Cards Spotted

Availability for NVIDIA and AMD's latest graphics cards is dire, to say the least; the average consumer finds their stocks to be spotty, at best, with available cards quickly dropping into oblivion. Scalpers and their associates are part of the problem, as is already well-known; however, another element to this same problem - at least, when it comes to numerous graphics cards finding their way to the same consumers, instead of being available for others - is mining. Because while we are definitely not facing the same shortages as we were back in the day where everyone and their mother wanted to get into mining using our tried and true graphics cards, mining farms are still a reality, and they are making use of NVIDIA (and AMD's) latest graphics cards as well.

Case in point, a mining farm running as many as 78 PNY RTX 3080 graphics cards has surfaced in Las Vegas. This 78-card mining farm was apparently put together with a $100,000 budget (around $1,199 per card, not considering other installation costs). For that money, the mining farm should be capable of around 6,474 MH/s (83 MH/s per RTX 3080), which amounts to a monthly Ethereum production of around 17.3 ETH per month (pricing fluctuates, so we won't give an estimation on dollar value for each ETH). Associated electricity running costs with such a system, including cooling, should pan out around 23.4 kW (with an estimated 300 W of power for each card) at $8.34 per Kw.

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.

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.

Jon Peddie Research Releases its Q2-2018 Graphics Card Report

The add-in board market decreased in Q2'18 from last quarter, while NVIDIA gained market share. Over $3.2 billion dollars of AIBs shipped in the quarter. The market shares for the desktop discrete GPU suppliers shifted in the quarter, Nvidia increased market share from last quarter, while AMD enjoyed an increase in share year-to-year.

Add-in boards (AIBs) using discrete GPUs are found in desktop PCs, workstations, servers, rendering and mining farms, and other devices such as scientific instruments. They are sold directly to customers as aftermarket products or are factory installed by OEMs. In all cases, AIBs represent the higher end of the graphics industry with their discrete chips and private, often large, high-speed memory, as compared to the integrated GPUs in CPUs that share slower system memory.

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.

BIOSTAR Announces iMiner Series Turnkey Mining Solutions

BIOSTAR, a top provider of mining motherboards and graphics cards, introduces a turnkey solution for mining at home with iMiner A578X8D/iMiner A564X12P/iMiner A578X6. The iMiner series comes as a single unit black box machine that supports ethOS and is fully equipped with BIOSTAR TB250-BTC series motherboard, CPU, GPU, memory, and power supply. It allows ultra-mining flexibility as it supports GPU mineable crypto currencies such as Ethereum, Monero, Bitcoin Gold and Zcash.

All iMiner systems are based on the Intel 3930 CPU and Intel B250 chipset for maximum mining power. BIOSTAR iMiner A578X8D with ETH hashrate of 220 MH/s (±5%) uses the popular BIOSTAR TB250-BTC D+ with 8 x AMD RX570 8G graphics card and a high performance 1600W single rail 12v power supply (optional) with dual-ball bearing fans to offer ultra durable operation 24/7. BIOSTAR iMiner A564X12P with ETH hashrate of 148 MH/s (±5%) uses the BIOSTAR TB250-BTC PRO with 12 x AMD RX560 4G graphics cards on a 1300W power supply. BIOSTAR iMiner A578X6 with ETH hashrate of 165 MH/s (±5%) also uses the BIOSTAR TB250-BTC PRO with a modest 6 x AMD RX570 8G (which can be expanded for up to 12 GPUs) with a 1300W power supply.

Bitmain Intros Antminer E3 for Ethereum, GPU Prices Could Finally Cool Down

It was only a matter of time before ASICs turned the tide on GPU-accelerated crypto-currency mining. Bitmain announced the Antminer E3, an ASIC miner purpose-built for Ethereum mining. Priced at $800 (or less than the price of an AMD Radeon RX 580 in January), this ASIC draws about 800W of power, and offers a hash-rate of 180 MH/s. To put that into perspective, an RX 580 only has about 30 MH/s, and draws around 200W at typical mining load. Bitmain has begun accepting orders for the Antminer E3, with shipping to commence in July. At its price, no GPU in the market can match the economics of this ASIC, and hence, VGA prices could begin to cool down, and GPU miners could find it hard to hodl on to their overpriced VGAs.

AMD Corrects Analyst's Cryptomining Revenue Estimate in Defense of Its Share Value

AMD has gone on to publicly call attention to what it considers to be erroneous information put forward by Susquehanna analyst Christopher Roland. The analyst's report, which prompted the reclassification of AMD and NVIDIA's share targets - and investment ratings. Looking to stem what could translate to lower confidence from investors in its share outlook for the future, AMD has now gone on to clarify that mining revenue actually accounts for single-digit amounts entering the company's coffers, and not the 20% previously mentioned by the analyst.

AMD was dealt a worse hand than NVIDIA on Cristopher Rolland's analysis, since the perceived AMD exposition to a negative downturn on the GPU cryptocurrency mining market (kickstarted by the expected entrance in the market of Ethereum-specific ASICs) was double that of NVIDIA (20% on the former versus 10% on the latter). As such, the company has tried to remind customers, investors, and would-be investors that they appreciate the time and attention that investors continue to pay to Blockchain and cryptocurrency, but "(...) we [AMD] would also like to keep it in perspective with the multiple other growth opportunities ahead for AMD." You can read the AMD statement in full after the break, under the title "The View from Our Corner of the Street".

NVIDIA, AMD to Face Worsening Investment Outlook as Bitmain Preps to Launch Ethereum ASIC

Analyst firm Susquehanna has cut AMD and NVIDIA's share price targets on the wake of confirmed reports on Bitmain's upcoming Ethereum ASIC. There's been talks about such a product for months - and some actual silicon steering as well that might support it. Susquehanna, through analyst Christopher Rolland in a note to clients Monday, cited their travels in Asia as a source of information.

This has brought confirmations that "(...) Bitmain has already developed an ASIC [application-specific integrated circuit] for mining Ethereum, and is readying the supply chain for shipments in 2Q18." And it doesn't seem Bitmain is the only company eyeing the doors of yet another extremely lucrative ASIC mining market: "While Bitmain is likely to be the largest ASIC vendor (currently 70-80% of Bitcoin mining ASICs) and the first to market with this product, we have learned of at least three other companies working on Ethereum ASICs, all at various stages of development."

Qarnot Unveils Their QC-1 Crypto Heater

French company Qarnot has unveiled their QC-1 crypto heater, which is an extension of their Q.rad computing heater that was released in 2013. The new QC-1 allows consumers to mine cryptocurrencies and utilize the generated heat for heating their homes. It features a high-end passive cooling solution and noiseless design as the unit doesn't require the use of fans or mechanical hard drives. A pair of Sapphire NITRO+ Radeon RX 580 graphics cards are responsible for the cryptomining duties. Together, they can generate a hash rate around 60MH/s. In normal mode, the QC-1 produces 450W of heat. However, customers can activate the booster mode via the provided mobile app for another 200W which brings the total to 650W. The mobile app also serves as a tool for QC-1 owners to monitor the crypto markets.

According to the manufacturer, the QC-1 is capable of heating a 20 square-meter room. Qarnot is marketing their crypto heater as a plug-n-play device which customers can setup in 10 minutes. Installation consists of plugging the unit into the wall outlet and router and entering the crypto-wallet address into the mobile app. The QC-1 is designed to mine Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum. The Qarnot QC-1 comes with a 1 year warranty. The unit currently costs 2900 euros which by today's exchange rate is $3575 plus another $300 shipping fee. If you order a QC-1 before March 20th, Qarnot will deliver the QC-1 to your doorstep before June 20th.

TSMC To Receive Strong Revenue Boost on the Back of Extra ASIC Sales in 2018

TSMC is the world's sole ASIC manufacturer for Bitmain - the world's largest ASIC vendor by far, commanding some 70% of the ASIC market share. DigiTimes is reporting that ASIC manufacturing will be a major part of bridging the 10-15% increase in revenue that TSMC's chairman Morris Chang expects for 2018, which will be mostly fed by high-performance computing (HPC), car-use electronics and Internet of Things (IoT) products.

One other interesting tidbit that DigiTimes is reporting on is that Bitmain might be increasing its ASIC orders from TSMC to bring a new Ethereum ASIC miner to market. Dubbed the F3, reports around the internet have placed these ASICs as leveraging TSMC's 28 nm process in a three-mainboard system. Each mainboard is reported to pack six purpose-built ASIC processors, each paired with 12GB of DDR3 memory. Whether or not this makes sense based on Ethereum's Casper update (moving from a Proof of Work to a Proof of Stake mechanism) remains to be seen. Considering the amount of work and investment that would be required towards the development of an Ethereum ASIC, though (a natively ASIC-resistant algorithm) may very well be an indicator that Casper may be longer off in the horizon than previously thought. Let's hope this is true, though; an Ethereum-geared ASIC, even if short-lived, would certainlydraw demand away from GPUs to these purpose-built systems, and there's been nary a time in the PC world where such an event was as needed as it is today.

ARCHOS Announces the Safe-T mini Hardware Wallet for Storing Cryptocurrencies

ARCHOS is providing cryptocurrency enthusiasts with the perfect hardware wallet to secure their bitcoins and other currencies, to ensure cold storage of private keys and to prevent hacking attempts. Unveiled at the MWC 2018 (Hall 6 - Stand B60), the ARCHOS Safe-T mini will be available starting June 2018, at 49.99 €.

ARCHOS is an active member of the SYSTEMATIC PARIS-REGION cluster who has created a specific branch Digital Trust & Security aiming to promote and develop worldwide champions in cybersecurity. ARCHOS Safe-T mini is in line with the dynamics of this thematic group, which, on the cryptocurrency, has partners like Secure-IC, OCamlPro or Gemalto. Digital Trust & Security has also supported and facilitated the emergence and deployment of major collaborative projects such as iTrac or MoneyTrack.

Venezuela Oils Its Economic Gears With "petro" Cryptocurrency Launch

Blockchain technologies will eventually change the world, eventually. Whether or not cryptocurrencies will be part of that world, however, is still up for debate. Venezuela, however, is looking to reap dividends from the current cryptocurrency craze before the final answer to that question has a chance of being answered. As the country has entered a severely crippled economic and civil state, the search for a way to raise government funds has led to the development of the petro cryptocurrency - which is linked, as one would expect, to the country's primary export and income source: oil.

As part of the petro pre-sale, investors were being offered $60 petro tokens at discounted rates that they can exchange for actual petros during a planned Mars ICO (Initial Coin Offering). After that ICO has been gone through, a petro will supposedly represent a barrel of crude from a specific division in the country's Orinoco oil belt. Is this a pre-buy for a barrel of crude of sorts? It seems so. It's also an extremely risky move for investors, though, but nothing that they aren't used to already: futures trading does exist, after all.
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