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South Korean gaming giant Nexon is preparing to acquire crypto exchange Bithumb for about $460 million: Report

South Korean gaming giant Nexon is reportedly preparing to acquire Bithumb, the country’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, for around 500 billion won (~$460 million).

Local outlet Maekyung reported the news on Thursday, saying that Nexon is known to have signed a memorandum of understanding with Bithumb at the beginning of this month to acquire its 65% stake.

If the deal goes through, Nexon will become the owner of three crypto exchanges. The company has acquired Bitstamp and Korbit in the past.

The Bitstamp deal occurred in October 2018, and the buyer was NXMH — NXC’s investment firm (NXC is the parent company of Nexon). The Korbit deal, on the other hand, took place in September 2017 for about $80 million.

This is a developing story and will be updated…

© 2021 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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Author: Yogita Khatri

Trump Signs Order to Ban Ma’s Alipay, Other Chinese Apps

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday banning the Alipay payment platform and seven other apps with links to the Chinese, saying the apps can access private information from their users. Separately, U.S. officials are considering banning U.S. citizens from investing in Alibaba Group, an affiliate of Alipay’s parent, and Tencent Holdings, […]

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Author: Tanzeel Akhtar

Global cryptocurrency market cap hits $1 trillion

The market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies has reached $1 trillion.

According to data from CoinGecko, the global market cap for all cryptocurrencies is at $1.003 trillion at the time of writing. Bitcoin remains the market leader with a $676B market cap, followed by Ethereum with a $136 billion market cap. Tether, XRP and Litecoin round out the top five. 

The last time total market capitalization came close to $1 trillion was in January of 2018 when it reached nearly $800 billion. This is the first time it has surpassed the $1 trillion mark.

© 2021 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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Author: Aislinn Keely

Total Cryptocurrency Market Value Hits Record $1 Trillion

During 2017’s bull run, the market peaked at a $760 billion total value.

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Author: Zack Voell

Bill Miller invokes Warren Buffett’s ‘rat poison’ criticism of Bitcoin, says ‘the rat could be cash’

Bill Miller said in a new investor letter that bitcoin’s performance in the past year shows promise — and more companies decide to move portions of their balance sheets to bitcoin, wider adoption could move very quickly, according to the fund manager.

In his fourth-quarter Miller Value Partners investor letter, Miller closed with his meditations on bitcoin’s climb past $31,000. Despite having a market capitalization higher than JP Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway, Miller said bitcoin is still early in its adoption cycle. It’s best thought of as digital gold, according to Miller, but has “many advantages” over traditional gold. 

As the Federal Reserve continues to pursue a policy “whose objective is to have investments in cash lose money in real terms for the foreseeable future,” he said, companies like Square and MicroStrategy have moved their balance sheets into bitcoin. Both firms allocated millions to bitcoin this year, and Miller said if inflation picks up or if other factors cause more firms to pour into bitcoin, the floodgates of adoption will open.

“Warren Buffet famously called bitcoin ‘rat poison.’ He may well be right,” said Miller in his letter. “Bitcoin could be rat poison, and the rat could be cash.”

© 2021 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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Author: Aislinn Keely

Maker’s MKR Token Surges to 2-Year High on DeFi Growth

Maker’s MKR token surged to its highest level in more than two years.

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Author: Muyao Shen

Bitcoin’s sky-high price has sparked a profitability renaissance for older mining hardware

The supply shortage for the latest generation of bitcoin miners isn’t just causing a bidding war — it’s revived the market for older models as well.

According to multiple sale channels on both Telegram and WeChat seen by The Block, the volume and frequency of sale quotes for past-gen mining equipment has risen since mid-December. As of the time of writing, bitcoin’s price has reached a new all-time high, crossing the $36,000 mark for the first time ever.

Bitcoin’s price jump above $20,000 in mid-December resulted in older hardware, rolled out between 2016 and 2018, significantly surpassing their breakeven points (mostly between $13,000 to $18,000), according to profitability figures tracked by mining pools F2Pool and Poolin

In light of the recent price climbs, miner resellers are posting quotes for machines like Bitmain’s Antminer S9 or Canaan’s equivalent model, the Avalon 851, with a price range between $80 to $130 per unit. By contrast, such models were being liquidated for less than $50 after China’s hydro-season ended in October.

Some mining companies have also started looking for facilities to host machines previously thought to be obsolete by the end of 2020, like the S9s, which were launched almost five years ago and dominated the market between 2016 to 2019.

Thanks to the price surge, bitcoin miner’s revenue per each terahashes second (TH/s) of computing power is reaching highs not seen since September 2019, according to The Block’s Data Dashboard.

S9 revival

With an average electricity cost of $0.05 per kWh, the breakeven price for the Antminer S9 is around $16,500. A single unit of S9 is able to yield a rough daily profit of $1.50 at a cost of $0.05 per kWh of electricity.

With a daily profit of $1.50 per unit, new buyers of these machines in the secondary market could have a static payback period of around two to three months.

Hashage, a local Chinese mining company, has been posting WeChat feeds looking for facilities with 20 megawatt of capacity to host their Antminer S9s. Based on the S9’s standard specification, a 20-megawatt capacity can power up about 14,000 units. 

“This is right now a business that can make guaranteed payback,” Nicholas Feng, COO of Poolin’s cloud mining business, said in a call with The Block. That, of course, depends on whether such businesses have access to suitable hosting spots and well-structured put options to hedge against price declines.

Still, not every mining farm operator would necessarily be willing to host old models. Such a move carries more maintenance overhead and higher risks of shutdowns compared to the newest generation of machines.

“Yeah, we see the same in Russia [of S9’s revival], but we strategically decided not to host S9s in our core facilities,” said Igor Runets, founder and CEO of Russia-based mining farm operator BitRiver. “Demand [for the] newer generation of machines is also very strong. And we strategically decided to prioritize requests for new-gen machines as they are more sustainable over time.”

A lower barrier to entry

Yet even in light of the price increases, the ongoing bidding war for top-of-the-line equipment is setting an increasingly higher entrance barrier. And that may leave smaller-scale players with few options.

Some mining farms that use past-gen models like Bitmain’s S17 or MicroBT’s M20 series are also trying to get in on the action, based on offers made by farm operators and brokers on WeChat.

The supply shortage for new-gen models is a factor that contributes to the revival of these older models, ecosystem players say. “I’ve seen some of my clients looking for S19 and not being able to source them started looking for M20S, etc.,” said Runets. 

“Such shortage makes manufacturers less keen to cater small players and naturally prioritize bulk orders from larger players,” Poolin’s Feng told The Block.

It appears that smaller players who want to capture gains in the mining space are now turning to cloud mining as one option. 

Feng said Poolin launched its cloud mining business less than two months ago and has already sold nearly 100,000 TH/s of computing power to retail investors.

The hash rate is powered by some 800 units of the latest models hosted and maintained in Poolin’s facilities and was sold to retailers by each unit to lower their entrance threshold.

Feng expects the firm will increase its cloud mining hash rate in the coming months, given that Poolin has placed bulk preorders for Bitmain’s S19 or equivalent models worth over $15 million.

© 2021 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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Author: Wolfie Zhao

Market Wrap: Bitcoin Blows Past $36.1K While Traders Clamor for Ether Options

Bitcoin hit another all-time high today while ether traders are paying royally to get in on the options action.

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Author: Daniel Cawrey

Bitcoin Sets New All-Time High, Roaring Above $36K

The leading cryptocurrency hit a new-all time high of $36,286.65, before settling down to $36,004.99, up 5.93% over the last 24 hours.

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Author: Kevin Reynolds

What Georgia’s Elections Mean for Bitcoin

As the Democrats appear to be headed to victory, how does their new U.S. Senate majority impact markets as a whole and bitcoin more specifically?

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Author: Nathaniel Whittemore