It’s the first time since August 2017 than someone spent coins from early 2009.
One of the biggest barriers to entry for small-time bitcoin miners is cost. Intel Corp. (NASDAQ:INTC), the largest U.S. semiconductor maker by market value, is looking to change that.
In a recent United States Patent Application, California-based Intel revealed plans for a unique hardware application dedicated to bitcoin mining. Intel originally filed a patent application for what is being deemed a Bitcoin mining hardware accelerator in September 2016.
Intel’s bitcoin accelerator hardware would aim to make mining of the digital currency less energy intensive, potentially increasing profitability along the way.
“As opposed to physical currency systems backed on natural resources (e.g., gold), Bitcoins may be created by using software and hardware systems to solve a series of mathematical algorithms (e.g., Secure Hash Algorithm 256 (SHA-256)),” according to Intel’s patent application.
Bitcoin algorithms require massive processing capabilities, resulting in higher energy costs to miners.
“When the Bitcoin mining algorithms are solved in a way that satisfies certain predefined conditions, a new block is added to the blockchain and a certain number of Bitcoins are awarded to the miner; thereby introducing new Bitcoins into the eco-system,” according to the patent application. “Bitcoin mining algorithms are inherently difficult to solve, and thus require large amounts of processing power. Because of the large amount of power utilized, and the relatively high cost of that power, mining Bitcoins can be a very costly endeavor. In some embodiments, the cost to mine a single Bitcoin may exceed the value of the mined Bitcoin.”
Cryptocurrency miners face other costs, including graphics cards. The graphics cards, usually made by Intel rivals AMD Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) and NVIDIA Corp. (NASDAQ:NVDA) were initially made for gamers, but demand for those cards surged as the digital currency universe grew. Demand for those cards has soared so much that they are becoming scarce, leading to skyrocketing costs for gamers and digital currency miners.
While cryptocurrencies are not traditional commodities, such as gold or oil, there are break-even prices associated with mining cryptos. When the price of those commodities fall, producers can opt to scale back production and wait for higher prices. For example, an oil company that breaks even at $40 per barrel, could consider reducing output when prices linger around $45 per barrel.
Today, some bitcoin miners may be facing a similar scenario. At this writing late Sunday night, bitcoin traded just over $6,900, well below its December highs around $20,000. Some market observers believer the break-even price for many bitcoin miners is $8,000, a price the largest digital currency has not touched since late March.
Did Satoshi Nakamoto Just Move 50 Bitcoin?
- 50 Bitcoin that haven’t moved since 2009 were transacted today.
- Some Bitcoin watchers speculate that these coins belong to Satoshi Nakamoto.
- The coins were from Bitcoin mining around a month after the network was created.
BTC from the earliest days of the network moved today. Could Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto be behind the transaction?
Was Satoshi Behind a Recent Bitcoin Transaction?
A 50 BTC transaction representing a block reward from a month after the Bitcoin network launched moved today.
The coins were awarded for mining block 3,654. Several pundits have naturally associated that early mining activity with pseudonymous Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto.
Others Are Unconvinced
The Block’s head of research, Larry Cermak, believes the transaction is unrelated to Satoshi Nakamoto, identifying that there were several early miners on the Bitcoin network.
Blocks believed to have been mined by Satoshi have a particular pattern in their nonces, a cryptographic number that can help identify blocks. According to that pattern, these Bitcoin do not appear to have originated from Satoshi.
Another analyst noted that the transaction marks the first time that early 2009-origin Bitcoin has moved since August of 2017.
Nevertheless, on-chain sleuths will closely watch the path of the coins as the transaction was undoubtedly from an early Bitcoin miner and large holder. If these 50 BTC continue to move, then a lot more about this story will be revealed.
Bitcoin price rockets 23% as investors look for a new safe haven. ‘The crypto king is on fire.’
Cryptocurrencies have seen a remarkable resurgence as investors flock to relative safe havens amid a flurry of quantitative easing measures by global central banks.
Central banks including the European Central Bank, Federal Reserve, and the Bank of England have announced asset-purchase schemes in recent days. Bitcoin, a finite cryptocurrency with only 21 million units in existence, has seen a 23% one-day surge. Bitcoin is currently up 21% as of 10.10 a.m. in London (6.10 a.m. ET), per Coindesk.
The cryptocurrency had been down 30% year-to-date amid a sell-off fueled by market uncertainty about the outbreak of coronavirus. However, investors may be looking to digital currencies in the wake of easing measures elsewhere. Other cryptocurrencies like ethereum, XRP, and bitcoin cash all saw major reversals by more than 15% over the same period.
“When it comes to bitcoin, the crypto king is on fire, and we have seen a decent rally,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade, in a morning note.
“Given the fact that the price has crossed the $6,000 mark — an important level of resistance — the upward momentum is likely to pick up the pace, and if the price crosses the 200-day moving average on a daily time frame, it would be a huge buy signal.”
Volumes at cryptocurrency exchanges have jumped, with Coinbase, Bitstamp, and Bitfinex combined seeing a 19% bump in 24-hour exchange volume, according to data aggregator CryptoCompare.
Binance CEO Makes Rare Price Prediction On When To Buy Bitcoin
The bitcoin price has rallied around 50% since January 1, with some smaller cryptocurrencies making surprise triple-digit percentage gains, and many bitcoin bulls think it still has further to go—though problems could be on the horizon.
Now, Changpeng Zhao, the widely-respected founder and chief executive of the world’s biggest bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange Binance, has broken his rule against market forecasting to predict “the bitcoin price will likely increase.”
“I personally believe the halving has not been priced in,” Changpeng Zhao, often known simply as CZ, told bitcoin, cryptocurrency and blockchain video news site BlockTV this week, adding he “doesn’t usually give market predictions” because he will be wrong “50% of the time.”
Bitcoin traders and investors have begun gearing up for the looming May bitcoin halving event, among other positive bitcoin developments expected this year, when the coin reward for mining new bitcoin blocks is scheduled to drop from 12.5 bitcoin to 6.25 bitcoin–cutting the supply of new bitcoin coming onto the market by half.
There have already been two bitcoin halvings since bitcoin launched in 2009, one in 2012 and another in 2016. Bitcoin halvings are scheduled to continue roughly once every four years until the maximum supply of 21 million bitcoins has been generated by the network, something that won’t happen until well into the next century.
Whether the upcoming bitcoin halving has been “priced in” by the market has become a controversial issue among investors. Generally, in well-developed markets, equity, commodities and currencies are priced based on future expectations—suggesting that as bitcoin traders and investors are aware of the May halving, the price will have already made the gains related to it.
CZ disagrees, however, telling BlockTV: “The market is not efficient. Most people don’t get information quickly. People need a lot of time to let concepts sink in and adjust.”
Many are hoping the 2020 bitcoin halving will see a repeat of the last cut to supply. Bitcoin prices doubled in 2016 and soared 13-fold the following year.
However, CZ warned that “historic events do not predict future events, so don’t take that too literally,” but explained the bitcoin halving will mean “it costs miners almost double what it does now to produce one bitcoin. Psychologically, those miners won’t be willing to sell below that price.”
“New bitcoin coming to market will be severely limited and at the same time we’re seeing more users and traders coming in.”
“Economic theory tells us that the bitcoin price will likely increase but this is just the theory and hard to predict,” CZ said, adding he’s feeling “pretty positive.”
Meanwhile, the number of people searching Google for the term “bitcoin halving” has been steadily rising along with the bitcoin price.
Analysts at Arcane Research found last month that an increase in searches could be a sign bitcoin’s halving will recapture the wider public interest in bitcoin and crypto that catapulted the bitcoin price to around $20,000 in 2017.
Many other bitcoin and cryptocurrency market watchers share CZ’s enthusiasm, though some think it could be other factors that push up the bitcoin price.
“I still think that bitcoin will hit $100,000 by end of December 2021,” Anthony Pompliano, the cofounder of bitcoin and crypto investment group Morgan Creek Digital, said last month, pointing to bitcoin’s “fixed supply” and “increasing demand” as the reason for bitcoin’s performance.
Elsewhere, others are not so upbeat—with the the chief executive of China-based investment advisory group RockTree Capital last month forecasting we could see the bitcoin price dip.
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