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Intel Could Make Bitcoin Mining Profitable Again

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.

More Details

“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.”

Other Costs

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.

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Bitcoin

Bitcoin Price Rallies 13% to Break Through $11,000

Within the last hour Bitcoin (BTC) price pushed through the $11,000 level in a high volume surge which saw the price reach a new 2020 high at $11,394.

At the time of publishing the price has pulled back slightly to the $11,150 range but purchasing volume continues to rise on the 1-hour timeframe. This suggests that the top-ranked digital asset on CoinMarketCap may have another go at the daily high.

Crypto market weekly price chart

Crypto market weekly price chart. Source: Coin360

As reported earlier by Cointelegraph, on-chain activity registered a significant spike in exchange inflow as Bitcoin price rallied above $10,000 and Bloomberg analysts now estimate that Bitcoin price will rise above $12,000 this year.

Ether price (ETH) also surged above its previous high by rallying to $333.52 but at the time of writing the top altcoin has pulled back below $330.

Bitcoin daily price chart

Bitcoin daily price chart. Source: Coin360

According to CoinMarketCap, the overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $326.7 billion. Bitcoin’s dominance index currently at 63.1%.

Also, don’t miss our upcoming conference Cointelegraph Crypto Traders Live.

More than 30 star speakers including Raoul Pal, John Bollinger, Mike Novogratz, DataDash and Jon Najarian will gather on July 30th to discuss the challenges of crypto trading. Join the show for over 9 hours of crypto trading content!

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Bitcoin

Did Satoshi Nakamoto Just Move 50 Bitcoin?

Key Takeaways

  • 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.

Patoshi blocks
Courtesy satoshiblocks.info, Patoshi blocks

Another analyst noted that the transaction marks the first time that early 2009-origin Bitcoin has moved since August of 2017.

It’s the first time since August 2017 than someone spent coins from early 2009.

View image on Twitter

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.

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Bitcoin

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.

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