BT Daily News: A fresh take on Bitcoin mining – Why using more energy can lead to abundance
1. A fresh take on Bitcoin mining – Why using more energy can lead to abundanceSome Bitcoin miners have seen the potential in these energy losses. Bitcoin miners in Texas have been turning off their ASICs to return power to the grid when demand is high and guzzling up excess energy when demand is low.
Several companies are also working on utilizing the natural gas found in oil fields. They use the gas that would have otherwise been flared or vented into the atmosphere to power generators that produce electricity used by Bitcoin mining machines. Killing two birds with one stone, this approach reduces the impact natural gas has on the environment and makes it profitable.
Another hugely important but often overlooked point when discussing Bitcoin’s sustainability is its effect on the economy.
Data centers around the world consume twice as much electricity as the Bitcoin network, but their economic value is so high any discussion about sustainability is out of the question. Air conditioners guzzle up almost 220 TWh of energy every year and are rarely the target of aggressive environmental marketing.
2. Cryptocurrency Becomes Lifeline for Some Lebanese Who Try to Make Ends Meet in MeltdownWith its capital Beirut once called the “Paris of the Middle East,” before the civil war broke out in 1975, and known as an offshore banking destination rivaling Switzerland, after the conflict ended in 1990, in the past few years, Lebanon has been struggling to cope with a looming economic and financial crisis — among the planet’s worst, according to the World Bank.
The country plunged into the crisis in 2019 and its government defaulted on its sovereign debt in early 2020, just as the Covid pandemic was spreading around the globe. With losses of up to $70 billion at local banks, according to Goldman Sachs, inflation expected to reach 178% this year, as projected by Fitch, and close to 80% of the population living below the poverty line, estimated by the UN, cryptocurrency has started to sound like a source of salvation for some, CNBC notes in a report.
The broadcaster reached out to a number of locals for whom decentralized digital cryptocurrencies have become a lifeline for survival. While crypto adoption took different forms in each case — from mining dogecoin and earning bitcoin, to spending tether — all these Lebanese citizens praised access to a type of money that makes sense for them in the current circumstances. Their experiences are best described by the words of Georgio Abou Gebrael, a 27-year-old architect from a small town near Beirut, who now makes half of his income through crypto-paid freelance work found online:
Bitcoin has really given us hope. I was born in my village, I’ve lived here my whole life, and bitcoin has helped me to stay here.
3. Was The Ethereum Merge a Mirage?Blockchains are not democracies, so a “majority” does not mean that none of the censored transactions will go through. Transactions are published in blocks every 10 to 20 seconds, so a censored transaction being rejected from every other block might take 30 seconds to go through, instead of 15. But the 51 percent threshold possesses immense symbolic weight because of the undefined but probably large population of users who would, in the unlikely event of a fork (a sort of secession, where one group makes their coins incompatible with another, usually for ideological reasons), side with the majority for convenience’s sake.
Realistically, the odds of Flashbots—or, currently, any major Ethereum application—doing something like this are very slim, since (barring the technical difficulties involved in leveraging their position to initiate such a split) in the event of a fork it is likely that the overwhelming majority of users would remain loyal to the traditional Ethereum chain. But the possibility is nonetheless disturbing: It implies that the US government is able to reach into the network and move money around just like they do with banks.
Many Bitcoin advocates have pounced on the new data as evidence that Ethereum’s transition to Proof-of-Stake was misguided and counter-productive, pointing to the lack of a comparable situation of state leverage among Bitcoin mining syndicates. Since big financial instruments like Coinbase can double as staking platforms, they argue, the staking community inevitably ends up running through the same channels that the rest of the financial ecosystem does, effectively recentralizing the network.
Probably the question will go unanswered, since a US-orchestrated Ethereum civil war still seems like a distant possibility. And quibbling over ways to shore up the network technically against such attacks may be overlooking a simple (and, in fact, more profitable) fix. Both Bitcoin and Ethereum have been criticized for their high fees and slow transaction times, especially compared to payment services like Venmo or Apple Pay. Decentralized Finance (DeFi) platforms have been wracked by scandals and financial disaster, while NFTs, which were supposed to revolutionize copyright law, have become a playground for wealthy speculators and collectors. There is a noticeable lack of the zeal and imagination that characterized the post-2008 crypto community, as evidenced most damningly by the apathy with which stakers have continued to use regulation-compliant suggestion algorithms like Flashbots.
4. Stop Worrying About Market Volatility with Crypto Passive IncomeThe cryptocurrency market is incredibly volatile, which can be both good and bad for investors and traders. Volatility creates opportunities for making profits, but it can also lead to losses. Passive income strategies, however, could be handy in offsetting these losses. Crypto passive income strategies offer investors and traders opportunities to earn profits, even during challenging market conditions such as bear markets.
Ethereum is a decentralized blockchain network that runs smart contracts. These are applications that run exactly as programmed with no possibility of fraud or third-party interference. Ethereum’s native token, Ether, allows users to carry out several functions on the network such as making transactions, staking, trading, storing nonfungible tokens (NFTs), playing games, and more.
Ethereum is also used to build decentralized applications (DApps), which are open-source software that runs on the blockchain. DApps can be built on Ethereum’s network by anyone with the skills and expertise to do so, making it one of the most popular platforms for developers. Ethereum once used a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithm, which rewards miners for validating blocks of transactions. However, Ethereum officially shifted to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm on September 15, 2022, at 1:42:42 am EST.
The historic transition is part of what Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin, dubbed The Merge, noted as the first part of many in the network’s multi-year scaling roadmap. The move to PoS is designed to make Ethereum more scalable and energy-efficient by eliminating the need for miners who use high amounts of electricity to secure the network.
5. Robinhood is not leaving crypto despite low revenueIn its third-quarter results for 2022, Robinhood highlighted that its crypto assets revenue was lagging. However, its CEO says this won't dampen the company's ambition to serve the market.
During a conference call with investors, Robinhood's CEO Vladimir Tenev said that the company plans to roll out the Robinhood Wallet for the international retail base in the coming months.
When asked about Robinhood's plans regarding non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the company's head of product development, David Tenev, said that the company would likely include a feature to view and custody NFTs shortly. However, the company seems interested in something other than connecting NFT to the marketplaces.
The executive also stated, "customers have asked Robinhood to add more blockchains to increase the breadth of coins available for them to swap and trade."
He emphasised that Robinhood would not compromise on becoming "the safest and most trusted" crypto asset service company. "We hope that customers understand and appreciate that we're moving carefully [...] Sometimes, that means moving a little bit slower than many of these other crypto companies. But we want to be extremely deliberate and to help protect customers and their money."