Crypto Mining Craze Creates Global GPU Shortage

Crypto Mining Craze Creates Global GPU Shortage

Crypto Mining Craze Creates Global GPU Shortage

The cryptocurrency bull run of 2017 attracted multitudes of investors looking to get rich quick but it also created a mining boom that has resulted in a worldwide shortage of computer components.

 

Miners Plunder Singapore, Hong Kong For Cheap Rigs

Scores of miners from around the world come to the electronics bazaars in Asia to buy cryptocurrency rigs. Hong Kong’s Sham Shui Po and Singapore’s Sim Lim Square to name just a couple are jammed with people of all ages ordering specialized rigs.

This new demand for mining rigs has revitalized these electronic markets that were dying only a few years ago when shoppers turned online for computers, cameras, and gadgets of all kinds.

“It’s 30-50 percent cheaper to buy equipment related to crypto-mining in Hong Kong than in Europe,” Russian bitcoin miner Dima Popov said. This is because Hong Kong has no sales tax and is in close proximity to Chinese components manufacturers.

Miners are demanding more powerful rigs that can include up to 500 graphics cards each which has created a worldwide shortage of the cards allowing manufacturers and retailers to gauge buyers on the price.

 

Scarce GPU Cards Selling At Double Price

The market for high-end graphics cards used to work like anything else. You went to the electronics shop, found the card you wanted and paid just about the Manufacturer’s retail price. Today due to the escalating demand from mining you’ll most likely find the shelves that once held them bare but if you do actually what your looking for expect to pay a premium.

These high-end graphics cards are the most efficient way to mine cryptocurrency and as hobbyist miners and big players alike scramble to snatch up as many as they can prices go through the roof. Last summer popular GPU’s like the AMD Radeon RX 580 sold for about $250 at retail, today the price is more likely to be over $500 and that is if you can find them.

Checking the price of the 5 most popular graphics cards from last year and comparing it with the updated version shows a general price increase of between 70 and 100%. This leaves many wannabe miners trolling online for the best deals on new or even second-hand cards. Buying older cards though means slower computing ability which reduces the profitability of a rig.

Rigs using, for example, a high-end Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080 ti card costing around $1,300 (MSRP) can earn as much as $10 dollars a day at current crypto values. This means that the card may pay for itself in about 4 months.

String the math out and it’s easy to see how a fair sized rig can make a very nice profit over a year or more. Retailers reported a dip in demand for the cards during the crypto market correction but now that Bitcoin and it’s like are on the rise sellers and manufacturers are looking for demand to reach and surpass 2017.

Author JMCMAHON • FEB 21, 2018 • 05:02

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
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Cryptocurrency latest – Unprecedented Bitcoin legal battles BAFFLE top regulation lawyers

Cryptocurrency latest - Unprecedented Bitcoin legal battles BAFFLE top regulation lawyers

Cryptocurrency latest – Unprecedented Bitcoin legal battles BAFFLE top regulation lawyers

UNPRECEDENTED legal battles are set to take place in the UK after it was reported that divorce lawyers are struggling to come up with settlement agreements over cryptocurrencies.

The unusual legal cases are said to concern at least three couples looking to legally separate.

One pair has a fortune of £600,000 in cryptocurrencies that they are currently struggling to agree how to split.

The lack of regulation surrounding the digital currencies means that there is little legal cover for those looking to protect their online assets in the case of a divorce.

Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple and Ethereum are all understood to be at the centre of online money involved in the divorce cases.

Vandana Chitroda, a partner at the law firm Royds Withy King, said: “These are the first cases we have seen, and we expect to see many more.

“We believe that cryptocurrencies will be a significant feature in a large number of divorces.

“Whilst cryptocurrencies are volatile, they are not going to go away.”

Bitcoin has dramatically seen its value plunge throughout 2018 from a record high of nearly £15,000 in December 2017 to now under £7,000.

However, there is evidence to suggest the number of people investing in cryptocurrencies is rising.

Ms Chitroda added: “It is important that if you believe your husband or wife has invested in or purchased cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, and you are separating, you tell your legal adviser.”

Countries around the world are currently looking at implementing regulation for digital currencies in an effort to catch up with the latest financial craze.

The finance minister and Central Bank Governors of France and Germany have requested that talks on policy and monetary implications of cryptocurrencies be part of G20 talks in March.

They want world leaders to come up with a global strategy for the online assets.

Some countries have already begun to act unilaterally to increase regulation.

South Korea introduced a raft of measures last month aimed at regulating Bitcoin and similar currencies such as Ripple and Ethereum.

A ban on anonymous trading was implemented by the Asian power in a bid to crack down on all possible criminal activities the secret nature of trading Bitcoin allowed.

Meanwhile, India’s Government has said it does not consider cryptocurrencies to be legal tender and will try to phase out payments using the online money.

 

 

 

Author DAN FALVEY UPDATED: 05:29, Thu, Feb 15, 2018

 

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Russian nuclear scientists arrested for Bitcoin mining plot

Russian nuclear scientists arrested for Bitcoin mining plot

Russian nuclear scientists arrested for Bitcoin mining plot

Russian security officers have arrested several scientists working at a top-secret Russian nuclear warhead facility for allegedly mining crypto-currencies.

The suspects had tried to use one of Russia's most powerful supercomputers to mine Bitcoins, media reports say.

The Federal Nuclear Centre in Sarov, western Russia, is a restricted area.

The centre's press service said: "There has been an unsanctioned attempt to use computer facilities for private purposes including so-called mining."

The supercomputer was not supposed to be connected to the internet – to prevent intrusion – and once the scientists attempted to do so, the nuclear centre's security department was alerted. They were handed over to the Federal Security Service (FSB), the Russian news service Mash says.

"As far as we are aware, a criminal case has been launched against them," the press service told Interfax news agency.

Crypto-currencies like Bitcoin do not rely on centralised computer servers. People who provide computer processing power to the crypto-currency system, to enable transactions to take place, can get rewards in Bitcoins.

In the Cold War the USSR's first nuclear bomb was produced at Sarov, during Joseph Stalin's rule.

The top-secret town was not even marked on Soviet maps and special permits are still required for Russians to visit it.

Putin, power and poison: Russia’s elite FSB spy club

Sarov is surrounded by a tightly guarded no-man's-land, with barbed wire fences to keep the curious away.

There are suspicions that the radioactive polonium-210 used to kill ex-FSB agent Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006 came from Sarov.

The Federal Nuclear Centre reportedly employs up to 20,000 people and its supercomputer boasts a capacity of 1 petaflop, the equivalent of 1,000 trillion calculations per second.

Mining crypto-currencies requires great computational power and huge amounts of energy.

There have been reports of some other industrial facilities in Russia being used for crypto-mining, and one businessman reportedly bought two power stations for the activity.

 

Source BBC News 9th February

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Wells Fargo strategist – Bitcoin and the market are correlated

Wells Fargo strategist - Bitcoin and the market are correlated

Wells Fargo strategist – Bitcoin and the market are correlated

  • Assessing risk is a good gauge for determining stock market and cryptocurrency movement, says Wells Fargo strategist.

  • Wells Fargo raises its price target for equities up by 10 percent this year.

  • Both the market and bitcoin are now beginning to recover from dips earlier this week.

If the bitcoin bubble bursts, the stock market may go down along with it, said Christopher Harvey, head of equity strategy at Wells Fargo, who sees a correlation between the two.

"On Monday what we saw is all risk products sell off," Harvey said Wednesday on CNBC's "Fast Money."

A hit on the market, he said, can cause investors to panic and begin selling bitcoin as well.

"It sometimes adds fuel to the fire," Harvey said.

Risk in the marketplace was at a high earlier this year as the stock market rallied, which led to more interest from investors who saw the potential for big gains in the crypto market.

"Last year what you had was money chasing performance," Harvey said. As volatility shot up, he said, there was a "massive" demand for liquidity.

Then on Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 1,175 points by the end of the day. Bitcoin also fell to one of its lowest points in two months on Monday, trading at $5,947.40.

Harvey said the best gauge for predicting future market movement and the price of digital currency is simply by assessing the risk.

"We think of it more as what we have to watch out for, what we have to … tell our clients to be careful of," Harvey said. "We don't make a call whether it's going to go up or down but that it's a risk in the marketplace, and it's really far out on the risk spectrum."

Wells Fargo raised its price target for equities, up about 10 percent over the next year. Its 2018 S&P 500 year-end target is 2,950, compared with the earlier target of 2,863. Cryptocurrencies and the market should trade in correlation over the next three to six months, it said.

"If we're right, what we should see is risk product going higher," Harvey said.

"If we're right and risk starts to be bid again, it wouldn't surprise us to see a bid in some of the crypto markets," he said.

All eyes remained on bitcoin Wednesday as the market began to recover. The cryptocurrency was trading above $7,000, even briefly tipping over $8,000 in the evening.

As the crypto market becomes more regulated some of the risk should disappear, Harvey said.

 

Author Kellie Ell News Associate for CNBC

 

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Bitcoin drops below $6,200 for first time in three months

Bitcoin drops below $6,200 for first time in three months

Bitcoin drops below $6,200 for first time in three months

The virtual currency fell to $6,190 for the first time since mid-November, according to Bloomberg News, and represents the latest hammering for a unit that saw a stratospheric 26-fold rise last year.

Bitcoin plunged 20 per cent to a three-month low today, its latest sharp loss following a series of setbacks for the cryptocurrency that, with a collapse across global mainstream markets adding to the selling.

The virtual currency fell to $6,190 for the first time since mid-November, according to Bloomberg News, and represents the latest hammering for a unit that saw a stratospheric 26-fold rise last year.

Today's collapse comes just six weeks after bitcoin hit a record high of $19,511, fuelled by a flood of speculators looking to make a quick buck, with warnings it could fall another 50 per cent.

Since those heady days the cryptomarket — which includes dozens of other units — has been pounded by news of crackdowns by governments including in China, Russia and South Korea, one of the biggest markets for the sector.

On Thursday, India said it would "take all measures to eliminate" cryptocurrencies' use as part of a payment system and in funding illegitimate activities, while Japanese authorities raided a virtual currency exchange after it lost $530 million to hackers.

Central bank in Europe, Japan and the United States have also flagged concerns about the unit and this week saw several commercial lenders say they would stop allowing their customers to buy bitcoin through their credit cards owing to debt concerns.

Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia Pacific at Oanda, said "the dynamics behind the moves are regulatory clampdowns and investors losing confidence in crypto".

The sell-off on Tuesday was exacerbated by crushing losses on world stock markets, with the Dow on Wall Street suffering its biggest one-day points loss and wiping out all its 2018 gains.

The global rout comes as panicked investors fret over rising US borrowing costs, leading them to cash in profits after a stellar couple of months that have seen many indexes hit record or all-time highs.

Equities have enjoyed months of surges fuelled by optimism over the US economy, corporate earnings and the global outlook.

But while traders have been piling into equities, pushing many global indexes to record or multi-year highs, there has been growing concern on trading floors about elevated US Treasury bond yields — at four-year highs — and the likelihood of fresh Federal Reserve interest rate hikes.

"The risk-off tone is hitting Bitcoin almost as hard as a global regulator and bank scrutiny," said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader. "The latest dent to the Cryptospace has been banks saying they are shutting down the ability of clients to buy bitcoin with their cards."

"This could end up a full round trip back into the $1,850/$2,966 region.

Source: Feb 06, 2018 10:39 AM IST | Source: PTI

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur

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Bitcoin Not Giving a Big Enough Hit as ‘Gateway Drug’

Bitcoin Not Giving a Big Enough Hit as ‘Gateway Drug’

Interest in Bitcoin hit its high point leading up to its own high of $20,000 in the middle of December last year. Interest peaked, not only in investing circles, but also in the mainstream as Bitcoin became the buzzword on everyone's lips.

This adoption was championed by Bitcoin as it welcomed millions of users to the cryptocurrency community, as expressed in Coinbase’s figures alone. However, in this fast paced ecosystem, Bitcoin is not enough to hold the attention of this vastly diverse community. So, while it may be the ideal coin to get people hooked on cryptocurrencies, once they are in and settled, there is time to seek out a multitude of other coins that are better suited to their needs or beliefs.
 

The draw of big growth

Bitcoin’s biggest draw was the incredible returns it was offering as it rallied from 2,000 percent in 12 months. This phenomenal growth continued to increase interest in the currency, and that sparked even further growth in this massive hype cycle. It has been correlated before that searches for on Google for Bitcoin are closely related to its growth – a phenomenon known as the ‘Satoshi Cycle’. In the lead up to December’s high, the Satoshi Cycle was in full effect as Google trends showed some interesting figures.

Nicholas Colas, a pioneering Bitcoin analyst in the world of traditional investments, has taken this correlation very seriously and states that it plays a big part in his predictions. "Going into December, [searches] skyrocketed," Colas said on CNBC’s Fast Money. He added that the total number of Bitcoin Google searches worldwide tripled that month:

"You saw that correlates to the total increased number of wallet growth, which doubled in December from approximately 5 percent to 10 percent as Bitcoin rallied.”
 

Already hooked

However, taking this metric into consideration, it could be argued that the new wave of adopters are now starting to disperse and find their way to other coins that are more suited to their individual needs. It makes sense that as people become educated and learn more about options in the crypto community that they begin to diversify and pick out their favourite coins to invest in. This often leads to money moving away from Bitcoin and into Altcoins.

Bitcoin, being the dominant, most adopted and scene-leading coin, will continue to be the ‘gateway drug’ of the community, but it is finding it harder to hang on to total support and dominance.

These sentiments are expressed by Colas, who adds:

"Bitcoin is considered the gateway drug to all cryptos and it has acted exactly that way. Right now [the Google search data] is telling me there's not really that next leg up in Bitcoin because there's not that interest that leads to wallet growth that leads to price appreciation."
 

Proof?

Colas tries to justify this position by explaining how Ethereum has been the only coin that has fared relatively well in the top echelons of the CoinMarket Cap:

“Some of the movement in Ethereum, which has traded much better [in January], is just money which is being pulled out of Bitcoin."

However, it is important to note that Bitcoin’s price fluctuations and movements are still heavily linked to all other coins. The saying that: ‘the tide moves all boats’ is still true in the cryptocurrency market with Bitcoin essentially being the tide. When Bitcoin is up, most coins follow, and when it is down, the same red graphs appear to follow suit across the board.

 

Author Darryn Pollock

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
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Cryptocurrency Markets Move Back Into Green After Substantial Selloff

Cryptocurrency Markets Move Back Into Green After Substantial Selloff

Cryptocurrency Markets Move Back Into Green After Substantial Selloff

Cryptocurrency markets are rebounding today, Feb. 3, following yesterday’s multi-month low in Bitcoin's price. Most of the top 50 coins are in green, with 24 hour gains over 20 percent.

In part due to pressure from misleading reporting on regulations in India, the overall cryptocurrency market took a massive nosedive starting Thursday, Feb.1, shedding more than $100 billion in market cap in the 24 hours following the news.

However, after the substantial selloff, the market has spent today bouncing back, with Bitcoin rising back above the $9,000 level. At press time, Bitcoin was trading at an average of $9,095, up 3.54 percent on the day.

Following Bitcoin’s lead, other coins have also rallied substantially. With the except of three coins, every top 50 cryptocurrency has seen gains, with Litecoin (LTC) and Cardano (ADA), and Verge (XVG) leading the pack with gains between 15 and 20 percent.

A quick glance at the Coin360 market snapshot indicates a clear positive turn after the substantial negatives of the week.

Despite the market lows this week, figures such as Litecoin founder Charlie Lee and CNBC’s Cryptotrader host Ran Neuner have made bullish statements recently about Bitcoin. In an interview with Cointelegraph, Lee in particular offered some level-headed perspective on volatility in crypto markets, often lacking in a market crowded with fearful newcomers.

News of the first Canadian Blockchain ETF approval may well have played into today’s rally.

Bitcoin hit a record high of 20,000 in late December, only to crash, along with the rest of the market, just a few days later, Dec. 22, when Bitcoin and altcoins lost 20-30 percent.

Since then, the leading cryptocurrency has yet to fully recover, hovering roughly between $10-$15,000 per coin, until this yesterday’s multi-month lows under $8000.

The entire month of January saw a market sell off, in part due to increased regulatory news from South Korea – and misleading reporting on it – that left many investors fearful.

 

Author Jon Buck

 

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Bitcoin is bottoming, expect a 70 percent surge – Trader

Bitcoin is bottoming, expect a 70 percent surge – Trader

The old saying goes, "buy when there's blood in the streets," and that's what I'm doing with the recent bitcoin price action.

Bitcoin traded to a low of $7,700, this level is a loss of 25 percent on the week and 40 percent on the year. That $7,700 low is ironic because it is the same level that it broke above and began a parabolic ascent in mid-November.

I am watching a key level at $8,650 and a continued close above that could signal immediate upside potential. The next level of resistance is $10,000, and a break back above that should bring further buying to the table, suggesting near-term upside to $14,500, a 70 percent jump from its current price.

On the other side of the coin, I believe we are witnessing a market-cap rebalancing. Many disregard bitcoin but most do not disregard blockchain technology.

While I expect bitcoin to recover from this low, I believe that there are cheaper and better technologies within the complex that are positioned for stronger gains. The five that I am focused on are ethereum, NEO, ripple, stellar and last but surely not least, VeChain. The crytpocurrency market cap reached a height above $800 billion, a number that is now cut in half. Bitcoin's piece of the this market cap has slowly shrunk and is now only one third.

As buyers step back in I believe this trend will continue and I'm watching for these five to gain further ground.

 

Author: Bill Baruch

 

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Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis for 2nd Feb – Another Nearby Support

Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis for 02/02/2018 – Another Nearby Support

Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis for 02/02/2018 – Another Nearby Support

Bitcoin Price Key Highlights

 

  • Bitcoin price went on another leg lower after breaking below a short-term triangle consolidation pattern.

  • Price is now testing another potential support at the bottom of its falling wedge pattern visible on the 4-hour time frame.

  • Price could bounce off this area and make another test of the wedge resistance around the $10,000 area of interest.

Bitcoin price can’t quite catch a break as it suffered another selloff to the $9,000 handle.
 

Technical Indicators Signals

 

The 100 SMA is still below the longer-term 200 SMA to indicate that the path of least resistance is to the downside. In other words, the selloff is more likely to continue than to reverse.
 

In addition, the gap between the moving averages is widening to reflect stronger selling pressure, possibly leading to a wedge breakdown. Note that this chart pattern spans $9,000 to $19,000 so the resulting breakout could be of the same height.
 

Stochastic is indicating oversold conditions, though, which means that bears are tired and could let bulls take over bitcoin price action. RSI is also ready to pull up from the oversold level to signal a pickup in buying momentum.

Market Factors

 

Not even dollar weakness was enough to keep a lid on BTCUSD losses recently as negative sentiment for the cryptocurrency industry is prevailing. The lack of any positive updates is convincing more and more investors to liquidate their holdings, thereby exacerbating the selloff.

Analyst say that the increased scrutiny from regulators is still to blame for the tumble, especially since the CFTC announced plans to beef up its bitcoin futures review process. According to Chairman Giancarlo:
 

The CFTC’s current product self-certification framework is consistent with public policy that encourages market-driven innovation that has made America’s listed futures markets the envy of the world. Whatever the market impact of bitcoin futures, I hope it is not to compromise the product self-certification process that has served so well for so long”.

This could involve setting “exchange large trader reporting thresholds at five bitcoins or less” and entering into “information sharing agreements with spot market platforms to allow access to trade and trader data.”

 

Author SARAH JENN • FEB 2, 2018 • 05:02

 

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Bitcoin Price Looking Heavy As News Turns Negative

Bitcoin Price Looking Heavy As News Turns Negative

Bitcoin Price Looking Heavy As News Turns Negative

Bitcoin's possible upside appears capped by a recent run of negative news.

 

Following a hack against the exchange Coincheck last week, CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index (BPI) turned lower from $11,942 (Sunday high), ultimately hitting a low of $11,110 at 09:59 UTC Monday. Still, what may be more notable is not the recent price (which continues its sideways 2018 trajectory), but the changing narrative for potential buyers.
 

Though the Coincheck news did not impact bitcoin directly (no bitcoin was stolen), it does appear to have marked a change in a mainstream news narrative that has breathlessly provided tailwinds for the market since late last year.

 

For example, the 6.9 percent drop from the high of $11,492 may be due to concerns regarding the solvency of a startup called Tether, which provides a proxy cryptocurrency used by exchanges in lieu of the U.S. dollar.
 

While bloggers have long accused Tether of creating the asset out of thin air, news reports are now speculating doomsday scenarios following a CoinDesk report that suggests the startup has broken ties with an auditor acquired to calm market fears.

 

In the press, experts have been quoted as saying that bitcoin (BTC) price could crash 80 percent if it turns out Tether is fraudulent. And though that scenario doesn't appear likely, coupled with chart analysis, it does perhaps increase the odds of a break below $10,000.

 

As of writing, BTC is trading at $11,064 on Coinbase's GDAX exchange. The cryptocurrency has depreciated by 1 percent in the last 24 hours, says data source OnChinaFX.
 

Bitcoin 4-hour chart

The above chart (prices as per Coinbase) shows-
 

Failed bullish breakout – BTC's failure to cut through resistance at $11,690, despite the upside break of the symmetrical triangle on Friday could end up strengthening the bears.

Currently, prices are threatening to drop below the rising trendline support.

50-MA, 100-MA and 200-MA are sloping downwards in favor the bears.

View

A break below the rising trendline would open doors for $10,000 and possibly extend the drop to $9,000.

As discussed in the previous update, dips below the $10,000 mark are to be viewed with caution.

On the higher side, only a move above $11,690 could yield a sustained rally to $13,000.
 

Author Omkar Godbole Jan 29, 2018 at 11:45 UTC

 

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