Category Archives: Bitfury

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Bitfury Pushes Lightning Network Adoption with New Targeted Products

Bitfury Pushes Lightning Network Adoption with New Targeted Products

IT service management company Bitfury has launched a bundle of network business products with the aim of boosting the capacity of the Lightning Network.

As per a blog post from the Bitfury Group, the new Lightning Network compatible tools that have been made available include: an open-source Bitcoin wallet, a public node to facilitate and aid new payment channels, additional developer tools, and a hardware terminal, payment processor and e-commerce software bundle for merchants.

The Lightning Network acts as a second layer over the Bitcoin blockchain, with developers claiming it can provide the solution to the cryptocurrency’s scalability issues. The project is still in its early stages, however, and has as of yet failed to reach the levels of mass adoption it hopes for in order to succeed as a payment network that can be used practically for everyday expenditures.

These new tools from Bitfury are a way of attempting to increase levels of adoption by making the network more accessible to users, and in particular to attract the merchants its need to make its ambitions viable. The blog post describes them as a way to ”bring every step of the business cycle onto the Lightning Network”.

Several notable features from the Peach Wallet include the ability for users to create invoices and set up reoccurring payment.

The new products were developed by Lightning Peach, the engineering and research team from Bitfury.

#LightningNetwork https://t.co/Q0CaYRhLWD observed:
5,606 nodes (2,781 with active channels)
21,518 channels
560.388 BTC capacity ($2,006,293.84)

new in the past 24h:
25 nodes, 511 channels
median node capacity: 0.014 BTC ($48.66)#Lightning #LN #bitcoin $BTC

— Lightning Network statistics ⚡ (@LNstats) January 23, 2019

 

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Bahrain Kicks Off Country’s First Blockchain Academy

The Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF) has released a statement in which it has announced the tiny Arab nation’s first-ever “Blockchain Academy”.

Under the umbrella of the Specific Council for Vocational Training, BIBF is a non-profit and semi-government setup dedicated to training people in the financial sector. Setting up the academy would allow the institute to train and create experts in the decentralized field. The institute has also partnered with Dubai’s MyLearning Key to offer a world-class Certified Blockchain Professional (C|BP) qualification.

The certification is a three-pronged approach to blockchain technology, designed for rapid and thorough implementation of key steps in making the technology available to the industry: development, execution and strategization. According to Dr Ahmed Al Shaikh, the director at BIBF, the C|BP qualification is designed to “support the growing demand for skilled blockchain professionals”.

Bahrain is fast tracking itself to adopt and adapt the decentralized technology. Only a couple of months ago, the government acknowledged the importance of technology for the economy of the Arab nation. Even the Minister of Electricity and Water Affairs, Abdulhussain Mirza, supported the use of the technology, saying, “Technologies such as blockchain take us a huge step forward in finding a secure way to facilitate transactions.”

Bahrain is not the only country that is offering blockchain technology related qualifications. Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, in partnership with blockchain firm Bitfury, has created a blockchain accelerator program that includes educational modules. It hopes to train”specialists who are able to create innovative projects using digital technologies in a short time”.

University of Tokyo is also launching a blockchain-based course that will focus on decentralized solutions and implementation.

 

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BitFury Completes Coup with Appointment of Former SEC Commissioner in Director Role

Leading full-service blockchain technology company Bitfury has announced the addition of two key members to its Board of Directors. With the addition of co-founder of Korelya Capital, Antoine Dresch, and Annette Nazareth, a former staff of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to the company, Bitfury is gaining essential experience in the right areas.

In the current climate, the latter’s appointment must be seen as a significant bonus on its own. Nazareth is an American attorney who served as a Commissioner of the SEC from 4 August 2005 to 31 January 2008.

Nazareth has also been Senior Counsel to former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt and served briefly as the Interim Director of the Division of Investment Management. She then served as SEC Director of the Division of Market Regulation from March 1999 to August 2005. As Director, she had primary responsibility for the supervision and regulation of the US securities markets.

With this track record, she brings a valuable insight into the workings of current financial markets, also giving Bitfury an essential regulatory barometer with her comprehensive knowledge on the inside workings of the SEC.

Dresch joins Valery Vavilov, George Kikvadze, Bob Dykes, and Bill Tai as a voting board member at the company. With over 20 years in investment banking and positions at Goldman Sachs, UBS, and Morgan Stanley and as founder of DDMA advising media and internet investors in Europe, his profile adds further credentials to Bitfury moving forward.

“Antoine’s years of experience in investment banking and mergers and acquisitions will be valuable assets as Bitfury continues to grow. Annette will serve in a different capacity; as a trusted advisor, she will help guide and support Bitfury by offering her comprehensive knowledge of financial markets and regulation.”

 

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Bitfury Clarke “Most Efficient” 14 nm Bitcoin Mining Chip

Bitfury has released a mining chip called the Bitfury Clarke, which it claims is the most powerful and efficient Bitcoin mining chip ever released. This is quite surprising since the Bitfury Clarke is 14 nm, while some Bitcoin mining chips are being produced with 7 nm transistors, which should be more efficient, all other things being equal.

However, the Bitfury Clarke proves there’s more to Bitcoin mining chip performance and efficiency than transistor size. Bitfury CEO Valery Vavilov, says, “Bitfury is looking at all factors, including silicon packaging, chip efficiency, optimal power distribution, cooling designs and speed of development when designing our mining hardware. We think that this will lead to solutions that deliver the best ROI to our customers — regardless of ASIC size.”

Each Bitfury Clarke chip produces 120 GH/s of hash rate while requiring 0.055 Watts of electricity per GH/s. This is actually a slightly higher energy consumption than 7 nm Bitcoin mining chips being developed by Triple-1, which require 0.05 Watts per GH/s. Bitmain’s industry standard 16 nm chips require about 0.1 Watts per GH/s, meaning 16 nm chips from Bitmain consume 82% more energy per GH/s than the Bitfury Clarke. The fact that the new chip has such efficiency despite using 14 nm chips suggests 7 nm chips have a long way to go until optimization, leaving plenty of room for mining chips to get even more efficient than Bitfury’s latest offering.

Energy consumption, total network hash rate and difficulty, and the price of Bitcoin are the three main factors which impact mining profitability. Bitcoin’s price has declined from a high of USD 20,000 in December 2017 to USD 6,400 as of this writing on 20 September 2018. Its mining difficulty has increased from 1.87 trillion to 7.02 trillion during the same time.

These two factors have caused many mining rigs to fall below a critical threshold where it costs more electricity than Bitcoin mined, forcing rig owners to shut down their rigs. The Bitfury Clarke is exactly what the Bitcoin mining industry needs to be re-invigorated since the reduction in energy consumption is so extreme that it makes Bitcoin mining profitable at these levels.

A calculation from CoinWarz, with an electricity cost of USD 0.10 per KWh, shows that the Bitfury Clarke would be profitable even if Bitcoin’s price dropped to USD 3,700. Considering Bitcoin has a solid support level at USD 5,800 and is unlikely to drop below that, Bitcoin miners can count on making long-term profits with the Bitfury Clarke, versus Bitmain Antminers which are in a very precarious position even at current price levels above USD 6,000. At the support level price of USD 5,800, the Bitfury Clarke would still be profitable even at a mining difficulty of 11 trillion, which would require a 57% increase in Bitcoin’s mining hash rate.

However, Bitcoin’s mining hash rate can increase 57% in less than a year based on current trends, so the Bitfury Clarke, despite its incredible efficiency versus industry standard 16 nm chips, could become obsolete if Bitcoin’s price doesn’t go up. That being said, many crypto experts expect Bitcoin’s price to rise drastically long term.

 

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ASIC: Resistance Is Futile! Crypto’s Battle a Losing War?

At Consensus 2018, many blockchain software developers viewed Bitmain’s recent launch of their newest Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) miners as proof of the impending future for all cryptocurrencies. ASIC hardware will soon hit the markets for previously deemed ASIC-resistant cryptocurrencies such as EthereumMonero, and Zcash.

David Vorick, a founder of ASIC manufacturer Obelisk stated:

“I think any GPU-mined coin is going to become an ASIC-mined coin at some point. Bitmain has been pretty methodical about demonstrating this.”

Bitmain is one of the main manufacturers of ASIC miners. Looking at Blockchain.info, Bitmain’s BTC.com and Antpool mining pools also make up an excess of 40% of the hashing power on the network.

Cryptocurrencies to remain completely ASIC-resistant for how long?

Crypto developers believe the advancement in technology surrounding mining will continue to increase at a similar rate as to which the resistant code is developed to combat them.

Most ASIC-resistant algorithms were produced by software engineers with a pre-conceived idea of what custom hardware is capable of, mainly due to their limited understanding of the functionalities of the hardware.

We’ve been hopeful on how long the ASIC resistance will last. Samsung, IBM, and Intel are among the giants who are looking to develop dedicated mining hardware, while established companies such as Bitmain and Bitfury already dominate the market. General purpose technology like CPUs, GPUs, and even DRAM all make sacrifices in efficiency for particular tasks in order to facilitate a wider deployment. To make a comparison, most mobile phones are capable of taking pictures but won’t compare to a standalone camera’s quality as it sacrifices that for portability and other functionalities. For that reason, general purpose hardware will always be limited and will often be superseded by dedicated machinery.

With ASICs being developed so rapidly, they can often slip under the radar in secret mining operations. Several months ago, an ASIC Monero mining operation was exposed