Category Archives: Bitcoin miners

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Iran Wants to Charge Bitcoin Miners “Real Price” for Power

Iran may soon ask Iran Bitcoin mining operators to pay the full price of electricity, if a report by the Financial Tribune is accurate.

According to the report, Iran’s Minister of Energy Homayoun Haeri has said that crypto miners operating from Iran should be paying “real prices and not be subsidized by the government”.

The state reportedly has an energy subsidy of about USD 1 billion, translating to Iranians paying only a small fraction of the actual cost to produce the electricity. A government prohibition has been extended to the mining and trading of crypto like Bitcoin, yet these activities have continued to grow, especially since power is cheap in Iran.

US imposed sanctions are making Bitcoin even more attractive, as it has proven to be a useful asset to mine and trade, and then send to or receive from overseas. Bitcoin News has written about how Iranian students in the UK are successfully using Bitcoin to overcome sanctions that have limited their banking and remittance options. Last year, the US government attempted to sanction Bitcoin addresses owned by Iranian nationals; their attempts were predictably mocked online.

A CoinDesk report describes how blockchain researcher Nima Dehqan has accepted visitors from Armenia, France, Spain and Ukraine to his crypto farms in Iran and has already entered an agreement with a Spanish investor to build a new mining farm in Iran. There have also been other reports online of how older mining rigs are being fired up in Iran, as cheaper power can offset the lower yields from older mining rigs.

Dehqan had explained that foreign interest in Iran Bitcoin mining is driven foremost by the low price of Iran power, which is not even USD 0.01 per kilowatt-hour.

 

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Tough Times for Mining Equipment Giant Bitmain

Tough Times for Mining Equipment Giant Bitmain

Tough times in the crypto market from the 2018 bear ride may have spilled overboard into 2019 affecting major stakeholders in the industry, however, while recovery on some aspects of the market seems hopeful, mining equipment manufacturer Bitmain experienced an 88% drop in its internal mining operation.

According to a report on Bitmain-owned hardware performance, the hashrate on its SHA265 algorithm dropped from 2.072 quadrillion hashes per second (PH/s) to just 237.29 PH/s in just 30 days. Although this was not the first irregularity in the performance of the miners; in July last year, when it just began disclosing its hashrate performance of the miners, it was around 1,692.05 PH/s and went to as high as 2,339.21 PH/s in October. However, it reportedly dropped to 1,700 PH/s in March. It appears these drop may have had something to do with the fluctuations in Bitcoin price, however, since 2019, Bitcoin’s market has made some improvements.

Diar reported earlier this week on the performance of Bitcoin blocks as well as the improvement in the fees market, with Bitcoin miners revenue reaching USD 300 million and miners earning nearly USD 14 million from fees alone. This apparently doesn’t reflect on Bitmain’s performance.

According to CoinDesk, citing a Bitmain spokesperson who explained the discrepancy:

“It is [in the] natural course of the mining business where the hash rate owned by one body at one instant may be owned by someone else at another instant.”

Series of unfortunate events may have plagued the company as a result of the price downtrend in 2019. Last year, Bitmain was reportedly laying off 50% of its staff, and early this year, had to do a reshuffling of management staff, with a new CEO to run the affairs of the company. The worst hit may have been when its IPO faced challenges from the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX).

And now, the Chinese government has made moves to ban mining operation in China, which could deal a heavy blow to the mining equipment industry and in no small way to Bitmain.

In late March, Bitmain announced the launch of a new set of Antminers which were touted to be energy efficient. This could mean that while there are problems with mining operations within the organization, the company’s production arm performs better. Moreover, earlier that month, Bitmain said it would be installing 200,000 mining units in China, although this news came before the proposed mining ban, it remains to be seen how Bitmain intends to manage the situation once it unfolds.

 

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