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Ebang, the third largest mining equipment producer, plans to make at least 400,000 of its Ebit mining rigs in 2019. The company commands a 9.2% share of the global mining hardware market, lying behind only Bitmain and Canaan.

Ebang Expects to Sell 400K Units in 2019

The latest company reports show sales of almost 159k units in 2017, followed by almost 309k units in the first half of 2018. Total figures for 2018 are not yet available, but Ebang reported “significant decreases” in Q3, compared to the previous quarter. This is in common with other mining rig manufacturers, as the crypto winter started to take hold.

We experienced significant decreases in revenue and gross profit for the three months ended September 30, 2018 compared to the preceding three months ended June 30, 2018.

But these latest plans, according to a local news outlet, suggest the downturn hasn’t dented the company’s outlook too much. 400k units is two and a half times the total sales in 2017, and likely comparable to the eventual 2018 total.

Hong Kong IPO

Like the rest of the mining hardware manufacturing major players, Ebang is looking to go public. It has an IPO pending with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, having updated its prospectus last December.

Hong Kong financial regulations require a ‘quiet period’ around an IPO when insiders are not allowed to release company information. Therefore Ebang could not confirm or deny the reported unit production figure for 2019.

Dominant player, Bitmain, also has an IPO application pending with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, which it filed in September 2018. Rumors arose that this was in jeopardy due to massive Q3 2018 losses. It remains to be seen how these plans develop as Bitmain this week unveiled a new 7nm ASIC chip.

Second largest manufacturer, Canaan, meanwhile was the first to attempt an IPO listing in Hong Kong, although it eventually allowed this to lapse. The latest suggestion is that Canaan is now considering an IPO in New York.

According to reports, the three companies command a combined 82.5% of the market share in terms of sales revenue.

Will Ebang sell 400k units in 2019? Share your predictions below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The post Top-3 Mining Rig Maker Ebang Eyes Market Turnaround in 2019 appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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A new and decidedly niche consumer product for Bitcoin’s Lightning Network has launched, allowing anyone to use the payment protocol… to feed chickens.

A Different Breed Of Blockchain Supply Chain

Currently circulating on social media, Pollofeed.com facilitates automated feeding of the birds, powered by Bitcoin Lightning Network payments.

“Pollo Feed is a automated chicken feeder powered by bitcoin lighting payments,” the service’s description reads.

Users use the website to generate a payment invoice and send funds. After, Pollo Feed automatically dispenses a small amount of feed to a chicken in an enclosure in a hitherto unknown location.

Happiness is feeding chickens in a different timezone using the Bitcoin Lightning network (pollofeed dot com) pic.twitter.com/YEe74Og7uC

— Alistair Milne (@alistairmilne) February 21, 2019

The chicken is visible via a stream from within the enclosure, and developers promise that each successful payment will result in video evidence of receipt.

There is as yet no data concerning how many times the chickens have profited from Bitcoiners’ generosity, or exactly how automated the setup is.

Doing More With Lightning

Despite its relatively small appeal as a tool, the reaction to Pollo Feed further demonstrates the rapidly increasing mainstream popularity of Lightning, which just months ago remained all but unknown beyond technical circles and enthusiasts.

As Bitcoinist reported, multiple new services designed to make using the network easy and attractive for the lay consumer have launched this year alone.

In February, these included Lightning Pizza, delivering Domino’s to any US resident and soon elsewhere, and Tippin.me expanding Bitcoin micropayments to Twitter users.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO, further stated that it was a case of “not ‘if’ but ‘when’” regarding Bitcoin Lightning implementation in his own payment network Square.

Lightning continues growing hit new records on a daily basis, with currently capacity topping 715 BTC ($2.8 million) according to monitoring resource 1ML.com.

What do you think about Pollo Feed? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, pollofeed.com

The post Cluck the Banks: Bitcoin Lightning Network Powers Remote Chicken Feeder appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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US Presidential Candidate and former ICO-enthusiast, John McAfee, has declared a ‘hard date’ for a bitcoin price of $1 million. This followed a prediction of “$1 million… someday” by Jesse Lund, vice-president of blockchain and digital currencies at IBM.

Two Weeks Next Someday

Lund made his prediction in an interview, when quizzed about his future outlook for Bitcoin, saying:

I see Bitcoin at a million dollars someday. I have actually blogged about this a little bit.

His prediction may however, partly be based on a preference for round numbers. He explained that he liked the figure because “then a Satoshi will be equal to one U.S. penny.” He also noted that $20 trillion liquidity of the network this meant, would massively change the global financial services landscape.

But ‘someday’ is just a little bit vague, and difficult to get excited about… which is where Mr McAfee steps in.

Save The Date

While applauding Lund’s ‘awakening’ to the fact that ‘Bitcoin will be $1,000,000’, McAfee wasn’t content with ‘someday.’ So he upped the ante and stated a ‘hard date’ for the forecast, of December 31st 2020.

People are waking up to the fact that Bitcoin will be $1,000 000. But when? "Someday". "Maybe 5 years". "WIthin a decade". I'm the only one giving you a hard date: Dec 31st, 2020.https://t.co/rst3BcypFz"will-be-1-million-someday-says-jesse-lund-vp-of-blokchain-at-ibm.html

— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) February 22, 2019

This updates (and in effect doubles down on) his previous bet, made in July 2017, that Bitcoin price 00 would move above $500,000 in three years.

McAfee famously claimed that if he lost that bet he would eat his own penis on national television. When questioned in the Twitter comments, McAfee confirmed that this was the same bet, and that:

I never lose a bet.

Wild Wild Life

Whatever one’s opinion of McAfee, his life is nothing if not fascinating. Last year he declared his intention to run for the office of US President, with the Libertarian party, for the second time. Then earlier this year, he revealed that he is being pursued by the IRS, for ‘unspecified crimes,’ and living in exile.

Price prediction is a notoriously precarious occupation, and putting one’s manhood on the line would be a step-too-far for almost anyone except McAfee.

So, will we see him devouring his genitals on national television? I personally hope not, for many reasons, chief amongst them being personal financial gain. After all, the prospect of a $1 million dollar bitcoin in less than two years is certainly something to get excited about. More so than a man chewing his own tickle-tackle, I’d wager.

Do you think McAfee will be proven correct? Share your thoughts below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitcoinist archives

The post John McAfee Gives ‘Hard Date’ For $1 Million Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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Russia’s State Duma is reportedly planning to review and adopt a cryptocurrency law to facilitate the creation of an oil-backed cryptocurrency.

Russia to Adopt Cryptocurrency Law

Russia’s lower house of the Federal Assembly, otherwise known as the State Duma, is reportedly planning to review and adopt a cryptocurrency law in March.

Oleg Nikolaev, a member of the Economic Policy Committee at the State Duma, says that the process is in its final stage of development and that, once approved, it will provide grounds for further development of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

According to Russia’s former Energy Minister, Igor Yusufov, one of the first projects to place an emphasis on is the one proposed by the head of Energia Corporation for creating an oil-backed cryptocurrency.

What is more, according to the ex-minister, the roadmap for this project is nearing its final stage.

Yusufov holds that a cryptocurrency of the kind would allow Russia and its allies to avoid costs associated with the unpredictability in the exchange rate of the US dollar, trade restrictions, currency exchange commissions, and more.

The former minister also things that there are two options in regard to the cryptocurrency’s physical peg – it could either be tied to a ton of conditional fuel or to the value of conditional CO2 emissions. He also thinks that a cryptocurrency of the kind would facilitate traceability, verifying the origin of each barrel of oil without any additional costs.

Following In The Footsteps of Venezuela?

Russia’s plan sounds awfully lot like that of Venezuela’s Petro. The Petro is a cryptocurrency, supposedly tied to Venezuela’s mineral resources, including oil. It launched in October 2018 and it too was means of bypassing international trade sanctions.

Venezuela’s President – Nicolas Maduro, even went so far as to artificially raise its exchange rate in the country’s fiat currency – the sovereign bolivar (VES), multiple times.

Ironically, however, even Russia has refused to accept Petro payments, saying that they’re “not happening.”

It’s worth noting, though, that Russia’s Head of the Federal Securities Commission – Igor Kostikov, has outlined that not only an oil cryptocurrency can be created, but generally any resource which is exchangeable.

What do you think of Russia’s plan to create an oil-backed cryptocurrency? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The post Russia: Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency in ‘Final Stage of Development’ appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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The Bitcoin price caused CME Group to set new daily trading records for its Bitcoin Futures this week, the company confirmed citing its public statistics.

CME Futures: Rags To Riches In 2 Weeks

After Bitcoin price (BTC) 00 rose to almost $4000 within 24 hours, CME saw a daily all-time high of over 18,000 contracts trading on February 19.

The data confirmed the correlation between futures activity and price, with BTC/USD since halting its advance to hover around $3970.

The activity bucks a trend, which had dogged futures providers as recently as two weeks ago. As Bitcoinist reported, both CME and CBOE saw record low volumes since their offerings first launched in December 2017.

This week saw similar upticks across Bitcoin-related financial products, such as Swiss Exchange SIX’s Crypto Basket Index.

CEO Duffy: Bitcoin ‘Needs Gov’t Involvement’

CME’s success is timely for Bitcoin commentators. Earlier this month, the company’s CEO Terry Duffy told Bloomberg that the cryptocurrency would depend on regulatory compliance.

“I’m not quite sure. I was a big believer that we needed to go forward and list Bitcoin in some way, shape or form but also understanding that this is a brand-new asset class,” he told the network when asked about what the future had in store and whether the price had “hit a bottom.”

… The bottom line is that until governments really start to accept cryptocurrencies… it’s going to be very difficult for the major commercials to come in here and get gung ho on Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency.

Institutional entry into Bitcoin is also facing slow progress elsewhere. This week, a fresh deliberation period began for the VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), which US regulators had subjected to multiple delays.

“I really think the key to the success of any currency – whether it’s fiat or crypto – is going to be associated with the government,” Duffy concluded.

“I think the government needs to be more involved.”

What do you think about CME’s Bitcoin futures performance? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, CMEGroup

The post CME Bitcoin Futures Volume Soars Amid Buoyant Price appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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Banks once refused to work with blockchain companies in Brazil. Now, BTG Pactual, Latin America’s largest standalone investment bank, is launching a security token of its own.

A Wave of Change in Brazil

There seems to be a wave of change happening in Brazil. Bitcoinist reported just a few days ago that Santander Bank was ordered by a Court to keep open Bitcoin Max’ checking account. Banks that were once hesitant to work with cryptocurrency exchanges are being forced to eat humble pie.

That marked a small victory for the cryptocurrency space in this part of the world. And now, it seems that financial institutions here are realizing the worth of digital assets within their own portfolios.

Banco BTG Pactual SA Is Leading the Way

Brazil’s Banco BTG Pactual, the largest standalone investment bank in the region, has announced that it will be entering the cryptocurrency space with its own security token, the ReitBZ.

With a plan to raise up to $15 million in its token sale, STO, initial offering, or whatever terminology you prefer, the bank will launch a security token backed by distressed real estate assets in Brazil.

The ReitBZ token will use blockchain technology. And investors will be able to buy it using the Winklevoss twins’ Gemini Dollar or ETH. The token is indisputably a security token since investors will receive dividends periodically from the recovery of the distressed assets.

Hold Up, What Are Distressed Assets?

A distressed asset is one that is put on sale at a reduced price because its owner has been forced to sell it. This may be due to excessive debt, bankruptcy, or regulatory constraints. And it’s especially common when it comes to real estate, a market in which during times of financial crises, people often fail to make their mortgage payments.

Distressed assets are an excellent opportunity to buy into a devalued asset and make gains as the market recovers. They’re not so awesome for the person forced to sell, of course, but this is capitalism, after all.

The BTG distressed real estate assets will be managed by a BTG subsidiary called Enforce. The ReitBZ token will be available worldwide. With the notable exception of the U.S. (surprise, surprise), and Brazil.

Wait, so investors around the world will be able to profit from the rising housing crisis in Brazil–but not the Brazilian people themselves? Right. How’s that for messed up?

BTG, however, assures that once the regulatory landscape clears up in Brazil, the ReitBZ will be open to its country’s citizens and maybe even the United States as well.

The Opportunity for High Yearly Returns

According to the bank, investors can expect yearly returns from these assets between 15-20 percent. Moreover, BTG will be providing market-making services for its token to ensure that investors have sufficient liquidity to sell when they want to.

CTO Gustavo Roxo told Bloomberg:

BTG is deploying its own capital to provide liquidity because it really believes in the crypto business… We came up with this structure because we think investors in the digital world have a higher risk-taking appetite.

By using a crypto asset, BTG can maximize returns from its distressed assets and allow investors to enter the market in a cheaper way. The initial sale period of ReitBZ will last for approximately 90 days and proceeds will be reinvested into the portfolio.

Banks and Cryptocurrencies Starting to Gain Momentum

The announcement comes off the back of the news last week that JPMorgan became the first U.S. bank to launch its own ‘cryptocurrency.’

With CEO Jamie Dimon well-known for ‘Bitcoin bashing’, JPMorgan introducing its own digital coin to accelerate payments was a shock to many in the industry.

However, JPMorgan and BTG are not the only horses in this race. It seems that the banks haven’t been falling asleep at the wheel when it comes to cryptocurrency after all. Japanese Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group started working on plans for their own token back in 2016. And now Brazil has stepped up to the plate.

BTG’s partner and initiative head of the ReitBZ Andre Portilho said:

We knew we needed to dominate this technology, so we started experimenting with it a few years back… We thought Bitcoin and other currencies were turning too volatile, but we saw an opportunity with this token to try something new–but also with our skin in the game.

The question now isn’t whether other banks will launch their own digital currencies, but rather which ones?

Will more banks follow with their own virtual currency? Share your thoughts below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The post Latin America’s Biggest Investment Bank Launches Security Token appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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Ethereum price (ETH) appears to be taking a breather before attempting to tackle $150 and step up a level as the Constantinople hardfork upgrade looms. 

Ethereum Price: Market Overview

Ethereum price is going through a phase of consolidation after posting fantastic gains over the past week.

1-Hour Chart

Currently, ETH 00 trades ever so slightly above the 20MA and the Bollinger Band indicator has begun to narrow as ETH attempts to enter the upper arm. The 1-hour chart shows the altcoin appears ready to attack the $147 and $149 resistance where ETH recently rejected a number of times.

ETH still rests on the 78.6% fib retracement level from the last move from $119 to $149 and the altcoin remains in good order above $138 and $140.

4-HR Chart

Over the past 4 hrs the Stoch managed a bull cross and is on the verge of exiting oversold territory and a spike in bull volume would help ETH overcome $150. A drop below $140 could open the door to steep losses over the coming session but this seems unlikely at the moment.

Barring some unexpected bug discovery, the Constantinople hardfork is still scheduled to occur between the 25th and 28th of February so there is the possibility of increased activity in the days before the event occurs.

As one would expect, ETH price action remains tethered to bitcoin price so any move from the top digital asset could impact the direction ETH takes.

ETH-USD Shorts Chart

ETH-USD shorts continue to drop to new lows and its clear traders are beginning to fell increasingly bullish about ETH.

Trade Bitcoin, Litecoin and other cryptocurrencies on online Bitcoin forex broker platform evolve.markets.  

[Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are not intended as investment advice. Market data is provided by Bitfinex and Coinbase. The charts for analysis are provided by TradingView.]

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Trading View, Market data sourced from Bitfinex and Coinbase

The post Ethereum Price Analysis: Ether Takes a Breather Before Constantinople appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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Another fresh survey has concluded that millennials and younger generations are continually gaining interest in Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies while there is a growing distrust towards the post-2008 global financial structure. 

According to a new eToro survey of 1000 online traders, 43 percent of millennial online traders place more trust in cryptocurrency exchanges than the United States stock market. On the flip side, the vast majority of Gen X respondents feel the opposite.

Millennials that trade crypto unsurprisingly have more trust in the nascent asset class than the stock market, but one-third of millennials that don’t trade cryptocurrencies responded that they also trust crypto over the stock market.

Guy Hirsch, Managing Director of eToro U.S., sees this as a clear “generation shift.” He stated via press release:

We’re seeing the beginning of a generational shift in trust from traditional stock exchanges to crypto exchanges. At the heart of this change are the asset classes themselves. Younger investors’ experience with the stock market has seen a great deal of loss of trust, with the fall of Lehman Brothers because of irresponsible practices followed by the worst recession since the Great Depression. Trust further eroded when Americans saw how hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayers money are funneled to the largest financial institutions while their savings evaporated and how banks get free money through quantitative easing while their cost of living continued to rise.

When it’s all said and done, millennials are likely more tuned in to Bitcoin’s principles of decentralization, immutability, and trustless nature — none of which helps bad actors in the traditional financial space conduct corrupt financial practices off-the-books. Explains Hirsch:

Immutability is native to blockchains and that makes real-time audit to be sensible and cost-effective and that is why Millennials and Gen X perceive crypto exchanges as less likely to be subject to manipulation and less likely to be a place where bad actors get rewarded with taxpayer money. As more investors become educated on the benefits of blockchain we’ll continue to see this trend play out.

What do you think about millennials’ interest in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies over the traditional stock market? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

The post Another New Survey Suggests Millennials Trust Bitcoin Over the Stock Market appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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On a quest to raise enough money to buy himself a Nintendo Switch, 9-year old Dennis takes advantage of the Lightning Network to sell his art masterpieces. 

9-Year Old Sells Sketches for Satoshis

A simple, WordPress-powered website called Lightning Pictures is selling unique sketches to anyone around the world.

While the above might not sound impressive, the fact that the artist behind the whole thing is a 9-year old boy called Dennis, certainly is.

And what Dennis loves to do, according to his own website is “drawing, computer games, and doing bitcoin stuff with dad.”

Apparently, the little fellow really wants to buy a Nintendo Switch. The console, however, retails for about $300 and Dennis’ dad has told him that he has to earn the money himself.

And since Dennis loves painting, what better way to earn some money than to sell some unique, custom-made sketches.

Elaborately, the kid is selling two types of sketches. The first one is a quick sketch and it only costs a dollar.

The second one is Dennis’ premium seller – the Awesome sketch.

“You want a seriously awesome picture?” Denis asks. If you do, you’d have to pay $10 for it. Pictures are sent on email or through the regular post but the recipient pays for shipping.

Payments are made using OpenNode and all of it is made possible by Bitcoin’s second-layer – the Lightning Network.

Another Seriously Cool Example of LN Use Case

Dennis’ quest to raise money for his Nintendo Switch is just another very interesting example of LN’s use case. But it’s definitely not the only one.

In late 2018, Bitcoinist reported that an artist has managed to auction off a tiny piece of art to the lowest bidder in order to display the micropayment capabilities of the Lightning Network.

Amazingly, the piece sold out for just 1 milli-satoshi or $0.000000037.

As people begin to discover newer ways to make use of Bitcoin’s second layer designed for cheaper and faster online payments, Lightning Network has already reached a capacity upwards of 710 BTC.

The number of nodes has been climbing rapidly currently at 6,481, while the number of active channels is now over 29,000 with over $2.8 million in capacity at current market prices.

What do you think of Lightning Pictures? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The post This 9-Year Old Sells His Drawings Via Bitcoin’s Lightning Network appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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Bitcoin transaction rate is currently at its highest level since December 2017 despite the 14-month long bear market. With transaction per second on the rise, the top-ranked cryptocurrency is also experiencing a resurgence in both actual use, especially in emerging markets, and interest as seen in the latest Google search trends.

Rising Bitcoin Transaction Rate

Data from Blockchain shows that Bitcoin’s transaction rate is currently at 3.8 transactions per second (TPS). The figure represents the highest BTC transaction rate since its all-time high of 4.7 in mid-December 2017.

After the initial price crash of February 2018 that took BTC price to $6,000 the transaction rate also fell. However, since then, BTC’s TPS count has been rising steadily.

Despite the steady increase, transaction fees have remained relatively stable on the lower end of the spectrum. In 2017, as the daily transaction volume rose, so did the average fees paid to miners also increase.

By the time of the eye-catching bull rally in late 2017, fees had topped $50 on the average, a massive increase from sub-$1 levels before the surge. The fact that BTC transaction volume without any corresponding hike in fees shows that capacity-boosting upgrades like SegWit are having an effect.

Last month, Bitcoinist also reported that Bitcoin daily on-chain transaction volume has also reached the highest level since the 2017 price peak.

Bitcoin Popularity Staging a Comeback

Bitcoin’s TPS isn’t the only thing on the rise related to the top-ranked cryptocurrency at the moment. Different metrics show a resurgence in both interest in and actual usage of Bitcoin.

Data from Coin Dance shows a significant surge in BTC P2P trading via the LocalBitcoins platform. Countries like Venezuela and Indonesia are currently registering record Bitcoin trading volumes on a weekly basis.

Mati Greenspan, Senior Market Analyst at eToro opines that BTC is finding increased utility in emerging markets with less stable economies. Even with the year-long bear market, BTC [cion_price] constitutes a viable-enough proposition for people in such countries.

Bitcoin usage is especially high in emerging markets where the local economy is less stable.

Here we can see the P2P trading volumes across the world on the popular site @LocalBitcoins.

There was a noticeable dip during the market but the numbers have been rising lately. pic.twitter.com/yBZwIgOB1p

— Mati Greenspan (@MatiGreenspan) February 21, 2019

Since the second week of February 2019, BTC price has experienced two significant jumps that have seen it test $4,000. In that time, there has also been a marked increase in global Bitcoin searches as shown by data from Google Trends.

Do you expect a significant price rally for Bitcoin in 2019? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Blockchain.com, Twitter (@MatiGreenspan), Shutterstock

The post Bitcoin Transactions Per Second Approaching All-Time High appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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