This week’s headlines shed light on the ever-expanding growth and adoption of Bitcoin, as evidenced by its all-time high hash rate and the creation of unique tokens on its network. Nevertheless, the cryptocurrency industry continues to face obstacles and regulatory scrutiny, as seen by the Biden administration’s proposition of a Digital Asset Mining Energy tax and the cease and desist orders issued to crypto exchanges. The exploration of eco-friendly crypto mining in Bhutan has also been in the news this week. Last but not least, we discuss Bitmain’s upcoming release and follow up on the recent controversy surrounding Horde Finance. Let’s dive into the summaries.
The Bitcoin hash rate reaches an all-time high:
The Bitcoin hash rate, a measure of the computing power dedicated to securing the blockchain, has reached an all-time high of 439 exahashes per second (EH/s), demonstrating the network’s strength and stability. In addition, the number of transactions processed on the Bitcoin blockchain in one day exceeded 682,000, with over 300,000 Ordinals inscribed, representing unique, nonfungible tokens built on the Bitcoin network. The surge in the hash rate reflects growing investments in mining infrastructure and increased adoption of Bitcoin for various use cases. However, the hash rate surge may be temporary, and the surge in Ordinal inscriptions may be partly responsible for the increase.
Regulatory actions and Biden administration’s proposal:
The Biden administration has renewed its push for a 30% Digital Asset Mining Energy (DAME) tax on cryptocurrency miners to minimize the industry’s alleged impact on climate change. The proposed tax was first announced in March as part of President Joe Biden’s FY2024 budget and seeks to impose a phased-in 30% excise tax on electricity used by crypto-miners. The White House’s Council of Economic Advisers has brought the proposal back to light in attempts to justify the need for the new tax. The CEA wrote that the tax encourages firms to start taking better account of the harms they impose on society.
Dubai Issues Cease and Desist Order to Crypto Exchange:
Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) has issued a cease and desist order to the co-founders and CEO of crypto exchange OPNX for allegedly promoting the platform without securing a local license in the United Arab Emirates. OPNX, which went live on April 4, is the latest venture of Kyle Davies and Su Zhu, co-founders of bankrupt hedge fund Three Arrows Capital. The exchange’s focus is on trading bankrupt asset claims and it claims to have raised $25m in investment capital. The founders claim they have taken measures to prevent UAE residents from accessing the site, but VARA claims otherwise.
Bhutan and Bitdeer plan a green crypto mining operation:
Bhutan’s investment arm, Druk Holding & Investments, and Singapore-based Bitdeer Technologies Group plan to seek institutional investors for a fund worth up to $500m to develop green crypto mining using hydroelectric power in Bhutan. The goal is to set up a carbon-free digital mining operation that taps Bhutan’s abundant hydroelectric power. For now, the nation will focus on Bitcoin, as mining is the least risky way for Bhutan to tap crypto opportunities, said Ujjwal Deep Dahal, the CEO of Druk Holding & Investments. Bitdeer expects to set up a 100MW operation in Bhutan, with construction slated to start in the second quarter of this year.
The concerns raised by the Horde Finance case:
Following the publication of our article exposing Horde Finance, they have now blocked our access to their Discord channel. This is a concerning development and raises questions about the project’s transparency and accountability. It also highlights the importance of due diligence and caution when investing in DeFi projects. The case of Horde Finance serves as a reminder that promises of revolutionary technology and high returns should be approached with caution, especially when they seem too good to be true. It is essential to always consider the risks and potential downsides of any investment opportunity.
Bitmain Rumored to Release New Anminer with Better Efficiency:
There is anticipation in the cryptocurrency mining community as Bitmain, one of the leading manufacturers of mining hardware, is expected to release a new Antminer soon. While the exact model name is not confirmed, there is speculation that it could be either the Antminer S21 or the S19K Pro 136T. The last miner released by Bitmain was the Antminer S19 Pro+ Hyd in January 2022, which had an efficiency of 27.5W/T. Given the current trend towards more energy-efficient mining equipment, many are hoping that the new Antminer will have even better efficiency, which could help reduce the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining.