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BitMEX Research Shows Scalability Kept BTC Decentralized

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The new BitMEX research shows that it is the scalability which actually helped Bitcoin (BTC) stay decentralized. In the latest crypto news, we can see that the Bitcoin node synchronization would be almost impossible if there were not the improvements made to the software, according to the research arm of the crypto exchange BitMEX.

The team measured the Initial Block Download (IBD) times of the Bitcoin Core software releases in the period from 2012 to 2019 and saw what was needed to download the blockchain as well as verify it, then sharing their conclusions in an official blog post.

Published on November 29, the blog post by BitMEX Research shows that the older version of the Bitcoin Core software may be impossible to synchronize now – and that the scalability improvements made to the software are essential to its operation:

“Older versions of Bitcoin struggled to get past the pickup in transaction volume which occurred in the 2015 to 2016 period. Therefore we conclude that without the software enhancements, an initial synchronization today could be almost impossible.”

While this is the main conclusion the BitMEX Research shows in the Bitcoin latest news, the team also pulled versions of Bitcoin Core prior to 0.8.6 and found that these versions could not synchronize past the 2015 and 2016 period. They tried to run old software on the considerably powerful hardware but to no avail at all.

“We then even tried running Bitcoin Core 0.7.0 on our brand new local machine, with 64 GB of RAM and 8 Intel i9 processors, however, the node was still unable to get past 2016. […] The large reductions in IBD times and the inability of old nodes to fully synchronize indicate that if it were not for these scalability enhancements, by now Bitcoin would be essentially dead, even if users had the highest specification hardware available,” they noted.

The most significant improvement as the BitMEX Research shows in terms of speed took place after the Bitcoin Core version 0.12.0 when developers actually adopted a signature verification library which was built for the sole purpose of Bitcoin.

Much of the focus during the development of Bitcoin was devoted to preserving decentralization, which means keeping the hardware specifications as modest as possible.

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Bitcoin News

Chinese BTC Miners Extend Their Share Of Global Hashrate To Two-Thirds

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The Chinese BTC miners are now controlling two-thirds of the global hash rate or Bitcoin processing power. According to the Reuters reports, a further explanation of the research by CoinShares was provided and we are reading further in today’s Bitcoin latest news.The report shows that the Chinese BTC miners control 66 percent of Bitcoin’s hash rate and this means they control the bitcoin-related computing power that allows the production of new coins. The share of the hash rate increased from 60percent in June which is the highest increase since CoinShare started tracking the measure back in 2017. Chris Bendiksen, the head of research at Coinshare, says that the gain could be correlated by the Chinese miners’ use of the new and sophisticated mining equipment.The major companies based in China such as Bitmain and MicroBT, are among the top producers of mining equipment such as ASICs. Canaan, for example, is the second-largest producer of Bitcoin mining equipment and it even conducted a $90 million initial public offering suggesting that the investors increased their interest in mining. Bendiksen explained:
‘’This is beneficial to the Chinese mining industry. If you are the first to increase your proportion of the hashrate, and you can do that before your competitors, that’s generally good.’’
The Chinese manufacturers of Bitcoin mining gear are looking to expand their presence even further. Bitmain even announced that they made a new partnership with the crypto mining consultants Bit5ive and Fastblock in order to expand in South America. What is even more interesting, the global hash rate of 80 percent of the Chinese hash rate is based in Sichuan which is the Southwestern region. The other major mining centers are provinces such as Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, and Yunnan.Also, back in September, the authorities in the autonomous region of Inner Mongolia, required from the local crypto mining companies to halt all operations. The crypto commentators were extremely concerned about the start of the general trend in China cracks down on mining-related activities. However, this was not the case since China turned into a major supporter of Blockchain technology as president Xi Jinping urged the country to start embracing the technology instantly.
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Bitcoin News

Worst Year For Bitcoin Mining As Difficulty Increases To All-Time Highs

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2019 was probably the worst year for bitcoin mining as both the hash rate and difficulty were increased to all-time highs and it seems that the mining pools absorbed a lot of losses. In our BTC news today we read further about the mining analysis.Most of the bigger miners this year produced coins at a loss because of the unfavorable market prices but this didn’t lead to capitulation as previously expected. Instead, the miners redoubled their efforts to get about 12.5 BTC rewards before the halving next year. Looking at the worst year so far, there were two periods where the miners continued competing for rewards despite the drops in prices.The last months of the year were one of the very few periods where the mining happened below the breakeven point. However, the miners also achieved big returns and some may decide to hold onto their coins. The newly produced Bitcoin also has a value of their own because of their lack of history but the having event could lead the miners limiting their activity and they will become unable to accumulate BTC. Back in 2019, the miners also had access to futures markets and this could have some offset of the losses from selling on the spot or OTC markets. With options on futures now available, some bitcoin miners will try to hedge the risks.The bitcoin network hash rate keeps on fluctuation and it recently dropped to 88 quintillion hashes per second from the previous 101 quintillion hashes just a day ago. The biggest contributors are still the Chinese mining pools with Poolin taking the number one in block discovery. Right now, it is possible that some of the farms that invested in S9 ASIC will still be viable and will have a better ratio of expenses to bitcoin market prices.There’s no consensus on breakeven prices but the current estimate on losses assumes a breakeven price of $7,000 and $8,000. The cheaper the electricity gets; the miners will be able to afford to produce BTC at a lower price. The rough estimates place the breakeven for the Chinese hydroelectric mining farms at $3,500.
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Bitcoin News

Mysterious BTC Fund Donates $75 Million To Preserve Privacy

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Meet the Unknown Fund - a mysterious BTC fund which has donated more than $75 million to groups and companies working on privacy preserving technologies. The crypto news show that this anonymous fund is promoting itself and first stepped out of the surface in mid-November.As we can see, the origins of the funds are largely unknown and the beneficiaries of the donations are also quiet now. The secrecy, on the other hand, has created a lot of skepticism amongst observers.We saw that the decentralized hackivist group Anonymous recently detailed the Unknown Fund on November 13 in a press release, where it claimed that the $75 million in Bitcoin (BTC) would go towards groups or companies working on privacy-enhancing technologies.Other than this involvement and the motive and value of the fund, there is little that is known about the origins of the Unknown Fund. The release only calls them “ordinary, anonymous people from different countries” as the update on 4chan said.Thanks to the shadowy nature of just about every aspect of the mysterious BTC fund, some people have questioned its authenticity. A Twitter post surfaced and showed the following.https://twitter.com/hasufl/status/1202927790082932736Ever since mid-November, the Unknown Fund's Twitter account started posting press releases from various privacy-friendly projects. This makes no comment as to whether the groups who received the publicity are beneficiaries of the Unknown Fund.The mysterious BTC fund even has a Twitter profile where it recently posted the following.https://twitter.com/fund_unknown/status/1204697888166760448Of course, they did not elaborate on which projects they backed, how much Bitcoin (BTC) each has received or other which would go viral in the Bitcoin news. No one knows if their "funding" is actually a donation or an investment - both words are used in the original press release.The group behind this mysterious BTC fund has also not posted anything regarding the transactions, something that one other anonymous BTC fund named Pineapple Fund recently made sure to do.https://twitter.com/MikeE_NZ/status/1204777752131452930That said, this mysterious BTC fund differs from the Pineapple Fund mainly in the way that the latter saw $55 million donated to medical research, environmental conservation and human rights concerns - all donated in BTC.The Unknown Fund has not disclosed anything about their donation motives. 
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Altcoin News

BitMEX Faces $300 Million Lawsuit Over Lost Equity

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The crypto news today show that a former JPMorgan derivatives trader sues one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges and BitMEX faces $300 million in potential losses after it allegedly failed to deliver the trader's equity.An official filing with the Superior Court of the State of California in San Francisco dated December 4 shows that Frank Amato and RGB Coin are alongside pursuing action against the exchange. As BitMEX faces a new lawsuit, the CEO Arthur Hayes and owner HDR Global trading are looking to deal with this problem.On the other hand, Amato's claims show that he was among the first seed investors in BitMEX earlier in 2015 - and has contributed more than $30,000 on the understanding that he would later receive equity in the company. Amato alleges that this has never happened.Following his initial investment, the exchange apparently received another $30,000 from the startup accelerator SOSV which would trigger Amato and his contracted equity conversion. Still, as BitMEX faces a lawsuit the filing states that Hayes “sought to conceal information” from Amato specifically to “prevent recognition of his equity.”Unofficial reports also show that the share of the company that Amato has is now worth $50 million. So in total, the investor is seeking around $300 million as a settlement. The filing reads:
“Through this action, Plaintiffs seek damages representing the value of their equity interest in BitMEX, which is conservatively estimated to exceed $50,000,000, together with punitive damages of $250,000,000. Plaintiffs also seek injunctive relief and other remedies, together with their attorneys’ fees and costs.”
This move is definitely a headache and as BitMEX faces a new lawsuit, it is something that is piling up in the negative news as of recently. According to reports from earlier, the exchange has seen its popularity enduring despite a major data leak in November. Bitcoin news outlets showed that executives at the exchange appear a little concerned by the blunder which saw a lot of email addresses sent out to other users.However, what still remains good is business - and daily trade volumes for the Bitcoin (BTC) derivatives are unchanged and currently at $1.6 billion. From this point, BitMEX is solid and remains one of the top exchanges in the world.
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