Iran has granted a license to the most significant mining operator in the country as it continues to look for ways to ease U.S sanctions on its economy via cryptocurrencies.
$7.3 Million Mining Farm Approved
The Middle East country has approved the mining license of iMiner, a Turkish-based company. iMiner is set to operate up to 6,000 rigs and will have a computing power of around 96,000 terahash per second (TH/s) in total.
The media reports coming out from Iran reveal that this is the biggest mining farm in the country, with iMiner spending around $7.3 million to set up the facility. The approval of this mining farm is a way for Iran to leverage Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to ease the impact of U.S economic sanctions.
The license, which was granted by the Iranian Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade, also allows the Turkish-based miner to offer trading and custody services in the Middle Eastern nation. As a result, this would enable the company to venture into various aspects of the digital economy in a regulated environment.
iMiner, which has been around for roughly seven years now, has vast experience in Bitcoin mining and investing in the cryptocurrency mining sector. iMiner, which operates the Aladdin range of cryptocurrency mining machines, currently has operations in five countries. The countries iMiner legally operates in include Turkey, Russia, the U.S, Canada, and Iran, employing over 300 staff across those countries.
Iran Opening up to Cryptocurrencies
Iran is becoming a favored destination for cryptocurrency mining companies due to the current economic climate in the country. At the moment, miners from Ukraine, China, and other parts of the world are flocking to Iran, thanks to the Islamic state’s cheap electricity.
The Iranian government, on its part, is attracted to Bitcoin for economic and political reasons. Their openness towards Bitcoin is primarily driven by the desire to gain financial freedom and escape the reach of the United States government.
Last year, cryptocurrency mining became an officially recognized industrial activity. However, before that, the Iranian government had been suspicious of cryptocurrencies, as they believed they have the ability to bypass the central authority in financial transactions. Since the recognition of the mining industry in Iran, the government has issued more than a thousand cryptocurrency mining licenses in the country.
The Middle Eastern country, which is the third-largest oil producer in the world, is hoping to utilize the power of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to circumvent U.S. economic sanctions. These sanctions have already affected the economy’s foreign exchange and other commercial activities.
At the moment, the U.S dollar remains the number one currency used in global financial transactions. While Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have a long way to go to displace the U.S dollar and other fiat currencies, the adoption of cryptos by countries such as Iran would give them the necessary head start. An increasing number of people are using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to carry out transactions, both local and cross-border, as they make it more convenient, easier and they cost less.
With the economic sanctions still in place for Iran, it would be interesting to see further cryptocurrency development in the Middle Eastern country. In the end, these developments are good for the growth of the cryptocurrency sector.
John McAfee Says His $1M Bitcoin Price Prediction is Nonsense
John McAfee has dismissed his previous prediction of Bitcoin, telling people to wake up to the reality.
Bitcoin Reaching $1M is Nonsense
British-American entrepreneur John McAfee has come out to dismiss his earlier prediction of the Bitcoin price reaching the $1 million mark. According to the eccentric cryptocurrency advocate, the thought of the BTC price reaching $1 million is nonsense, adding that people are absurd for believing in his prediction and should, therefore, wake up.
He tweeted that to look at it in a different way, if Bitcoin should hit $1million, its market cap would surpass the GDP of the countries in the North American continent combined. The idea seems ridiculous that he believes only an idiot would take his prediction seriously. He added that a whale is more likely to enter the Olympics Stage than for BTC price to reach that target.
In his tweet, McAfee used the entire North American economy as an example to show how ridiculous it is to think of the Bitcoin price reaching a million dollars. He referenced that Bitcoin price reaching that target would see its total market cap surpassed the entire North American continent’s GDP, which he believes is a joke to even think about.
The latest comment from McAfee comes after he stated that he has moved on from Bitcoin. He labeled Bitcoin as the most crippled cryptocurrency technology, and as such, he stated that he would not be involved with it again.
Earlier this year, the tech entrepreneur noted that Bitcoin’s technology is ancient and that his prediction of $1M for BTC was a way to attract and lure more people into the cryptocurrency space.
McAfee recently launched his privacy-focused digital currency dubbed Ghost. According to him, Ghost and another cryptocurrency HEX could successfully lure more people into the cryptocurrency world faster and more efficiently than Bitcoin ever could. McAfee admitted that his privacy-focused cryptocurrency Ghost was basically copy-pasted from another open-source anonymity coin called PIVX. Thus, implying that there is no creativity behind his cryptocurrency, and it is a coin that is only backed by marketing and nothing more.
Bitcoin Price Struggles to Reach $10K
The price of the leading cryptocurrency is struggling to reach the $10,000 mark despite the massive influx of people into the cryptocurrency world. The recent halving event of the BTC mining reward attracted more people into the crypto space as they anticipate a bull run on the price of Bitcoin. Historically, the price of Bitcoin has gone on a massive rally following the halving event. However, the cryptocurrency has been trading between the $8,000 and $9,000 region over the past few weeks.
The cryptocurrency market started the year excellently, but the effects of the coronavirus on the global financial system affected its performance, with Bitcoin struggling to surpass the $10k mark ever since.
The recent halving has seen mining rewards on the BTC network drop from 12.5BTC to 6.25BTC per block. As such, several cryptocurrency mining hardware is no longer profitable, and some miners have shut down operations to stop them from running at a loss.
Despite the performance of Bitcoin at the moment, several cryptocurrency enthusiasts believe that the price could surge higher before the end of the year. As such, more investors are moving their BTC stash to cold storage wallets for safe-keeping as they await the much-anticipated bull run.
Top Australian Regulated Investing App Adds Bitcoin Option for Users
The increase in demand for cryptocurrencies has seen a leading Australian regulated micro-investing app add the Bitcoin investment option for its users.
Raiz Adds Bitcoin Investment Option
Raiz, formerly known as Acorns, has added the Bitcoin investment option to its platform as demand for cryptocurrencies in the country increases. Raiz is a regulated micro-investment app in Australia that allows people to invest in a wide range of assets with a small amount of money.
At the moment, Raiz is one of the leading regulated micro-investment apps in Australia, providing services to thousands of investors in the country. The company announced on Tuesday that it launched a portfolio with a BTC allocation. The new portfolio, dubbed Sapphire, has been in development for the past 18 months. The portfolio aims to provide investors’ with exposure to Bitcoin in a managed, risk-adjusted way.
The CEO of Raiz, George Lucas, stated that while the latest portfolio from the company is high risk, the positive feedback from the customers is a sign that they have an appetite for an investment strategy that allows them to gain exposure to cryptocurrencies.
Raiz, in its post, added that most of their investors are millennials, which means that they are more inclined to push their funds into cryptocurrencies rather than the traditional assets. This follows a report by U.S. brokerage firm Charles Schwab last year, which shows the hunger for Bitcoin and other cryptos amongst millennials.
The Growth of Raiz
Formerly known as Acorns, Raiz broke off from its original U.S. Acorns brand and became an independent Australian company. The broker revealed that it would trade and store the Bitcoin with Gemini, one of the largest crypto exchanges in the United States, founded by the Winklevoss twins. Gemini is currently a New York trust company, and it is regulated by the Department of Financial Services in the state.
Gemini is happy with the partnership with Raiz. According to the exchange’s Managing Director of Operations, Jeanine Hightower-Sellitto, Raiz is boosting its micro-investing app via this latest portfolio as it provides customers with the opportunity to invest in Bitcoin in a regulated and thoughtful manner.
An increasing number of people around the world have been showing interest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The halving event of Bitcoin has attracted more people to the industry as the interest in BTC has spiked over the past few months.
The Sapphire portfolio is said to have 5% of the total funds invested in Bitcoin, with the remaining amount invested in ETFs of the U.S, Australia, European, and Asian large-cap equities. The portfolio would invest in money markets and Australian corporate debt. According to the company, Raiz is not a trading tool, which means that Sapphire is a secure way to gain exposure to Bitcoin without the complexities of trading. By investing 5% in Bitcoin, the Sapphire portfolio provides investors with the opportunity to enjoy the potential of Bitcoin while limiting their exposure in a risk-adjusted manner. Despite that, due to the risks associated with cryptocurrency investments, the minimum recommended investment timeframe for this portfolio is over five years, Raiz added. In addition to Raiz’s Sapphire portfolio, the investment platform also offers nine other ETFs (exchange-traded funds), with various asset allocations and risk profiles.
Bitcoin Transaction Fees Drop as Network Decongests
The Bitcoin network is experiencing a decrease in transaction fees as congestion eases following recent developments.
BTC Transaction Fees on the Decline
The transaction fees paid to miners on the Bitcoin network has declined as the congestion has started to ease following the halving event. According to data provided by Glassnode, a blockchain intelligence firm, the total fees paid to miners on Tuesday was 80 BTC, down from the 201 BTC paid to them on May 21. This decline is closing in on the 57 BTC recorded on May 3.
The data also showed that the percentage of miner revenue from transaction fees dipped by 9.4% from the 21-month high recorded a week ago. The founder of the virtual currency platform Coincurve and CEO of Interlapse Technologies, Wayne Chen, stated that the drop in the transaction fees was due to a return to normal transaction activities and recent mining difficulty changes, which takes place every two weeks.
Users on the Bitcoin blockchain pay fees to miners for processing their transactions. Miners on the network also receive a fixed amount of BTC (6.25BTC) per block mined. The number is halved every four years, and the recent halving occurred on May 11, 2020.
The transaction fees are determined by the current state of the network (congestion level) and the size of the transaction. The block size of Bitcoin is 1MB, which implies that miners can only mine 1MB worth of transactions per block approximately every 10 minutes. However, if the block size surpasses 1MB, the network gets congested, and miners tend to prioritize transactions that have higher fees.
The report from Glassnode shows that network congestion, which is represented by the BTC’s memory pool, has been declining since May 18 when it surpassed the 28-month high of 267,608. By then, the total block size reached 78.5 MB. Since then, transaction fees on the network have been declining.
The Bitcoin memory pool exploded towards the end of April and remained congested a few days after the halving event as investors continued to show increased interest in the cryptocurrency. Chen added that the increased network congestion led the miners to increase the mining fee so that the higher paying clients would have their transactions confirmed faster.
Block Interval Time Also Declines
The decline in fees could be due to the decreasing adjustment in the mining difficulty of the network, hence, resulting in a decrease in the block interval time. The mining difficulty measure shows how hard it is to mine blocks on the blockchain. The mining difficulty dropped by 6% to 15.14 terahashes per second on May 20. This is because the mining power allocated to mine blocks on the Bitcoin network dropped following the halving.
The seven-day rolling average of the network hashrate declined from 120 exahashes per second (EH/s) on May 11 to a lower level of 90 EH/s to May 23. Also, the halving increased the cost of mining by two, which led inefficient miners to close down their rigs. After that, the time it took to mine blocks and confirm transactions increased, putting more pressure on the prices. The mining difficulty reduction at the moment is enticing miners to come back to the Bitcoin blockchain.
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