HIVE Blockchain Technologies, a Canadian publicly-traded ether (ETH) mining firm, has announced on March 30 the acquisition of a dedicated cryptocurrency mining operation with access to 30 megawatts of low-cost green power. The transaction was valued at CAD $4 million (USD $2.8 M). The facility, leased by Cryptologic Corp, is located in Lachute, Quebec. The firm intends to expand its total available power capacity globally to approximately 50MW, whose mining activities in Europe are focused on the Ethereum network, while Bitcoin miners will be supported in Quebec’s facility.
According to Frank Holmes, interim executive chairman of HIVE:
“The acquisition provides us with an advanced, operating Bitcoin mining facility ready to transition to next generation mining hardware with access to some of the lowest cost electricity on the planet. The cost of US$95,000 per MW is less than half the industry standard build cost per MW.”
HIVE hopes to add flexibility for future expansion plans. The firm already has a presence in Sweden. As detailed by the Canadian firm, the facility offers about $0.04 / kWh in electricity costs, and the electrical infrastructure expects to provide triple redundancy systems for power and internet connectivity, operational staff, and approximately 14,000 Bitmain S9 miners that are currently installed. Holmes highlighted some reasons behind expanding into Quebec:
“A blend of factors makes Quebec a very attractive location for us: geographical diversification, competitive green energy costs, the cost of skilled labor and VAT costs. The acquisition provides us direct control of our destiny, including significant capacity for expansion and flexibility for our future operations. And of course, the positive outlook for blockchain adoption is a reason for our expansion.”
HIVE’s interim executive chairman clarifies that the facility operates entirely on renewable hydroelectricity, thus maintaining 100% green energy. Also, he added that their GPU-based resources provide flexibility to identify and focus computing resources on existing and new cryptocurrencies as they become more profitable to mine.
The news comes after HIVE Blockchain Technologies announced on March 6, the two-phase expansion of its Ether mining operations by more than 20% at the company’s facility in Sweden. In a recent interview Holmes commented on the company’s intentions to improve the profitability of the Iceland facility, as they have done in Sweden.
The Analyst Who Helped Take Down Crypto Child Exploitation Site Honored
Criminal analyst, Kim Reece, has been nominated as a finalist for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal for her efforts in shutting down a major child porn site. News of the nomination came on May 28. According to the announcement, Reece’s work led to an international criminal investigation of the largest dark web child pornography site in the world. This site used cryptocurrencies to cloak payments for more than one million video downloads.
This resulted in the arrest of the site’s leader, and more than 330 users. It also led to a coordinated effort with the National Crime Agency of the United Kingdom to rescue 25 exploited children. Korean National Police also arrested Jong-Woo, one of the illicit project’s leaders, and seized the server used to run the illegal site.
According to the law enforcement agents behind the investigation, almost 8 TB of child sexual pornography content was seized. Drives contained more than 250,000 videos in total. The site generated profits from the sale of pornographic content using Bitcoin (BTC), with trades completed through a dedicated forum. According to the indictment on March 5, 2018, the site itself boasted over one million downloads by users.
Research indicates that each user received a unique BTC address when they created an account on the site. The platform generated around one million BTC addresses in total. Matthew T. Albence, Deputy Director and Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director for the US ICE, praised Reece’s nomination, commenting:
“Even more important than this prestigious acknowledgment, however, is her continued dedication and use of her expertise to protect exploited children. The efforts of Ms. Reece and her interagency partners were instrumental to the takedown of this international criminal organization.”
LG Shows Interest in Distributed Blockchain Technology
LG Electronics has joined the governing council of Hedera Hashgraph, the enterprise-grade public distributed ledger platform. LG serves as the council’s fourteenth member, sitting alongside Boeing, Deutsche Telekom, Google, IBM, Tata Communications, and other leading organizations. Hedera Hashgraph CEO Mance Harmon said that LG is the first home appliance manufacturer to join the Hedera Governing Council. Harmon noted that LG will specifically work with the other council members to identify ways that distributed ledger technology, or DLT, can benefit consumers and supply chain partners, saying:
“LG has fantastic use cases and reach, and although we aren’t prepared to talk about the specifics just yet, there is not a shortage in the potential ways we can work together from a consumer facing perspective and backend related service with supply chain and traditional enterprise applications.”
LG has recently shown increased interest in DLT and blockchain applications. In September 2019, it was reported that the Koren tech giant began developing a blockchain-based phone to rival Samsung’s Klaytn smartphone. LG also just announced a partnership with the technology company, Evernym to develop a blockchain-based identification system. According to Cho Taeg-il, senior vice president of LG Electronics, distributed ledger technology, in particular, has the potential to improve customer value by allowing enterprises to offer new services that demonstrate trust, security, and speed. He noted that the collaboration with Hedera will help the company further develop its use of DLT, saying:
“We look forward to being a part of the Hedera Governing Council and opportunities where we can collaborate with other leading organizations across a wide range of industries to further develop the application of distributed ledger technology to benefit businesses and consumers alike.”
It’s important to point out that Hedera’s Governing Council is designed to enable a fully decentralized governance model for a public ledger. This is achieved by allowing each of its council members to run a node on the Hedera Hashgraph public network. Each member is responsible for regularly approving Hedera’s roadmap and updates to the platform’s codebase, ensuring the council’s decentralization and diversity. According to Harmon, Hedera’s Governing Council will ultimately consist of up to 39 global organizations from a diverse array of industries and geographies.
Being headquartered in Seoul, LG brings an important element to Hedera’s growing council – a larger presence in Asia. While Hedera already has one Asia-based company on their Governing Council – Nomura, which is headquartered out of Japan – the addition of LG is notable, as there is an increasing amount of DLT innovation coming from Asia. This is especially apparent due to the rise of digital assets in the region. Global crypto leader for Big Four firm PwC, Henri Arslanian, said that Asia has always been a critical region for the development of the global crypto and blockchain ecosystem, saying:
“I expect Asia to play an even bigger role over the coming months. Any global crypto or blockchain player needs to have a presence in Asia, as this is where some of the latest cutting edge developments are taking place.”
Moreover, expansion in Asia seems to align with Hedera’s overall mission, which is to serve as a trust layer for the internet. Harmon noted that this trusted layer should be incredibly diverse, with a presence in different geographies and verticals. He explained:
“We believe, and have made it our mission from day one, to be incredibly diverse. LG is our second Council member out of Asia. Given the amount of innovation in the distributed ledger space that is coming out of Asia, both in terms of application development and user adoption, this region will continue to be incredibly important to us.”
While Hedera’s governing council is expanding, the company also aims to provide a “consensus-as-a-service” blockchain for enterprises seeking a hybrid distributed ledger model. This concept was explained by Harmon on May 14, during the Consensus Distributed online conference. Harmon mentioned that while enterprises are able to create their own network to implement a consensus algorithm, this process is often costly and difficult. He noted that there are complexities involved with running consensus nodes, updating software, and ensuring that nodes remain online. He said:
“Enterprises must create a legal and business framework for determining who is eligible for running the con
sensus nodes, what happens when consortium members leave and join the consortium, and they must ensure that there are enough consensus node operators to ensure distributed trust. In short, they must build an entire consensus network and ensure it is properly governed.”
In turn, the Hedera Consensus Service, or HCS, aims to remove the complexities associated with consensus models for large organizations. Harmon explained that HCS is a main discussion point for Hedera’s council members, as this service allows developers on the Hedera mainnet the opportunity to create verifiable timestamps and ordering of events for any application. Potential use cases that could evolve from HCS include auditing and the synchronization of databases, both of which could be demonstrated by council members moving forward. For instance, Harmon explained that the ability to use HCS’s network as a trusted notary service for enterprises is very possible, saying:
“When it comes to RegTech, enterprises could potentially use the HCS network to prove to third parties like regulators that certain actions have been taken or that documents haven’t been tampered with. HCS offers the ability to prove to third parties that certain things happened at specific times.”
Harmon also pointed out that synchronization use cases are emerging, where a consortium of businesses working together could run transactions from their databases directly through HCS for automatic data synchronization. He said:
“This could be applied for a supply chain application, in which all supply chain transactions flow through HSC, allowing everyone on a network to receive those, and then update their databases to be in sync with current transactions. This proves the general ability of distributed ledger technology.”
New Tipbot Uses Cryptocurrency As An Incentive For People To Answer Questions
A new kind of cryptocurrency tipbot allows users to pay others to answer their questions on social media, providing a new tool to pool data in the ecosystem. Liser Lee of CCTip said that the system can help drive engagement or generate expert commentary. It lets users create a Twitter poll and automatically pay anyone who shares it with cryptocurrency, helping a poll gain more exposure and answers.
The company is also considering a system that pays the poll respondents instead. Other than Twitter, CCTip will also work on Telegram, Discord, WeChat, and on Reddit as well. It supports 200 different crypto assets, including Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ether (ETH), Tron (TRX), and many Ethereum-based tokens. Tron founder Justin Sun publicly thanked the firm when it added support for TRX in early April. Lee explained said that using a cryptocurrency-powered system is more effective when interacting with crypto enthusiasts compared to traditional systems. She pointed out that crypto community members may be simply happy to see their favorite crypto asset being used in the real world:
“If you pay BCH to a BCH enthusiast, he’s happy to see that BCH being used.”
Furthermore, the firm also launched the CCTip Ask feature last week, enabling users to ask any Twitter user a question. Lee showcased the system on May 18 by asking Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Sechet if he believes Bitcoin Cash’s value can exceed the value of Bitcoin. Sechet was paid 0.5 BCH (about $114 as of press time) to answer the question he was asked on Twitter through the system. Lee commented:
“[CCTip Ask is] an effective way to get your question answered by a celebrity. If you raise a good question, answering the question is a good way to show your opinions. And it will attract more users’ attention.”
Cryptocurrencies enable anyone to instantly send payment to anyone else without having to share sensitive information with each other. This feature makes crypto assets the perfect fit for social media tipping, as many users on those platforms prefer to remain pseudonymous or otherwise protect their privacy. Because of this synergy, there’s lots of development in the crypto tipping space.
It was recently reported, that blockchain firm Aeternity recently launched its own social media monetization tool, which supports tipping in the form of Aeternity’s native coin, AE. The ever-changing landscape of cryptocurrency regulation still often threatens companies operating in the space, including tipbot services. In mid-May, XRP TipBot, a service enabling users to transfer XRP to each other via comments on Twitter, Reddit, and Discord, managed to save itself from having to shut its operations due to new regulations by partnering with digital payment platform Uphold.
Altcoin News4 days ago
A Crypto Futures Exchange Is Integrating Chainlink’s Price Oracles
Bitcoin News5 days ago
A Bitcoin Miner Says Craig Wright Is A Fraud Citing ‘His Own’ Addresses
Blockchain News2 days ago
LG Shows Interest in Distributed Blockchain Technology
Altcoin News4 days ago
Another South Korean University Focusing On Blockchain
Bitcoin News2 days ago
Did Satoshi Nakamoto Use Windows or Mac?
Bitcoin News2 days ago
Cameron Winklevoss Chimes In On Current Crypto Regulation
Altcoin News4 days ago
Visa Starts New DeFi-Enabled Crypto Card In The EU And The UK
Blockchain News4 days ago
What is Behind Blockstream’s Liquid Network Recent Moves With Ethereum Methods?