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Bitcoin Miners Got Crushed by Crypto Winter. 2023 May Bring More Pain

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Bitcoin Miners Got Crushed by Crypto Winter. 2023 May Bring More Pain


As margins continue to compress, miners will have to look at how they can participate in “demand response programs,” meaning selling power back to the grid in times of high demand, as well as recapturing heat from mining rigs and using stranded energy, Bulovic said. “Miners who have a real grasp on the processes, policies, regulations and technical know-how of these adjacent industries will gain an edge over the other miners,” he said.


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South Korea to deploy cryptocurrency tracking system in 2023

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South Korea to deploy cryptocurrency tracking system in 2023


The Ministry of Justice in South Korea announced plans to introduce a crypto-tracking system to counter money laundering initiatives and recover funds linked to criminal activities.

The “Virtual Currency Tracking System” will be used to monitor transaction history, extract information related to transactions and check the source of funds before and after remittance, according to local media outlet khgames.

While the system is slated to be deployed in the first half of 2023, the South Korean ministry shared plans to develop an independent tracking and analysis system in the second half of the year. A rough translation of the ministry’s statement reads:

“In response to the sophistication of crime, we will improve the forensic infrastructure (infrastructure). We will build a criminal justice system that meets international standards (global standards).”

The South Korean police previously established an agreement with five local crypto exchanges to cooperate in criminal investigations and ultimately create a safe trading environment for crypto investors.

Related: South Korean prosecutors request arrest warrant for Bithumb owner: Report

The South Korean Supreme Court ruled that crypto exchange Bithumb must pay damages to investors over a 1.5-hour service outage on Nov. 12, 2017.

The finalized ruling from the supreme court ordered damages ranging from as little as $6 to around $6,400 be paid to the 132 investors involved.

“The burden or the cost of technological failures should be shouldered by the service operator, not [the] service users who pay commission for the service,” the court stated.


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Data Shows 50% Of Bitcoin Hashrate Controlled By Two Mining Pools

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50% of Bitcoin hashrate Controlled by Two Mining Pools

Bitcoin hashrate is becoming highly centralized, with a few mining pools controlling most of the blockchain mining power. The latest data from Mempool indicates that 50% of the total hashrate is held by Foundry USA and Antpool. 

A Highly Centralized Mining Network

Foundry USA has maintained a hashrate of over 30% of the total Bitcoin network for several weeks. It became the first mining pool of non-Chinese origin to lead the list in November 2021, following the ban on Bitcoin mining in China in the middle of the same year. 

Back then, Foundry USA contributed 17% of the total Bitcoin hashrate. Today, the US-based pool averages 34.1% of the mining power, equivalent to about 104 EH/s, considering that the Bitcoin hashrate is around 300 EH/S. 

Related Reading: First Bitcoin Mining Powered By Nuclear Energy To Open In The U.S. In Q1 This Year 

Antpool comes in second with about 18.0% of the total hashrate equivalent to about 58 EH/s. The Chinese-based pool used to be the largest Bitcoin pool but was affected by the ban on crypto mining which caused several miners in the region to migrate. 

Bitcoin Pool distribution records on Dec. 29, 2022 (3-day stats)/Mempool.com

What Is Behind This Trend?

The graph shows that over 80% of Bitcoin’s mining power is concentrated among just 5 pools. This contrasts with the beginning of 2022, when these five mining pools barely exceeded 60% of the hashrate. 

Some factors could have contributed to this rise. One of which is the location of the servers of the said pools. The closer the servers are to the pools and mining facilities, the lower the information transfer latency. This means that a miner will likely get more shares in the mining process and earn more Bitcoin (BTC) by connecting to a closer server. 

Bitcoin hashrate difficulty
Bitcoin hashrate difficulty for January/CoinWarz.com

Another factor is the financial incentives offered by these major mining pools. Bigger mining pools can consistently distribute profits to their members, who pay a commission for mining with their resources, driving more miners to their ecosystem. This is evident with the high mining difficulty in recent weeks due to the bullish movement of Bitcoin, making it difficult for smaller mining pools to be profitable. 

Related Reading: Why The S&P 500 Could Help Send Bitcoin Soaring Higher

However, Bitcoin’s highly centralized mining system poses significant dangers to the cryptocurrency. The miners could agree to reject transactions that do not meet a specific parameter leading to a 51% attack. 

We’ve seen such attacks occur on other Proof-of-Work blockchains like Ethereum Classic, which could be a problem for Bitcoin. In addition, these pools are recognized companies and could face pressures from regulatory agencies trying to control activities on the Bitcoin network. 

Bitcoin Price

So far, Bitcoin is still maintaining its bullish trend, with the leading cryptocurrency up by 40% since the start of the year. As of the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading at $23,400, according to data from Tradingview.com. 

Bitcoin Price on January 28| Source: BTCUSDT on Binance, TradingView
Bitcoin Price on January 28| Source: BTCUSDT TradingView

Featured image from Pixabay, charts from Trading View, Coinwarz, and Mempool


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This week in Crypto; Axie, Aptos Record Big Gains as Ethereum Drops

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This week in Crypto; Axie, Aptos Record Big Gains as Ethereum Drops

On Sunday morning, Ethereum, the second largest crypto by market capitalization, was the only top ten coin that saw a drop in value. Other major coins have continued to record gains for the fourth consecutive week.

Meanwhile, the most popular crypto, Bitcoin, has seen 7-day gains of about 3.2%, and as of this writing, it is trading at $23,221, as per CoinGecko. This week, researchers have claimed that the ideal time to take long positions in the crypto market is during the end of the Chinese New Year’s first day.

Data on CoinGecko shows that Ethereum has dropped by 5.3% in the past seven days and is trading at $1,572. On Tuesday, Ethereum developers revealed they had achieved a significant milestone toward the network’s most anticipated update, the Shanghai Upgrade. The upgrade will allow stakers to withdraw their funds.

Aptos Records 7-day Gains of 57%

Aptos is up 57% this week, and at the time of publishing, it is changing hands for $17.10. It is difficult to tell what’s fueling the rally, but a huge portion of the token’s trading volume has been from arbitrage trading on the south Korean-based exchange, UpBit.

Some exchanges in South Korea usually price crypto higher than other global exchanges. Many traders involved in arbitrage trading refer to this discrepancy as Kimchi Premium. It is worth noting that this is how FTX’s ex-CEO Sam Bankman-Fried started his crypto trading journey.

Launched last October, Aptos began trading at $13 before it crashed by 45% following criticism that the developer behind the blockchain did not reveal its tokenomics and failed to fulfill their promise of processing over 100,000 transactions per second. The current price means the investors have recovered their losses.

Axie Infinity is Up 25% This Week

On the other hand, Axie Infinity (AXS) recorded an increase of 25% in the past seven days. On Monday alone, the token gained about 24% following a token unlock that saw about 2.2% of the game’s total supply released to the market. According to CoinGecko, AXS is trading at $11.45 as of this writing.

Other Cryptos That Saw Notable Gains

Other top cryptocurrencies that recorded notable rallies this week include OKB. The token currently trades at $38.23, representing a 14% increase in the past seven days. In addition, Avalanche rose by 17% to change hands for $20.28, while Polygon, the tenth largest crypto by market cap, increased by 8% and is trading at $1.12.


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