The U.S. is slowly increasing its share of the Bitcoin hashrate, although the majority of Bitcoin mining is still based in China, there are signs it is beginning to shift elsewhere.
Chun Wang, the co-founder of one of Bitcoin’s largest mining pools, F2Pool, reported that China represented less than half of its hash rate during April 2020. Wung noted it was the first time the pool had seen Chinese miners represent a minority of hash rate in its eight years of operation. “The shifting is real,” he said.
Wang reposted data published April 22 by Digital Currency Group’s Barry Silbert, which revealed that the U.S.-based Bitcoin mining pool, Foundry, had climbed to rank among the top 5 pools globally during April, commanding a 7.6 percent share of the hashrate.
“Bitcoin hashrate is quickly shifting from China to North America,” Silbert claimed. The leading pool remains AntPool, which is operated by Chinese mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain, with an 18.6 percent share of the total hashrate.
The University of Cambridge calculated that China’s mining dominance was around 65 percent in April 2020. Noting those figures in January 2021, BTC mining publication Miner Daily estimated China’s share had fallen to 55 percent of BTC hashing power by the start of this year, with the U.S. accounting for 11 percent.
On April 30, Cointelegraph reported that China’s crypto mining operations may be set for stricter regulations in the future, which could further fuel the country’s hashrate exodus. China has also recently been examining miners’ power usage in light of its own carbon commitments.
In late February, it was reported that authorities of the Chinese autonomous region of Inner Mongolia proposed closing down all local mining facilities to reduce energy consumption in the region. The region accounts for as much as 8 percent of global hash.
In an article on May 5, Bitcoin podcast host Marty Bent said that the F2Pool findings are a confirmation of a trend in the mining world of hashrate production becoming more geographically distributed.
He added that this would help dissipate some of the “China controls mining” FUD surrounding the potential for the country’s central government to attack the network.
“It is great to have some data coming from Chinese pools that proves the percentage of overall hashrate production is being reduced within China’s borders.”
The FUD surrounding Bitcoin’s energy consumption and environmental impact may also reduce as more mining operations switch to renewable energy, especially in the U.S. which has tighter regulations.
According to a Nasdaq report on May 4, Texas has become a mecca for Bitcoin mining farms due to its low energy costs and the fact that the majority comes from renewables such as wind and solar.
Bitcoin ‘Whales Are Re-Entering As Risk Appetite Returns’, Says Stack Funds Research
On Wednesday, Lennard Neo, Head Of Research at Stack Funds, a Singapore-based crypto-focused fund management company, explained why they believe that “Bitcoin is very close to the bottom.”
His comments about Bitcoin were delivered in a research note (titled: “Strong support observed as Bitcoins get scooped up at $30,000”), which was published yesterday.
The research analyst wrote:
“We have observed a meltdown in long liquidations (7D MA) over the past few weeks. This coupled with the Leverage ratio (grey line) falling to a 2-year low after dipping below that of March 2020 levels, provides evidence that traders are more cautious in taking positions.
“Inflows for Bitcoin have skewed to spot accumulation as opposed to speculation, as investors match their expectations towards a longer-term horizon – signaling less propensity to sell.
“In the face of the recent sell-off, we also see significant support levels around the $30,000 handle, with substantial bids coming in to fill up the offers. The strength comes on the back of Microstrategy accumulating more Bitcoins, and we have noticed that Whales are also re-entering the market as risk appetite returns. Short squeeze hunters have also begun waning away in the near term as markets continue to establish ground on a consolidation phase.“
Canaan Begins Its Own Bitcoin Mining Operations in Kazakhstan
Bitcoin mining machines manufacturer Canaan has started mining bitcoin in Kazakhstan, following the crackdown on bitcoin mining in China.
Canaan said its AvalonMiner units are already in operation in Kazakhstan. When asked how many units and of which model has been deployed, a Canaan spokesperson declined to comment on specifics but said “a first batch of small-scale mining machines” have been deployed to start with.
Canaan foresees “a gradual ramp-up to full operational functionality over time,” the spokesperson added. The company has partnered with local mining companies in Kazakhstan for the initiative, they said.
China-based Canaan has been preparing to launch a crypto mining business in Kazakhstan for some time now. Earlier this month, the Nasdaq-listed company opened its first overseas after-sales service center in Kazakhstan as its global sales continue to increase.
Kazakhstan appears to be growing in popularity for bitcoin mining after China moved to shut down local bitcoin mining farms last month. Kazakhstan is close to China and has one of the cheapest electricity rates in the world.
Earlier this week, China-based BIT Mining, formerly known as 500.com, also shipped some of its bitcoin mining equipment to Kazakhstan. The company is set to send more machines to the country next month.
Andreessen Horowitz Officially Launches New $2.2B Crypto Venture Fund
Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) — prominent venture capital fund led by Ben Horowitz and Marc Andreessen — announced Thursday the close of its third crypto venture fund, a $2.2 billion fund that the firm says is the largest of its kind.
The new “Crypto Fund III” will be co-led by Chris Dixon and Katie Haun.
“The largest crypto fund ever raised to date, Crypto Fund III is a validating moment for the ecosystem and another sign that crypto becoming an ever more mainstream part of our financial infrastructure,” the firm said in a press release.
Rumors of Andreessen Horowitz (also known as a16z) raising a mega-fund have appeared in various reports in recent months. The Financial Times reported in April that the California-based investment firm would be raising $1 billion for a crypto fund. In late May, tech blogger Eric Newcomer wrote that the firm was raising $2 billion.
A source familiar with the raise now told The Block that interest came mostly from limited partners in the firm’s previous crypto funds, which have seen large returns. a16z netted more than $440 million from selling Coinbase stock soon after the exchange made its public markets debut on Nasdaq, according to CoinDesk.
a16z’s mandate in crypto has been broad, ranging from decentralized finance (DeFi) to bitcoin applications to so-called Web 3, or a decentralized version of the internet. The firm’s portfolio includes Dapper Labs, Celo, Uniswap, and Near.
“This fund allows us to find the next generation of visionary crypto founders, and invest in the most exciting areas of crypto,” Dixon and Haun wrote in a blog post. “We invest in all stages, from early seed-stage projects to fully developed later-stage networks.”
In addition to securing more than $2 billion to invest in crypto, a16z’s crypto business has been hiring aggressively. It has made a number of key hires including Anthony Albanese, who joined the firm last year from the New York Stock Exchange. Albanese is now being promoted to chief operating officer of a16z crypto.
The firm also hired Bill Hinman, a former director at the Securities and Exchange Commission, who once said ether (ETH) is not a security, and Rachael Horowitz, a veteran Silicon Vally communications strategist who previously was the top communicator at Coinbase, also recently joined. Horowitz has also held positions at Twitter, Google, and Facebook.
Additional new hires include policymaker Tomicah Tilleman, who is joining the firm as global head of policy after serving as a senior advisor to President Joe Biden.
“As with any new computing movement, crypto has endured a variety of challenges and misconceptions,” Dixon and Haun said. “That’s why we are also bringing together heavy-hitters across several functions to help translate “crypto” to the mainstream.”
The announcement of Crypto Fund III follows a flurry of recent activity in crypto venture investing. Despite the slump in coin prices, investors have been raising large sums of cash to pour into new crypto startups.
Framework Ventures recently announced a $100 million new fund to invest in DeFi. Blockchain Capital, meanwhile, recently announced a new $300 million fund with backing from tech giants PayPal and Visa.
Data from The Block shows investors poured more than $8.8 billion into startups during 2021, compared with 3.07 billion in all of 2020.
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