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Riot Blockchain Bitcoin production drops 28% YOY in July; offsets energy costs by curtailing some operations

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Riot Blockchain Bitcoin production drops 28% YOY in July; offsets energy costs by curtailing some operations

Riot Blockchain Bitcoin production drops 28% YOY in July; offsets energy costs by curtailing some operations Monica Noronha · 10 hours ago · 1 min read

Riot Blockchain mined around 28% less Bitcoins in July 2022 compared to July 2021 but gained an estimated $9.5 million in power credits.

1 min read

Updated: August 3, 2022 at 6:00 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Riot Blockchain, one of the world’s largest Bitcoin mining companies, said Aug. 3 that it mined 318 Bitcoin (BTC) in July, a decrease of around 28.21% compared to the same month in 2021 when it mined 443 BTC.

The mining firm attributed the decrease in mining to the curtailment of some operations due to the increasing energy demand in Texas last month owing to a heat wave. According to the National Weather Service’s Houston-Galveston, Texas saw its hottest July on record last month, Houston Public Media reported.

But the curtailment also reduced the company’s power cost and helped Riot Blockchain gain an estimated $9.5 million in power credits, which will be credited against its energy bills, the firm said.

Riot CEO Jason Les said:

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“As energy demand in ERCOT reached all-time highs this past month, the Company voluntarily curtailed its energy consumption in order to ensure that more power would be available in Texas.”

Les added that Riot curtailed 11,717-megawatt hours in July, enough to power 13,121 average homes for one month. He also said that the reduction in energy cost and the power credits it gained significantly outweighed the reduction in mined Bitcoin. In fact, Les expects that the power credits will effectively eliminate the firm’s July energy costs.

Riot Blockchain sold 275 Bitcoins last month, earning net proceeds of around $5.6 million, and held 6,696 BTC at the end of July.

Riot said the reduction in Bitcoin mining was also partially affected by the relocation of its miners from Coinmint’s facility to its Whinstone Facility in Rockdale, Texas. The relocation resulted in around 12,146 miners being offline.

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Bitmain's Antminer E9

PoW Miners Rake In Profits Mining ETH Until The End, Ethash Networks Expect A Boost, JPMorgan Strategists Say ETC Could Benefit

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PoW Miners Rake In Profits Mining ETH Until The End, Ethash Networks Expect A Boost, JPMorgan Strategists Say ETC Could Benefit

In just over a month’s time, The Merge is likely to be implemented on the Ethereum blockchain and the network’s proof-of-work (PoW) miners will be forced to mine another coin. So far, it seems ethereum miners are sticking with the PoW Ethereum chain until the very end as profits have increased. While Ethereum will change the consensus ruleset, a great number of crypto community members are attempting to guess where the hashrate will go after The Merge transition.

The Crypto Community Wants to Know Where Ethereum Miners Will Go After the Merge — There’s a Myriad of Different Theories

On August 11, 2022, Ethereum developers let the community know during a Consensus Layer Call livestream that The Merge will most likely happen on or around September 15th to the 16th. The following day, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin confirmed that The Merge would likely happen on September 15. “The terminal total difficulty has been set to 58750000000000000000000. This means the ethereum PoW network now has a (roughly) fixed number of hashes left to mine,” Buterin said.

Since then, the question everyone has been asking is where the current Ethereum hashrate will go after the transition takes place. There’s always been a lot of speculation that most of the ETH hashrate will move to Ethereum Classic (ETC), but that’s not everyone’s opinion. Besides the proposed ETHW fork expected to happen, which very well could take a fraction of the ETH hashrate, and there are crypto coin supporters that expect their chain will get added security. We also don’t know how much hashrate the potential proof-of-work Ethereum fork called ETHW will get after The Merge.

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One supporter of the crypto asset project ravencoin (RVN) expects the RVN network will get a boost. “If there has ever been a time to own ravencoin, it’s right now,” he said. “Thousands of ethereum miners will be moving to ravencoin due to the end of mining next month for [Ethereum]. The next 2 years is huge for RVN.” So far, however, there’s been no meaningful transitions from the Ethereum network to any Ethash blockchains like RVN and ETC.

There was one significant hashrate drop the ETH network experienced and it started on June 6. Statistics show that on that day, there was 1.23 petahash per second (PH/s) or 1,230 terahash per second (TH/s) dedicated to the ETH chain. The data shows that roughly 230 TH/s has left the network, but none of the Ethash supporting blockchains have seen an accumulation of hash at this magnitude.

Ethereum Miners Are Seeing Bigger Profits by Sticking With the Chain Until the End — JPMorgan Strategists Think Ethereum Miners Will Face Shifts, Ethereum Classic Could Benefit

The reason being is it is still very profitable to mine ETH, in comparison to mining alternative Ethash supporting chains. Data shows that Bitmain’s Antminer E9 gets an estimated $60.55 per day with electrical costs at $0.12 per kilowatt hour (kWh). Bitmain’s machine is 2,400 megahash per second (MH/s), and Innosilicon’s A11 Pro with 1,500 MH/s can get an estimated $34.53 per day with energy costs at $0.12 per kWh. Presently, a large number of the top ETH mining pools mine the ETC chain as well. Some of ETH’s top miners also contribute hashrate to Ravencoin’s 2.31 TH/s and Ergo’s 11.95 TH/s.

With profits like these and the new Antminer E9 released during the first week of July, it’s more than likely that miners mining ether will stick to the ETH chain up until the very end. While ETH lost 230 TH/s, on July 4, 2022, ETC did see a small spike when 7.12 TH/s was added to the network since that time. JPMorgan’s recent weekly fund flows note, published on Wednesday, explained that The Merge transition could become volatile for ETH miners and ETC may reap the rewards. The investment bank noted that ETC saw a spike in July, and the weekly fund flows note also highlighted alternative crypto assets that use Ethash like ergo and ravencoin.

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Bitmain’s Antminer E9, Ergo, ETC, ETH, ether, Ethereum (ETH), ethereum classic (ETC), Ethereum miners, Hashpower, Hashrate, Innosilicon’s A11 Pro, jpmorgan, JPMorgan strategists, Miners, mining, Mining Eth, Mining Ethereum, PoS, PoS transition, PoW, Proof-of-Stake, Proof-of-Work (PoW), ravencoin, transition

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What do you think about The Merge and how miners will need to make a choice in 32 days when it comes to choosing an Ethash supporting blockchain? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News and a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 5,700 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Crypto Trading, Investing Illegal In Iran, Central Bank Governor Reiterates

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Crypto Trading, Investing Illegal In Iran, Central Bank Governor Reiterates

It is illegal to buy or sell cryptocurrency in Iran, the head of the country’s monetary authority has recently reminded citizens and businesses. The governor noted, however, that mining cryptocurrencies and using them in payments for imports is not against the law in the Islamic Republic.

Top Banker Confirms Crypto Trading Still Illegal in Iran

The purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies or using the digital assets for investment purposes is prohibited, the governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), Ali Salehabadi, has recently told local media. At the same time, authorized persons and entities can legally mine crypto that can be employed for international settlements, the official pointed out.

Referring to regulations adopted by the bank and other government institutions such as the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade two years ago, the CBI chief elaborated that it is legal for Iranian companies to pay for imports with cryptocurrency. He was quoted in a report by the English-language edition of the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA) on Friday.

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Salehabadi’s comments came after on Tuesday, Deputy Minister of Trade Alireza Peymanpak announced Iran’s first import order using cryptocurrency as a payment method. The government representative, who also leads the nation’s Trade Promotion Organization, revealed that the Islamic Republic bought $10 million worth of goods using digital coins.

However, Iranian authorities are not willing to allow crypto payments inside Iran and earlier this year, Deputy Minister of Communications Reza Bagheri Asl dashed any hopes for that. Crypto trading and investing are not tolerated either, and the government cracked down on local exchanges, allowing only banks and licensed moneychangers to use digital currency mined in Iran to pay for imports.

Since 2019, when the authorities in Tehran recognized mining as a legitimate industrial activity, a number of enterprises have been licensed to mint digital currencies like bitcoin. But the energy-intensive production has been blamed as one of the causes for the growing electricity shortages and blackouts across the country, especially during the hot summers, when consumption spikes due to rising demand for cooling, and the cold winter months, when heating needs increase.

As a result, registered crypto farms were told to shut down their power-hungry equipment on more than one occasion in the past two years, while the Iran Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution Company, Tavanir, went after illegal miners busting thousands of underground crypto farms.

The illegal facilities are often running on subsidized electricity in residential areas. Last month, the utility vowed severe measures against this kind of unauthorized mining. ILNA quotes an estimate by Iranian officials who claim that a single bitcoin mining machine consumes as much energy as 24 households.

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In his interview, Governor Salehabadi also turned viewers’ attention to the CBI’s plan to introduce a ‘crypto rial,’ or a central bank digital currency issued by the Iranian monetary authority which is expected to partially replace paper cash. In April, the central bank informed financial institutions about upcoming regulations pertaining to the issuance of a digital rial, indicating it’s preparing to pilot the CBDC.

Tags in this story

CBDC, cbi, Central Bank, Crypto, crypto mining, crypto payments, crypto rial, Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency, Digital Currency, Exchange, international settlements, Iran, Iranian, mining, Payments, purchase, Regulations, sale, Settlements

Do you think Iran may change its stance on crypto trading, investing, and payments in the future? Share your expectations in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Guest Post

3 trends that will shape the future of Bitcoin mining

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3 trends that will shape the future of Bitcoin mining

3 trends that will shape the future of Bitcoin mining Marco Streng · 1 hour ago · 3 min read

Bitcoin mining is a dynamically-changing industry that’s growing in scale and operational knowledge. Here are three of the biggest trends we are seeing today.

3 min read

Updated: August 13, 2022 at 12:59 am

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Trends can tell a lot about where an industry has come from and where it’s going. When Bitcoin first launched in 2009, individuals were mining Bitcoin from their laptops, and I personally was mining Bitcoin from a few mining rigs set up in my dorm room. We didn’t know that we’d have to be concerned about things like energy consumption at scale, hardware suppliers, and maximizing operational efficiency in massive data centers. But as Bitcoin mining grew and scaled, trial and error provided opportunities to learn and create new innovations to help the industry grow.

While 2022 has been a challenging year for Bitcoin and the crypto industry in general, the mining industry continues to grow. The following trends show how the Bitcoin mining industry is building on past knowledge and experience, and preparing for a scaled future.

Trend 1: Renewable Power

It may be the biggest buzz item about Bitcoin mining today: energy usage. Mining rigs take electricity to power, and large-scale mining operations are running thousands of miners at a time. Much has been written about how much energy mining utilizes — up to 110 terawatt-hours per year, the equivalent energy production of a small country. But the key topic of discussion should be what kind of energy sources are mining operations using.

One of the major trends we’re seeing in Bitcoin mining today is the turn towards more renewable energy sources instead of carbon-based power. The idea that dirty sources like coal are cheaper just isn’t true, as 90% of hydropower, 75% of wind, and 40% solar are still less expensive than the cheapest fossil fuel option. It’ll be a natural development for those power sources to take over the mining market. Increasing utilization of renewable energy will be beneficial in the long term, both for the industry and for the plant, which is why in the short term, even while profitability is very high, miners should actively consider their power source.

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The good news is that Bitcoin mining operations are already turning to more renewable resources. The Bitcoin Mining Council estimates that worldwide, the Bitcoin mining industry’s sustainable electricity mix is 58.4% — an increase of 59% from 2021. They say this percentage makes it “one of the most sustainable industries globally.”

There is, of course, still work to be done to ensure that Bitcoin mining has a sustainable future ahead of it, but data shows that it’s already moving in the right direction.

Trend 2: Immersion Cooling

Imagine a room full of thousands of miners all running at their max — and imagine how much heat they produce. Mining operations have always needed ways to keep their data centers cool, and an emerging trend is the use of immersion cooling to do so.

Immersion cooling involves placing miners in a bath of oil-like liquid, which is then circulated through cooling towers to expel the heat. This method ensures that valuable mining equipment doesn’t have contact with the outside air, as dust or humidity can degrade the hardware.

Considering that miner prices are very high these days, it’s more cost-efficient to overclock limited mining hardware to the maximum to squeeze out any capacity for performance. The best way to do this is to immerse the miners since the cooling capacity of immersion liquid is much higher than that of air. Immersion cooling has also been found to reduce operational expenses by up to 33%.

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Of course, an immersion setup requires significantly more expertise to build and operate than the more traditional air cooling setup. Still, we are seeing more companies relying on immersion for their build-outs and the industry sector is quickly growing.

Trend 3: Chip Shortages

A chip shortage is creating a massive supply-and-demand crisis across the globe today. Demand for semiconductor chips has increased 17% from 2019 for use in cars, phones and tablets, home healthcare devices, AI, and more — and for mining rigs. However, supply has not increased to meet that demand, despite the fact that semiconductor manufacturers are producing at 90% capacity.

Once a new batch of chips is produced, they’ll be doled out to companies who need them most — or who have the biggest pull in the marketplace, which are often not mining manufacturers. Certain in-demand chips could leave companies waiting up to a year to receive a supply.

What’s the impact on mining operations? It means that making short-term decisions is not an option right now. Since miner manufacturers are in a backlog and can’t fulfill orders in a timely manner, mining companies must plan a year or so in advance for their operations through solid modeling of the mining ecosystem, put orders in early, and wait it out.

The US Department of Commerce has concluded that “the primary bottleneck across the board appears to be wafer production capacity, which requires a longer-term solution.” Until that “longer-term solution” arises, this chip shortage will likely continue into 2023, as experts predict.

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Trending in the Right Direction

Overall, these trends point to a few important things happening within the Bitcoin mining industry. First, they show that Bitcoin miners are learning what works and what doesn’t, and are focusing on making innovations or adopting new practices to evolve. Above all, these trends show that Bitcoin mining has become a resilient industry and that despite the current challenges of the market, mining is trending in the right direction.

Guest post by Marco Streng from Genesis Mining

Genesis Mining is a cryptocurrency cloud mining company that offers an easy and safe way to purchase hashpower without having to deal with complex hardware and software setup. It offers hosted cryptocurrency mining services and a variety of mining-related solutions to small and large scale customers. Genesis Mining was founded at the end of 2013.

Learn more →

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