If you visit just about any crypto news publication , you will see at least one story detailing the recent news that the Chinese government is considering a blanket ban on Bitcoin mining. Perhaps testament to the world superpower’s repeated clampdowns on various aspects of digital currencies ( and , in recent memory), the price of Bitcoin seems largely unaffected by the news. What is more interesting than the nation’s potential clampdown, or even the price’s scant acknowledgement of it, is the fact that a ban on Chinese mining for Bitcoin could actually be beneficial to the cryptocurrency. Two of the most commonly repeated critiques of Bitcoin is that mining is too centralised in China and that it relies far too heavily on dirty energy from fossil fuels – a Chinese ban could very well change this. Could China’s Bitcoin Clampdown Actually Be Good For Crypto? As you probably know by now, the nation of is considering a ban on crypto mining. The activity has been added to a list of industries, originally compiled in 2011, that the National Development and Reform Commission seeks to restrict or phase out. The reasoning for the elimination of such industries, according to a report in , is based on public safety, the volume of resources consumed by the specific activity, and how much it polluted the environment. Although no word has been given about how the government intends to enact such a ban or even when it would begin, the public has been given until May 7 to make comments about the proposed changes. Of course, this is not the first time the government of China has flexed its muscles in the direction of crypto. In fact, the world superpower has had such an on-again, off-again policy towards the space that much of the cryptocurrency community has reacted with indifference to the news – as evidenced by the below: "China says it wants to eliminate bitcoin mining" Fud — WhalePanda (@WhalePanda) In previous examples, when China has created seemingly harsh regulations regarding the industry, the Bitcoin price and that of other digital assets have seen dramatic moves downwards. For example, when the nation banned its citizens from investing in ICOs during September 2017, the price was hit hard temporarily. This was not the case this time and Bitcoin is currently close to the most valuable its been all year, thanks to the recent surge in price. What should prove interesting going forward, if China is indeed able to enforce should a ban with efficacy, is how it will alter both the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining and how decentralised mining efforts are. Typically, Bitcoin has been attacked on the grounds that vast numbers of operations are based in China. This, for Bitcoin’s naysayers, is a weakness in the network’s security since such a large percentage of the networks hash power is concentrated in a single geographical area. The rationale is that these miners would be much easier to coerce into acting in tandem in ways detrimental to network than if they were spread more thinly across the globe. The latest news out of China could well serve to further distribute hash rate and thus strengthen the network. This would ultimately be a positive development for Bitcoin generally and may directly answer one of Bitcoin’s most repeated criticisms. The meme below pokes fun at the dilemma facing the average Bitcoin naysayer when trying to put an anti-Bitcoin spin on today’s news: Bitcoin critics today — nic carter (@nic__carter) That is not all though. The China ban could end up addressing a second of the concerns many have with Bitcoin – its reliance on non-renewable energy to power mining operations. Already, miners have sought out locations such as and Iceland to make use of the abundant, cheap, clean electricity provided by geothermal and hydroelectric plants. However, many operations continue to be based in China where they commonly rely on fossil fuels. Being forced out of the nation, where such power is relatively cheap, by a ban will likely drive more miners to explore locations where renewable power is cheap and abundant. Related Reading: Featured Image from Shutterstock. The post appeared first on .
Cryptocurrency mining profits are on the way down, resulting in declining demand for hardware, such as high-end graphics cards. Sources suggest that GPUs could drop by as much as 20% within the upcoming month. Mining Hardware Manufacturers Experience Declining Demand DigiTimes, a premier Asia-based technology news source, has that there has been a large decrease in interest for mining hardware. Cryptocurrency was unarguably one of the largest trends last year, with mining hashrates growing at an exponential rate. Ethereum, one of the most popular mined currencies, had its hashrate grow by over 25 times last year. Additionally, prices for mining hardware rapidly increased, reaching unsustainable prices that were often unaffordable for common consumers and gamers. However, due to waning cryptocurrency prices, coupled with a large increase in mining difficulty, mining growth has ground to a near halt. Take the example of Ethereum’s hashrate, which shows an eerie correlation between price action and mining interest, in the form of hashrate growth. Many hardware manufacturers, like Nvidia and AMD, overestimated future demand for graphics cards, leading to an overstock in hardware. Nvidia, the most prominent GPU manufacturer, is reported to have a supply of over one million GPUs in its warehouses. It would be advantageous for Nvidia to clear their overstock of 1000 series cards before announcing the rumored 1100 series. To clear out such large supplies of hardware, Nvidia will be required to implement major price cuts to entice consumers. Even if price cuts are put in place, sources expect Nvidia to delay their next-generation GPUs, which are expected to be a large improvement on the previous series, until late fourth quarter. It is also expected for cryptocurrency to sell their used graphics cards as mining rigs bite the dust, only building the pressure on firms like Nvidia. As a result, DigiTimes has stated that GPU prices could drop by over 20% over July, bringing prices to figures that resemble the original MSRP. Mining Profits Dip Due To Declining Crypto Prices And New ASICs Bitmain, the largest ASIC manufacturer, has pushed out new mining machines for the Equihash and EthHash algorithms, which easily outperform GPU miners. ASICs provide an exponentially higher $/hash rate in comparison with graphics cards, making them an attractive option for miners. GPU miners have begun to shut off their Equihash and EthHash farms as the first round of these new ASICs go online. This coupled with the 70% decline in crypto prices has led to an unsustainable mining environment, where many smaller farms have found it better to keep their machines offline. Ran Neu Ner, the host of CNBC Africa’s ‘Crypto Trader’ show, has said that miners have already begun to shut off their mining machines. He : “So what’s going to happen is when the miners find that it is not viable for them to mine, what they are going to do is to switch off their machines. And there are going to be fewer machines in the ecosystem… We’ve received some notifications from some of the miners that they have already switched off their machines.” Despite declining profits, mining is still an essential part of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, bringing security and immutability to the multitude of POW-based blockchains. Image from Shutterstock The post appeared first on .