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Crypto Company Gives Individuals a Chance to Mine Bitcoin Without Sky-High Energy Bills

A remote mining company says it enables individuals to lease hashing power from state-of-the-art mining centers.

With demand for Bitcoin on the rise in response to soaring prices of late, attention is increasingly being turned to mining.

However, the market has changed from the early days of cryptocurrency, when Bitcoin was in plentiful supply, as few knew about the opportunity and high mining rewards could be gained by individuals using a small setup at home.

These days, an unhelpful combination of fierce competition, algorithmic difficulties and high maintenance costs often mean it’s economically unviable to fly solo when mining crypto. In response, a novel alternative has emerged for those who are reluctant to purchase expensive equipment and pay astronomical electricity bills: cloud mining powered by remote data centers.

“Affordable and fuss-free”

Hashing24 says its remote Bitcoin mining services give consumers a chance to lease hashing power from industry-leading data centers that have already done the heavy lifting by investing in their own hi-tech equipment for mining cryptocurrencies — predominantly Bitcoin.

According to the company, this approach can help solve the dilemma that many individual miners are facing at home. PCs and graphics processing units are not enough to cut through the noise in this increasingly advanced industry — and any revenue generated through mining is often outweighed by the cost of the energy it took to get there.

Hashing24 is available here

This isn’t the only hurdle on the horizon, as it can often prove near impossible for a single computer to compete with expansive mining pools, in which groups of miners combine their computing hash rates and distribute any proceeds between themselves. Although this could seem like a tempting proposition, Hashing24 claims this approach also has its downsides, as there are times when participants are not rewarded equally for their efforts.

As an alternative, remote mining services can enable individuals to enter into agreements with data centers that know what they are doing. Pricing is delivered in the form of a contract — and from here, the mining process is somewhat comparable to ordering a new pair of shoes from Amazon. Hashing24 sends the mining order to huge processing centers based across Europe, which use equipment with a 100% uptime, and minted coins are delivered on a daily basis.

Is it practical?

According to Hashing24, remote mining is not something that is to be embarked on lightly — and there are a multitude of factors that individuals need to take into account. A provider’s reputation, length of service and the technology they rely upon can all prove crucial in ensuring that consumers aren’t left out of pocket. It’s also important for those who lease mining capacity to do the math and devise detailed financial plans that weigh up revenue against cost. The length of a mining contract, when coupled with the constant issue of volatility in cryptocurrency prices, can place a significant strain on budgets and affect the end result. Maintenance fees also need to be considered — and depending on the provider, this charge could be weaved into a contract’s price or deducted when coins are minted. 

Hashing24 says one way of weighing up the costs and benefits can be through using a mining calculator, which takes a multitude of factors into account to provide a projection of potential returns in the future. Demo mining can also be used to see how strategies would work in a simulated environment. 

Hashing24’s partner — Bitfury — has data centers based in Canada, Norway, Iceland and Georgia. The company says that it uses the newest Application-Specific Integrated Circuits — otherwise known as ASICs, for short. This is coupled with the latest air and immersion cooling technology to guarantee performance while mitigating costs.

Learn more about Hashing24

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Gaming Firm Wants to Pay Players to Mine Cryptocurrency

When the crypto chips are down companies often seek alternative methods of generating income. Gaming equipment giant Razer wants to pay gamers to mine crypto using their graphics cards.

The new crypto rewards program is called ‘Razer SoftMiner’, and it enables users to put their GPUs to work mining “Silver” which according to the firm is not actually a cryptocurrency. The catch for the miners is that they don’t get to keep what they mine but will get rewarded in the way of discounts or offers from the company. In a Tweet the firm stated;

“Have a gaming rig on idle at home? Here’s a new way to score Razer Silver: launch Razer SoftMiner on your PC and start racking up Silver—one step closer to the reward you want, for doing nothing at all.”

It does come with the caveat that running the software “uses a substantial amount of your GPU power,” according to PC Gamer. The FAQ goes on to explain;

“We work with crypto mining technology to harness your computer’s GPU. In turn, we award you with Silver, giving you access to Razer’s ecosystem and suite of rewards.”

In other words the San Francisco based company will be keeping the crypto that users mine and offering them other tokens to trade for ‘rewards’. It has not specified which cryptocurrency will be mined but it will have to be one that can be done using graphics cards and not higher powered hardware. There does not seem to be an advantage for users that can simply install their own software to mine crypto which they can at least keep themselves.

Razer has added that mining speed will be affected by the specifications of the GPU and obviously the amount of idle time that can be dedicated to it. “If you have the proper setup, you can earn approximately 500 Razer Silver or more within a day!,” it added without specifying the value of this ‘silver’.

Someone had crunched the numbers and came out with a value of around $0.44 per day mining at full power, or $0.0009 per token. Another pinch is that the silver mined expires after a year so it must be redeemed before then which prevents amassing a whole lot of it.

Considering the cost of electricity and the wear and tear on the hardware this does not sound very lucrative at all. A win for Razor it seems, especially if it can accumulate enough crypto at low prices and then sell the stash when the markets recover.

The post Gaming Firm Wants to Pay Players to Mine Cryptocurrency appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Former Beverage Company Turned Bitcoin Miner Eyes Customer Loyalty Market

Cryptocurrency–The tale of Long Blockchain Corp. continues to grow in and outside of the crypto space.

Originally branded as Long Island Iced Tea, the former beverage company made an abrupt turn in early January when it was announced that the company would be pursuing Bitcoin mining operations. Preceding the shift in focus to crypto mining, the company rebranded from the aforementioned drink title to Long Blockchain Corp, which brought about a tailwind in the stock price as shares rose 500 percent. Critics of Long Blockchain Corp. have accused the company of capitalizing on the blockchain craze, particularly as it reached a pinnacle in late December/early January, similar to the investing-with-abandon approach that plagued the dot-com era.

Now the company has returned to the headlines, announcing that it will be changing gears once again to tackle the market of customer loyalty. In part due to the the falling price of Bitcoin and declining profitability in crypto mining, LBCC has made the pivot away from the short-lived venture into cryptocurrency. In February, the company received a delist notice from Nasdaq related to the companies low market capitalization, with an appeal that took place in March. Beginning April 12, LBCC was formally removed from the stock exchange, leading some to question the original shift into the crypto mining industry. In addition, the company was one of several to spark a remark from SEC Chairman Jay Clayton in January, when he commented on the sudden phenomenon of companies adding blockchain to their title and reaping capital rewards despite little additional input.

In addition to the current CEO of Long Blockchain Corp. stepping down, the company has outlined a plan to run the loyalty operation through a subsidiary named Stran Loyalty Group. Freshly minted CEO Andy Shape spoke in the press release on the evolving market of customer relations, and how they intend to combine technology with loyalty programs to provide innovation to the industry,

“Consumer brands and corporations realize that loyal customers not only purchase more goods but that they also purchase more often. Creating stronger loyalty with customers who are engaged in loyalty programs through advancements in technology is the key to future growth and massive scalability.”

The company has not fully denounced itself from cryptocurrency, keying in on a previously mentioned design of “distributed ledger technology” as a way to gain advantage over competitors,

“The Company’s goal is to use the initial loyalty business as a catalyst to implement disruptive technology solutions, including distributed ledger technology, into the loyalty industry while realizing immediate revenue and credibility from traditional loyalty contracts,”

In addition, the press release appears to leave room for a potential exit and/or pivot to a different venture, again, by stating that the company cannot guarantee profitability through their current endeavor,

“There can be no assurance that the Company will be successful in developing such technology, or in profitably commercializing it, if developed.”

While Long Blockchain Corp. failed to make a significant impact on the world of Bitcoin or cryptocurrency mining, it may serve as an example for other companies looking to pivot into the space of cryptocurrency.

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Crypto Mining CEO Said to Disappear With $35 Million In Funds

The chief executive of a cryptocurrency mining startup has reportedly disappeared with $35 million in client investments, Newsweek reported Monday.

Le Minh Tam, head of Vietnam-based Sky Mining, has been missing since July 26, according to the report. The startup, which claimed it would rent crypto miners to investors for between $100 and $5,000, received funds from roughly 5,000 individuals prior to Tam’s disappearance last week. Each miner would promise a 300 percent return over a year, with investors keeping the machines for at least 15 and up to as many as 18 months.

However, when one group of investors went to pick up their miners last Friday, they found that the firm’s mining facility and office were empty, and that the mining machines had already been taken away. Tam later reportedly claimed he sold them to cover financial losses, and that his disappearance was aimed at protecting his life.

He sent a similar message on Sunday, claiming that he would return, but Sky Mining deputy chairman Le Minh Hieu claimed the CEO had stolen the funds and relocated to the U.S.

Some investors have already filed lawsuits against the firm, though it is unclear if they will receive their funds back.

Vietnamese news outlet VnExpress reported that Tam controlled every aspect of the company, overseeing all mining operations and controlling all the funds.

Hieu said he tried to set up a temporary board to run the company in Tam’s absence, but death threats against him and his family forced him to shut it down.

Thief image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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MalwareBytes Report Says CryptoJacking Cases Are “Plateauing”

Malwarebytes, a premier cyber security firm, recently released a report highlighting the “cybercrime tactics” of this past quarter. The report mentioned that the presence of cryptominers (cryptojacking) has become quite apparent, as it “dominates the threat landscape.”

Before we delve into the data, first, a bit of information about cryptojacking.

What Is CryptoJacking?

For those who are unaware, cryptojacking is a specific type of cybercrime that sees malicious hackers take control of a victim’s piece of technology, forcing the device to mine cryptocurrencies for the hacker’s personal gain. Cryptojacking malware, although generating only a few cents per device affected, can easily sweep across thousands, if not millions of computers, netting the hackers a nice reward.

The method of attack is usually through an infected website, file or piece of media that will install a script into the background of the victim’s device. Although some might not notice that their computer power gets siphoned off by an attacker, others may begin to notice higher electric bills, and a slow-down to the device they are using.

Cryptojacking Detections See Large Decrease In Q2 2018

According to the aforementioned Malwarebytes report, cryptojacking is still a hot topic within cybersecurity circles but detections of this method of cybercrime are starting to trend downwards. The report noted:

Cryptomining detections are slowly declining; however, as one of the top two detections for both businesses and consumers, they still dominate the threat landscape… The trend in detections closely mirrors the ebb and flow of cryptocurrency market prices, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Monero.

CryptoJacking Profits Are Down Due To Declining Cryptocurrency Prices

The report cited one primary reason why a decrease in cases has occurred, the reason being that cryptocurrency prices have begun to decrease, resulting in a subsequent profit drop-off for miners. The document posted by the cybersecurity firm stated:

Ultimately, many criminals aren’t getting the return on investment (ROI) from cryptomining they were expecting. The cryptojacking craze will likely stabilize as it follows market trends in cryptocurrency.

The collective value of all cryptocurrencies has declined by over 65% since the start of 2018, but network hashrates continued to rise, resulting in a substantial drop in profits. In fact, some farms have begun to shut-off their machines in anticipation of losing large sums of money with their mining operation.

It has become apparent that the money just isn’t there for a majority of cryptojacking operators, resulting in a move from this cybercrime to another.

Android Cases On The Rise, While Desktop/Laptop Cases Decline

Despite seeing an overall decline in cryptojacking detections, especially on desktop and laptop devices, Malwarebytes pointed out that detections of Android cryptominers were up 244% in comparison to 2018’s first quarter.

It is likely that the anti-malware/anti-virus capabilities on Android devices are often lacking, resulting in attackers utilizing this flaw in security.

The report noted:

In fact, in May, the number of Android miner detections dropped by 16 percent from the previous month. However, despite these inconsistencies, Q2 still managed to come in with 244 percent more miner detections than Q1. The Android landscape is likely where we’ll see an overall increase in the use of miners.

Malwarebytes closed off the cryptomining segment expecting for the cryptojacking “hum” to slow as we move into Q3 of 2018, writing:

Until changes in the cryptocurrency market cause a spike or swift downturn, expect to see cryptomining hum along at its current slower pace into Q3.

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New York State Entices Crypto Miners to Negotiate Cheap Power

Cryptocurrency Mining–Despite the overwhelmingly negative image of crypto mining related electricity costs, from the impact they have on the environment to the rising rates of neighborhood power bills, the state of New York has approved a bid to increase the population of miners through cheaper electricity.

On Thursday, state regulators approved a motion that would create a new rate structure specifically for cryptocurrency miners looking to negotiate a better deal on electricity. Massena, a town in Upstate New York, will allow its municipal utility to review contracts on an individual and isolated basis for miners, thereby protecting other residents from an increase in rates from grid usage. This comes on the heels of an earlier decision related to crypto mining electricity costs, when the State cleared 36 municipalities in March to increase rates for individuals and firms mining cryptocurrency.

At the time of the filing, the New York Municipal Power Agency reported that some mining firms were responsible for 33% of grid usage, despite doing little to invest or promote the local economy. In addition to Quebec, China and Iceland, cryptocurrency miners have flocked to locations like New York for their hydro-rich electricity resources, thereby cutting costs to make the process of mining even more profitable. However, as Bloomberg reports, the draw to low-cost areas has locals up in arms over the drain on their grids–which can lead to increased rates across the board in addition to higher utility loads. In the interim, governments such as the state of New York have been forced to address the issue of crypto mining, which operates as a for-profit business despite the fact that most mining individuals and firms fail to qualify for the same benefits of traditional brick and border outlets consuming a disproportionate amount of municipal resources.

New York State Department of Public Service Chair John Rhodes commented on the drain that some miners put on local resources, while confirming that the state was interested in pursuing a mutual relationship with miners,

“We must ensure that business customers pay a fair price for the electricity that they consume. However, given the abundance of low-cost electricity in Upstate New York, there is an opportunity to serve the needs of existing customers and to encourage economic development in the region.”

While Quebec, a similarly hydro-rich area for electricity, has sought to repel the flood of crypto-miners by instituting a three-fold increase in rates specific to cryptocurrency, New York has seen the benefit in sharing its abundant natural resource. Compared to other areas of the country, where the national averages for residential electricity hover at 13 cents per kilowatt-hour, Massena is able to afford customers 3.9 cents per kw-h, in part due to the efficiency of hydroelectric dams.

As Bitcoin, and all of cryptocurrency prices begin to flounder, miners will be forced to find more profitable areas for their electricity-consuming business in an effort to lower costs and make up for the difference in declining value. Just yesterday Joseph Carson, the chief security scientist at Thycotic, cited the rising cost of crypto mining as being the primary cause for the inevitable death of Bitcoin, before making a prediction that BTC would fall to $43.

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Torrent Site Pirate Bay Spells Out Monero Mining Software Use

Torrent website The Pirate Bay is doubling down on its plan to use visitors’ processing power to mine crypto.

In a disclaimer recently added to the bottom of its homepage, the website said that “by entering TPB you agree to [monero] being mined using your CPU. If you don’t agree please leave now or install an adBlocker.”

That message comes months after the site’s administrators wrote in a September blog post that they were testing a monero Javascript miner in an effort to, as they put it, “get rid of all the ads.”

It was a controversial effort launched by an equally controversial website, which has drawn the ire of numerous national governments for its role in facilitating file-sharing online. Despite framing the test as limited in nature, many visitors cried foul as much of their computing power was harnessed for mining XMR. Bleeping Computer reported last October that Pirate Bay had brought back the feature.

The torrent site’s new approach represents a kind of so-called “cryptojacking” that is voluntary in nature. Indeed, other organizations, including the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), have turned to the Coinhive open-source software as a source of revenue (though in that case, the revenues are destined for philanthropic causes).

Other instances of “cryptojacking” have been far more malicious in nature, including a wide-ranging attack this spring which targeted websites running the Drupal content management system.

Image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Mobiles Next? Kaspersky Warns on Rapid Spread of Malicious Crypto Miners

Malicious actors are moving from ransomware to crypto-jacking, a leading cybersecurity firm reported Thursday.

Kaspersky Lab, the Russian cybersecurity company, said in a new report that ransomware attacks – where a malicious file locks a computer until a ransom is paid – have declined by nearly half as the perpetrators instead move to deploy crypto-mining malware instead. This is largely because crypto mining is now more profitable than ransomware, according to the report.

In a press release, Kaspersky explained that it compared data from April 2016–March 2017 with data from April 2017–March 2018. It found that ransomware that encrypts users’ computers declined by nearly 44.6 percent from 2017 to 2018. In that same time period, crypto-mining malware rose by 44.5 percent.

Moreover, at the number of illicit mining instances jumped from 1.87 million in 2016 to roughly 2.7 million at the end of 2017, the company reported.

Kaspersky said that it expects these numbers to continue growing, particularly with the advance of mobile miners.

The report states:

“It is highly likely that the additional growth of mining will come at the expense of mobile miners. For now, they are growing, but at a very steady pace. However, once criminals find a technological solution that makes the profits from mining on mobile devices equivalent to those from mining on PCs, mobile mining will quickly become equal.”

The report expressed particular concern for residents of China and India, which own roughly one third of all smartphones worldwide.

“While ransomware has provided a potentially large but one-off income for its cybercriminals, miners will provide a lower, but longer lasting one. Last year we asked what tips the scales for cybercriminals? Today, this is no longer a question. Miners will keep spreading across the globe, attracting more people.”

Crypto mining image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Quebec Is Weighing A Plan to Sell 500 Megawatts to Crypto Miners

Quebec’s public power utility has submitted plans to the provincial government that could clear the way for Hydro-Quebec to set up a new framework through which to work with cryptocurrency miners.

The plan, if approved, would create a selection process by which Hydro-Quebec will parcel out 500 megawatts worth of power to crypto miners. In a statement last week, the utility said its pitch to the Régie de l’énergie that, if approved, would allow miners to submit bids that Hydro-Quebec would consider based on their ability to create jobs and economic benefits to Quebec.

Hydro-Quebec suggested that it is seeking a speedy solution to the issue – the subject of a moratorium on new approvals issued earlier this month, citing an “unprecedented” level of demand.

The utility also wants to put a cap on the amount of power that crypto-miners can draw during the year, in an effort to free up power for other customers. That concern has been at the heart of many of the disputes seen in North America between crypto miners, local governments and residents.

Hydro-Quebec wrote:

“The economic analysis will favor customers who will be ready to operate their facilities as quickly as possible. In addition, Hydro-Québec could request that these customers decrease their electricity use, for a maximum of 300 hours per year, to allow it to ensure the delivery of electricity to all of its customers, particularly during the winter peak period.”

Hydro-Quebec indicated earlier this year that it would not be able to support all of the demand it has seen, according to a document published in March.

Hydroelectricity power station image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.