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Drop in Bitcoin (BTC) Mining Increasing Network Risk

Bitcoin (BTC), Cryptocurrency, Mining–As previously reported by EWN, the drop in Bitcoin hash rate which has accompanied the most recent price fall throughout the month of November has raised a debate over the cause of decreased mining, and the potential ramifications.

Some Twitter users pointed to an outright abandonment of cryptocurrency mining, with drop in valuation from $6500 to the recent lof of $3500 (including nearly $100 billion wiped in market cap from all coins) as being the catalyze to spark a mass exodus in miners. Given the state of the cryptocurrency industry just one year ago, where mining rigs were in high demand and even established companies were jumping ship to join the mining craze, the end of 2018 has seen a compelling shift in attitude.

A video published last week, which shows hundreds of expensive mining rigs sitting unused in a warehouse, sparked an uproar in the crypto community, with some believing the footage to be doctored in an attempt to publish more FUD at an already low point for the market.

However, other outlets have vouched their support for the incidence, giving some credence that the industry of crypto mining is in decline with the falling prices. In some respect, it’s not surprise. The cost of equipment in conjunction with the amount of electricity required to mine at a profitable rate had inevitably led some once enterprising individuals to cut their losses and exit the industry. But, as many have pointed out, there could also be a general shift away from BTC at present, with the mainstay of miners seeking out more profitable coins in the interim until Bitcoin prices show a more promising outlook.

For the remaining miners, the decreased competition means an increased chance of coin rewards. However, for the industry of cryptocurrency and the integrity of Bitcoin transactions, the decreased rate of mining and hash rate for the top currency by market cap also increases the network risk for attack. While the direction of the industry was, to the regret of many fans of decentralization, trending towards consolidation prior to the recent dropping hash rate, the most recent exodus has led to a worsening effect.

According to data published by Bloomberg,

At least 100,000 individual miners have shut down, according to Autonomous Research LLP. Fundstrat Global Advisors LLC estimates that about 1.4 million servers have been unplugged since early September.

Malachi Salcido, head of Salcido Enterprises–one of the largest mining groups in North America–says that the falling profitability of crypto mining is shaking out the weak hands, but also causing a concentration of power for the remaining few,

“We are entering in the phase when there’s a flushing out of the market. There will be relatively few operations that come out the other side.”

Bitcoin’s network relies upon the decentralization of mining services. With hash rates falling 36 percent since their peak in August, and problem-solving difficulty down 10 percent, the conglomerate mining networks are raking in newly minted coins, but also posing an increased risk of a 51 percent attack. With less variable rigs contributing to the network’s hash rate, the opportunity for one mining group, or a coalition of miners to gain control of the service also greatly increases.

Not only would controlling miners hold the lion’s share of new coins being produced, but they would also be able to influence the transaction landscape–with the ability to inflate fees, reverse specific transactions, or halt them all together.

Many within the industry have pointed to the mutualism of the Bitcoin ecosystem as being sufficient to prevent such an attack. If miners put a stranglehold on transaction services, the overall usability of the platform plummets which in turn leads to fewer transactions (and fees) in addition to a falling valuation for BTC. According to this logic, miners benefit as much as users for maintaining a fair ecosystem.

However, only time will tell the effects of such consolidation of power. Without true decentralization in its pocket, the appeal of Bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies begins to fall to that of traditional fiat.

The post Drop in Bitcoin (BTC) Mining Increasing Network Risk appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Firefox Browser To Address Crypto Malware Concerns In Upcoming Update

Mozilla Firefox To Combat CryptoMining

The Mozilla Foundation, the California-based firm behind the ever so popular Firefox browser, has finally made its first formal mention of the nascent cryptocurrency industry, but sadly not in an optimal context.

On August 30th, Mozilla issued a blog post highlighting a series of upgrades it intends to make for its flagship product, the Mozilla Firefox browser.

The technology firm outlined a series of improvements that were meant to increase the performance and security of the browser, which included improving page load speeds, “removing cross-site tracking,” and most importantly, mitigating harmful practices enacted by malicious users.

Although this may be dull to some, what caught the eye of many cryptocurrency enthusiasts was the

Image Courtesy of Mozilla

mention of “cryptomining scripts” in the aforementioned post. The firm noted that it intends to crack down on sites that introduce cryptomining scripts onto consumer computers, adding that future versions of Firefox will “block these practices by default.”

Mozilla Product VP Nick Nuygen, who authored the post, elaborated on the plan, writing:

Other sites have deployed cryptomining scripts that silently mine cryptocurrencies on the user’s device. Practices like these make the web a more hostile place to be. Future versions of Firefox will block these practices by default.

Nuygen went on to explain that this move will give consumers “a voice” and will help to “empower Firefox users” to be more in control of their experience on the web. This feature will first be beta tested on Firefox Nightly, which will ensure that malicious scripts are blocked effectively.

Mozilla isn’t the only firm to take a harsh stance against cryptomining, as many prominent companies consider it a threat to the security and safety of millions of consumers around the globe, especially in a word that is becoming increasingly digital.

As reported by Ethereum World News previously, Google has taken a harsh stance against cryptomining, recently establishing a rule that banned all cryptocurrency mining applications from its mobile play store and web store. Although the technology giant has shown the slightest hints of interest in blockchain technologies, it seems that the firm intends to remain heavy-handed when it comes to products relating to the potentially malicious action of cryptomining, cryptojacking and the like.

Opera, which sits behind Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft’s Edge and Apple’s Safari as the most popular internet browser, has also taken a stance against in-browser “bitcoin mining,” but was ahead of the curb as it introduced anti-bitcoin mining measures in January 2018.

Although cryptocurrencies are undoubtedly seeing adoption, acceptance, and growth in every nook and cranny, it goes without saying that there are still issues with this newfangled technology. Whether it be the aforementioned cryptomining epidemic or the widespread hacking of wallets, it is clear that security remains a legitimate concern for many.

Title Image Courtesy of J. Albert Bowden ll @ Flickr
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Ethereum (ETH) Developers Cut Block Rewards By 33% To Curb Inflation

From 3 ETH To 2 ETH Every 14 Seconds

As with the growth of any asset, product or service, development is key. And it seems that the team behind the Ethereum project has taken development to heart, recently holding an hour-long meeting to discuss the future of their brainchild.

Friday’s meeting, dubbed “Ethereum Core Devs Meeting Constantinople Session #1,” covered a variety of topics that include ASIC resistance, an updated consensus algorithm (ProgPoW), future hard forks and a so-called “difficulty bomb,” which are all topics that pertain to October 2018’s planned Constantinople hard fork.

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But the curiosity of many investors, traders, analysts, and miners piqued when the 15 meeting attendees started to discuss the rules surrounding this issuance of Ether, which has become a hot topic within cryptocurrency community.

After discussing Ether issuance for a good period of time, the attendees, which were mainly composed of core developers, decided to confirm a 33% block reward reduction, from 3 ETH to 2 ETH as per Ethereum-Improvement-protocol 1234.

While this announcement may seem mundane on the surface, some were over the moon about this decision. Eric Conner, an Ethereum proponent, highlighted the statistics of the current Ethereum Network and when the Constantinople upgrade occurs.

Conner revealed that as it stands, there is a 7.4% annual inflation rate of Ether, which amounts to a hefty 7,378,402 ETH ($2.065 Billion). This is evidently ludicrous, with many pointing out that a 7.4% inflation rate eclipses the declining purchasing power of ‘popular’ fiat currencies. But once EIP-1234 sees full implementation, the Ethereum network’s inflation rate will drop to a respectable 4.7%, or 4,918,935 ETH a year ($1.37 Billion).

It was added that this move will essentially put Ether’s inflation rate nearly on-par with Bitcoin’s, which will both hover around 4% annually by the start of 2019.

Alex Kruger, an Argentina-based cryptoanalyst, questioned why the market “isn’t reacting more bullishly to this.” But as seen by this week’s news cycle, the market has seemingly stopped reacting to news altogether, with bullish and bearish news alike not making any dents on the often irrational price action of crypto assets.

Eduardo Gomez, a Venezuelan cryptocurrency commentator, likened this move to a Bitcoin block reward halving event, adding that prices will first dump “then moon” in the months following the event.

Gomez is alluding to the theory that a smaller block reward will only bolster prices in the long-run, as miners will need to put in more ‘effort’ (funds, electricity etc.) to garner the crypto they are craving for. And as seen by the previous Bitcoin halving events, this seems to be more of a reality than a theory, as the price of the foremost crypto asset surged in the months/year following the move from 25 BTC to 12.5 BTC per block.

In related news, along with reducing block rewards, the Constantinople EIP-1234 move intends to delay Ethereum’s difficulty bomb, which will give developers more time to work on the Casper protocol, which would move the network from a PoW-centric system to a Proof of Stake (PoS) model.

Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash
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Crypto Mine Hit With Noise Complaints May Be Shut Down

A Norway-based crypto mining farm accused of making too much noise may have to suspend its operations due to regulatory problems.

Kryptovault, which operates facilities in several Norwegian cities, could be closed because it lacks the right permits, The Local reported Tuesday.

Local officials say the facility “has been operating illegally,” though it’s not clear which the mine is required to have.

As a result, the local government may force Kryptovault to shut down its miners – at least temporarily. CEO Stig Myrseth told the paper that the company has applied for the missing permits, adding that the firm was told it had the appropriate permits when it first took over an old paper mill.

The facility draws as much as 40 megawatts of power to run 9,500 computers, and the fans used to cool the facility have sparked complaints over the last several months because of their noise level.

A nearby resident, Trond Gulestø, reportedly told another paper that “our summer has been ruined,” explaining that the farm generates noise “24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

Last week, as previously reported, the noise level resulted in a bomb threat being made against the company. An anonymous letter stated that “if you are expanding crypto mining and filling the country with noise, then you will be sabotaging the peace. I am threatening to send you some explosives.”

Kryptovault is looking to invest in equipment to reduce the noise pollution it produces, according to The Local.

Norwegian flag 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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Bitcoin Energy Consumption Could Drive Innovation, Says Research Associate

Bitcoin (BTC)–By now, most within and outside of the industry of cryptocurrency are familiar with the narrative surrounding Bitcoin energy usage. The argument goes that as Bitcoin becomes a more popular choice in terms of digital currency, the increase of miners looking to capitalize on transaction fees and reward payouts will increase, thereby also raising the hashing difficulty of the cryptocurrency.

The end result will be more rigs competing for the ultimate prize of the mined blocks–and also consuming a proportionally higher amount of energy. The debate has grown so large that environmentalists and other conservation oriented researchers and politicians have weighed in on cryptocurrency as “evil,” saying it promotes a type of waste that is not necessary in today’s digital age. Others have pointed to the overwhelming benefits of proof of work, and the associated electrical costs as a by-product of a maturing industry. In addition, many cryptocurrency projects have started to emerge that forego energy-intensive Proof of Work systems, while still providing the benefits of blockchain and secure digital payments.

Now, a researcher out of the University of Pittsburgh is weighing in with a bold claim: that energy consumption related to Bitcoin is being unnecessarily criticized by people who find Proof of Work to be a flaw for Bitcoin, when in reality it constitutes a usable feature. Dr. Katrina Kelly-Pitou, electrical and computer engineering research associate at the University of Pittsburgh, wrote an article for the outlet The Conversation in which she claims that the environmental conservation slant against Bitcoin is being used to spread false claims, in addition to being grossly oversimplified in terms of the impact of the technology. In particular, she uses the idea of Bitcoin’s energy crisis as a ‘red herring,’ that distracts people from pursuing a deeper understanding of digital currencies in favor of the knee-jerk reaction to mounting energy costs,

“I am a researcher who studies clean energy technology, specifically the transition toward decarbonized energy systems…New technologies – such as data centers, computers and before them trains, planes and automobiles – are often energy-intensive. Over time, all of these have become more efficient, a natural progression of any technology: Saving energy equates to saving costs.”

As Dr. Kelly-Pitou points out, technologies naturally follow a curve of becoming more resource efficient, which includes Bitcoin and miners finding a way to cut costs while still retaining the benefits of blockchain and reward payouts. Instead of focusing on how much energy Bitcoin mining consumes, Dr. Kelly-Pitou makes the argument that the technology should be focused on developing into a more efficient model, while the greater portion of society should look to renewable resources as a way to supply the power for advancing technological innovation.

Instead, the current narrative is one to shun the growth of a new industry–cryptocurrency being one of several technologies to draw the ire of environmental conservationists–thereby slowing down the overall progress of society as opposed to finding ways to merge technology with more efficient energy production. As she puts it, energy-focused conversations have the effect of keeping Bitcoin in a category of misunderstood, with people failing to go beyond a surface-level of understanding,

“Like many other aspects of the energy industry, bitcoin is not necessarily a ‘bad guy.’ It’s simply a new, and vaguely understood, industry. The discussion about energy consumption and bitcoin is, I believe, unfair without discussing the energy intensity of new technologies overall, specifically in data centers.”

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Google Play’s Anti-Crypto Mining App Policy Hasn’t Seemed To Work

While cryptocurrency mining has historically been a task completed by powerful desktop computers or ASICs, some innovative firms have decided to create applications that allow mobile devices to mine. These apps quickly garnered popularity in the cryptosphere, as users sought to accumulate a bit of crypto change through an easy-to-use, ‘set and forget’ mobile program.

But as reported by Ethereum World News, Google did their best to put an end to these apps at the end of July 2018. In a policy update, the technology giant specifically acknowledged crypto mining, writing:

We don’t allow apps that mine cryptocurrency on devices. We permit apps that remotely manage the mining of cryptocurrency.

As a result of this rule, all apps that provide an in-house mining feature would be banned and forcefully removed from Google’s so-called “Play Store.” Nonetheless, a recent article from The Next Web‘s cryptocurrency column seems to show that the ban has not been entirely effective.

Image Courtesy of TNW

TNW reporters first found an app called JSECoin, which is reportedly a UK-based blockchain startup that is focused on providing browser-based mining services as an alternative to mining. From this description, it seems that JSE is doing its best to replicate what CoinHive has done, this being an alternative method for websites to generate capital without displaying advertisements. Regardless, the startup recently announced that it had introduced its own program onto the Google Play Store.

Although JSECoin’s primary feature is to remotely manage a mining operation, the app offers a secondary feature of mining directly on your phone, which is evidently against Google’s newly instated policy. However, according to JSECoin’s co-founder and CTO, John Sim, his firm did not mean harm when they introduced this feature, nor did it have anything malicious in mind. After back and forth between JSE and Google, the technology giant removed the application from Google Play’s expansive selection of millions of apps. In a later comment, Sim noted that Google had temporarily suspended the app, noting that even a “low power CPU consumption” mining mode, which JSE provided, would not be permitted.

While JSE may be in the wrong in this case, there are other applications that still are present on the Play Store that do not abide by Google’s rules, which seem to be more of an advisory at the moment. A popular mining application that is still present is MinerGate, which markets itself as a way to “make a mobile crypto fortune” and a way to “mine on the go.”

Although MinerGate has 1,000,000+ downloads, with an amassment of 5/5 raving reviews, there are some individuals who aren’t convinced that the app does as it claims. For example, James Dawson-Shaw writes:

(It’s) Impossible to make money using a mobile device. Could work on a VERY HIGH SPEC computer to make £5 a month. Other than that, the company is the only thing making money.

Other outraged individuals claimed much of the same, with others noting that there were issues with the app itself, which hasn’t been updated in nearly three months to boot. But again, MinerGate is a small drop in a metaphorical bucket of dozens, if not hundreds (or even thousands) of applications that claim to support mobile mining and are still listed where Google was supposed to ban them from.

According to a recent statement from Google, the firm has only permitted these apps due to its grace period system, where rules are not acted upon immediately upon filing. While this explains the aforementioned apps, it still remains to be seen how JSE slipped through Google’s all-watching radar.

This isn’t the only time that Google has botched a cryptocurrency app-related situation. In late-July, Google unexpectedly dropped MetaMask, a popular DApp and Ethereum browser solution, from its desktop-focused store.

But even though Google may not be on top of the cryptocurrency-related app game, the American technology company has begun to show the slightest signs of acceptance of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

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Monero (XMR) Coinhive Miner Rakes In Over $120,000 A Month

Many individuals fall under the false impression that crypto mining operations are solely operated by large corporations with data centers that can be likened to a mansion. However, this is far from the case, as there are methods of mining that can be used to garner cryptocurrencies, like Monero, through any old computer system.

Image from Marco Verch

One such method is through Coinhive, which is a Javascript-based miner that is often situated on sites across the web. For those who are unaware, Coinhive, which was released in 2017, is a Monero-focused mining script that is specifically targeted at websites looking to make money without running advertisements. Although there has been a dramatic decrease in the prices of cryptocurrencies, Monero included, the script is still used en-masse today.

According to a report from Germany’s RWTH Aachen University, which was relayed by The Next Web, Coinhive-based miners make up a hefty 1.18% of the total hashing power of the Monero blockchain. While 1% may not sound like anything extraordinary, it is surprising considering that the crypto mining industry is backed by billions of dollars. Moreover, Monero miners account for 75% of all browser-based crypto mining operations.

Upon further discussion, academics noted that after an in-depth analysis of the Monero network that Coinhive could generate upwards of 300 XMR each week. This translates to approximately $29,000 a week, $120,000 a month, and $1.4 million each year at August 17th prices (1 XMR = $96). The report elaborated, noting:

“If we sum up the block rewards of the actually mined blocks over the observation period of [four] weeks, we find that Coinhive [sic] earned 1,271 XMR.”

While website owners utilizing the script have been raking in XMR, the developers behind CoinHive also integrated a function where they get 30% of all mined cryptocurrencies. As such, it is speculated that the developers behind the project have garnered hundreds of thousands of dollars in XMR since its release.

Hackers And Coinhive’s ‘Short Link’ Feature

Despite Coinhive’s developers originally creating the script with good intent, it quickly became a method for hackers acting in malintent to buff their own cryptocurrency wallets. These hackers often secretly integrate Coinhive code onto websites to infect thousands of computers, forcing the devices of unsuspecting victims to mine for a hacker’s personal gain. This is an attack vector of choice because setting up an XMR Coinhive miner is relatively easy and transactions are kept confidential on the Monero blockchain.

According to the aforementioned report, CoinHive can operate using a so-called ‘short link’ system, where a user is required to unknowingly or knowingly submit a varied amount of hashes to the Monero network to reach a specific website.

Upon analysis of the nearly two million active short links, academics found that a majority of these short links are directed to shady sites, indicating how widespread the cryptojacking dilemma may have become. Additionally, the majority of the XMR garnered through the aforementioned two million short links are reportedly directed to 10 individuals.

To stop your computer from being cryptojacked, either through short links, malicious download or infected websites, security researcher Troy Mursch recommends the minerBlock browser extension, that utilizes a Javascript detector to stave off all cryptojacking attempts.

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Crypto Mining Firm Receives Bomb Threat Over Noise Level

A bomb threat was sent to a Norwegian cryptocurrency mining company for “sabotaging the peace” with noise this past Saturday.

Kryptovault, a crypto mining firm with facilities in a number of cities in Norway, reported receiving threats after a local paper reported on its work, according to Yahoo Finance.

The bomb threat said “if you are expanding crypto mining and filling the country with noise, then you will be sabotaging the peace. I am threatening to send you some explosives,” according to the report.

Kryptovault managing director Gjermund Hagesaeter said the anonymous notice was immediately sent to local authorities, who are “taking the whole issue very seriously indeed.”

Noise complaints over the sound level of mining operations from local residents has been a reoccurring issue for Kryptovault. Back in June, Vakdalposten newspaper reported that the company hosted consultation meetings with neighbors in the city of Dale as an attempt to remedy ongoing frustrations.

However, given the recent turn of events, new assessments are being drawn on the course action needed to be taken to ensure the safety of both Kryptovault facilities and employees.

In fact, speaking with Yahoo Finance, Hagesaeter revealed that among their three cities of operation, “Dale is far more accessible” to potential intruders. As a result, employees in the city have been warned to “be on their toes” in case of any abnormal activity moving forward.

Mining is becoming an increasingly lucrative activity for private businesses around the world given increased consumer demand for crypto assets such as bitcoin. At the same time, the activity requires a host of energy-intensive computations consuming large amounts of electricity, that some propose only incentivize the need for sustainable energy solutions.

Alarm 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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Rising Hashrates Amidst Shaky Crypto Market — “They’re Happy To Accumulate”

Since the start of 2018, Bitcoin has fallen by over 65%, leading some to guess that mining activity fell in correlation with declining prices. However, it has become apparent that this hasn’t been the case, with hashrates across multiple networks consistently seeing higher lows (and higher highs) amidst an overall market downtrend. Where’s the proof? You may ask.

Well, as seen by the following chart from Blockchain’s information and statistics service, the seven-day hashrate average has nearly quadrupled since the start of the year, even as Bitcoin underwent serious ‘dives’ downwards. This was also seen across other networks, albeit not as bad, with Ethereum seeing a doubling in hashrate, and Litecoin’s hashrate nearly tripling.

Taking hashrate statistics into account, one would assume that mining is still profitable for all parties involved. But according to a recent Bloomberg article, it may not be that simple. Over the past months, the likes of Fundstrat’s Tom Lee and Brian Kelly have claimed that the break-even cost of mining has been well above today’s prices. But hashrates continue to rise, up and up, with miners seemingly giving zero regards to the total fees of mining (electricity, maintenance, hardware etc.) postulated by market analysts.

According to Marco Streng, the CEO of Genesis Mining, larger corporate miners are edging out the in-home, consumer miners, with firms like his still making “major expansions.” He elaborated, stating:

“There are still major expansions happening, especially from more efficient miners. The expansion is so big that it compensated for the drop-out of not-so-efficient miners.”

The previous statement alludes to the fact that operations like his — data centers that span tens of thousands of square feet and consume many megawatts of electricity — have grown so much that they have forced retail users out of the market, while also driving up hashrates near-exponentially.

In theory, as continually noted by Tom Lee, an increasing hashrate (and a subsequent increase in mining cost), should lead to higher cryptocurrency prices, as the break-even level has been seen as an unofficial bottom by some analysts. Therefore, many believe that the opposite is true, but as computational power and operational costs move downwards, it becomes evident that there are other factors behind networks undertaking a growing miner population.

David Sapper, the chief operating officer (COO) at the Blockbid crypto exchange, noted:

“The increased hash rate means people are here for the long-term because they’re happy to just accumulate what they have, potentially even run at a loss. At the same time, At the same time, they do sometimes have to clear house and dump (though).”

This brings up a very interesting point, where miners, who are operating at equilibrium or a slight/medium-loss are only keeping their machines on to accumulate crypto for the long-haul. This move suggests that while some firms may need to sell some crypto to cover costs, that this longer-term ‘HODL’ approach may indicate a sentiment of the success of the market for years to come.

While some data centers may be operating at a loss, as the aforementioned Genesis Mining CEO points out, it varies from firm to firm as specific farms are subject to an array of factors that drive costs up or down. Genesis Mining, while recently making a move to shut down unprofitable mining contracts, has still expanded its centers, buying new hardware that can keep up with the rising hashrates. Additionally, there are firms like Bitmain, which manufacture ASICs and uses these machines to mine itself, making the Chinese firm relatively profitable in the process.

Although ASICs may continue to ramp up in power, power efficiency, and manufacturability, it still remains to be seen whether hashrates will rise exponentially into the future.

Image Courtesy of Marco Verch

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Bitmain One Ups Canaan’s Crypto TV, Launches WiFi Router Miner

As per a recent tweet, Bitmain’s mining hardware division has just launched the so-called “Antrouter,” which as its name implies is a WiFi router. However, don’t get this new piece of hardware wrong, because it allows its users to mine cryptocurrencies while providing internet connectivity for your home, both at the same time.

According to the aforementioned tweet, there are two iterations of the router, which are the R3-Dash & R3-SIA, which are designed to mine the popular Dash (DASH) and SiaCoin (SC) cryptocurrencies. While these may be Bitmain-backed miners, don’t expect astronomical gains, as the router seems to be intended for users to slowly accumulate some crypto pocket change.

It is important to note that this new product lineup is also capable of mining alternative X11 and Blake2b cryptos, not just Dash and SiaCoin.

Using the mining feature of the router is as simple as connecting it to the internet, and checking the status of the Antrouter through an easy-to-use Bitmain account.

This is yet another case of a cryptocurrency hardware company releasing a miner disguised as a household appliance. As reported by Ethereum World News, Canaan Creative, Bitmain’s primary competitor, has recently created a television that has Bitcoin mining built-in.

According to the Beijing-based firm, this TV can produce up to 2.8 trillion hashes per second, which is quite impressive considering its a device focused on offering digital content, not Bitcoin. Canaan also noted that the TV comes with an artificial intelligence feature, which will hopefully make it a lot more attractive to prospective owners of this new device.

However, some remain skeptical, with Xiao Lei, a Beijing-based crypto analyst, questioning this seemingly random move. He stated:

It looks more like hype. It will be more meaningful if these companies are able to embed the mining function into existing major TV brands.

It still remains to be seen whether these dual-function appliances are just a gimmick or a move to propagate cryptocurrencies non-intrusively across the globe.

Over 170,000 MikroTik Devices Infected With “CoinHive” Cryptojacking Strain

In related news, thousands of MikroTik routers have fallen victim to a cryptojacking virus, as per a report from cybersecurity analytic firm Trustwave.

According to Trustwave, cybersecurity researchers recently uncovered a net of cryptomining attacks that were focused in on devices in Brazil, specifically WiFi routers from MikroTik. The report highlighted the extent of this attack, which allowed hackers to install the CoinHive mining script onto the computers of thousands of innocent victims.

Simon Kenin, a cybersecurity analyst, expressed “how bad this attack is,” when he wrote:

“Allegedly, each victim would have initially gotten the CoinHive script regardless which site they visited. Even if this attack only works on pages that return errors, we’re still talking about potentially millions of daily pages for the attacker.”

It remains to be seen whether a patch has been issued for this vulnerability, but due to the extent of the attack, it is likely that something is in the works.

Photo by Andres Urena on Unsplash

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