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GMO's New Internet Bank Will Settle Payments With Blockchain

Japanese digital services firm GMO Internet has just launched a new web bank that it says will soon use blockchain to facilitate payments.

The firm said in a company notice that it had teamed up with Aozora Bank Group on the joint enterprise and that the two firms had been preparing for the launch of the “next-generation” bank since mid-2016.

The new entity – dubbed GMO Aozora Net Bank – aims to provide new financial services through the integration of fintech and IT, and will leverage advanced security certificates, blockchain, artificial intelligence and internet of things, according to the document.

In a press release, the new bank said it will work with GMO Internet “to develop a new settlement system utilizing blockchain technology.”

The bank states:

“Through the application of blockchain technology, there is an increasing expectation for breakthroughs for safer and cheaper payments and financial services.”

In the future, GMO Aozora Net Bank further plans to become what it calls a “platform bank,” making its payments infrastructure available to other firms under a “white label” licensing scheme.

The bank launch marks GMO’s latest project involving blockchain and cryptocurrencies since it launched its own exchange in May 2017 and followed that with a move into the bitcoin mining business in September.

Last month, the firm revealed that it would launch its own bitcoin miner to be shipped from October – the world’s first to be based on 7nm chip technology.

Banking app image via GMO Aozora Net Bank

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$1,999: GMO Reveals Details of Its New 7nm Bitcoin Miner

Japanese IT giant GMO Internet has revealed prices and specs for its new-from-the-ground-up bitcoin miner – the world’s first based on a 7nm chip.

At a press conference, the company said Tuesday that its 7nm ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) that will power the new B2 miner is designed in Japan, but manufactured in Taiwan.

The arrival of a 7nm chip is notable since it ushers in more hashing power for bitcoin miners, while at the same time reducing power consumption, an important factor for miners in seeking return on their investment.

According to a Bloomberg reporter who tweeted from the event, the B2 will provide a hash rate of 24TH/s, with power consumption at 1,950W per unit – that breaks down at 81W per 1 TH/s.

By comparison, the current market leader – Bitmain’s Antminer S9 – offers 14TH/s at a power consumption of around 1,300W.

The B2 may offer market leading power, if GMO’s figures prove to be accurate, but it will come at a price – $1,999 to be exact. That’s compared with $837 for the Antminer S9.

As if there was any doubt that GMO plans to knock Bitmain of its pedestal, the firm’s CEO Masatoshi Kumagai reportedly stated:

“I respect Bitmain, but we will top them”

As reported by CoinDesk, the B2 was revealed on May 24, with GMP saying pre-orders will start on June 6 and shipments to follow in October.

The launch comes following a months-long testing period since the firm initially revealed it was researching and developing the new mining processor in September 2017.

GMO B2 miner image via Yuji Nakamura/Twitter

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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GMO Launches Mobile App That Lets Gamers Earn Bitcoin

Japanese technology firm GMO Internet Group has developed a new mobile app that lets users earn bitcoin simply by playing games, the company said on Thursday.

According to an announcement, the new app – called CryptoChips – will initially be integrated with a real-time territorial battle game also developed by GMO called “Whimsical War.”

By playing the game on an iOS or Android device starting from August of this year, users can be rewarded with bitcoin based on their ranking and missions achieved inside the game.

Rather than using on-device mining to earn the cryptocurrency, players will receive their bitcoin rewards directly from GMO. The firm kicked off its own bitcoin mining operations in December 2017, and has also slated in August as the deadline for the launch of its cloud mining service.

The tech giant said in the announcement that the hope is to encourage the public to become familiar with cryptocurrencies via the new app, since users will need to use their own digital wallets to receive and use the bitcoin.

GMO indicated that, moving forward, it may include support for more cryptocurrencies within the app and also expand its integrations across other mobile games.

The new service comes just a week after GMO announced that it is launching the world’s first 7nm bitcoin mining chip, with a target shipment deadline set for the end of October 2018.

Mobile game 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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GMO Has Mined Millions of Dollars in Bitcoin Already

The cryptocurrency mine launched by Japanese IT firm GMO Internet has generated more than $3 million in revenue over the past three months.

According to a mining report released on March 5, the publicly-traded company disclosed that it had generated 23 BTC, 93 BTC and 124 BTC in December, January and February, respectively. All told, those coins are worth approximately $2.67 million as of press time according to CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index.

In addition, the firm further reported a total mining income of 525 bitcoin cash during the same period, an amount valued at $654,000 at current prices. All told, GMO’s mining venture brought in a little over $3.3 million in revenue within months since its start.

That said, the data provided by GMO doesn’t offer a complete picture of the mine’s financial status, including the cost at which those coins came. It’s unclear whether the number of cryptocurrencies brought in exceeded operating expenses at any point during the three-month period.

GMO’s report also detailed its growth in processing capacity.

With a most-recent hashrate of 108 petahashes per second (PH/s) by the end of February, GMO has set a goal of achieving 3,000 PH/s within this year. Currently, the bitcoin network boasts a hashrate of 22,125 PH/s, based on data published by Blockchain.

As reported before, the firm initially unveiled the plan to launch its mining unit last September, which officially went live by the end of last year in northern Europe.

Past statements indicate that the mine will likely see additional revenue sources starting later this year. GMO said in February that it also aims to step up the effort by offering cryptocurrency cloud mining services in August this year.

Bitcoin mining miniature image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency.

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GMO Internet's Crypto Mining Facility Is Up and Running

GMO Internet, a publicly listed IT firm in Japan, has officially launched its cryptocurrency mining operation.

The mining unit was previously unveiled in September, with a goal of going live with it in the first quarter of 2018. GMO has pursued a number of cryptocurrency-related business lines in the past year, including an exchange platform it opened in the spring and a bitcoin-focused payroll service unveiled earlier this month.

According to today’s announcement, the new facility is based in northern Europe. And while the firm declined to name its exact location, GMO indicated that the mine will draw electricity from geothermal and hydropower sources. As reported earlier, the mining facility will be equipped with a computing power at 500 petahashes per second (PH/s).

“The cryptocurrency mining business will use existing technology to mine from facilities (mining centers) in Northern Europe. GMO Internet will increase the size of the operation in phases, expanding the business,” GMO said in its statement.

The announcement also confirms previously suggested plans to develop a cloud mining service, through which it would sell excess hashing power and the associated rewards (when a new block is added to a blockchain by a miner, that miner receives new coins in return) to consumers.

GMO also appears to be taking a bullish approach to its mining business in the long-term.

For example, the publicly traded firm plans to begin upgrading its chips in the first half of next year. Supporting that effort is research into new mining chips being developed with as-yet-to-be-revealed partners.

Pending the outcome of that process, GMO indicated that it would move to begin selling mining hardware.

“After the company has gained a certain level of operational experience, it will work on initiatives including [the] provision of a cloud mining service and selling next-generation mining boards equipped with mining chips,” the firm said in the statement.

Bitcoin mining photo via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

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Japan's GMO Internet to Roll Out Bitcoin Payroll System

Japanese internet giant GMO revealed yesterday that it soon allow staff to receive some of their salary in bitcoin.

The bitcoin payroll system will allow the firm’s network of more than 4,000 employees to receive part of their salary in bitcoin in a move aimed to promote the development and adoption of the cryptocurrency, GMO said in a statement.

GMO plans to roll out the system starting from February 2018, for its March payroll, with a gradual expansion across the entire group likely to follow.

The company states:

“The GMO Internet Group will contribute to the development of virtual currencies in the world by promoting efforts related to virtual currency throughout the group.”

GMO in October announced plans for an initial coin offering (ICO), saying its new token would be used as as part of a payment system for an upcoming series of products.

According to the latest statement, the new system will use the token, dubbed “GMO coin,” to allow staff to purchase bitcoin as part of the scheme.

Employees will have a lower limit of 10,000 yen (around $88) and an upper limit 100,000 yen ($882) for the bitcoin portion of their monthly salaries, and will also receive a bonus of 10 percent of the chosen amount as a “incentive,” according to the firm.

Tokyo-based GMO first entered the cryptocurrency space with the opening of an exchange in May 2017.  The company, which offers web hosting and a range of other digital services, also announced in September the launch of a new cryptocurrency mining operation, which is set to commence in the first half of 2018.

Editor’s Note: Some of the statements in this report have been translated from Japanese.

Bitcoin and yen image via Shutterstock

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Japan's GMO Internet Unveils New Blockchain KYC Project

Japanese digital services firm GMO Internet has developed a new blockchain-based know-your-customer (KYC) tool.

In an announcement, the company said that the application was specifically intended for use by banks when verifying the identities of new customers.

GMO Internet explained the system in the release, stating:

“The user submits the ‘personal information’ necessary for identity verification to the certification body, and signs the signature (acceptance with the ‘key’ paired with the address) from the terminal owned by the principal. The certification body confirms the ‘personal information’ of the user, generates ‘hash value of personal information,’ and records it on the blockchain in association with the address of the user associated with the signature.”

The current code for the tool has been made open-source, with GMO indicating that it will look to apply the tech in other parts of its wider business group, including some of its existing identity services.

“GMO Blockchain OSS is currently preparing for the development of [a] smartphone application for certification … and demonstration experiments in collaboration with GMO GlobalSign to put this mechanism into practical use,” the firm said.

The new tool is the latest launch from the company related to blockchain tech, coming months after it opened a cryptocurrency exchange in Japan and announced plans to create a cloud mining service. As previously reported, GMO, a publicly traded firm founded in the 1990s, is planning to spend tens of millions of dollars in the coming months to build the cryptocurrency mine.

Lottery balls image via Shutterstock

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$90 Million Budget: Japan's GMO Reveals More Cryptocurrency Mining Details

Japanese digital services firm GMO has divulged additional plans for its forthcoming cryptocurrency mine and the $90 million budget backing it.

According to TechWave, on Wednesday the company held a presentation on the plan following its announcement last week. GMO, which was founded in the 1990s and already operates its own cryptocurrency exchange, said it would begin mining – an energy intensive process by which new transactions are added to a blockchain –in the first half of 2018.

In the presentation, GMO representatives said that it would begin testing a new 7nm semiconductor chip by the spring. To date, according to the demo, GMO has already spent $3 million out of an expected 10 billion yen (worth approximately $90 million). That initial funding has been spent to kickstart the chip development as well as work on the facility itself, according to the report.

GMO representatives announced the datacenter, which will be built in northern Europe, and its purpose last week, marking the first time a major internet company jumped into the cryptocurrency mining market.

According to GMO President Masatoshi Kumagai:

“Besides mining at our company, we also plan to sell the mining board with the ‘cloud mining center’ [so] that anyone can participate in mining.”

GMO is not the only company to get involved in cryptocurrency mining. Japanese e-commerce giant DMM announced they would also be getting involved with the business. They plan to begin testing in October, and may enter full production by the end of 2017.

Editor’s Note: Statements in this article were translated from Japanese.

Datacenter image via Shutterstock.

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at [email protected].