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Bitcoin is a digital currency, ethereum mining network difficultya decentralized system that records transactions in a distributed ledger called a blockchain.Bitcoin miners run complex computer rigs to solve complicated puzzles in an effort to confirm groups of transactions called blocks; upon success, these blocks are added to the blockchain record and the miners are rewarded with a small number of bitcoins.
Other participants in the Bitcoin market can buy or sell tokens through cryptocurrency exchanges or peer-to-peer.The Bitcoin ledger is protected against fraud via a trustless system; Bitcoin exchanges also work to defend themselves against potential theft, though high-profile thefts have occurred.The BlockchainBitcoin is a network that runs on a protocol known as the blockchain. A 2008 paper by a person or people calling themselves Satoshi Nakamoto first described both the blockchain and Bitcoin, and for a while, the two terms were all but synonymous.The blockchain has since evolved into a separate concept, and thousands of blockchains have been created using similar cryptographic techniques. This history can make the nomenclature confusing. Blockchain sometimes refers to the original Bitcoin blockchain. At other times, it refers to blockchain technology in general, or to any other specific blockchain, such as the one that powers Ethereum.
The basics of blockchain technology are mercifully straightforward. Any given blockchain consists of a single chain of discrete blocks of information, arranged chronologically. In principle, this information can be any string of 1s and 0s, meaning it could include emails, contracts, land titles, marriage certificates, or bond trades. In theory, any type of contract between two parties can be established on a blockchain as long as both parties agree on the contract. This takes away any need for a third party to be involved in any contract. This opens up a world of possibilities including peer-to-peer financial products, such as loans or decentralized savings and checking accounts, wherein banks or any intermediary is irrelevant.Though Bitcoin's current goal is to be a store of value as well as a payment system, there is nothing to say that Bitcoin could not be used in such a way in the future, though consensus would need to be reached to add these systems to Bitcoin. The main goal of the Ethereum project is to have a platform where these "smart contracts" can occur, therefore creating a whole realm of decentralized financial products without any middlemen or the fees and potential data breaches that come along with them.Bitcoin miner are accumulating as the network hash rate continues to recover according to on-chain analytics provider Glassnode.
In its Sept. 20 Week on Chain report, glassnode has stated that miner BTC balances are increasing, with wallets associated with miners having stockpiled 14,000 BTC worth roughly $600 million over the past six and a half months.The report also noted that the bull markets of 2020 and 2021 have seen miners hold onto a larger portion of their rewards than in previous market cycles. Miners usually sell BTC to cover their expenses including electricity bills and hardware.The trend of miner accumulation continued as the Bitcoin network’s hash rate recovered this past quarter.Amid speculation regarding a wholesale Chinese miner exodus, Glasnnode reported that Bitcoin’s hashing power had slumped 51% to a local low of 90 Exahashes in late June according to Glassnode.
Network hashing power has recovered 52% from to tag 137 Exahashes according to a seven-day moving average. Hash rate recovery indicates that most mining operations have now relocated and are up and running again.However, Bitcoin hash rate is currently sitting 34% below its all-time high of 184 Exahashes from May.
Related: Four North American Bitcoin miners that could benefit from the East-West shiftDespite the expanding mining treasuries and hash rate recovery, shares in publicly traded mining firms have pulled back as the broader financial markets retrace amid fears that Chinese property giant Evergrande may soon default on its loans.Riot Blockchain, which has been spending big on building a new data center in Texas and expanding its hashing capacity this year, has suffered a 2.4% slide in the price of its stock since the start of trading Sept. 20.Competitors Marathon and Hive Blockchain are both down by a more modest 1.5% since Monday morning, while shares in Hut 8 stocks have fallen by 5.4% over the same period - rounding off the performance for each of the “Big Four” North American mining firms.
However, mining stocks have outperformed Bitcoin for the week so far, with BTC tumbling more than 10% to trade at $42,730 at the time of writing, according to CoinGecko.Retail-trading platform Robinhood is reportedly testing a long-awaited digital wallet feature that enables users to send and receive crypto-assets such as Bitcoin (BTC).Bloomberg reported the rumor on Sept. 21, with the publication claiming to have seen screenshots of a withdrawal interface in a beta version of the wallet feature in Robinhood’s IOS app.While details are sparse, Bloomberg also claims to have seen a waitlist where users will be able to sign up for the new digital asset wallet. “The app also has code referring to cryptocurrency transfers,” the report added.
Robinhood users are currently only able to buy crypto with US dollars and trade digital assets on the platform, as the app does not support crypto deposits and withdrawals.Robinhood’s crypto traders have long badgered the company to introduce deposit and withdrawal functionality for digital assets, with the calls having grown this year as fiery-eyed Dogecoin fanatics converged on the platform.
In an Aug. 19 quarterly earnings call, Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev announced that the firm was finally exploring introducing a crypto wallet."I know there's been a ton of enthusiasm from the crypto community and the Dogecoin community in particular in getting access to wallets," Tenev stated, emphasizing the firm’s excitement to launch the new feature.
Robinhood first launched Bitcoin and Ethereum trading services in 2018 for customers in five U.S. states. Robinhood has since expanded its altcoin support and currently allows traders based in all but four U.S. states to access its crypto features.Crypto services have become a significant part of Robinhood’s revenue in 2021, with its Q2 report showing that around 41% of its $565 million revenue was from crypto trading. By contrast, the firm generated $5 million from crypto trading for the entirety of 2020.Earlier this month, the firm expanded its crypto offerings by launching a recurring crypto investment feature allowing users to dollar cost average (DCA) into crypto positions.Robinhood is not alone in looking to expand its support for crypto, with an increasing number of mainstream firms announcing moves to enable digital asset payments.Cointelegraph reported on Sept. 16 that AMC Entertainment plans to accept movie ticket payments in Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) by 2022. The company already announced plans to support Bitcoin payments in August.On Sept. 15 software giant Adobe also announced that merchants using its Adobe Commerce product will be able to accept cryptocurrency payments via Paypal from the fourth quarter of this year.
DELIVERED EVERY MONDAYRecent dialogue between MakerDAO developers and the office of anti-crypto Senator Elizabeth Warren’s has revealed a concerning lack of familiarity with the current decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem.
On Sept. 20, a screenshot began circulating on social media appearing to show dialogue between members of the MakerDAO community discussing the conclusions from a recent meeting between representatives of the project and the office of Senator Warren.In the screenshot, pseudonymous MakerDAO Governance delegate “PaperImperium” claims to have spent much of the time convincing Warren that Maker is not the same project as The DAO — an infamous early experiment in decentralized autonomy organizations (DAOs) that suffered a major hack before failing in 2016.
MakerDAO is currently sixth-largest DeFi protocol commanding a total value locked of more than $8.2 billion, according to DeFi Llama.Despite the confusion, the delegate also concluded that the Senator is “not super interested in us,” adding that they “have a commitment for another meeting” that is expected to take place within roughly three weeks.
While the screenshots shared to social media claim appear to be citing Senator Warren directly, a Sept. 17 thread posted to MakerDAO’s governance forum indicates the project’s delegates would be meeting with Warren's “economic and banking advisors.”The meeting comes after increasing efforts from MakerDAO to promote initiatives establishing dialogue between the crypto industry and lawmakers.Elizabeth Warren has recently become a pariah to the crypto industry, labeling crypto as "the new shadow bank" and a "lousy investment" in recent months.Earlier this month she suggested it would be “worth considering” prohibiting U.S. banks from holding the reserves to back private stablecoins in a move that could “effectively end the surging market.”
Related: Sen. Warren goes after Ethereum network fees in committee hearingThe DAO was one of the first major projects on Ethereum, launched in 2016 after raising $150 million USD worth of ETH through a token sale. The DAO was hacked due to code vulnerabilities and $60 million in ETH was stolen less than 3 months after it launched.
It was one of the most heavily invested crypto projects to date, having attracted 14% of all circulating ETH at the time.As a result of the incident, the Ethereum community opted to hard fork Ethereum to reverse the attack, with dissenting voices maintaining the old chain to spawn the Ethereum Classic classic chain.
Despite Bitcoin (BTC) dropping below the $43,000 mark on Monday, the outflow of BTC from exchanges has continued in a multi-month trend, particularly on Coinbase Pro.Over the past month, the amount of Bitcoin held in Coinbase Pro’s vaults dropped by 28,843.87 BTC. Similarly, other crypto exchanges, including Kraken, OKEx, Bitfinex and Huobi, also experienced a drop in their Bitcoin holdings, with the withdrawn amount totaling 30,236 BTC across the board.
On-chain analysts perceive falling Bitcoin reserves as a bullish signal.That is primarily because most traders move their BTC assets to exchanges only when they prefer to trade them for other assets — be it fiat currencies or altcoins. As a result, the exchange balance serves as a metric to gauge traders’ sentiments for the underlying asset.As a result, Coinbase Pro’s declining Bitcoin reserves hint at its traders’ intention to hold BTC instead of selling it. But, at the same time, its top rival, Binance, has been playing a spoilsport.However, data also shows that the Bitcoin balance in Binance wallets has risen to 29,717 BTC in the last 30 days, which is more than the amount Coinbase Pro withdrew from its vaults.
As the world’s leading crypto exchange by volume, Binance enjoys a certain influence on the market due to its global outreach. The exchange’s rising Bitcoin balances suggest that its users could sell an increasing amount of BTC, the opposite of the trend seen on Coinbase.The increase in Bitcoin reserves on Binance also reached levels that followed up with the market sell-offs during the second quarter of 2021. Notably, the Bitcoin balance on the exchange spiked from 199,700 BTC on April 20 to 347,590 BTC on June 26.
The same period saw BTC/USD drop from around $65,000 to below $30,000, including the notorious May 19 crash when Bitcoin plunged by more than 30%.Bitcoin trading at $300 premium on Binance
The massive spike in Bitcoin reserves on Binance also coincided with premium BTC/USD bids on the exchange, with the BTC spot price being almost $400 higher on Binance than on Coinbase.The vast price difference created arbitrage trading opportunities, coinciding with Binance’s Bitcoin reserves adding 1,529 BTC in the previous 24 hours compared to Coinbase that processed withdrawals of 579 BTC.