Bitcoin’s Hashrate Taps an All-Time High, Next-Gen Machine Deployment Could Push it Much Higher

Recently, Bitcoin’s mining difficulty reached an ATH of 29.79 trillion. It’s currently the most difficult time to find a BTC reward. After cruising at 28.2 trillion for the past two weeks, the difficulty of Bitcoin’s mining jumped 5.56% on April 27.

Despite the difficulty increasing, Bitcoin miners have maintained a high-speed pace. In addition, Bitcoin has lost 6.2% against the U.S. Dollar over the past two weeks. During the two-week downturn, bitcoin miners have also found it less profitable due to the price drop.

Despite these setbacks, bitcoin miners managed to push the hashrate to an all-time high in computational processing power. On May 2, 2022 at block height 734 577, the hashrate hit 275.01EH/s at its highest ever level.

Before the 275 EH/s block height of 733,197 on April 23, the network had reached an ATH 1,380 blocks. The ATH at that time was 271.19EH/s. The overall hashrate rose by 1.40% over seven days since block height 733.197.

Soon to be deployed Next-Generation miners

According to seven-day statistics, Foundry USA was the most popular mining pool. It seized 233 of the 1,071 Bitcoin blocks last week. Foundry USA holds 21.76% network hashpower and has a 49.29 EH/s on average for the past seven days. Antpool was the second-largest mining pool, with 145 block subsidy reward rewards.

Antpool held 13.54% global hashrate over the past week with 30.68 EH/s. Today, there are 12 pools that dedicate hashpower to the Bitcoin network. 0.93% of global hashrate (or 2.12 EH/s) is controlled by unknown bitcoin miners.

The hashrate of Bitcoin has reached an all-time high, before the new next-generation bitcoin mining rig manufacturers shipped their latest machines. Next-generation miners, from Bitmain to Microbt which have a lot more hashrate than previous generations, will be available for shipment next month.

Bitmain’s Hydro Bitcoin Mining Rig, the Antminer Pro+ Hyd. commands 198 TH/s, and was released earlier this month. These next-generation, high-powered miners can be deployed by miners depending on the lead time and could increase the overall network’s hashrate significantly.

Russian Bankers Suggest Criminalizing Crypto Storage in Non-Custodial Wallets

Challenges with foreclosure and seizure of crypto assets held by debtors and criminals have motivated the Association of Banks of Russia ( ABR) to suggest introducing criminal liability for storing coins in non-custodial wallets, the organization’s Vice President Anatoly Kozlachkov told Izvestia this week.

ABR’s initial proposal, made with the advisory assistance of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, was to criminalize the undeclared storing of cryptocurrency in such wallets. The association is now leaning towards targeting refusals to provide the wallet keys when requested by authorized bodies, Kozlachkov said.

The ABR remarks that it is not referring to digital assets in wallets provided by crypto exchanges, which are de facto controlled by these platforms similar to bank deposits, but wallets controlled directly by the users.

When the relevant authorities establish a connection between a debtor and a cryptocurrency wallet, for example, the person may be given a choice – to either share their keys or risk penalties for hiding property in the form of digital assets.

Besides preventing capital outflow through crypto, the bankers say their approach would help to create ‘a closed circuit for the circulation of cryptocurrencies’ in Russia. According to the ABR, this would be impossible without an effective foreclosure mechanism for non-custodial cryptocurrencies.

In mid-April, the ABR sent its regulatory concept to the Central Bank of Russia, the Ministry of Finance, and Rosfinmonitoring, Russia’s financial watchdog. Rosfinmonitoring told Izvestia that it deserves attention and the finance ministry was ready to consider it. Bank of Russia declined to comment.

Meanwhile, the idea has been met with criticism from lawmakers and representatives of the crypto industry in the expert council at the parliamentary working group tasked to develop comprehensive crypto regulations. Andrey Lugovoy, the group’s deputy chairman, said he understood ABR’s concerns but warned the move would hinder the legalization of the crypto market.

Experts interviewed by Izvestia were also skeptical. According to Roman Yankovsky, deputy dean of the Faculty of Law at the Higher School of Economics, a leading Russian university, it’s unrealistic to identify the non-custodial wallets of ordinary citizens and seizing them would be difficult, if not impossible.

Andrey Gusev, managing partner of the Nordic Star law firm, considers the introduction of criminal liability for owning such wallets unnecessary and says that tax incentives and administrative fines should be enough to dissuade Russian crypto holders from using or hiding them.

Criminalizing non-custodial wallets is ‘fundamentally wrong,’ thinks Maxim Bashkatov, head of the Legal Development Department of the Center for Strategic Research. He points out that right now it’s unsafe for Russians to store cryptocurrency on exchanges because of the risk of asset freezes as a result of western sanctions imposed over the war in Ukraine.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon to Shareholders: Decentralized Finance, Blockchain Are Real

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan, recognized the value of decentralized finance (defi), and blockchain technologies in Monday’s annual letter to shareholders.

Dimon spoke about his company’s investment in technology.

Blockchain and decentralized finance are real new technologies that can both be used in public and private settings, whether permissioned or otherwise.

The CEO stated that JPMorgan Chase was at the forefront in this innovation. To enable banks to share complex data, we use Liink blockchain. We also use blockchain to move U.S. dollars with JPM Coin.

According to the website, Liink now covers 39 countries. Over 250 leading institutions signed letters of intent to join the Liink network and more than 25 banks around the globe have signed up. According to the global investment bank, Liink was established to help transfer data via custom applications more efficiently.

JPMorgan explained that JPM Coin is a permissioned shared ledger system that acts as a payment rail, deposit account ledger and allows participating J.P. Morgan clients transfer US Dollars that are held on deposit with J.P. Morgan.’ Morgan.

Dimon commented further on blockchain in his letter addressed to shareholders:

We believe that a blockchain can be used to replace or enhance contracts, data ownership, and other enhancements.

He cautioned, however, that it is not currently feasible to deploy the technology for all purposes.

Dimon praises decentralized finance and blockchain technology, but he hasn’t been open to cryptocurrency, even though JPMorgan started offering some crypto products to clients.

was warned by Dimon last November: “Cryptocurrency does not have an intrinsic value… I would be very cautious. He said that bitcoin was useless in October and challenged its limited supply. He advised people to avoid cryptocurrency in May.

A JPMorgan report last week stated that crypto markets have limited upside. The firm did predict that bitcoin’s long-term price would be $150,000 in February. JPMorgan stated that global regulation was essential to allow banks to assist clients with crypto investments.

Survey: Cryptocurrency Adoption to Grow Significantly This Year in Latam

Sherlock Communications has released a new survey that presents a positive outlook for the future of cryptocurrency in Latin America. According to the report, countries such as Argentina or Brazil are likely to see big gains in cryptocurrency adoption. In Argentina, for example, the number of people who buy cryptocurrencies will more than triple. It is projected that it will go from 5.55% up to 18.4% and grow by 235%.

This optimism is not limited to Argentina. This optimistic outlook is repeated in all other countries in the region. The third country on the list is Argentina. Brazil leads the list with 25% of those surveyed saying they plan to purchase cryptocurrency. Colombia is next with 22.3%.

Other countries, where crypto is less popular, are expected to see a higher growth rate. Peru is an example of this. With only 12% of respondents indicating that they intend to purchase crypto, the projected growth in this metric is more than 1,000%.

Patrick O’Neill, Director of Sherlock Communications stated:

Our survey revealed that Latin America is poised to see a significant increase in digital currencies being incorporated in many countries.

The Reasons for Expected Growth

One of its earlier studies on the crypto scene in Latam said that the growth is due to the unique circumstances citizens are in. In some Latam countries, trust in financial institutions and financial organizations is low. There are also low levels of banking inclusion.

Crypto adoption has also been influenced by crises, as countries such as Argentina and Venezuela face serious economic problems that crypto could help solve. A Latam-centric report by the same company found that 58% of Argentinians believe that crypto investment would help them protect their assets from inflation. It is a reason that 55% of Brazilians choose to invest in crypto.

Crypto Exchange Kraken Pledges Over $10 Million to Support Ukrainian Users

U.S.-based crypto trading platform Kraken will distribute $10 million to Ukrainian clients affected by the Russian invasion. Clients who opened an account in Ukraine between March 10th and July 1 at the ‘Intermediate or ‘Pro level verification will be eligible for $1,000 in bitcoin ( BTC), according to the platform. This announcement was made via a blog post as well as social media.

Kraken will distribute more than $10 million worth to clients in Ukraine. Recipients of Tranche 1 will receive $1000 in #BTC. This credit can be withdrawn tomorrow. This package is funded from historical Ukraine revenues as well as H1 2022 revenue from Russia-based trading. https://t.co/DdkY2TsVoB

– Kraken Exchange (@krakenfx) March 9, 2022

Users from Ukraine will be able withdraw funds immediately from the exchange, and currency conversion fees up to $1,000 will be waived. The total fees that residents of Ukraine have paid since 2013 will be roughly equal to the first of three tranches.

A donation will be made to cover the Kraken user fees in the Russian Federation during the first half. According to the exchange, it could grant further aid in future. Jesse Powell, Kraken CEO, stated that the Ukraine crisis is getting worse.

We want to be able to continue to offer critical financial services to our clients in Russia and Ukraine in times of need. The use of cryptocurrency is an important humanitarian tool at a time in which many people around the globe can no longer depend on traditional banks or custodians.

The government in Kyiv asked cryptocurrency exchanges to block Russian users’ accounts after Moscow launched its offensive in February. Major global platforms like Binance and Kraken have denied the request to unilaterally impose these restrictions on Russian traders. Powell stated at the time that this was not an option for his company.

Kraken’s aid distribution initiative is the first of its kind. It represents Kraken’s efforts to align itself with the values and ideals of the crypto community. For example, the belief that everyone should have financial services. The exchange added that this includes Russian clients who might be trying to protest the ongoing conflict.

This aid program is beneficial to both our company as well as our clients. It ensures that no one is disenfranchised due to the actions of their leaders and representatives.

Kraken also stated that it is ready to respond any requests made by authorities in the affected areas and is monitoring closely the situation in Ukraine in order to ensure compliance with relevant sanctions. This announcement includes detailed information about how and when the crypto aid will go out, as well as the eligibility requirements.

Officials and volunteers from Ukraine have actively sought funding via crypto donations. Since the start of the conflict, the digital money raised has been used to fund both defense efforts as well as humanitarian issues.

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange in terms of trading volume, is also supporting humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. The platform announced a donation worth $10 million to the Ukrainian people, and the Binance Charity Foundation donated Unicef $2.5 millions of cryptocurrency to help children and their families.