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Bitmain Antminer E3 ASIC vs the Ethereum mining community



Bitmain Antminer E3

Recently, there was a lot of talk about ASIC, Ethereum, video cards (GPU), AMD and Intel, all in the same breath and all in relations to Ethereum mining. What kicked this off was because Bitmain recently announced they will launch the AntMiner E3, sometime later this year, which is meant for mining on the Ethereum blockchain. This supposedly has caused dissatisfaction within the Ethereum mining community based on speculations of what the impact of introducing ASIC miners will be.

The majority of people who are not invested in either the mining process, hold ETH or any other digital currency that runs on the Ethereum blockchain, they might be asking themselves how this impacts them, and should they even care about it? Well, it is a good question! And unfortunately not one we can answer, but by giving you more information on the various subjects, you might just be able to do that yourself. Just for clarification, this will not be an in-depth technical article.

What is mining, and what is a miner?

First of all, mining only applies to blockchains that as part of its consensus protocol use Proof of Work (PoW) to create and validate a block. A blockchain that i.e. uses Proof of Stake (PoS) as part of its consensus protocol cannot be mined upon. There are other types of consensus protocols out there and even variations of the mentioned protocols ? we will not cover those in this article though.

In simple words, mining is the process of creating a block, its cryptographic hash value and show that you actually put some effort into creating the block ? hence Proof of Work. Very simplified put Proof of Work, or PoW, is done by creating a block?s cryptographic hash value which has to be less than the previous block?s cryptographic hash value. So a miner is a hardware which is used to calculate the cryptographic hash value. We will take a look at the hardware in the next part of this article.

Miners compete with each other to be the first one to create new blocks. This translates into the faster you can calculate the cryptographic hash value the more likely you are to be the first one to complete the task and receive the block reward, ?if any?, and the transaction fee. ?If any? is because currently miners will receive a block reward, but in the future, they will have to rely solely on transaction fees.

The block reward consist of a fixed amount of coins which is taken from a pool the creators reserved for use as an incentive to make it financially attractive to mine on their blockchain ? you may have heard people talk about block reward subsidy, which refers to this pool of coins. These coins were not released to the public but will be released through the block rewards ? hence the term mining. The block reward decrease in regular intervals set forth by the creator of the blockchain, until all the coins are released ? at which point the only financial incentive for mining will be the transaction fees.

But for now miners get a subsidized block reward, and we are talking big money here. At the time of writing this article, the ETH block reward was almost $1800 per block translating into the total block reward payout for the last 24hours was just over $10.6 million US dollars, according to

As mentioned earlier, computing power is everything when it comes to completing the task of generating a new block and be able to claim the block reward. While solo mining is possible it makes more sense to pool resources with other miners as it not only increases the total combined hash rate* but also increase your chances of claiming a part of the block reward. This is why you have a number of mining pools that are either run by a group of individuals or mining corporations.

*Hash rate is measured in X Hash per second, where X can be Mega, Giga, Tera and so on. I.e. Mega hash per second is written as MH/s.

The need for speed, literally speaking

So let?s look at the hardware part and the differences between a CPU (Central Processing Unit), GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) and ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit).

The Ethereum blockchain probably has the best ratio of ?easy? to mine to profitability, which makes it attractive to mine at home on conventional off-the-shelf hardware such as a CPU or GPU.

Even though CPU?s today are both powerful and fast enough for computing complex cryptographic algorithms they are not necessarily ideal for the task.

The best way to describe why is to compare it to someone with attention deficit, on speed. I know this was not the nicest way, but my point is that it was designed as a multi-purpose-decision-making device that cannot focus and finish one task at the time ? and you wouldn?t want that either as it would mean you?d have to sit and wait for it to complete its current task before it would move on to the next.

Instead, it will be all over the place to keep all the processes running on your computer alive, which slows the hash rate down ? and again there is a sense of urgency involved if you want to have any hopes of being able to lay claim to a block reward.

With the GPU it gets better. GPU?s today are more broadly designed which allows them to accelerate certain computational workloads. Architecturally GPU?s have more cores than CPU?s which means that it has the potential of accelerating some software by 100x, and still be more power and cost efficient than a CPU. Though the GPU was not exclusively designed to calculate cryptographic hashes, it has the focus the CPU is lagging making it a better choice in achieving a higher hash rate.

This is why there has been a huge rush on video cards for quite some time. This has translated into the price on video cards has gone up in an effort to try and slow consumption for mining purposes, because it hurt availability to the ones that it was intended for, the video gaming community. The most ?tragic? part of this story is that both mining and video gaming popularity picked up at almost the same time, causing this huge rise in demand for video cards.

On the not off-the-shelf side, we find ASICs. An ASIC is a ?dumb? chip that has been designed to do, normally, one task only ? ?dumb? refers to it will not make any decisions; it will just do the task it was programmed to do, at an extremely high speed. ASIC has been used in enterprise-grade networking equipment such as routers, switches, and firewalls for decades, to move network packets around – fast.

When the ?Next Generation Firewall (NGFW)? was introduced Fortinet, a cybersecurity company, re-tasked their ASIC to do SSL decryption ? for those who don?t know, and the paranoid, it means that you can look into, most, encrypted packets and see exactly what they contain. The point of bringing this up is not to scare the paranoid, but to highlight the use case of ASIC to solve a cryptographic task at high speed.

The reason ASIC is not an off-the-shelf product is that it has a high R&D cost, and a very limited scope of use ? also it cannot be reprogrammed once fabricated. However, it is ideal for blockchain mining especially as the block creation difficulty increase over time, adding even more emphasis on a high hash rate speed. A lower hash rate speed will result in a slower block creation thus transactions will take longer to confirm.

One downside to ASIC is that it consumes more power than a CPU and even a GPU, which translates into it generates a lot of heat. What that means in words is the fan(s) will be extremely loud ? almost like a jet taking off give or take an engine. Besides the electricity bill, the noise is a big reason for why you do not want to have an AntMiner sitting in your living room. So unless you have a well sound insulated cold spare bedroom, and no wife to complain about your AntMiner needs its own room, and your in-laws have to sleep on the couch when they visit; then you might want to look into some alternative mining options. If anyone has gotten a divorce on this account, then we would very much like to hear from you and write your story!

GPU manufacturers

That AMD and Intel have been mentioned is because they are the manufactures of the GPU?s used on the video cards used for mining, and of course gaming. The odd thing here is that no one has mentioned the video card manufacturers such as ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, and others ? or for that matter the other component manufacturers for memory modules, power supplies and so on. Why this may matter to you we will look at next.

Video card industry

So even if you are not involved in cryptocurrency, be it mining or owning it, you may still be affected if you are an investor in any of the companies involved in the process of manufacturing the GPU?s and the video cards. The boom of demand for video cards, and their price skyrocketing means more earnings for those companies ? reports indicate that the cryptocurrency mining market was worth $776million in 2017. This number excludes the other component manufacturers, so the total is well beyond the reported number. When and if the demand for video cards normalizes these earnings will drop off and most likely be reflected in the respective companies share price.

Not going into the financials here, the key takes away is that mining was a new a marked that opened up and helped drive growth for the component industry as a whole. With this market going away they need to go back and continue to grow their regular markets ? or find a way to stay in the mining market.

The upside to this is that we might see the price on video cards go down unless the industry decides that the current price level is just fine and since the consumers are used to pay the premium there is no immediate reason to lower the prices. We just have to wait and see what happens.

Ethereum (mining) community

Finally, let?s take a look at the Ethereum (mining) community to try to understand why or what is causing dissatisfaction amongst the miners and its users.

An important thing to understand about the various cryptocurrencies, the founders, and their communities is that they tend to achieve an almost cult-like status. Their supporters are devoted to the coin and almost worship the person they see as the leader of a particular coin; Ethereum is no different in this way.

A good example of this is the Ethereum hard fork, which divided into Ethereum and Ethereum Classic and saw the community divide with the users rally around the leading figures. The reason for the hard fork of Ethereum was to restore coins that had been taken from its users, but it was never meant to split the community as it did, due to disagreement within the community. Could a yet another divide and a new Ethereum coin be on the horizon, based on the call-to-action the community is suggesting?

First and foremost it seems the community just wants to stop Bitmain?s ASIC rig from entering the mining scene ? though the real question here being is it the use of ASIC they oppose or Bitmain itself? That question can only be answered by the community, so it will remain unanswered in this article.

But let?s look at one of the suggestions, make alterations to the code to render the ASIC useless. Is this a feasible solution or even possible? From a feasibility point of view, it seems like a long shot and something that will turn into a cat and mouse game. Will it even be possible to make changes that will render the rig useless without knowing how it was put together? Remember the ASIC is ?dumb? it?ll just do what it is told to do, so if something else can interpret the change and translate that into a task the ASIC can do then this option is off the table. Keep in mind Ethereum is open source, Bitmain not so much ? so it kinda leaves Bitmain with the upper hand here.

Fact, Ethereum is working and testing on a hard fork. They have been working on a project named ?Casper? which will change consensus from PoW to PoS, and as mentioned at the beginning of the article PoS is not minable. Problem solved ? or is it? Well not being able to mine most definitely stops the Bitmain ASIC rig in its track right there ? along with the rest of the mining community one may add. This raises yet another question, does the community want to continue mine or are they happy about staking?

Whatever the answer may be to that question if the aim was to keep the entity Bitmain ?away? this won?t do that. Staking is the process of which you own the coin in which you want to stake, the more you own the higher your stake, read more of a trusted source you will become. On a side note, Bitmain?s profit for 2017 was somewhere between $3 to $4 billion USD, just saying.

Because there seem to be a divide around how or what to do and stop, will Ethereum end up in a D?j? vu situation with the upcoming hard fork?

Digging further around in this will not bring us closer to an answer. So let?s just conclude by saying that we may not have found an answer, but hopefully, you have a better picture of what is going on. I guess we just have to sit back and watch as the events unfold.

Disclaimer:?Nothing in this article should be construed as financial advice in any way, nor as an encouragement to engage in cryptocurrency mining activity. This article was not sponsored by any entities or companies mentioned in the article. The only purpose of this article is to inform/educate on the topics discussed in the article.

Dippli is an independent media outlet that covers the current events in the crypto space. Got breaking news or a story to share? Then feel free to contact us at

The post Bitmain Antminer E3 ASIC vs the Ethereum mining community appeared first on dippli.



Stagnant Crypto Weekend: Bitcoin Temporarily Stopped at $13,000



Following the past couple of days of significant price developments within the cryptocurrency space, most assets have calmed. Bitcoin remains just shy $13,000, while some of the altcoins have even retraced slightly.

Bitcoin Struggles at $13,000

The past seven days were nothing short of impressive for Bitcoin. After a brief dip to $11,400 last week, the cryptocurrency went on a roll. Promising news from PayPal only accelerated BTC’s bullish run, resulting in a fresh 2020 high painted a few days ago at $13,200.

Since then, Bitcoin has maintained a relatively robust position around the $13,000 mark. In the past 24 hours, the primary cryptocurrency has hovered around that particular level as well.

The only exception came a few hours ago when it tanked to $12,730 (on Bitstamp). However, the bulls quickly took charge and drove it back to the familiar ground.

From a technical standpoint, the new 2020 high of $13,200 is the first significant resistance in BTC’s way up. Should the asset break above it, the next ones are $13,400, $13,500, and $13,600.

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Alternatively, Bitcoin could find support at $12,550, $12,400, $12,125, and $12,000 in case the recent trend reverses and BTC heads south.

BTCUSD. Source: TradingView
BTCUSD. Source: TradingView

Altcoins Display Red

The alternative coins joined Bitcoin’s party with a slight delay last week. Nevertheless, they marked some notable gains, which ultimately increased the total market cap by over $40 billion in seven days.

The situation has changed a bit in the past 24 hours. After jumping above $415 yesterday, Ethereum has lost some value and currently trades beneath that level. Ripple (-1.6%), Bitcoin Cash (-0.8%), Binance Coin (-0.9%), and Cardano (-1.6%) have also dipped slightly on a 24-hour scale.

Polkadot has increased by about 2%, while Chainlink has gained another 3%. LINK’s impressive performance as of late has driven the asset above $12.

Cryptocurrency Market Heatmap. Source: Quantify Crypto

The most impressive gainer since yesterday is ABBC Coin. ABBC has pumped by 21% to $0.57. Ocean Protocol (14.5%), Elrond (14%), and Yearn. Finance (11%) follow suit.

Reserve Rights (-6.5%), Energy Web Token (-6%), HedgeTrade (-6%), and OKB (-5%) have lost the most value in the past day.


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Disclaimer: Information found on CryptoPotato is those of writers quoted. It does not represent the opinions of CryptoPotato on whether to buy, sell, or hold any investments. You are advised to conduct your own research before making any investment decisions. Use provided information at your own risk. See Disclaimer for more information.

Cryptocurrency charts by TradingView.


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The Digital Age Is Here: Crypto And Fintech Companies Soar, While Bank Stocks Tank



2020 has been so far a challenging year. Issues such as the Australian wildfires and the global COVID-19 pandemic have harmed the planet and its inhabitants. The financial world has also suffered, especially during the first several months.

The effects are evident within different sectors of the financial industry. While some have felt adverse consequences during these uncertain times, others have thrived and reached for the stars.

BNN Bloomberg’s senior anchor, Jon Erlichman, recently published some stocks’ price performances for banks and fintech companies and the two largest cryptocurrencies – Ethereum and Bitcoin.

CryptoPotato exemplified it with the graph below. It concludes that innovative fintech companies such as Square and PayPal have massively outperformed the old dogs – the banking sector. Bitcoin has also experienced a notable YTD price surge, while Ethereum has trumped them all with a substantial triple-digit surge.

YTD Price Performance Of Crypto, Fintech Companies, And Bank Stocks. Source: CryptoPotato
YTD Price Performance Of Crypto, Fintech Companies, And Bank Stocks. Source: CryptoPotato

YTD: Bank Stocks Haven’t Enjoyed 2020

The stocks of some of the world’s largest banks were on a roll since the previous financial crisis over a decade ago. Bank of America shares had increased approximately ten-fold since 2009 to their highs in February 2020 of about $35.

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In the same period, Citigroup stocks went from $15 to $80, JP Morgan Chase & Co (JPM) from $20 to $140, and Wells Fargo (WFC) surged from $11 to above $50.

However, the COVID-19-prompted crisis took the world by storm this year. March alone saw price slumps not seen in decades. Most of the aforementioned bank stocks lost about 50% of its value in merely days.

Although their shares have picked up from the March bottoms, the graph above demonstrates that their year-to-date performance is still in the red. JPM is down by 30%, Bank of America by 33%, Citigroup by 46%, and Wells Fargo has it the worst – 58% YTD dump.

Other financial service corporations, such as Western Union (-17%) and American Express (-19%), have also lost significant chunks of value since the start of the year.

It’s worth noting that one of the most old-school investors and biggest supporters of the banking sector, Warren Buffet, sold the majority of his bank stocks this year.

Financial Companies In The Green

Although the crisis reached all companies on the graph above, some have not only recovered but actually increased in the following months. MasterCard stocks plummeted from $345 to $203, while Visa’s nosedive started from $213 and ended at $135. Nevertheless, both companies’ shares are slightly in the green on a year-to-date basis.

Two other financial service companies, but primarily focusing on online endeavors, have marked substantially more impressive YTD results.

PayPal’s stocks (PYPL) started 2020 at $110 and have increased by 94% since then, despite the mid-March slump to $85. Jack Dorsey’s Square’s yearly gains have even seen triple-digit percentages. The 55% dump in March was only a brief obstacle in SQ’s way towards a 178% surge since January 2020.

Interestingly, both firms have embarked on cryptocurrency-related activities in recent months. Square purchased $50 million worth of Bitcoin, while PayPal announced that it will enable its US-based customers to buy, sell, and store several digital assets.

What About Bitcoin And Ethereum?

The cryptocurrency market was not exempt from the mid-March madness. Some alternative coins lost up to 80% of value in hours. The two most well-known representatives, namely Bitcoin and Ethereum, dipped to $3,700 and below $100, respectively.

Percentage-wise, those developments equaled about 50% of losses. However, the rest of the year has been significantly more positive for both. Bitcoin, regarded by some as a safe haven tool with similarities to gold, has overcome its massive slump.

Whether it’s the growing interest from institutional investors, the third halving, or giant companies buying BTC for its store of value characteristics, Bitcoin has surged by more than 80% YTD. Just a few days ago, the primary cryptocurrency charted a new yearly high of over $13,000.

Ethereum, on the other hand, has been widely utilized this year in the ongoing decentralized finance trend. Its blockchain operates as the underlying technology behind most DeFi projects.

This increased utilization led to some unfavorable consequences such as slow transactions and high fees and highlighted a few of the network’s weak points. Price-wise, though, none of that matter as ETH has been on a roll during most of the year, especially since the summer.

As a result, the second-largest cryptocurrency has become the best-performing asset from the ones mentioned above, with an increase of over 200%.

What Could All Of This Mean?

The world is undoubtedly going through changes, primarily prompted by the COVID-19 reality. Social distancing and people working from home have driven society into becoming even more digitally-focused.

The financial world won’t be left behind. People seek more online ventures, and digitally transferred funds will eventually become the new normal.

As such, the decline of traditional financial institutions like banks, and the rise of innovative technologies, including cryptocurrencies, could be just the start of the mass transition to the online world.


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These Are Ripple’s Relocation Options if it Moves Out of the United States



Ripple has expressed dissatisfaction over the regulatory uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrencies in the United States. Apart from this, the San Francisco-based firm has also decided to act. By moving out of its home turf. But where will Ripple move next? Here are the relocation options.

Ripple’s Asia Options: Japan, Singapore & the United Arab Emirates

When Ripple’s co-founder and Executive Chairman Chris Larsen threatened to move out of the United States over the federal government’s anachronistic attitude towards cryptocurrency regulation, the message was clear.

During a virtual interview with Fortune at the LA Blockchain Summit, Larsen dropped the ‘relocation bomb.’ The Ripple co-founder also added that the US is far behind in the cryptocurrency regulation game compared to its counterparts. To the point that it actually risks losing its financial innovation edge to China (in particular).

Continuing his commentary, Larsen said that the U.K. and Singapore are the most probable destinations for the company to relocate if it moves base out of the country.

However, yesterday, in an interview with Bloomberg, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse added Japan and the United Arab Emirates too to the list of Asia options. Elucidating the reason for extending the list, he said:

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The common denominator between all of them is that their governments have created a clarity about how they would regulate different digital assets, different cryptocurrencies.

He reiterated Chirs Larsen’s stance about the United States’ uncertain regulatory roadmap. He also referred specifically to the conundrum of categorizing cryptocurrencies into a commodity, a currency, a property, or security.

Moving out of the US is more of a compulsion than a desire, Mr. Garlinghouse explained. Ripple would have continued to operate from their home turf if the cryptocurrency regulation scenario was not colloidal.

Ripple is definitely a proud US company and we’d like to stay in the US if that was possible, but we also need regulatory clarity in order for us to invest and grow the business.

Love For London And The United Kingdom

Apart from Asia, Ripple is also strongly considering the UK as an option. This became clear when in an interview with CNBC, the CEO applauded the clarity regarding XRP’s regulatory status in the country.

“What you see in the U.K. is a clear taxonomy, and the U.K.’s FCA took a leadership role in characterizing how we should think about these different assets and their use cases,” Garlinghouse said.

The outcome of that was clarity that XRP is not a security and is used as a currency. With that clarity, it would be advantageous for Ripple to operate in the U.K.”

This is clearly where the US is failing, Mr. Garlinghouse remarked. Although the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is clear on Bitcoin and Ethereum not being securities, when it comes to XRP, the authority has mostly stayed mum, which in turn has left the cryptocurrency’s status ‘shrouded in uncertainty.’

The clarification regarding XRP’s ‘security status’ is crucial for Ripple. Even though the company claims total disassociation from the XRP ledger and the token, it still owns 55 billion of the total 100 billion XRP supply.

Apart from the United Kingdom and the aforementioned countries in the Asian continent, Ripple has also shown interest in Switzerland for setting up its headquarters.

Ripple (XRP) price climbed up higher but not necessarily in response to Ripple’s decision to leave the US. The rally can be mostly attributed to bitcoin rushing for the stars with its explosive break past the $13,000 mark.

Will the cryptocurrency-based fintech firm be able to operate with total and unequivocal regulatory clarity in the above countries? It still remains to be seen.


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