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Bitcoin miners’ resilience to geopolitics — A healthy sign for the network

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Bitcoin miners’ resilience to geopolitics — A healthy sign for the network

Considering that Bitcoin (BTC) is a blockchain network that uses a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism, miners are a highly significant part of the market dynamics of the network and the community itself. On Jan. 5, it was revealed that Kazakhstan shut down its internet services due to unprecedented political unrest sparked by rising fuel prices in the country.

The protests in Kazakhstan began on Jan. 2 in the town of Zhanaozen to fight against the government doubling the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which is widely used as car fuel in the country. This change in pricing came as a result of the gradual transition to the use of electronic trading of LPG in order to abolish the existing state subsidies for fuel and allow the market to discover the price of the asset.

However, protests in the region soon snowballed, gaining more momentum and continued despite the country’s government announcing that the prices of LPG would be brought down to a level lower than before the increase. Soon, this led to the country’s presiding cabinet resigning and the state-owned telecom company, Kazakhtelecom, shutting off the country’s internet services. Network data provider Netblocks reported that the normalized network connectivity fell down to 2%, with the government attempting to limit coverage on the escalating anti-government protests.

As a result, the Bitcoin network’s mining hash rate declined over 13% in the hours after the shutdown in the country from 205,000 petahash per second (PH/s) to 177,330 PH/s. Over the past year, the country grew to account for 18% of Bitcoin’s mining activity. A report from the Data Center Industry & Blockchain Association of Kazakhstan estimated that cryptocurrency mining would bring in $1.5 billion in revenue for the country in the next five years.

This is not the first time that Bitcoin mining in the region has received the spotlight. Despite being an energy-rich country, the Kazakh government announced last year that it planned to crack down on unregistered miners that were straining the country’s energy supply after the mining migration from China.

Kazakhstan’s mining market share

The Central Asian country became a hub for Bitcoin mining after the Chinese government banned mining operations and cryptocurrency services in 2021. This led to the migration of mining companies like BIT Mining to relocate their operations from China to Kazakhstan. BIT Mining is one of the largest BTC mining companies in the world. 

The mining company has indicated that it is unlikely to flee Kazakhstan to relocate to North America amid the political upheaval. The firm is closely monitoring and evaluating the situation in order to decide its next move with respect to mining. 

However, countries like Spain have had their eyes on Kazakhstan’s mining market share. The Deputy for the Spanish Ciudadanos political party, María Muñoz, proposed to make the country a mining hotspot amid the current situation, stating in a tweet, “The protests in Kazakhstan have repercussions all around the world but also for Bitcoin. We propose that Spain positions itself as a safe destination for investments in cryptocurrencies to develop a flexible, efficient, and safe sector.”

Rob Chang, the CEO and director of Gryphon Digital Mining, a digital assets mining company, told Cointelegraph:

“Bitcoin mining will continue to grow and the need for viable locations will always be necessary. Countries with the foresight to make themselves Bitcoin-friendly will stand to do quite well as Bitcoin continues to establish itself as a legitimate alternative to fiat.”

As a result of China’s mining ban, the mining dynamics have shifted globally, with the United States leading the charge with over a third of the mining rate. Chang said that one benefit of this migration includes rehomed miners’ shift to a larger mix of carbon-free energy sources.

Additionally, some of the hash rates has gone to more transparent entities operating the mining machines, leading to increased security for the network and a higher level of public trust in Bitcoin miners.

Illia Polosukhin, the co-founder of the NEAR Protocol, a decentralized development platform, told Cointelegraph that in addition to China’s ban leading to a loss of investment, the loss of talent is another major factor:

“Chinese citizens living on the mainland and abroad are banned from working in the crypto sector, and that’s a big loss for the blockchain industry as a whole. It will stifle innovation and, eventually, leave Chinese citizens behind as more users begin to adopt Open Web technologies. It’s possible that more mining operations shifting to the United States could push the issue of blockchain and sustainability more fully into the public eye.”

Thriving amid geopolitical risks is rare for financial assets

The mining hash rate for the Bitcoin network recovered quickly from the drop to 168 million TH/s, according to data from YCharts. In fact, the network has taken a step forward with the hash rate hitting a new all-time high of 215 million TH/s on Jan. 13.

We’re officially building an open bitcoin mining system ✨ https://t.co/PaNc7gXS48

— jack⚡️ (@jack) January 13, 2022

This new all-time high was driven by the statement from ex-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, announcing the creation of an open Bitcoin mining system. Thomas Templeton, the general manager of hardware at Square, said, “We want to make mining more distributed and efficient in every way, from buying, to set up, to maintenance, to mining. We’re interested because mining goes far beyond creating new bitcoin. We see it as a long-term need for a future that is fully decentralized and permissionless.”

This new all-time high is evidence of how resilient the Bitcoin network and its community are to ensure that the network thrives at all costs. 

However, it’s important to remember that such risks are not exclusive to Bitcoin. Chang said, “Geopolitical risk is a common issue for many industries, and Bitcoin mining is not immune. While there will be some that will take the risk and operate in these countries for the sake of lower costs, they do run the risk, such as those experienced in Kazakhstan or others such as the government deciding one day to take all of your machines. Operators will need to understand the risk/reward tradeoff.”

Related: A new intro to Bitcoin: The 9-minute read that could change your life

Polosukhin explained that no matter how distributed or decentralized a blockchain network is — Bitcoin or any other — it’s still intertwined with many legacy systems: energy grids, energy prices, regulation and the laws of nations. Bitcoin mining has either been banned or is facing uncertainty in many countries including Iran, Lebanon, Iceland and Sweden.

Being an energy-intensive PoW network, the Bitcoin network is expected to continue to thrive as long as miners are incentivized economically to continue to remain miners. A report from Fidelity Digital Assets, the crypto wing of Fidelity Investments, indicated that the Bitcoin cycle is far from over, and with the high financial incentives for miners, they are in it for the long haul

While Bitcoin is in a price slump, currently trading around the $42,000 range with a market capitalization of $791 billion, the fact that miners — the core aspect of the network — have shown resilience to adverse situations over the 13-year history of the network reinforces the belief and trust the community puts on the flagship blockchain network.

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LUNA Investor Arrested for Knocking on Do Kwon’s Door After Losing $2.4 Million in Terra Crash

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LUNA Investor Arrested for Knocking on Do Kwon’s Door After Losing $2.4 Million in Terra Crash

LUNA Investor Arrested for Knocking on Do Kwon's Door After Losing $2.4 Million in Terra Crash

A crypto investor has been arrested after knocking on Do Kwon’s door following the collapse of cryptocurrency terra (LUNA) and stablecoin terrausd (UST). He lost about $2.4 million and is now under investigation by the South Korean police. “I felt like I was going to die,” he said about losing his investments.

Investor Under Investigation for Going to Do Kwon’s Home

The collapse of cryptocurrency terra (LUNA) and stablecoin terrausd (UST) has wiped out a large number of investors. One investor in particular sought direct answers from Kwon Do-hyung (aka Do Kwon), CEO of Terraform Labs who is behind the two cryptocurrencies.

The investor, known as “Chancers,” is a Korean social media personality who conducts streams on cryptocurrency-related topics. He lost around 3 billion won ($2.4 million) in the LUNA and UST collapse. He told BBC News:

I felt like I was going to die. I lost a lot of money in a short period of time. Around $2.4m of my cryptocurrency was wiped out.

He explained that he was angry with the lack of communication from Do Kwon after LUNA and UST went into freefall. He then searched online and found Kwon’s home address in Seoul.

“I wanted to ask him about his plans for LUNA,” Chancers said. “I suffered a huge loss and wanted to talk to him directly.”

The frustrated investor traveled across his home city and knocked on Kwon’s door on May 12. He streamed the event on his online channel; about 100 people were watching at the time.

However, after ringing the doorbell of Kwon’s condominium, his wife answered the door and said her husband was not home. She also called the police but Chancers already left the building when they arrived.

The investor found out the next day that the police were looking for him. He then surrendered himself at Seoul’s Seongdong Police Station on the morning of May 13.

“I surrendered myself to the police station twice,” Chancers stressed, insisting: “I didn’t trespass on Do Kwon’s property, but according to Korean law, it’s illegal to just go there and try to talk. I didn’t know.”

Chancers told the news outlet that he expects to face a fine and a criminal record that could make his life difficult. He opined:

It’s so hard. I lost a lot of money and now I’m being investigated by the police. I originally served as a civil servant in Korea. But if I am convicted of this case, I may not be able to return to the civil service again.

“In Korean culture, the problem itself is not important but rather the fact that it caused a scandal,” he explained. “I even had to apologize publicly as a sinner. I had no idea this would be so big. It’s very sad.”

Do Kwon claims that he has been in Singapore since December last year. However, he dissolved Terraform Labs Korea and shut down the company’s Korean offices just days before LUNA and UST collapsed.

South Korean authorities have launched an emergency investigation into the implosion of the two coins. This week, the Korean police asked crypto exchanges to freeze the assets of the Luna Foundation Guard.

Do you think it was wrong for the investor to knock on Do Kwon’s door after he lost millions in the LUNA and UST crash? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Hardware Wallet D’CENT Offers Multiple Ways Which Can Help Users Bypass Crypto Exchanges

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Hardware Wallet D’CENT Offers Multiple Ways Which Can Help Users Bypass Crypto Exchanges

press release

PRESS RELEASE. D’CENT Hardware Wallet recently added a new user-focused feature named ‘Exchange’ under the platform’s ‘Discovery’ tab menu, allowing users to exchange multiple network cryptocurrency assets with only a few clicks. Furthermore, users may acquire cryptocurrencies using their credit cards directly from the ‘Buy Cryptocurrency’ tab, thereby bypassing the need for crypto exchanges.

Details about the wallet

D’CENT provides three types of wallets, namely ‘Biometric’, ‘Card Type’, and ‘App’, all of which are handled through a single D’CENT mobile application that is fully compatible with both iOS and Android smartphones.

D’CENT users may convert their cryptocurrencies into supported coins using the ‘Exchange’ menu and can purchase crypto via the ‘Buy Cryptocurrency’ options without using traditional exchange services as aforementioned. In this way, D’CENT has effectively eliminated the need for users to register their crypto wallet addresses which means that they are given an easy and safe user experience, since these services shall instantly recognize D’CENT wallet addresses which would help make the entire process both quicker and more seamless.

What makes the wallet so special?

Apart from the aforementioned features, D’CENT will also be working alongside the ChangeNOW and Changelly crypto exchanges, as well as Simplex, Wyre and MoonPay for the purposes of buying crypto assets. D’CENT wallets also currently support over 40 main network coins. Additionally, more than 20 main network oriented decentralized application (Dapp) services are also supported via the ‘Discovery’ tab.

NFTs based on Ethereum, Polygon, Klaytn, Luniverse and HECO can also be managed through the wallets. In addition, D’CENT will focus on incorporating different features which will be verified via the wallet in order to provide both enhanced user focus alongside an intuitive user experience based on blockchain services. Lastly, Metamask integration for PC and support for upto 100 main networks will also be prioritized going forward.

About D’CENT

D’CENT Wallet is a safe, easy to use, and reliable hardware wallet that boasts enhanced crypto protection built on the highest security standards. IoTrust developed D’CENT Wallet as a startup built by security professionals with more than 15 years of security and technical expertise in designing deeply embedded security solutions focused around secure-chip technology (SE and TEE). Essentially, D’CENT Wallet combines hardware and software and security methods to safeguard users’ digital assets.

For more information, check out the official website as well as the Twitter, Medium, YouTube and Facebook channels.


This is a press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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Acquiring a Home With Bitcoin — A Deep Dive Into the Latest Crypto-Backed Mortgage Trend

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Acquiring a Home With Bitcoin — A Deep Dive Into the Latest Crypto-Backed Mortgage Trend

During the last few years, cryptocurrencies have been integrated into traditional finance tools like automated teller machines (ATMs), loadable debit cards, point-of-sale devices, and direct payments for all kinds of goods and services. Digital assets have also been added to retirement account offerings issued by financial giants like Fidelity. In recent times, cryptocurrencies can be further capitalized to put a down payment on a mortgage or get a conventional home loan using bitcoin as collateral.

Crypto-Backed Conventional Home Loans

These days, at least in the United States, banks require at least 20% down if a person or a couple wants to purchase a home by leveraging a conventional loan. Typically, people use cash for collateral or a down payment, but Americans can also utilize things like business equipment, inventory, invoices, blanket liens, and even other forms of real estate to secure a traditional mortgage.

As of April 8, 2022, the median home price in the U.S. was $392,000, which means a buyer needs $78,400 in collateral to secure a conventional bank loan. While crypto assets can be utilized to load debit cards and pay for items via point-of-sale commerce, there’s not many firms that allow people to use digital currencies for a crypto-backed loan.

Interested home buyers looking to leverage their crypto assets to buy a home can use firms like Milo and Abra. In the future, Figure Technologies and Ledn aim to offer crypto-backed mortgage products.

However, there are a couple of companies right now, either offering loans that utilize crypto assets for collateral or that are planning to do so in the near future. Moreover, some firms that planned to offer crypto-backed loans gave up on the idea shortly after.

For instance, the second-largest mortgage lender in the U.S., United Wholesale Mortgage, announced it would accept bitcoin (BTC) for mortgages at the end of August 2021. However, a few months later, United Wholesale Mortgage revealed the company decided not to offer the crypto services.

The company’s CEO, Mat Ishbia, told CNBC in October 2021 that the lender did not think it was worth it. “Due to the current combination of incremental costs and regulatory uncertainty in the crypto space we’ve concluded we aren’t going to extend beyond a pilot at this time,” Ishbia explained to CNBC’s MacKenzie Sigalos.

Crypto-Backed Home Loans Provided by Abra and Milo

Meanwhile, a financial services firm that just recently announced crypto-backed home loans is the cryptocurrency firm Abra. The company, founded in 2014 by former Goldman Sachs fixed income analyst Bill Barhydt, has provided digital asset trading services and a cryptocurrency wallet for over seven years.

Abra CEO Bill Barhydt revealed that the company would offer home loans via Abra’s Borrow application and a partnership with the company Propy.

On April 28, 2022, Abra announced it has partnered with the company Propy and homebuyers can secure a home loan using crypto as collateral via the Abra Borrow platform. The Abra lending application has various interest rates, depending on how much crypto collateral is added, from 0 to 9.95%.

“While digital asset investment has skyrocketed, most investors are unable to use their cryptocurrency holdings to directly fund the most important purchase in their life, a home,” Abra’s CEO Bill Barhydt explained during the announcement. “Our partnership with Propy solves this and is a major step in bridging the gap between crypto and real estate,” the Abra executive added.

In addition to Abra, a company called Milo is offering crypto-backed mortgages for people interested in purchasing real estate. Milo is a Florida-based startup that raised $17 million on March 9, 2022, in a Series A funding round. The California-based venture capital firm M13 led the funding round and QED Investors and Metaprop participated.

Milo offers crypto-backed mortgages and accepts BTC, ETH, and a few stablecoins.

Milo offers 30-year loans for borrowers looking to leverage up to $5 million. Milo accepts stablecoins, bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), and interest rates are between 5.95% and 6.95%, with loans that have two to three-week closing times. When Milo raised $17 million last March, Milo CEO Josip Rupena said the company’s efforts aim to enable crypto participants.

“This [funding] round of financing is a validation of Milo’s vision to empower global and crypto consumers and the opportunity to bridge the digital world with real-world real estate assets,” Rupena said at the time. “This is a multibillion-dollar opportunity, and we are proud to be pioneering the efforts in the U.S. for consumers that have unconventional wealth.”

Ledn and Figure Technologies Plan to Offer Crypto-Backed Mortgage Products

The crypto lender and savings platform Ledn revealed in December 2021 that it was readying “the impending launch of a bitcoin-backed mortgage product.” At the same time, the firm said that it raised $70 million from a handful of well-known investors.

While Ledn’s crypto-backed mortgages are not yet available, people can sign up to get on the waitlist.

Ledn was founded in 2018 and the company has raised a total of $103.9 million to date. At the time of writing, Ledn’s bitcoin-backed mortgage is not yet available, but people can sign up for Ledn’s mortgage product waitlist.

“By combining the appreciation potential of bitcoin with the price stability of real estate, this first-of-its-kind loan offers a balanced blend of wealth-building collateral,” Ledn’s mortgage web page says. “With the Bitcoin Mortgage, you can use your holdings to buy a new property, or finance the home you already own. Get a loan equal to your bitcoin holdings, without selling a satoshi.”

Figure Technologies also plans to provide a crypto-backed mortgage and people can sign up for a waitlist in order to access Figure’s upcoming product. Figure’s co-founder Mike Cagney explained at the end of March that the company was launching the mortgage program.

Figure aims to offer crypto-backed mortgages up to $20 million with varying interest rates, from 5.99% to 6.018% APR.

“Figure is launching a crypto-backed mortgage in early April,” Cagney said at the time. “100% LTV – you put up $5M in BTC or ETH, we give you a $5M mortgage. No painful process, no cash-out, any amount up to $20M, for a 30-year mortgage. You can make payments with your crypto collateral. And we don’t rehypothecate your crypto.”

While there’s not that many crypto-backed mortgage products today, the trend is starting to become a bit more prominent in 2022. If the trend continues, like crypto’s integration with ATMs, debit cards, and the myriad of traditional financial vehicles, the concept of buying a home with bitcoin will likely become a mainstay in society.

What do you think about the concept of crypto-backed mortgage products? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News and a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 5,000 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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