Cryptocurrency Mining Malware Detections Up Almost 500 Percent in 2018: Report

The tool that exploits Microsoft vulnerabilities to enable widespread crypto extortion has let malware proliferate this year, says a new report.

Leaked code targeting Microsoft Systems which hackers allegedly stole from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) sparked a fivefold increase in cryptocurrency mining malware infections, Bloomberg reports Wednesday, September 19, citing a new cryptojacking report.

Eternal Blue, the tool which can exploit vulnerabilities in Microsoft software, is behind the now-infamous global cyberattacks WannaCry and NotPetya, which continue to cause disruption since they first surfaced in 2017. Bloomberg notes that Eternal Blue was allegedly stolen from the NSA in 2017 by a hacking group called the Shadow Brokers.

Hackers have since been using the tool in order to gain access to computers in order to covertly mine for cryptocurrency, with detections up 459 percent this year, according to the report from the Cyber Threat Alliance (CTA).

“Combined threat intelligence from CTA members show that this rapid growth shows no signs of slowing down, even with recent decreases in cryptocurrency value,” the company writes in a preface to its most recent report, stating:

“Because this threat is relatively new, many people do not understand it, its potential significance, or what to do about it.”

Cointelegraph has often reported on the emergence of crypto mining malware infecting user devices such as PCs and smartphones. Rather than Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH), it is privacy-focused altcoins such as Monero which are hackers’ preferred target, the report notes.

The uptick, CTA says, comes as such operations are becoming more “sophisticated.”

“Analysts have observed successful and widespread attackers ‘living off the land,’ or employing legitimate functionality to download and execute miners that would be more difficult for an observer or antivirus to detect,” the preface continues, highlighting the Monero mining campaign Smominru as an example.

The NSA did not respond to Bloomberg’s request for comment on the findings upon publication.

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Bitcoin’s Energy Consumption in Summer: Rise or Fall?

Bitcoin’s rising energy consumption doesn’t rise quite so fast in the summer.

It’s no secret that Bitcoin (BTC) mining is an expensive business, and in more ways than one. Not only has it become less profitable since July 2016’s halving of mining rewards to 12.5 BTC, but competition among miners and an increasing hashrate have resulted in ever-higher energy consumption, with all the damage to the environment that implies.

Yet, as energy-intensive as Bitcoin mining is, a question still remains: Is there a seasonal variation in the cryptocurrency’s energy consumption? Even if consumption is rising on the whole, does something different happen during the summer months?

Well, data hasn’t been collected on Bitcoin‘s electricity consumption for long enough to provide a truly authoritative answer to this question, yet what data there is suggests that the summer brings a slight, but noticeable weakening to the rise in BTC’s energy consumption. This is most likely because, globally, energy prices increase during the summer months, putting a strain on the profitability of Bitcoin mining.

Steady growth

When it comes to the question of Bitcoin’s energy consumption, the first thing that needs to be stated is that direct data on consumption hasn’t been made available by the big mining companies. Still, a number of indirect estimations have been produced over the years — based on such metrics as profits, network difficulty and hardware efficiency — and these all show that consumption has been increasing consistently.

Key Network Statistics

Back in June 2014, the first rigorous study on BTC energy consumption was published by Karl J. O’Dwyer and David Malone of the National University of Ireland Maynooth. It estimated Bitcoin’s annual energy cost to be something between 0.1–10GW (accounting for the uncertainty as to which mining equipment was being used), although the authors settled — though without fully explaining why — on 3GW, which was equivalent to Ireland’s yearly consumption level at the time.

Since then, the most widely cited data has come from the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index (BECI). Produced by analyst Alex de Vries, the BECI settled on a higher figure than that of O’Dwyer and Malone’s model, and it has continued to reveal steady, day-to-day increases in BTC consumption ever since it started collecting data in February 2017. In December, it put annual consumption at 32TW/h per year — equal to 3.65GW. By contrast, its latest figure — for Sept. 12 — indicates that the Bitcoin network is now eating up 73TW/h — or around 8.8GW – each year. However, in a standalone, peer-reviewed paper from May, de Vries put annual consumption at 2.55GW (22.4TW/h).

As the table below illustrates, de Vries’ data shows that there have been very few dips during this overall rise. The strong increases continued even during the first half of 2018, when the BTC price saw a considerable correction from its December high of $19,900. For instance, when the price fell by 46.2 percent over three months to the Feb. 17 price of $10,707, BTC’s energy consumption increased by 42.6 percent over the same period — from 34.96TW/h to 49.85TW/h. And when BTC’s value dropped by 9.87 percent between April and the end of June (to $6,366), its energy consumption rose by 20.9 percent (to 71.1TW/h).

Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index

This goes to show that, despite the recent ups and downs, BTC’s price was high enough to continue driving increased competition among Bitcoin miners, who added capacity to the network in a bid to claim freshly minted coins for themselves. This has had the overall effect of pushing energy consumption ever upward, undermining the sense that there’s any seasonal variation.

Marc Bevand — an entrepreneur who has produced his own calculations on BTC energy consumption — largely agrees with this impression.

“We don’t notice seasonal variations because the network has been growing quite fast, so any — presumably small — seasonal variation is lost in the large amounts of hashrate capacity — and thus energy consumption — being added every month. For example, a year ago, the hashrate was at seven exahash/sec and has grown to 45 exahash/sec today.”

However, despite the overall impression that there has been one continuous increase in consumption, some subtle variations are observable in the data that de Vries has collected as part of the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index.

For one, if you calculate the growth in consumption between the 2017 summer months and compare it to the three previous months, you’ll see a slackening in the overall rate of increase. For Feb. 10 to May 10 (Feb. 10, 2017 being the first date for which data is available), consumption increased by 33.1 percent:

  • February 10 – 9.6TW/h
  • May 10 – 12.8TW/h

But between June 1 and August 31 (meteorological summer), consumption increased by only 21.9 percent:

  • June 1 –13.42TW/h
  • August 31 – 16.37TW/h

BTC Energy Consumption VS BTC Price 2017

What’s interesting about this is that Bitcoin’s price increased by 96 percent between June 1 and August 31, 2017:

  • June 1, 2017 – $2,405
  • August 31, 2017 – $4,714

By comparison, the price increase between the winter months of Feb. 10 and May 10 was ‘only’ 79 percent:

  • February 10 – $978
  • April 21 – $1,759

Put simply, BTC’s price grew faster over these three summer months of 2017, yet its energy cost grew more slowly.

Why? And what about the summer of 2018?

Well, in the three months between June 1 and Aug. 31, BTC energy consumption increased by only 5 percent:

  • June 1 – 69.6TW/h
  • August 31 – 73.1TW/h

Over the same period, BTC’s value sank by 6.3 percent. The thing is, its value dropped by a hefty 27 percent between March and May, during which time energy consumption actually increased by 31.6 percent. And between Dec. 1 and February 28, consumption increased by an impressive 69 percent, while the overall BTC value grew by only 7.8% between these three months (although they were big spikes over smaller time frames within this quarter).

BTC Energy Consumption VS BTC Price 2018

As with the year before, 2018’s movements underline two things: a) that the growth in energy consumption slows down to an appreciable degree in the summer months, and that b) this slowdown can’t be correlated with price movements, particularly with regard to 2017’s figures. In 2017, energy consumption slowed down while price rises accelerated; in 2018, even though the price had sunk on Aug. 31 relative to its position on June 1, it was still 49 percent higher than it had been on Aug. 31, 2017. Such an annual difference should, in theory, provide a greater incentive for miners to mine Bitcoin and to increase their mining capacities, yet we nonetheless see that they eased up on their growth during the summer months.

Summer = higher electricity prices

The fact that BTC’s price doesn’t fully account for its energy consumption raises a conundrum. However, it’s one that’s solved via reference to the other biggest factor in Bitcoin’s use of electricity, which is the price of electricity itself. On the global level, electricity is generally more expensive in the summer, when there is greater demand for it, both from people turning on their air conditioners and from businesses — including mining farms — needing more energy for cooling.

For example, the United States Energy Information Administration — a branch of the U.S. Department of Energy — found in a 2013 review that energy consumption in the U.S. peaks in the summer for residential, commercial and industrial customers, with the variation ranging from 18 billion KW/h to 67 billion KW/h (compared to non-peak times). Similarly, in France and Germany, demand for energy during hot weather in June 2017 caused consumption to rise by 2GW and 4GW respectively. Meanwhile, China — home to some of the largest mining facilities in the world — has been facing the possibility of power shortages this summer, “as the nation’s distribution networks struggle to cope with soaring temperatures and the fastest power consumption growth in seven years.”

RMIT University’s Centre for Urban Research explained in a 2017 report on electricity pricing in Australia:

“During hot weather, the electricity sector aims to reduce peak electricity demand via ‘price signals’ — higher prices for electricity used at times when many households use air conditioning to cool their homes.”

As a single example, the U.S. Energy Information Administration notes in a January bulletin that wholesale electricity prices peaked at $55/MWh in California during August 2017, when they had been only $36/MWh in January of that year — amounting to a 52.7 percent increase.

It’s therefore clear that electricity demand and pricing tends to increase in summer, particularly on a global level — and particularly in China, where mining is most prevalent. By extension, this would explain why the increase in Bitcoin’s energy consumption also tends to level off slightly during the summer, since miners are reacting to increasing costs — and decreasing profitability — by temporarily reducing their capacity, at least in areas affected by hot summers.

This finding is backed up by the select few individuals who actually devote themselves to tracking Bitcoin’s energy consumption. Speaking to Cointelegraph, Ian Wright, the founder of Power Compare, confirmed that there isn’t really any significant or pronounced seasonality in Bitcoin’s energy consumption. However, what little seasonality exists is driven by the cost of electricity.

“If there is a seasonality effect, it would come down to electricity prices. So, for example, prices may come down in some areas with a lot of installed solar capacity when the sun is shining. Or it may go up in other areas that are hot, as more people turn on AC and increase demand.”

Marc Bevand, who doesn’t really see any significant variations in energy consumption, nonetheless also acknowledges that consumption levels are affected by profits.

“The energy consumption is driven mostly by increases of the price of Bitcoin. If miners make more profits, they will invest more capital in mining farms.”

While he doesn’t explicitly mention electricity here, this assessment is still consistent with the idea that seasonal electricity prices can affect consumption levels, since these prices will inevitably have an impact on profits.

This idea is also backed up by a May paper authored by CoinShares Research, in which Christopher Bendiksen and Samuel Gibbons investigated trends in the cost of mining Bitcoin. In particular, their research confirmed that mining companies are significantly influenced by seasonality:

“We also note that miner migration and/or price hikes occur during the dry season in China.”

Even though this paper didn’t describe any mining network reducing capacity, the fact that networks have a tendency to migrate whenever they can would suggest that, when they can’t migrate to an area with cheaper electricity, they may simply scale back. As the authors conclude:

“Some miners may have felt the squeeze during the market bottom, particularly if they were latecomers in terms of the modernity of their mining gear and/or operate in areas with comparatively higher electricity costs.”

Renewables

While what is above demonstrates that BTC energy consumption is lightly seasonal — in that the increase in capacity slips a little during the summer — there are two caveats worth addressing. The first, which is the less serious, is that the figures produced by Alex de Vries aren’t unanimously accepted by all those who track Bitcoin’s energy consumption. For instance, entrepreneur Marc Bevand constructed his own model for calculating BTC’s energy cost, finding that it was anything between 2.85TWh and 6.78TWh per year. This is considerably lower than de Vries’ first estimation of 9.6TW/h (for February 2017), which then grew to 32TWh for December, and then to 73TW/h for this August. It’s also lower than the estimation put forward by SetOcean co-founder Oscar LaFarga, who put the annual consumption at around 18.25TW/h.

Other commentators have put their estimations even higher than de Vries. However, even with this variation, de Vries recently noted that he used the BECI’s methodology to write a peer-reviewed paper — although it produced a lower estimate than that of BECI for overall production. He also notes that a Morgan Stanley report criticized Bevan’s approach, which allegedly underestimates the cost of mining networks for cooling, which alone can consume up to 30 percent or 40 percent of a network’s revenue. As such, this analysis has stuck with de Vries’ figures. What’s more, even if they are well into the upper range of possibility, the consistency of the methodology used for the BECI means that this would have little impact on the attempt to specifically follow increases and decreases in BTC’s energy consumption over time.

The second caveat, which is more significant, is that BTC’s modest seasonality may be weakened even further as the industry matures. Ian Wright says:

“[…] the price of Bitcoin relative to electricity prices is increasingly the main driver of consumption and is also driving a shift away from high-cost areas to places with lower prices.”

Marc Bevan describes a similar process:

“Miners also design their mining farms to run 24/7/365, so seasonal weather patterns don’t interrupt their mining operations.”

Here, Wright and Bevan are referring in part to the establishment of new mining centers in cooler nations such as Iceland, where Bitcoin mining is on course this year to burn more energy than all of the nation’s homes combined. Big mining companies, such as Bitmain, are increasingly flocking to areas with cheaper renewable energy and colder climates, such as Canada.

In the process, they’ll dilute the vague seasonality currently visible in energy consumption charts, enabling consumption to rise consistently for as long as Bitcoin’s price remains high and it retains its onerous proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm. And by doing this, mining firms will also help to reduce the impact Bitcoin is having on the environment. That said, an energy expert at the University of Pittsburgh recently observed that such firms are already making significant use of green energy sources, and that Bitcoin’s overall consumption is still negligible compared to that of the banking industry.

But until Bitcoin moves almost completely to renewables, its energy consumption will continue to exhibit some slight seasonality, easing its foot off the gas during the summer months just as the rest of world is doing the opposite. While this subtle decline might seem like a bad thing from the Bitcoin community’s perspective, it doesn’t appear to have any negative consequences in practice — except for maybe an increase in average confirmation time for transactions in the summer of 2017, something which hasn’t been a problem in 2018 due to the rolling out of the SegWit upgrade. In other words, Bitcoin’s capacity is growing very steadily, making it easier than ever before to send a transaction to its network and have it accepted.

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Chinese Holding Firm to Convert US Defense Department Data Center Into Crypto Mining Farm

A Chinese holding company is in negotiations to convert a U.S. Defense Department data center into a crypto mining farm.

Chinese holding company Wuhan General Group (China), Inc. has entered negotiations to transform a U.S. Defense Department facility into a crypto mining farm, according to a press release published September 11.

Per the press release, in case of a successful outcome to the negotiation, the company will receive the first order of rigs in late October, with more to come in the following months. In converting the facility, Wuhan General Group is reportedly planning to benefit from low electricity rates in the U.S., a cool climate, and high-speed Internet, which is crucial for mining operations.

The 55,000 square foot data center with more than 3MW of power can reportedly accommodate up to 1,300 mining machines, with 12,000 to be added after its upgrade to a 30MW facility in 2019. Per the company’s estimation, the mining farm would produce around $3.5 million based with the initial 1,300 mining machines per month. Ramy Kamaneh, CEO of Wuhan General Group, said:

“We had planned to build this operation three months ago, but with the bearish cryptocurrency market, we took a step back to reassess our strategy. The decision to wait for market stability was a good one, especially considering many cryptocurrency machines are no longer profitable in the current market. We acted in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders and firmly believe that the market has bottomed and a bullish market is starting again.”

In May, Australian startup IoT Blockchain and mining hardware distributor Royalti Blockchain Group revealed their joint plan to turn a disused power station into a “Blockchain Applications Complex,” while a Bitcoin (BTC) mining operation would span two hectares. The nearby Hunter Energy Power Station will reportedly provide cut-price power for the project.

Some U.S. states are known for low energy costs, which make them a destination for mining companies. In July, New York state regulators approved a new electricity rate scheme for cryptocurrency miners that would allow them to negotiate contracts. The Massena municipal utility introduced a new rate structure for crypto miners, considering contracts on a case-by-case basis, which would protect other utility customers from increased rates.

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To Sell or Not to Sell: That Is No Longer The Question For Miners

Today, cryptocurrency mining operators could benefit from taking out loans while using their mined coins as collateral to cover their expenses and persevere during the current bear market.  Miners Can’t Hodl…or Can They? Large-scale miners have enormous fixed costs, which they must pay regardless of the price their mined coins are currently worth. Indeed, many mining farms operate on thin margins and a shoestring budget, where expenses like electricity, rent, and other overhead costs must

The post To Sell or Not to Sell: That Is No Longer The Question For Miners appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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DRAM Sales Decline Amidst Crypto Market Stutter

Sales of DRAM chips in Japan and the rest of the world have declined. The lull in cryptocurrency prices and the decline in smartphone sales are likely responsible for the decrease in sales. Lower Prices Cool Crypto Enthusiasm According to a recent Morgan Stanley report, the decline in cryptocurrency prices has negatively impacted the semiconductor market. With crypto prices falling, miners can end up operating at a loss. Morgan Stanley previously stated that Bitcoin mining

The post DRAM Sales Decline Amidst Crypto Market Stutter appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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Watchout! Satori Botnet Targets Exposed Ethereum Miners

Yesterday, BleepingComputer brought to light recent reports that have Ethereum miners worried, as enslaved internet-connected devices have been targeting miners worldwide.  Evidence filed by multiple internet security companies have shown that the Satori botnet, a system of IoT devices which number in the tens of thousands, has been trying to infiltrate Ethereum miners through a 3333 port exploit. This specific port has often been a way in which miners can remotely control their mining equipment,

The post Watchout! Satori Botnet Targets Exposed Ethereum Miners appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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New ‘Snobbish’ Cryptojacking Malware Infected 500k Users in 3 Days, Report Says

WinstarNssmMiner, a new type of malware script used to mine Monero, has spread to half a million devices in 3 days, cyber researcher reports.

A new piece of so-called cryptojacking malware used half a million computers to mine 133 Monero (XMR) tokens (about $25,000) in three days, Finance Magnates reports today, May 18.

New research published by cyber security firm 360 Total Security May 16 found that the malware, referred to as WinstarNssmMiner, presents a fresh challenge to users, due to its ability to both mine and crash infected machines at will.

Malicious software that engages in cryptojacking – the use of another’s device to mine crypto without their knowledge – has become a common phenomenon in recent months.

As Cointelegraph reported, instances have risen dramatically in 2018.  A warning from Microsoft highlighted only 644,000 infected devices in the period September 2017 to January 2018 – only slightly more than WinstarNssmMiner’s three-day progress.

Commenting on the latest threat, 360 said it was “surprised” that in addition to mining Monero, the malware could also force a user’s PC to crash if it detected the presence of certain antivirus software, writing:

“This malware is very hard to remove since victims’ computers crash as soon as they found and terminate the malware.”

A twist comes in the form of what 360 describes as “snobbish” behavior regarding antivirus brands: the presence of well-known products from companies such as Kaspersky Lab and Avast! cause WinstarNssmMiner not to activate at all. Other brands are ignored, resulting in mining and crashes.

Earlier this month, Cointelegraph also reported on how code for crypto-mining program Coinhive was found on over 300 governmental and university websites worldwide.

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Chinese ASIC Manufacturer To Turn To AI In Case Of Stricter Gov’t Regulation

Bitmain is looking to artificial intelligence as the natural option to turn to in case of an increase in China’s already stringent crypto regulations.

Due to the recent crypto crackdown in China, Chinese ASIC chip manufacturer Bitmain is turning to artificial intelligence (AI) as an alternate revenue source, Bloomberg reports today, May 17.

China’s crypto regulations have included an initial coin offering (ICO) ban in the fall of last year, this January’s ban on “exchange-like services,” and the February ban on foreign crypto exchanges.

Bitmain manufactures the processing chips and miners that mine for a variety of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and altcoin Monero; although the release of the Monero-mining Antminer at the end of March led Monero to upgrade in order to preserve its ASIC-resistant nature.

Jihan Wu, Bitmain’s co-chief executive, told Bloomberg in one of his infrequent interviews that because “artificial intelligence requires lots of computations,” it is the natural alternative option for the ASIC manufacturer:

“As a China company, we have to be prepared.”

Bitmain’s Sophon BM1680 chip, which they began selling in October, can more cheaply speed up machine learning as compared to those made by Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices Inc, although it is not as powerful.

Wu — who predicts that AI chips could account for up to 40 percent of Bitmain’s revenue in five years — told Bloomberg that Bitmain is “just trying to do something that they cannot take care of well enough.”

At the end of February this year, a report showed that Bitmain, a four-year-old company, made between $3 and $4 bln in operating profits in 2017, as compared to twenty-seven-year-old competitor Nvidia, who made about $3 bln during the same period.

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Cases Of Illegal Bitcoin And Cryptocurrency Mining: Chicken Farms And New York

Cryptocurrency miners in the US and South Korea disguised as protected businesses to mine bitcoin with unfairly cheap electricity rates.

In the US, China, and South Korea, many individual cryptocurrency miners and large-scale mining centers were cracked down for conducting illicit operations. For example, in April 2018, cryptocurrency miners in South Korea were arrested for illicitly utilizing cheap electricity to produce cryptos.

Chicken farm in South Korea

In South Korea, places such as chicken farms and factories in development restricted areas are provided with electricity at cheaper rates by the government to help struggling industries and support innovative technology-focused initiatives. The government is stricter with the usage of electricity in these areas and consistently monitors the inflow of energy into buildings, factories, farms, and houses near these specially approved districts.

On April 19, police in the Gyeong-ki province of South Korea, the second largest region behind Seoul, arrested operators of a mining center in Nam Yang city. An in-depth police investigation disclosed that five cryptocurrency miners, whose identities remain confidential as they are still in police custody, purposely rented out factories and chicken farms in the protected part of the city to receive electricity for substantially lower rates.

By disguising buildings as semi-conductor factories and several properties as chicken farms, the five individuals were able to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum with virtually no cost apart from the ASIC miners they acquired and installed.

Image source: Northern Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency via Hani

In the Paju restricted development area, the five individuals rented out a 859 square meter building and applied to the government as a semi-conductor factory. For 8 months, the group utilized the space to mine cryptocurrencies with more than 1580 ASIC miners. In the later months of their illegal venture, the group recruited more than 40 individuals and rented out their ASIC miners to produce even more cryptocurrencies.

The group generated more than $300,000 by accepting ASIC miners from individuals within months but the actual sum of cryptocurrencies the group was able to produce throughout the 8-month period remains unclear.

Preliminary investigations undertaken by the Gyeong-ki and Paju police has shown that the group produced at least 760 Ethereum, which is worth more than $500,000, and a large sum of Bitcoin. The local police is still investigating into the final sum of money the group generated throughout the past year. The police has also discovered that the group only paid 50 percent of the normal electricity rate and received significant discounts for renting out the farms and factories.

Currently South Korea has no laws or policies approved that can punish cryptocurrency miners in development restricted areas. Minor charges could be applied to the five individuals, for using the space intended to carry out other initiatives, but no major penalties can be imposed as of now. To prevent similar situations from occurring in the future, the local police has requested the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs to draft and approve laws that prohibit cryptocurrency miners from taking advantage of districts and areas with cheaper electricity rates.

First mining ban in New York

In the US on March 18, local authorities in the state of New York requested a cryptocurrency mining facility to halt their mining initiative after residents of Plattsburg, a small lakeside town in upstate New York, filed an official complaint to the police for the excessive usage of low-cost electricity by local miners.

The city of Plattsburg did not impose a permanent ban on Bitcoin mining however. Instead, local authorities and residents released a moratorium which states that the city will not consider applications for commercial cryptocurrency mining for at least a year and a half. Bloomberg reported that the city can charge more than $1,000 per day if miners decide to use low-cost electricity of the city to mine. The authorities of Plattsburg said:

“It is the purpose of this Local Law to facilitate the adoption of land use and zoning and/or municipal lighting department regulations to protect and enhance the City’s natural, historic, cultural and electrical resources.”

Another cryptocurrency mining facility was confronted by local authorities and a telecommunication powerhouse T-Mobile on Feb. 15 after it was revealed that ASIC miners from a mining facility based in Brooklyn interfered with the 700 MHz band of T-Mobile. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said:

“On November 30, 2017, in response to the complaint agents from the Enforcement Bureau’s New York Office confirmed by direction finding techniques that radio emissions in the 700 MHz band were emanating from your residence in Brooklyn, New York. When the interfering device was turned off the interference ceased. You identified the device as an Antminer s5 Bitcoin Miner. The device was generating spurious emissions on frequencies assigned to T-Mobile’s broadband network and causing harmful interference.”

At the time, the FCC gave the mining facility a 20-day notice to halt their operations and move elsewhere as the radio emissions released by the ASIC miners within the facility were negatively impacting local telecommunication networks.

Not illegal

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining is legal in most countries, even in China which banned the trading of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum in Sep. 2017.

Cryptocurrency mining is legal in most regions because it is beneficial for electricity grid operators to provide excess energy that they can no longer supply to households and businesses. As such, although local governments have tried to ban cryptocurrency mining in the past as demonstrated in CNLedger’s report below, cryptocurrency mining remains unbanned in most countries.

It is also not illegal to mine Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency using electricity that is low cost. However, it is illegal to disguise cryptocurrency mining initiatives as a protected business in a development restricted area to take advantage of cheap electricity that is only provided to approved organizations and institutions. This is why South Korean authorities are currently drafting regulations to prevent mining facilities from taking advantage of cities with cheaper electricity.

THE COST TO MINE 1 BITCOIN

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Bitcoin Mining Manufacturer Canaan Confirms IPO Filing, Backed by Major Banks

Canaan Creative is pushing ahead with its IPO, which could raise $1bln, reports announced this week.

Chinese Bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer Canaan Creative plans to start trading of its IPO as soon as July, Bloomberg reports May 16.

Canaan, which confirmed rumors it was planning an IPO with a filing this week, will likely create the largest Bitcoin-focused offering yet seen when it debuts on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Citing anonymous sources, Bloomberg added that while the filing did not mention a specific fundraising target, the figure “could” circle $1bln – a figure which had previously appeared earlier this month.

The move would create further competition for mining stalwart Bitmain, with Canaan currently already controlling around 15% of the Bitcoin chips and hardware equipment market.

In an interview with Reuters last month, meanwhile, co-chairman Jianping Kong said the numbers were equal to “a quarter of the world’s bitcoin blockchain computing power.”

Major IPO backers appearing on the filing are Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank AG, Credit Suisse Group AG and CMB International Capital Ltd.

Canaan has yet to issue a public statement about the move, declining comment after a request from Reuters Tuesday.

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