Blockstream Launches Bitcoin Mining Farm With Fidelity As Early Customer (#GotBitcoin?)
Blockstream has launched a colocation mining service and already counts the Fidelity Center for Applied Technology and LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman as customers. Blockstream Launches Bitcoin Mining Farm With Fidelity As Early Customer (#GotBitcoin?)
On Thursday, the bitcoin and blockchain technology firm announced a new mining wing, Blockstream Mining, along with a BetterHash-based mining pool, Blockstream Pool. Led by cryptographer Dr. Adam Back, Blockstream is best known for its bitcoin-sidechain ecosystem, the Liquid Network.
Blockstream Mining will host colocation services across North America with its most recent installation in Georgia. The announcement stated that 300 megawatts, or 300,000 kilowatt-hours of energy, will be made available to customers.
That level of energy supply would be able to power up around 100,000 more-advanced ASIC mining models such as MicroBT’s WhatsMiner M20S or Bitmain’s AntMiner S17 Pro.
These machines on average have an electricity consumption of about 3 kWh per unit with a hashing power of around 55 terahashes per second. That could add about six exhashes per second to bitcoin network’s computing power (1 exhash = 1 million terahash).
Blockstream says its self-mining efforts currently make up one percent of the global bitcoin hash rate. The future relationship between Blockstream’s self-mining and Blockstream Mining was not specified.
Blockstream CSO Samson Mow says the firm’s mining efforts, even before the latest launch, were largely based on concerns about the network’s future:
“We began self-mining back in 2017 after being motivated by widespread concern that mining decentralization was declining. At the time it appeared that parties involved in ASIC manufacture, hosting, and pool operations were becoming a centralizing force and holding back Bitcoin from reaching its full potential. We figured we could use our Bitcoin expertise to improve the situation.”
In this vein, Blockstream also announced the launch of Blockstream Pool running the BetterHash mining protocol. Introduced in 2014 by Blocskstream project OpenHash, BetterHash decentralizes mining pool decisions, such as which block to mine, to individual owners. Proponents argue it further decentralizes and democratizes bitcoin mining.
Fidelity Is Still Looking For Bitcoin Mining Engineers
The Fidelity Center for Applied Technology (FCAT) is looking to find Bitcoin Mining Engineers for a “new business opportunity.” The proposal is coming from the team behind Fidelity Digital Asset Services (FDAS), the crypto trading arm of the financial giant.
The recruit will support Fidelity’s mining operations, likely in reference to its partnership with Blockstream. The company was reported in June of 2019 to have leased two data centers from the Bitcoin (BTC) developers.
The company is seeking for a person with three to five years of experience in a DevOps (developer operations) or engineering role. The term is generally used to indicate engineers who bridge the gap between software and hardware, for example by facilitating deployment of updates on servers.
It is notable that the posting does not mention any requirements of previous mining work, only including one line about “interest in researching topics related to Bitcoin and Bitcoin mining” among desired skills.
The potential recruit is, however, required to have previous experience in managing large hardware installations and associated tools. Advanced troubleshooting skills are also a strong preference.
The job offering was reported to have opened as early as Jan. 20, but it appears that the company has not yet found a suitable recruit one month later.
Cointelegraph reached out to Fidelity for more information on the job offer and mining initiative but did not receive an immediate response.
Fidelity And Crypto
The asset management giant has been involved in crypto for some time. In late 2018, it launched a Bitcoin trading service targeted toward institutional clients such as hedge funds.
Since then, Fidelity’s crypto branch continued to expand its reach. In October 2019, it launched its crypto custody services to compete with similar offerings by the likes of Bakkt and Coinbase Custody. In November, it obtained a relevant license from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).
December marked Fidelity Digital Assets’ overseas expansion with the opening of a U.K. branch. While only Bitcoin is currently supported, FDAS representatives hinted that Ethereum (ETH) may be added in 2020.
Blockstream Pool is the graduate of a one-year testnet and is available to Blockstream Mining customers. As of now, Blockstream Mining is exclusive to enterprises and institutions.
Binance Crypto Exchange Is Launching Its First Bitcoin Mining Pool
Binance is planning to launch its own mining pool, a first for the popular crypto exchange.
The news was broken Tuesday by the Russian crypto news publication Coinlife and later confirmed by three sources in the mining business. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao tweeted about the pool on Wednesday.
“The company has already hired some professionals for this purpose, some of them former Bitmain employees. The launch is planned for the Q2 2020,” Coinlife wrote.
Jakhon Khabilov, head of the Sigmapool mining pool, said Binance is already offering potential clients “generous” referral bonuses as it has been reaching out to some miners in China to promote the upcoming new service.
The exchange is following the lead of its peers, OKex and Huobi, which launched their own mining pools in August and September 2019, respectively. Both exchanges’ pools are currently among the top 10 pools producing the most blocks in the Bitcoin blockchain, according to Blockchain.com.
Alejandro de la Torre, the vice president of Pooling, currently number two most-popular mining pool, says the key motivation for exchanges to get into the bitcoin mining game is liquidity: Mining is the cheapest way to add liquidity to exchanges, he said.
Igor Runets, CEO of the Bitriver mining farm in Russia, believes launching a mining pool is a logical step for a crypto exchange: “Both these businesses are software-based, so no additional professional skills are needed. The client base would largely overlap: many mining pool users are also clients of exchanges.”
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