Bitmain is launching a second Bitcoin mining pool, and Ripple has raised $55 million. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 37:
- Bitmain is launching a second mining pool besides Antpool, currently the third-largest Bitcoin mining pool, through its subsidiary BTC.com. The new pool will be open sourced to its community of users, and is intended to “set new benchmarks in terms of stability, efficiency, and service for all mining pools”. A key focus for the software is said to be on reducing “orphan rates”, but it cannot be denied that there is a risk of Bitmain enhancing its network’s market share (beyond the 13% currently held by Antpool), resulting in more centralization.
- Coincidentally, Sveinn Valfells of Flux, Ltd. and Jon Helgi Egilsson of the Faculty of Economics at the University of Iceland, conclude Bitcoin’s decentralization be impacted by the halving of the bitcoin block reward this past July, which changed the profitability of new miner entries. In a paper, “Minting Money with Megawatts” for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the authors note that declining profitability for new miners could further consolidate mining activity. This, in turn, could increase the likelihood of miners colluding to attack the blockchain’s Bitcoin transaction history.
- Ripple, the San Francisco-based startup building a bitcoin-like payments platform aimed at banks, announced a $55 million Series B funding round on Tuesday, bringing its total capital to about $93 million. The new funds give the company “tons of runway,” said CEO Chris Larsen. “It’s possible we never have to raise money again.” The firm also announced several new commercial clients signed long-term contracts to integrate Ripple’s services into their own banking platforms. The contracts are generally multiyear deals, the company said, and involve licensing fees, integration agreements, and in some cases transaction fees.
- The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has again delayed a decision on a Bitcoin ETF. The deputy secretary of the SEC has pushed back the date to approve SolidX’s request to list a bitcoin ETF on the New York Stock Exchange. The situation closely mirrors what happened in August when the SEC made a similar decision regarding the application submitted by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss to list the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust on the Bats exchange. The new deadline for the SolidX Bitcoin Trust decision is 31st October.
- The price of Bitcoin dropped by almost three percent this week to about $606 per BTC. The price of Ethereum increased by more than eight percent over the same period, to a current rate of $12.60 per ETH. Ethereum Classic on the other lost a similar percentage, taking the price $1.31 per ETC. Monero had a heavy week and lost more than 20 percent of its value, taking the price down to $9.75 per XMR.