BITMAIN Releases Two Antminers and AMD Collaborates with Eight Tech Firms

BITMAIN Releases Two Antminers and AMD Collaborates with Eight Tech Firms

The Antminer S15 and T15, made to mine algorithm SHA256, is scheduled to be available by 8 November, 14:00 (GMT +8); AMD continues developing crypto miners despite negligible Q3 sales

BITMAIN’s Jihan Wu tells that both Antminer models are equipped with BM1391 using 7nm Finfet technology to provide more hash power and more efficiency for miners. According to him, the chip can attain an energy to hash ratio of 42J/TH.

The mining hardware developer has yet to reveal the specifications and price of the new models.

AMD Pushes to Make Better Crypto Mining Products

In a bid to make better mining solutions, Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD), teamed up with ASROCK, ASUS, Biostar, MSI, Rajintek, Sapphire, and TUL. Together with their partners, AMD developed products such as the Sapphire INCA CS-14 Series and the MSI Blockchain Rig F12.

For this year’s second quarter, companies reported less than favorable sales of mining equipments. AMD called their Q3 sales negligible, and during Q2 Nvidia was determined to exit the market.

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Bitcoin Miners’ Refuge? Zcash Mining Hash Rate Sees 650% Growth

While the bitcoin hash rate has taken a downward shift during the latter half of last year, Zcash has been on a constant upward movement that could make it a crypto miners refuge. Miners Flocking to Zcash The reports of Bitcoin miners leaving the crypto mining scene has been doing the rounds since mid-2018 after the crash of 80 to 90 percent in cryptocurrency prices. Bitcoin is down about 82 percent from its all-time high at $20,000 to about $3,500. Around October, Bitcoin hash rate took a dip and only started upward descent in mid-December. According to Diar’s latest report, cryptocurrency miners are flocking to Zcash due its block reward halving period. “Cryptocurrency miners have found refuge in solving for Zcash with the block reward still two halving periods behind Bitcoin (Zcash follows the same controlled supply model with differing block times).” The privacy-focused cryptocurrency, Zcash is a code fork of Bitcoin protocol that uses  zero-knowledge proofs to “enable privacy-preserving transaction data.” It first came into existence in late October 2016. The hash rate of Zcash has been growing on a constant upward movement as can be seen in the 1-year chart above. “With 7200 ZECs up for grabs daily the networks mining hash rate has been able to sustain a 650% growth as other cryptocurrencies lose equipment in the face of the ongoing bear market and stiff competition.” Earlier this month, zooko Took to Twitter to share the ongoing developments in Zcash to share that “As expected, the GitHub thread about radically revamping Zcash mining is heating up. … It’s important because at today’s prices there is more than $400K/day of new Zcash issuance” The community is also working on Zcash blossom, a “dual-proof-of-work scheme, where one algorithm is backward compatible with current mining equipment, and another is designed to work well with GPUs on a temporary time scale.” Harmony mining will be affecting the miners as its goal is to make the Zcash ecosystem more resilient by “spreading issuance and political influence among distinct kinds of stakeholders.” The post Bitcoin Miners’ Refuge? Zcash Mining Hash Rate Sees 650% Growth appeared first on Coingape.

Iceland’s “Bitcoin Bandits” Sentenced in Big Crypto Mining Theft Case Worth Nearly $800,000 USD

It has been reported that the primary suspects in the “Big Bitcoin Heist” of 2018 have been sentenced to prison terms following the much-reported heist that saw them steal over $750,000 worth of crypto mining equipment. What Was The ‘Big Bitcoin Heist’? On January 16, 2018, the four men hired three more individuals in order to rob the Advania mines. The crew was able to steal 225 fully functional Bitmain mining rigs with the help from an ‘inside man’ and allegedly wore security uniforms. This particular heist was the crew’s biggest and the robbery reportedly took hours. The ‘inside man’ gave the thieves a security access code and a layout of Advania’s floor plan. Iceland police arrested two members of the gang on February 1, 2018, with an illegal stun gun and more than a half ounce of cocaine. From that point, one of the suspects purportedly turned on Stefansson and his gang, so the police were able to track down each member of the group following the first two arrests. The first of the individuals arrested include Sindry Thor Stefansson, who was originally arrested in April for the theft of mining equipment in the country. Based on translated court documents, another six individuals were tied into the charges, which is a total of ten criminal counts. The full charges include “possession of weapons, cocaine, and theft of over $2 million USD worth of mining computers and equipment.” What added a twist to the drama was when Stefansson escaped from prison. He was placed in the low-security prison a little over a week ago though he has been in custody. He fled through a window before taking the approximately 60-mile trek to Keflavík International Airport, where he used a stolen passport to board a passenger plane bound for Sweden and where security footage spotted him. Interestingly, he was on the same flight as the Prime Minister of Iceland. The Final Sentance All in all, seven men were sentenced for the heist, with Sindri Þór receiving the heaviest sentence. The computers were never found and the men were sentenced to pay Advania, the company that owned the computers, 33 million ISK(close to $270,634) in damages. Stefansson was not charged additionally for his attempted escape and just four and a half years in Prison. Hafthór Logi Hlynsson will serve 20 months and Matthías Jón Karlsson was sentenced to two-and-a-half years. Both Peter Stanislav Karlsson and Viktor Ingi Jónasson will have to spend 18 months behind bars while the others get lighter punishments.
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Chinese Bitcoin Miners Infected by Ransomware as Bitmain’s Antminers Become Focal Point

Every industry has the same issues; the boom and bust cycles, the struggles during its early days and deplorable criminals looking to make a quick buck. The crypto industry is no different, with scams and virus aplenty to fill up volumes. The latest story out of China is of a virus that has been stealthily targetting bitcoin miners. According to local Chinese news sources, hAnt is the virus that has found its way to various mining machines. It looks to extort a ransom from the miners while also stealing the power of the machine. This has been spreading like wildfire will thousands of dollars already lost. What Is The Virus The hAnt has a fairly intriguing modus operandi. The source of the virus is a firmware upgrade. Most experts opine that the virus is attached to an overclocking feature in this firmware version. When an unsuspecting miner downloads this, it accesses the systems sensitive access points but remains dormant for long periods. It is thought that the original spread happened all the way back in August. However, it was only earlier this month that the virus activated itself. On many interfaces of mining management software there appeared a green screen with an ant. When one clicks on the picture the user is greeted with a message in Chinese and English. This message, from the hacker, tells the miner that they have been hacked. It then gives them two options; either help propagate the “firmware patch” to a 1000 other machines or pay up 10 bitcoin to the anonymous hacker. The note ends on an ominous note stating that noncompliance will lead to overriding of the system fan and overheat protection which might lead to “burning your mine or even the house.” The infected are mostly Bitmain’s antminers. According to the data collected the S9, T9, and the Litecoin miner L3+ have some traces of infected records. What Is Overclocking Simply put, Overclocking refers to “running a processor at a speed higher than that intended by the manufacturers.” As expected this is not recommended by the manufactures as, with a boost in results it also leads to side effects, usually overheating. In relation to mining machines, overclocking has a direct monetary benefit. Overclocking may improve the computing power by nearly a third. Unsurprisingly this is a fairly common practice. What some forget or ignore is that this greatly increases the consumption of power and places extra demands on the cooling system. Furthermore, it has a debilitating effect on the mining machines chip. Working Out The Solution According to a miner, who remained anonymous, there are two prospective solutions to deal with this threat.”The first solution is the SD card of the brushing machine, ie the firmware.” A simple yet effective measure akin to reinstalling an operating system. While this would indeed be a direct and most effective solution it is hardly efficient, A full brushing can take up as much as four days to complete. So for nearly all of a working week, the machines would be idle, losing thousands for its owners. Another way suggested is to update the byte library of the mining machine, a process easier said than done. Old Tricks New Hands Spreading viruses in this industry is not a new phenomenon either. Back in 2013, some viruses were used to hijack computers to be secretly mined. However large scale mining attacks have been a recent plague, with its effects felt from August 2018. Experts are suggesting simple password protections to combat this latest effort that is nontouristy contagious; even a single infected machine will infect the entire mine in a matter of minutes. Simply ensuring that the factory default passwords for routers and mines are updated, could prevent this virus' intrusions. Though some experts such as Feng Xiao believes this is a more advanced threat and so just a password update will not suffice. “If mine owners don't kill the virus or re-brush, they will put the mine directly on the shelves, which may cause the mine virus to spread further” While this latest attack will not break digital assets, it is certainly an unwelcome distraction. Some sources claim this could negatively affect the markets by as much as 3 percent. Undoubtedly, this storm shall pass over too, it is hoped that lessons will be learned and the same mistakes will be avoided, for the good of the whole crypto industry.
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