Intel To Present Low Voltage, Energy Efficient Bitcoin Mining Chip At Conference

This could be huge. Intel plans to enter the Bitcoin mining space with a cleverly marketed “ultra-low-voltage energy-efficient” ASIC chip. Considering that the chip shortage severely delayed the next generation of ASIC miners, this is tremendous. And, more importantly, it opens up the door for Bitcoin miners manufacturing in the USA. And in the rest of the Western world, even. 

Related Reading | Why Did China Ban Bitcoin Mining? Here Are The Seven Leading Theories

In December, Raja Koduri hinted at Intel’s intention to get into the Bitcoin mining space. Even though he’s the chief architect and senior vice president of Intel’s architecture, graphics and software division, no one expected Intel to deliver so soon. Details are scarce. There’s nothing on Intel’s official site. A quick search reveals that “Access to additional search results for “bonanza” is restricted.”

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However, we have the 411 on the project that goes by the code name “Bonanza Mine.”

What Do We Know About Intel ’s “Bonanza Mine”?

The product will be an “ultra-low-voltage energy-efficient Bitcoin mining ASIC.” According to Tom’s Hardware, the page that broke the news, Intel will reveal their new chip at:

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“The ISSCC conference is a yearly gathering of the best and brightest minds in the chip industry. This year, Intel has a presentation scheduled in the ‘Highlighted Chip Releases’ category to outline a new “Bonanza Mine” processor, a new chip described as an “ultra-low-voltage energy-efficient Bitcoin mining ASIC.”

Apparently, Intel has been developing the product since at least 2018, when they registered “a patent for a specialized processing system that uses an optimized SHA-256 datapath.”According to Tom’s Hardware, “Intel has a wealth of experience in hardware-assisted SHA-256 algorithms due to the use of these instructions in its CPU products.” 

A more recent indication of the company’s intentions came when the already mentioned Intel executive Raja Koduri “appeared on popular streamer Dr. Lupo’s show.” He told him point-blank”

“Being able to do much more efficient blockchain validation at a much lower cost, much lower power, is a pretty solvable problem. And you know, we are working on that, and at some point in time, hopefully not too far into the future, we will kinda share some interesting hardware for that.”

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Why Is This Development Important?

Until now, ASIC Bitcoin miners manufacturing is controlled by Bitmain and Microbt, with Canaan, Strongu, and Ebang handling a minority of the market. All of those companies are Chinese. The chips are all made in Taiwan and South Corea. This poses a centralization problem for the Bitcoin network that seemed unsolvable until Intel’s soft announcement.

Now, the open-source Bitcoin miner that Jack Dorsey’s Block is working on makes a lot more sense. Theoretically, the silicon chip is the only part of an ASIC machine that can’t be bought in a hardware store. With that problem solved, by no less than an industry leader with immense manufacturing power, the sky’s the limit. If this whole thing materializes, expect a huge leap forward in the further decentralization of Bitcoin mining. 

Also, Intel’s announcement certainly legitimizes Bitcoin mining as a business to watch for the next 100 years. As podcaster Anthony Pompliano said, “Bitcoin is a computer network. Every technology company will eventually plug themselves into it.” With this announcement, Bitcoin not only gets Intel’s seal of approval. The giant company has now skin in the game. 

Related Reading | Intel, Microsoft Took 10+ Years to See Gains, Crypto Investors in Good Position

To close this off, let’s quote Tom’s Hardware one more time:

“For now, it isn’t clear if Intel will release the Bonanza Mine chip as a product for the public or if it remains confined to a research project. However, given that the chip is in the “highlighted Chip Releases: Digital/ML” track and Koduri’s comments, it’s logical to expect that these chips will be offered to customers in the near future.”

So, everything we said is not a done deal just yet. It smells good, though.

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ESG Organizations Send Letter To Congress About PoW Mining, Bitcoin Responds

Will the ESG FUD ever stop? As a Congressional subcommittee prepares to take a good look at Proof-Of-Work mining, “more than 70” national, international, state and local organizations wrote a letter to the “Congressional leadership.” In it, they use old and unreliable data to get their point across. They completely ignore all of 2021’s research and progress on the matter, because it would invalidate their argument.

The question is, will Congress buy their poorly researched, alarmist letter? The ESG FUD hit PoW mining like a ton of bricks in 2021. It might be based on a poor understanding of the subject at hand, but the public in general definitely bought it. And they quote the bogus numbers that their authorities invented left and right on social media. 

Related Reading | Despite Crackdown, Bitcoin Mining Is Still Alive And Well In China

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Also, the whole argument completely ignores the main virtue of Bitcoin. The orange coin provides a framework and tools for the world’s transition to a disinflationary system. Paraphrasing “The Price Of Tomorrow’s” author Jeff Booth, in the inflationary system that we live in, there’s a clear incentive for consumption. If your money’s purchasing power decreases by the minute, everybody will logically buy, spend, and consume everything in sight. That is the real monster that the planet’s facing. And Bitcoin fixes it.  

In any case, Bitcoin’s resident ESG FUD expert, Nic Carter, took it upon himself to reply to the ESG organizations that sent misinformation to Congress. Let’s see how each part did.

The ESG Organizations Make Their Point, Nic Carter Counterpoints

The ESG organizations come out swinging from the introduction on: 

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“We, the more than 70 climate, economic, racial justice, business and local organizations, write to you today to urge Congress to take steps to mitigate the considerable contribution portions of the cryptocurrency markets are making to climate change and the resulting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, environmental, and climate justice impacts it will have.”

And their accuracies start from the get-go, also:

“In 2018, scientists writing in Nature warned that Bitcoin’s growth alone could singlehandedly push global emissions above 2 degrees Celsius within less than three decades.”

Those numbers are ridiculous. They “assume” a progression relative to the number of users of the network, and that’s simply not how Bitcoin works. Even if the whole planet adopted the Bitcoin standard, the network would still produce one block every ten minutes. Energy consumption is not directly related to the number of users. 

What did Nic Carter respond? That the claim is “false, based on a debunked paper with a completely erroneous model of bitcoin.”

Right after that, the ESG organizations even throw Ethereum under the bus:

“The Digiconomist’s Ethereum Energy Consumption Index estimates that the Ethereum blockchain will consume 71 terawatt-hours this year, nearly the same as the energy consumption of Colombia.”

Since the letter is about PoW mining, it makes sense. The Ethereum community seems to have completely ignored the letter, at least over at Twitter. 

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Bitcoin Incentivizes Green Energy Infrastructure

The ESG organizations continue their poorly-researched attack with:

“The GHG emissions from this exorbitant and unnecessary energy consumption is staggering.”

It’s not unnecessary at all. In fact, PoW mining is absolutely essential for a decentralized, permissionless system. And the energy consumption is directly proportional to the security of the network. Plus, it anchors it to the real world. Not to mention the fact that Bitcoin actually incentivizes and finances green energy infrastructure.

Then, the ESG crowd accuses Bitcoin of “exacerbating” the global chip shortage:

“Increased demand for these machines are exacerbating a global shortage of semiconductors. A bipartisan bill by Senators Maggie Hassan and Joni Ernst has called for a report on how cryptocurrency mining operations are impacting semiconductor supply chains.“

With ease, Nic Carter counterattacks with: “Bitcoin miners are not tier 1 clients, they don’t compete with Apple/Qualcomm/NVIDIA for space; the shortage is due to money printing and the demand shock. See section on semis here.”

Texas Doesn’t Know What Its Doing, The ESG Crowd Does

Then, the ESG investigators make wild, unbacked assumptions about Texas power:

“Following a crackdown on cryptocurrency miners in China, many miners are moving to Texas, due to its deregulated grid, taking away the power that Texans need.”

This completely ignores the fact that the state of Texas has gone to great lengths to attract those miners. And that, unlike the ESG organizations that signed the infamous letter, power companies in Texas regularly attend Bitcoin meetings. They are making an effort to understand the technology and the opportunities it brings to them. Also, as Carter puts it, “Majority of mining is in west texas where transmission bottlenecks mean prices routinely go negative. Huge overcapacity and limited demand for power outside of mining.”

The state of Texas knows what it’s doing, they see Bitcoin’s future is bright. These ESG organizations think they know better, though:

“Adding more energy-guzzling crypto mining operations to Texas could exacerbate the sorts of blackouts the state already saw during the extreme cold in February — outages that reporting shows hit communities of color the hardest.”

Wow, playing the race card there. So low. And unrelated. Anyway, answering the claim that miners “could exacerbate” the February blackouts, Carter says. “Miners were/ would have been offline during this time, as we demonstrate here. They also help alleviate ‘black start’ issues through primary frequency response.” 

Three Other Prominent Bitcoiners’ Response

Are these direct responses to the ESG organizations’ letter? It’s not clear, but the authors published them in the same timeframe. The first one refers to SHA256, the set of cryptographic hash functions that Bitcoin uses. Nunchuk founder Hugo Nguyen said, “Once you understand that SHA256 is close to being 100% efficient at what it does, you’d stop calling it a “waste”. In fact, 100% efficiency is the exact opposite of “waste”. There’s nothing else like it.”

For his part, Swan Bitcoin’s Brandon Quittem attacks the concept of energy consumption being inherently bad. “Energy consumption is directly correlated with GDP. Want to help developing countries? Help them harness more energy. Interestingly, Bitcoin acts as a free market subsidy for energy investment.”

And Kraken’s Dan Held states that “Bitcoin’s energy consumption is not “wasteful.” Why? Because “It is much more efficient than existing financial systems.” And we’re talking orders of magnitude, here. Not only that, “No one has the moral authority to tell you what is a good or bad use of energy (ex: watching the Kardashians).”

Do you know how much energy American households use for their Christmas lights? As much as the whole Bitcoin network, that’s how much. 

Related Reading | Is This The Reason China Banned Bitcoin Mining? Carvalho’s Mind Blowing Theory

Where is the letter to Congress protesting  Christmas lights, ESG organizations?

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Did US Regulators Began Offensive Against Crypto Platforms? CFTC Fines Kraken

One of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, Kraken, received a $1.25M fine. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission imposed the “civil monetary penalty” plus a cease and desist from “further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA)” on September the 28th. According to the CFTC, Kraken provided margin for commodity transactions to retail clients in the U.S. who were not suitable to use those products.

Related Reading | How the CFTC fine on Coinbase could affect future crypto company listing

The fine, however, seems like a slap on the wrist for a gargantuan company like Kraken. They’re a private company and their annual revenue is not on the public domain, but they raised $100M at a $4B valuation in 2019. And, reportedly, Kraken was seeking a $20B valuation this year following an IPO that didn’t happen. For a company that size, a $1.25M fine is not much, but maybe the punishment just fits the violation.

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What Did Kraken Do Exactly?

The violation occurred between June 2020 and July 2021 approximately. During that period, “Kraken illegally operated as an unregistered FCM.” And, what did the unregistered futures commission merchant offer? Well, U.S. customers could acquire digital assets using margin, and Kraken provided said asset or the fiat money “to pay the seller for the asset.” Of course,  users had to provide collateral and pay for the received asset within 28 days. 

If they didn’t pay in the established period, “Kraken could unilaterally force the margin position to be liquidated.” They could also liquidate “if the value of the collateral dipped below a certain threshold percentage of the total outstanding margin.” In short, Kraken was selling futures and extending credit without registering as an FCM.  “These transactions were unlawful because they were required to take place on a designated contract market and did not.”

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The CFTC’s Acting Director of Enforcement, Vincent McGonagle, said in the press release:

“This action is part of the CFTC’s broader effort to protect U.S. customers. Margined, leveraged or financed digital asset trading offered to retail U.S. customers must occur on properly registered and regulated exchanges in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.”

The Cryptocurrency Exchange’s Latests Plays

Over the last few months, Kraken representatives went hard on the traditional financial system. From their Director Dan Held calling it “a cartel,” to CEO Jesse Powell predicting that cryptocurrency companies would replace them within a decade. In Held’s tweet, he attached a graphic that showed the consolidation of the US banking sector advanced through the years and now just four institutions control it all: 

Related Reading | Bitcoin Slides 5% From Recent Highs Amidst Binance CFTC Probe Revelation

For his part, the last day of March, Powell told Bloomberg:

“Most of these guys haven’t done the work these last ten years to make sure they are current with the crypto technology. So I think there’s a very real risk that over the next ten years, for those legacy businesses to be simply replaced.”

In more recent news, Kraken is trying to re-enter the European market. The company was licensed to operate through the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. Thus, since Brexit happened, they have to find a new home for their license. When NewsBTC covered the news, we said:

“Powell added that the Kraken exchange seeks to re-enter Europe by the end of 202. It will go with the Republic of Ireland, Malta, and Luxembourg, among possible countries, to award such a license. However, they are yet to fix an official date as the talk still goes on.”

Will the $1.25M fine the CFTC imposed throw a wrench on those, or any plans? Certainly not. Not by a long shot. 

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Kraken Director Dan Held Tags Traditional Financial Institutions A “Cartel”

Kraken Director Dan Held recently posted a tweet that shows what he thinks of the traditional banking system.

Are traditional banks truly a collision of government financial structures for monopoly? A necessary fact-check and digging into the actual status of the state-owned bricks and mortar financial depository institutions comes to bear following Dan Held’s recent tweet.

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Dan’s Profile

Dan Held, at present, is the Director of Growth Marketing at Kraken. A company he sold his erstwhile company called Interchange to. The company was a portfolio reconciliation tool for crypto institutional traders. Kraken acquired Interchange in July of 2019.

He has, over time, been actively involved in crypto activities. For instance, before his role at Kraken, Dan created some of the most prominent earlier crypto products, including ChangeTip and ZeroBlock acquired by AirBnB and ZeroBlock and, respectively, second-ever all Bitcoin acquisition.

Related Reading | Controversial Bitcoin Mining Council Confirms “Sustainable Power Mix”

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2013 is worthy of mentioning as the year he was part of the original crypto meetup group in SF. The meetup comprised of crypto giants like the founders of Coinbase, Litecoin, and Kraken, which he now works for.

As ardent crypto, particularly bitcoin, influencer, the U.S. national recently took to his Twitter media page on Thursday to label the structure of traditional financial institutions as equivalent to “a cartel.”

What Dan Held Thinks Of Traditional Banks

To Dan, “Institutions” are referred to as financial institutions, otherwise known as banking institutions, which are corporations that provide services as intermediaries of financial markets that are formed to monopolize the financial market.

They include central banks, sovereign wealth funds, different types of banks (ex: commercial/investment), brokerages, and insurance firms. However, Dan’s tagged – “a cartel” was exclusively for the state’s banks other than the private ones, as perceived.

So was he in any way right terming them a cartel?

Traditional Banks: A Cartel Or Not? Findings Show, He Might Be Right

A study reported in 2020 ships in some support to Dan’s claim. The study posits that Banks are becoming “instruments, rather than conduits, of monetary policy.”

In the advanced civilizations, most significantly, the 2020 findings uncovered that since the 2008 financial crisis, private banks had been subjected to some brutal regulatory changes in the hands of state-owned ones.

From pricing caps on loans to floors on deposits to rising capital buffer requirements, and the list goes on, the pain for many minority shareholders is seemingly endless.

Many countries, especially the developing ones, have gone one step ahead in terms of their involvement in the banking sector of their respective states.

However, the study highlights that the authority of these countries is making an effort to fuel the dominance of state-owned banks over private players.

Related Reading | Scaramucci’s Skybridge Capital Launches Ethereum Fund

And then some take “outright stakes in formerly ‘private’ banks (in both friendly and less than amicable manners), to exercise an increasingly populist form of monetarism.”

JP Morgan Chief Confirmation

Comments from the likes of Jamie Dimon, a central figure in JP Morgan, a global leader in financial services offering solutions to the world’s most important corporations, governments, etc., drives home Dan Held’s tweet. The Chief Executive during a financial crisis period was once quoted as saying,

“I believe there were people … who were greedy, selfish, did the wrong stuff, overpaid themselves, and couldn’t give a damn. Yes.”

His utterance reflected the monopoly, resultant corruption, and abuse the state-backed financial institutions’ players were enjoying at the time at the expense of the common good.

Regulatory default

Another report in the same year on findings by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) shows that five global central banks have been detected siphoning trillions of dollars in criminal funds in the recently leaked FinCEN Files.

The shocking finding is 2,100 documents stretching from 2000 to 2017. It reveals swindling funds flowed almost effortlessly through JPMorgan, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank, and Bank of New York Mellon.

The detected FinCEN Files show that Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and other world government-controlled regulatory bodies rarely prosecute the world’s banking cartel.

Related Reading | FinCEN Issues Advisory On Iran’s “Illicit” Use of Crypto to Bypass Sanctions

It Was All About Decentralized and Centralized Antagonism

Nonetheless, the support of the fact checks on his claim, we assume Dan’s stance has been triggered by the competition between Bitcoin and the government-backed legal tender.

Kraken Director Dan Held Tags Traditional Financial Institutions A “Cartel”

While Dan Held is trustworthy, many think it was mere advocacy for Bitcoin against the regulatory competitor.

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Interview: Dan Held Is Ready For Hyperbitcoinization

The director of growth marketing at Kraken is excited to see what the future of the industry looks like.

Dan Held will be speaking during the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami on June 4 and 5. Make sure that you set a reminder for the Bitcoin 2021 day one YouTube live stream and one for the Bitcoin 2021 day two YouTube live stream now.

View Dan Held’s interview on YouTube.

In this mini interview, host David Zell sat down with long-time Bitcoiner and educator Dan Held.

Held is the director of growth marketing at Kraken and will be joining Parker Lewis and Saifedean Ammous at Bitcoin 2021 for a panel discussion entitled “Picturing the Hyperbitcoinized World”. You won’t want to miss it.

Held defines hyperbitcoinization as “the moment when the whole world comes to see Bitcoin’s value.” When asked where we are on the path toward this vision, Held confirmed that “we’re experiencing hyperbitcoinization in part right now. Institutions are coming in, you can buy bitcoin almost everywhere, and it’s becoming universally recognized as a store of value.”

Held is excited to share his thoughts on hyperbitcoinization at Bitcoin 2021. For years, hyperbitcoinization may have felt like a maxi pipedream to many. But now, we’re watching that dream become our reality. “I’ve been in this space nine years,” Held said, “and I’ve been waiting for this moment the whole time. You know it when you see it and it definitely feels like it now.”

When asked about the current state of the market, Held remarked, “We still have a good four to six months left in the bull run, maybe eight to twelve. If we use historical price patterns, bitcoin’s price should be between $100,000 to $400,000.”

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The Definitive Breakdown of All Bitcoin FUD, With Dan Held

From “backed by nothing” to “China mining control,” a complete look at the best response to every category of bitcoin FUD out there.

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On today’s episode of The Breakdown, NLW is joined by Dan Held, growth lead at Kraken and a serial bitcoin entrepreneur.

As the market heats up, so, too, does the number of articles and tweets spreading FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt). Some of the FUD is new, much of it is old and all of it deserves a response.

Dan and NLW break down 15 categories of bitcoin FUD, including:

  • Bitcoin is for criminals
  • Bitcoin is backed by nothing/has no intrinsic value
  • Tether manipulation
  • Energy consumption
  • Government bans
  • And more!

Which are the most legitimate? Which are easily dismissed? Tune in to find out.

Find our guest online:
Twitter: @danheld


See also: Kraken’s Dan Held on What’s Different About Bitcoin at $10K This Time

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