Intel to Discontinue Blockscale Bitcoin Mining Chips

Major United States-based technology company Intel has announced plans to discontinue its Blockscale Bitcoin mining chips. According to a Reuters report on April 18, Intel will stop taking orders for the Blockscale 1000 Series ASICs by Oct. 20 and end shipping roughly in April 2024. The move is aimed at cutting overall costs as part of a strategy of prioritizing the manufacturing of certain chips to outside customers.

Intel launched the Blockscale mining chips in April 2022, touting the ASIC hardware’s hash rate of up to 580 gigahash per second. Each chip could be combined and merged into a single mining unit, making it a popular choice for mining firms. Argo Blockchain, Block, Hive Blockchain Technologies, and GRIID Infrastructure were among the first companies to integrate the technology into their operations.

However, with the new announcement, Intel is discontinuing the Blockscale line of chips. The move is part of a broader effort by the company to cut costs and improve efficiency. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger reportedly took a 25% pay cut in February, and the company is projecting annual cost reductions of up to $10 billion due to cost-cutting initiatives and efficiency gains by 2026.

While Intel plans to discontinue the mining chips, the company said it would continue monitoring “market opportunities” in the crypto space. This suggests that Intel remains interested in the cryptocurrency industry and could potentially launch new products or services in the future.

The Blockscale line of chips was a significant offering for Intel, but the company’s decision to discontinue them is not entirely surprising. The cryptocurrency industry is highly competitive, and mining firms are always looking for ways to improve efficiency and reduce costs. Additionally, the recent drop in Bitcoin’s price has made mining less profitable for many miners, leading some to scale back or even exit the industry altogether.

Overall, Intel’s decision to discontinue the Blockscale line of chips reflects the broader trends in the cryptocurrency industry. As the market continues to evolve, it is likely that we will see further consolidation and changes among industry players. However, with Intel’s continued interest in the crypto space, it is also possible that the company will launch new products or services that cater to the needs of the industry.


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Intel Launches Second-Generation Bitcoin Mining Chip ‘Blockscale’

On Monday, Intel, a US multinational semiconductor chip maker corporation headquartered in California, announced that it has launched its second-generation Bitcoin mining chip, commonly known as “Intel Blockscale ASIC,” which will increase the energy efficiency of Proof-of-Work (PoW) mining.

Through the company’s decades of research and development in related areas, Intel said that It has developed and unveiled the new Bitcoin mining chip to provide crypto mining companies with more efficient mining rigs than most models available in the market.

Balaji Kanigicherla, the Vice-President and General Manager of the blockchain unit at Intel, talked about the development and said: “Intel’s decades of R&D in cryptography, hashing techniques and ultra-low voltage circuits make it possible for blockchain applications to scale their computing power without compromising on sustainability.”

The new product launch is important because it will help mining firms win concerns of the environmental, social and governance (ESG). Cryptocurrency mining has long been associated with environmental harm.

Jose Rios, General Manager of Intel’s blockchain group, further stated that: “The Intel Blockscale ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) is going to play a major role in helping Bitcoin mining companies achieve both sustainability and hashrate scaling objectives in the years ahead.”

According to Intel’s statement, each Blockscale ASIC chip will offer up to 580 gigahashes per second (GH/s) of hash rate with up to 26 joules per terahash (J/TH) of power efficiency and support up to 256 integrated circuits per chain, as well as providing on-chip temperature –and voltage–sensing capabilities.

Blockscale promises to be more energy-efficient than others at SHA-256 hashing, which is most commonly used in Bitcoin mining. That sounds great news for Bitcoin mining firms.

Navigating the Future

Early this year, Intel started investing in blockchain technology with a fresh venture designed to manufacture new chips to mine cryptocurrency. The firm focuses on sustainability and is working on creating the most energy-efficient computing technologies at scale.

In February, Intel revealed its first-generation crypto-focused chip, called “Bonanza Mine”, scheduled to be shipped later this year. Three companies have already preordered the technology, including Block (formerly known as Square), the Jack Dorsey-owned fintech firm, Bitcoin mining company GRIID Infrastructures, and Bitcoin mining firm HIVE Blockchain Technologies Ltd).

With the environmental impact of crypto mining becoming a huge concern, Intel’s first and second generations of its mining chips aim to address these issues.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Intel Releases New Bitcoin Miner Hardware Specifications

Chip manufacturer giant Intel released the technical specifications of its Bonanza Mine bitcoin miner hardware at the 2022 edition of the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), saying that the miner provided greater efficiency than others in the market. - 2022-02-22T153805.299.jpg

Intel announced that each Bonanza Mine (BMZ1) miner packs 300 BMZ1 chips, according to the technical specifications presented during the conference organized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Currently, Bitcoin mining is carried out using specialized hardware called an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC).

Intel’s 300 BMZ1 combine to render a power rating of 3,600 watts (W) while delivering 40 terahash per second (TH/s) of computing power. However, this latter specification lags behind the hash rate claimed by leading miners on the market.

Hash rate refers to the speed of mining. It is a measure of the computational power per second used when mining. It is measured in units of second, meaning how many calculations per second can be performed.

According to reports, Bitmain’s Antminer S19 and S19 Pro deliver between 95 to 110 TH/s while MicroBT’s WhatsMiner M30S produces up to 112 TH/s of hashing potential. Bitmain is said to be working on a new liquid-cooled miner that the company says can reach up to 198 TH/s.

Intel said that BMZ1’s hashing power does not match with its competitors but is more energy efficient.

The tech company has not announced dates for the delivery or release of the BMz1 chips for clients and customers to incorporate into their own mining systems. Reports said that Intel has plans to unveil the second generation of its BMZ1 miner hardware.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Crypto Biz: Microsoft enters the metaverse, Jan. 14-20

This week’s Crypto Biz explores Microsoft’s Activision purchase, the new partnership between Coinbase and Mastercard and the latest funding news from the world of crypto. For a comprehensive breakdown of business developments over the last week, register for the full newsletter below.

Microsoft enters the Metaverse with Activision purchase

It’s no secret that Microsoft has been eyeing its entry into the Metaverse ever since Zuckerberg rebranded Facebook to Meta. The company found its perfect entry this week by acquiring gaming giant Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. Satya Nadella, who has served as Microsoft’s CEO since 2014, described video games as playing a “key role in the development of metaverse platforms.” Activision is behind some of the world’s most iconic gaming franchises, including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.

Coinbase partners with Mastercard around NFT purchases

Crypto is nothing new for Mastercard. As Cointelegraph reported, the credit card giant launched crypto-linked credit cards across the Asia-Pacific region in November 2021. Now, the company is partnering with Coinbase to enable users to purchase nonfungible tokens using their credit cards. The partnership revolves around Coinbase’s forthcoming nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace and enables users to buy digital collectibles without having to set up a crypto wallet or hold Ether (ETH). Strengthening payment onramps to the crypto sector is considered vital for boosting mainstream adoption.

Intel to reveal new energy-efficient Bitcoin mining ASIC

Semiconductor giant Intel is planning to unveil a new energy-efficient Bitcoin (BTC) mining ASIC at the forthcoming IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference in February. The new ASIC, which is referred to as the Bonanza Mine, is based on a patent submitted by Intel in November 2018. The technology behind the Bonanza Mine could reduce overall power consumption by approximately 15%. For reference: Intel is a Dow 30 company. Its potential foray into the Bitcoin mining industry could become one of the biggest stories of 2022.

Animoca Brands valued at $5B following $358M raise

The biggest funding news of the week was centered around Animoca Brands, an NFT-focused venture capital and software gaming company that recently raised over $358 million. The funding round, which catapulted Animoca to a valuation of $5 billion, was backed by Liberty City Ventures, 10T Holdings, Gemini Frontier Fund, ParaFi Capital, Provident, Sequoia China and Winklevoss Capital, among others. Animoca said its ultimate vision is to protect users’ digital property rights in the Metaverse using NFTs.

Related: Meta reportedly plans to integrate NFTs on Facebook and Instagram profiles

Crypto IRA iTrustCapital valued at $1.3B

Speaking of major funding announcements, crypto-focused 401(k) provider iTrustCapital wrapped up a $125 million Series A growth round that was led by Left Lane Capital. The company said it planned to use the cash injection to expand existing product offerings as well as explore strategic acquisitions. The value proposition of iTrustCapital is it provides tax-advantaged exposure to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether through government-approved retirement accounts. That means you can invest in crypto while keeping Uncle Sam happy.

There’s a new metaverse player in town. Microsoft, the world’s second-largest company by market capitalization, announced earlier this week that it had acquired Activision Blizzard for $95.00 a share in a deal that’s expected to conclude in fiscal 2023. Microsoft will utilize the gaming giant to pivot to the virtual worlds’ environment of the Metaverse.