Another Bitcoin (BTC) miner from the Solo CK mining pool has solo mined a new block on the Bitcoin blockchain, earning a block reward of 6.25 BTC (over $220,000 at current prices) as a result. The event took place on Monday at a block height of 720,175.
Solo mining consists of attempting to validate blocks by a single miner, without teaming efforts with other miners on a mining pool, and running a full blockchain node. Without significant hashing capabilities, the odds of validating a block tend to be extremely unlikely.
To increase these odds and avoid the costs associated with solo mining, miners generally come together in pools to combine their hash power, increasing the chances of validating a block and ultimately sharing the spoils if they succeed.
According to a recent tweet from CKPool admin Con Kolivas, this solo miner had a hash power of approximately 86 terahashes per second. Hash power determines the computational speed at which a computer can perform the cryptographic functions needed to mine cryptocurrency and validate a block for proof-of-work blockchains like Bitcoin.
Congratulations to another miner with approximately 86TH solving a solo block on https://t.co/UWgBvLkDqc ! There are a lot more miners now on the solo pool and if enough people are mining solo, someone will eventually be the lucky one as here. https://t.co/Hqte2achR4 pic.twitter.com/0ZT635LicD
— Dr. Con Kolivas (@ckpooldev) January 24, 2022
The miner in question had less hash power than a single S9 mining machine; a relatively small amount of computational power, making this a very unlikely event.
Even more remarkable is the fact that only two weeks ago, another solo miner from the Solo CK mining pool also completed a similar task by successfully solving a valid block. “To say this is very rare is an understatement,” Bitcoin council member Hass McCook told Cointelegraph at the time.
Despite its name, CKPool isn’t a regular mining pool, it’s a service that allows solo mining without dealing with the costs and troubles of running a full Bitcoin node.
American Express credit card holders may one day be able to redeem points for cryptocurrencies, but the company has no immediate plans to issue a crypto-linked credit card.
In a Tuesday interview with Yahoo! Finance, Amex chief executive officer Stephen Squeri said credit card holders were “probably not gonna see a Amex crypto-linked card anytime soon” but the company was already involved in using cards for stablecoins, and monitored for central bank digital currency developments from the U.S. government. The CEO said he considered major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) as “more of an asset class” like gold, but did not think they would facilitate payments in the same way as credit cards given their price volatility.
“You don’t have the service with [crypto], you don’t have the dispute rights with it, you’re not getting rewards, and you’re not extending credit,” said Squeri. “All of those values that occur within a credit card do not lend themselves to cryptocurrency.”
“We’re exploring other ways, potentially, to redeem your membership rewards points, but I don’t think you’re going to see an American Express card linked to cryptocurrency anytime soon.”
Visa and Mastercard seem to be ahead of Amex when it comes to partnering with firms for crypto benefits from card holders’ purchases. In January 2021, crypto exchange Gemini released its own credit card allowing users to earn up to 3% back in BTC. In 2020, BlockFi announced it had partnered with Visa to let cardholders receive 1.5% of their purchases back in BTC.
Related:Crypto credit cards could be the missing link to mass adoption
The benefits aren’t limited to card holders based in the United States — as is sometimes the case for travel and hotel rewards. In December, Mastercard announced it would be
Delta Exchange, a crypto derivatives trading platform, announced a $50 million incentives program for traders today.
The program will last through next year, and users can deposit assets and use certain contracts to take advantage of the farming program.
The stated goal of Delta Exchange is to boost derivatives markets’ participation in the cryptocurrency space.
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Delta Exchange has announced today a $50 million trade farming program with the hopes of incentivizing further participation in derivatives markets.
Incentivizing Derivatives Trading
Delta Exchange, which specializes in digital asset derivatives, has announced the launch of its trade farming program, which is offering $50M worth of rewards to traders. The program began onDec. 6 and will run through 2022.Traders on the digital asset derivatives exchange can acquire a portion of up to $50 million in total rewards available by depositing assets and being active in Delta Exchange contracts.
Delta Exchange,foundedin 2018,offersderivatives such as futures and perpetual swaps for BTC, ETH, and over 100 other altcoins, as well as options contracts available for BTC, ETH, SOL, ADA, BNB, XRP, LTC, and others. It also offers more basic spot trading. It is an exchange meant to offer solutions to both retail and institutional investors for derivatives trading.
Delta Exchange has several major backers that include Aave Ventures, CoinFund, and Sino Global, as well asKyber Network. The platform is seeing usage climb rapidly, with a tenfold increase in trading volume and a twentyfold increase in active users over the past six months. It currently boasts over $400 million in daily volume and $12 billion in monthly volume, which represent all-time highs.
The stated goal of Delta Exchange, as well as these trade farming rewards, is to boost derivatives markets’ participation in the cryptocurrency space. CEO Pankaj Balani said:
“Derivatives are an imperative part of the cryptocurrency ecosystem and the overall industry. We believe our rewards program will be the catalyst for even more traction and the onboarding of new users within the space.”
The $DETOexchange token, an ERC-20 utility and rewards token, allows users to participate in several features, including trade and yield farming, and to take advantage of robo-trading strategies.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece held BTC, ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies.
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Food delivery platform Grubhub has partnered with Bitcoin rewards app Lolli to give hungry people the opportunity to earn crypto back on their orders.
In a Wednesday announcement, Lolli said Grubhub customers would be able to earn $1 in Bitcoin (BTC) rewards each time they used the platform’s extension or app. The funds will be available for transfer or storing in a user’s Lolli wallet after earning more than $15, or roughly 0.00026 BTC at the current price of $58,458.
“We must make Bitcoin a part of everyday life,” said Lolli co-founder and CEO Alex Adelman. “Food delivery is a ritual for many and Bitcoin rewards makes Bitcoin a part of that ritual.”
BREAKING: We’re excited to announce @Grubhub is now on Lolli!
Earn $1 in bitcoin every time you order on Grubhub.
This is what bitcoin adoption looks like! https://t.co/b2yK49uO02
— Lolli (@trylolli) December 1, 2021
Launched in 2018, Lolli has teamed up with more than 1,000 merchants to give customers the opportunity to receive BTC rewards when shopping online, including major brands like Microsoft and Macy’s. In July, the platform closed a $10 million Series A funding round led by Acrew Capital, aiming to scale its services to a wider audience. This followed a $5 million funding round in March from investors including Seven Seven Six, the venture capital firm co-founded by Reddit executive chair Alexis Ohanian.
Lolli is not the only platform or brand name to try and serve up crypto adoption alongside a meal. In November, Burger King customers in the United States had the opportunity to earn BTC, Ether (ETH), and Dogecoin (DOGE) through Robinhood after spending $5 or more at the fast food chain. Landry’s Restaurant Group — the company behind the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company — announced a similar initiative last month for diners to earn $25 in BTC for every $250 spent.
Related:Bitcoin rewards triggered shopping frenzy for cardholders
According to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, the price of Bitcoin is $58,458 at the time of publication, having fallen more than 15% since reaching an all-time high of $69,000 on Nov. 10. Cointelegraph reported that the crypto has seen rejection at $60,000 more than once since dropping under the key level in November.
Landry’s Restaurant Group announced a partnership with cryptocurrency firm NYDIG on Tuesday that will enable diners to earn $25 worth of Bitcoin for every $250 spent at the hospitality conglomerate’s eateries.
Landry’s will also begin keeping a portion of its corporate treasury reserves in Bitcoin under the care of NYDIG. The company is known for operating dozens of franchise entities including Morton’s, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, the Rainforest Cafe, and the Palm. Landry’s is owned by billionaire TV personality Tillman Fertita, who also acts as the company’s CEO.
Landry’s director of Digital Asset Strategy Trey Zeluff said in a statement:
“We view Bitcoin as a good choice for a portion of our own treasury, so we want to offer that choice to our customers as well. We’re proud to pioneer this concept for the hospitality industry in partnership with NYDIG.”
Landry’s showed initial signs of interest in the cryptocurrency space earlier this year when it began accepting Bitcoin payments at many of its restaurants back in April. At the time, the company’s CEO said “It’s amazing how simple [a crypto] transaction is, and it is here to stay. This is where it is, and it’s inevitable that this was going to happen.”
CEO Fertita’s interest in cryptocurrency appears to have spread into other facets of his professional life, with his NBA franchise making headlines in the industry in recent months. Back in June 2021, Tillman also announced that he would begin validating blocks for the Akash Network, noting that it was time to “begin investigating mining or validating blocks as the next logical step in our digital asset strategy.”
The NYDIG too has become an active player in the blockchain space, raising hundreds of millions of dollars in 2021 to create Bitcoin-focused solutions for the insurance, banking and clean energy industries. Earlier this month, Cointelegraph also reported that the company had acquired Bitcoin micropayments firm Bottlepay in the hopes of “unlocking the financial infrastructure of the future.”
Fast-food chain Burger King has announced plans to give away cryptocurrencies as prizes to its customers based on its partnership with the RobinHood brokerage platform.
On Monday, November 1, the popular fast-food chain announced its plans to give away Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin to members of its Royal Perks loyalty program when they spend $5 on the restaurant’s app.
Burger King explained the reason behind such a move, stating that “as a brand, we are always looking for ways to reward our most loyal guests with exclusive offers that are exciting, unique, and culturally relevant. Cryptocurrency (crypto) has been a hot topic of conversation recently, but we know it can be not easy to understand. That’s why we wanted to bring crypto to our guests in a way that was accessible and digestible (literally and figuratively)—through our food.”
Beginning on Monday, November 1, and for the next three weeks, Burger King stated that its U.S. customers who are subscribers of the Royal Perks loyalty program would be rewarded with one crypto coin from a pool of 20 Bitcoin, 200 Ether, and 2 million Dogecoin, if they spend more than $5 on the restaurant’s chain app.
From the look, it is evident that the majority of customers will get Dogecoin. About one in every 10,000 will get an Ether, and one in every 100,000 will get a complete Bitcoin.
For a recipient to redeem the crypto prize, they must have or open an account with Robinhood to claim it.
Therefore, many Burger King customers are likely to get attracted to win crypto prizes by simply spending more than $5 for their favourite meals in the restaurant’s branches.
Users are limited to one prize per day but can garner up to 21 through the marketing campaign.
Attracting New Customers
This is not the first time Burger King dipped its toes in the crypto space. In 2017, the chain launched its own crypto coin known as the “Whoppercoin” in Russia.
During that time, Burger King partnered with crypto-cash startup Waves to deliver the virtual coin service and run a loyalty system that rewarded customers for purchasing a Whopper burger.
While the virtual coin is technically still tradeable, investors have forgotten it with no recent sales.
Burger King has been keen to innovate its business models. In January 2020, the chain started accepting various cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, Binance Coin, Dash and Tether, at its branches in Venezuela.
As reported by Blockchain.News in June, Burger King restaurants in Brazil started accepting Dogecoin as a payment option for buying a Dog snack “Dogpper,”
Likewise, RobinHood is likely to take advantage of the aforementioned Burger kings’ marketing campaign to boost its customers base. In recent months, The Nasdaq-listed brokerage platform witnessed a reduced trading activity due to fewer new funded accounts. Consequently, the company saw a declined revenue by 78% during the third quarter.
Major credit card company Mastercard has announced it is preparing to integrate cryptocurrencies into its loyalty program offerings for United States-based banks, merchants and fintech firms on its payment network.
In a Monday announcement, Mastercard said it would be working with digital asset platform Bakkt to allow its customers based in the United States to buy, sell and hold digital assets through custodial wallets. The partnership will also enable cardholders to earn and spend rewards in crypto rather than using loyalty points and accruing or redeeming tokens for purchases.
“We’ll not only empower our partners to offer a dynamic mix of digital assets options, but also deliver differentiated and relevant consumer experiences,” said executive vice president for digital partnerships at Mastercard Sherri Haymond.
According to data from Colloquy Loyalty Census research conducted in 2017, U.S. consumers held 3.8 billion memberships in loyalty programs, though these numbers have likely changed following the evolving financial landscape amid the pandemic. Mastercard also reported there were 249 million of its cards in the United States as of the end of Q1 2021. Millions of loyalty rewards program users who may have never had any knowledge or use of cryptocurrencies could soon have some exposure.
Related:American investors inclined to buy crypto with credit card, new study reveals
Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach said in July the company “[has] to be in this space,” in part, due to the growing interest around central bank digital currencies and crypto. In February, the credit card firm announced its roughly one billion users would be able to use crypto at its more than 30 million supported merchants. However, Mastercard has not yet clarified which tokens would be supported.
The digital assets management arm of the Intercontinental Exchange, Bakkt recently listed its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols BKKT and BKKT WS. The platform has also partnered with Google to allow customers to convert their crypto balances to make fiat payments using Google Pay.
Bitcoin (BTC) turned out to be a far more attractive prize than airline miles or other cashback rewards, new data from BlockFi suggests.
It’s been three months since the New York-based crypto loans startup launched its Visa-backed Bitcoin rewards credit cards, BlockFi Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card, to customers. The card offers rewards in Bitcoin instead of using a more traditional points system.
According to the company, if the average Bitcoin rewards card owner continues the shopping habit seen in these first three months, they’ll be on track to spend more than $30,000 per year on average. This is almost six times the average of $5,111 per cardholder in the U.S.
“The fact that cardholders are pacing towards over 2 billion dollars in annualized spend reinforces BlockFi’s mission to provide clients with broader access to financial products and services that allow them to invest in cryptocurrency more easily,” BlockFi Co-founder and CEO Zac Prince told Cointelegraph.
BlockFi said its Bitcoin rewards card has grown past 50,000 owners across all 49 states, excluding New York, where the card is not available. California accounts for over 20% of total spending while Washington D.C., California, Texas and Florida follow as the highest spending states.
Related:AMC Theatres debuts crypto payments for e-gift card purchases
Cardholders have amassed more than 124 BTC in rewards collectively during the program’s first three months, with Costco, Amazon and Home Depot being the top three merchants. The spending behavior ranges from everyday purchases like groceries, utilities, and home improvement projects to more significant purchases.
“For the Bitcoin maximalist, Compass Mining has been a top merchant for those who want to earn even more bitcoin from their home mining rigs,” the announcement reads.
Available to use anywhere Visa is accepted, BlockFi’s card enables its owners to earn 1.5% back in the original cryptocurrency with an introductory 3.5% rate. Due to the price movements of Bitcoin, cardholders who were paid out rewards at their 3.5% intro rate made an effective rate of over 4.25%. Customers earning the standard 1.5% back were also getting a 1.8% effective rate, the BlockFi team explained for Cointelegraph.
The United States government is offering rewards in cryptocurrency for information relating to the operations of enemy state-backed hackers or suspected terrorists.
The U.S. State Department’s new “Rewards for Justice” platform allows informants to submit anonymous tips and information in return for rewards in digital assets.
The platform was promoted at the Black Hat USA event — which ran from July 31 to August 5 in Las Vegas — with users able to submit tips via an unsecured Wi-Fi network called #Rewardsnotransoms. The open network was purposely set up to encourage attendees to log in and access the RFJ website, according to CNN.
Rewards of up to $10 million are being offered in exchange for info on various terrorist suspects, extremists, and state-sponsored hackers. Informants elect whether they wish to receive compensation in the form of crypto assets.
Informants provide sensitive information via a secure portal on the dark web — the layer of the internet that is not publicly accessed by commercial companies and search engines.
Former Director of the U.S. National Counterintelligence and Security Center, William Evanina, described the initiative as the U.S. government’s most public foray into crypto assets ever made.
Related:Don’t blame crypto for ransomware
Earlier this year, the Biden administration accused hackers employed by both Russia and China of breaching multiple U.S. government agencies and departments. In early June, U.S. officials recovered around $2.3 million in cryptocurrency used to pay a ransom following a cyber attack on the Colonial Pipeline system.
The RFJ program hopes to prevent these types of attacks by soliciting information from hackers with pertinent skills and expertise.
While the platform has already received tips, one State Department official emphasized that cyber-enforcement operations are “not a quick process.”
“We are receiving tips. We are evaluating tips. We’ll share those tips with the interagency partners. They must then use that information and reach out and begin their investigation,” they said.
Another official predicted the programme will comprise the precursor for similar cyber-policing initiatives in the future, stating:
“I think this offer of cryptocurrency is something that we will be using in the future for other types of rewards. It could encourage other types of sources to come to us with information who may not have wanted to come to us before.”