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Bitcoin Mining

Bitcoin Mining Equipment Demand is Exceeding Supply

As the world’s largest crypto by market cap hurtles past 11k, the demand for new Bitcoin mining equipment is exceeding supply. Now, manufacturers are feeling the pressure to produce enough machines to meet this demand.

Are we revisiting the same issue that occurred at the end of 2017, where demand was three times that of supply? It looks like it.

Bitcoin Mining is in Demand

Bitcoin price surged past $10,000 USD over the weekend and is already looking comfortable at $11,368 per coin.

Though not quite at its all-time high of $20,000, Bitcoin’s current price is still a 200% jump since February. While this is great for investors, miners are feeling the pressure, as according to Steven Mosher of Canaan Creative, the maker of the Avalon Miner:

“The surge in bitcoin resulted in increased demand and supplies were already short […] the current state of the industry is that inventories are down and demand is high.”

To deal with the surge, Bitcoin mining companies such as Canaan Creative are developing newer mining models that aim to mine faster using less wattage.

New Miners

Canaan’s latest is an updated version of its Avalon 851 machine, called the AvalonMiner 1041. This model is expected to compute 37 tera hashes per second (TH/s) with electricity consumption at 2,361 watts per hour.

By comparison, the older 851 model computes 14.5Th/s, consuming 1450 watts an hour.

As stated, demand for this equipment is exploding with Mosher detailing that pre-orders for such models are already backlogged to October.

>> Blockchain Island Malta to Put All Rental Contracts on the Blockchain

Other Bitcoin mining companies are also feeling the burn. Only last week, Bitmain rolled out updated versions of its Antminer S9 model called the AntMiner S9 SE and S9k.

There is good news too, of course, for miners. With Bitcoin price rising and business booming, the time it takes for new mining equipment to pay for itself has decreased significantly. Data from TokenInsight estimates that in Q2, the average payback period for most mining equipment was between 60–150 days. Prior to this, the payback period ranged between 120–280 days.

What are your thoughts on Bitcoin above 11k? Will it keep going? Will Bitcoin mining meet the demand?

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © SectoR_2010

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Walmart China

Walmart China Launches Blockchain Platform to Aid with Food Safety Scandals

As with cryptocurrencies, several companies are moving into the blockchain space. The latest, however, is Walmart China, which is the Chinese branch of the US supermarket chain.

Here’s what we know.

Walmart China Blockchain Platform: What We Know

On June 25, Walmart China said it’s launched a blockchain platform that will address food safety concerns. According to the press release, the company will be working with PwC, VeChain, and other blockchain players on the ‘Walmart China Blockchain Traceability Platform.’

While the announcement came out today, the Walmart China blockchain platform has already seen some successes. In fact, it boasts 23 product lines listed and tested, according to the press release. Plus, by the end of 2020, Walmart China hopes to see the meat products that are being tracked on the platform accounting for roughly 50% of its total sales in that division.

Speaking on the news, Elton Yeung, innovation lead at PwC Mainland China and Hong Kong, said:

“We believe that Walmart’s Blockchain Traceability System will be an excellent example of blockchain technology applied in the retail industry, helping to improve food safety and quality management, and providing a strong guarantee for building consumer trust.”

>> Ethereum (ETH) Eyes Further Gains as Liquidity Increases

In the past, Walmart has utilized blockchain technologies. However, this one is different; there’s something interesting about it. Maybe it’s because it has to do with solving China’s issues with food safety. Or maybe, because the Walmart China products will be tracked via VeChain’s blockchain, it’s because the company is using a public blockchain.

Either way, the partnership between Walmart China and VeChain, as well as PwC, is a good thing. Why? Because it means solutions will be provided that will help promote the traceability of fresh food, something China has had trouble with recently.

Takeaway

What do you think of Walmart China launching a blockchain platform? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Featured image: PixaBay

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LiteLink

LiteLink Tech | Digital Wallet and Virtual ATM Technologies

After more than 50 years of dominating retail banking, ATMs might finally be on their way out—and a new force of disruption pushing its way in. The global rise in mobile payment platforms such as PayPal Holdings (NASDAQ:PYPL)’s Venmo and Square, Inc. (NYSE:SQ)’s Cash app has led to a steady decline in automated teller machines (ATMs) around the world. This has impacted traditional ATM companies such as NCR (NYSE:NCR) and Fiserv (NASDAQ:FISV). Whereas banks are now trying to keep up by rolling out ATMs with increased capabilities and “eATMs” featuring tablet-like screens and cardless access, a Mark Cuban-invested offering developed by startup Mercuri Systems—Spare CS, Inc.—aims to bypass the banking system altogether through “virtual ATM” services to tap the enormous underbanked population in the United States and the world. With a recent feature on “Shark Tank,” Spare is working on expanding their offering , having inked a deal with Litelink Technologies Inc. (CSE:LLT) (OTC:LLNKF) subsidiary uBUCK Tech to bring their virtual ATM capabilities to the revolutionary uBUCK Pay platform.

ATMs in steady decline

Spare comes at just the right moment in banking history. In our new world of digital money, the decline of ATMs has caused numbers to drop by 1% in 2018 to 3.24m, according to banking consultancy RBR. This downturn is now affecting the world’s largest markets, including China, the United States, Japan and Brazil, while growth in India has slowed significantly. ATM makers such as NCR (NYSE:NCR), a payments company that’s heavily leveraged in cash transactions, is suffering as a result. NCR (NYSE:NCR), which currently controls 27% of the global ATM market, put itself up for sale in May, attracting two bidders who subsequently walked away. There are no new bidders on the horizon. Meanwhile, financial services technology company Fiserv (NASDAQ:FISV), which connects over 412,000 ATMs in 50 US states through Accel, has actively branched out beyond its traditional ATM services business. In one of the largest deals in the history of digital payments, Fiserv (NASDAQ:FISV) recently announced plans to buy payment processor First Data for $22-billion in an all-stock deal.

While the rise of digital payments has impacted the popularity of ATMs, another pain point stems from the expensive convenience fees that out-of-network consumers are charged per withdrawal. Spare’s CEO D’ontra Hughes was himself frustrated at failing to find an ATM affiliated with his bank to avoid these high fees. He subsequently developed the Spare app, which allows users to withdraw cash at one of over 2,500 participating merchants in Los Angeles without needing a debit card, credit card, or a brick and mortar bank.

Spare is remarkably easy to use. First, users link their bank account to the app and enter the amount they wish to withdraw. Spare then populates its in-app map with merchants nearby that are willing to hand users money straight from the cash register, if they’re shown a one-time PIN. Users would pay a convenience fee depending on the merchant—invariably lower than the charges from third-party ATMs, which averages out at a pricey $4.69 in the United States for an out-of-network withdrawal.

Mark Cuban Invests in the Underbanked

The startup is starting to attract some major names. This year, Spare was featured on ABC entrepreneur reality TV series “Shark Tank,” impressing billionaire Mark Cuban to the point in which he invested $500,000 in Hughes’s offering. Specifically, Cuban saw the potential of Spare to access the world’s unbanked and underbanked (yet mobile connected) customers—an enormous untapped market.

According to the Federal Reserve, the underbanked accounts for 22% of US households, as well as roughly one-third of the world population. Cuban understood this demographic all too well, having been too broke to even open up a bank account when he first graduated. “You needed to have 200 bucks,” he recalled. “You needed this, you needed that. They didn’t give me one.” To Cuban, the banking system loaded the dice in favour of the rich, and Spare could turn this around.

Now, Spare’s latest deal with Litelink Technologies Inc. (CSE:LLT) (OTC:LLNKF) on the uBUCK digital wallet platform puts Mark Cuban’s vision one step closer—effectively levelling the financial playing field for the underbanked. Paired with Litelink Technologies Inc. (CSE:LLT) (OTC:LLNKF)’s uBUCK Pay, Spare’s app solution now offers under-privileged and underbanked consumers more options to deposit and withdraw their cash, transfer money, and make online and offline purchases. Through the platform, users don’t need to maintain a minimum bank account balance, nor do they have to pay the high fees charged by banks, ATMs and even mobile payment services such as PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL).

That’s because Americans who want to use a service like uBUCK won’t need a bank account at all. Having recently partnered with US prepaid platform PreWay, uBUCK will be able to offer its customers the option of buying uBUCK vouchers at any one of roughly 7,000 convenience stores across the United States using cash. The partnership will allow uBUCK users to purchase vouchers at their convenience store and then withdraw their cash at a registered Spare merchant, all without interacting with a bank.

The World’s Most Accessible Digital Wallet

Litelink Technologies Inc. (CSE:LLT) (OTC:LLNKF)’s subsidiary uBUCK platform is just as potentially world-changing as the Spare app. As a global decentralized online payments platform and pin voucher solution, uBUCK is a viable payment alternative for consumers, businesses and merchants. uBUCK acts as a digital wallet app that manages digital and traditional currency and allows users to transfer uBUCK cash to friends, family, vendors and business associates around the world—all without paying a single penny in transfer fees, commissions or hidden charges.

Free overseas transfers is a ground-breaking concept on its own. For decades, countless individuals and multinational businesses have clamoured for 100% free, instantaneous and secure worldwide money transfers. PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL)’s fees for international transfers and fees can get quite hefty, while banks and other services charge absurd fees for most wire transfers. Payment platforms such as PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) and Square (NYSE:SQ) have also rolled out mobile payment services Venmo and Cash app, but these services can be slow and limited, however, and inhibit international money transfers. Neither Venmo or Square (NYSE:SQ)’s Cash app supports international cash transfers. uBUCK users can make transfers anywhere around the globe and are secure and instantaneous.

By integrating with Spare—which will provide its QR code processing technology—uBUCK could well become the most accessible digital wallet in the world. This latest deal with Spare ensures that American users of uBUCK can also get their cash out in even more places than traditional prepaid cards, through Spare’s “virtual ATM” capabilities.

Meanwhile, the benefits of using uBUCK continue to pile up. Recently, Litelink Technologies Inc. (CSE:LLT) (OTC:LLNKF) subsidiary uBUCK signed a deal with Datable Technology to integrate PLATFORM³, Datable’s loyalty and rewards program into uBUCK’s digital payments platform. This lets uBUCK Pay’s account holders to also earn rewards for purchases and payments made within the uBUCK Pay digital wallet or on their uBUCK Mastercard. Considered the top rewards platform on the market, Datable features over 30 Fortune brands such as Universal, General Mills, Unilever and Toro.

All this means that underbanked consumers now finally have a viable alternative. For decades, banks have underserved a large proportion of the market, while unfairly punishing consumers with hefty fees. New technologies such as Spare and uBUCK promise to change all of this, and signals that the financial industry could finally undergo some serious disruption.

For a free research report on LiteLink Technologies Inc. (CSE:LLT) (OTC:LLNKF), visit microsmallcap.com

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Bitcoin price

Bitcoin Price Crosses the $11K Mark For the First Time Since March 2018

Since the beginning of 2019, Bitcoin price has been on the rise, gaining over 170%. On Monday, BTC price surged past the $11,000 mark, a new high since March 5, 2018. Demand for the coin has been reinvigorated by Facebook’s move to have its own digital currency.

Bitcoin Price Up 13% from Friday to Over $11,300

According to Coindesk’s Bitcoin Price Index, Bitcoin price hit an intraday high at 5.30 am HK/SIN on Monday reaching a high of $11,307.69, which was almost a 13% gain from last week Friday. This is the highest level the coin has reached in 15 months, regaining almost half of the increase that was witnessed in the 2018 bubble burst.

It seems like investors are shrugging off the memories of the burst after the 2018 bubble when the coin hit the $19,000 mark in December 2017. In the course of 2018, Bitcoin price declined until the start of this year where it recorded a record low of $3,000. However, since February, the price has been surging high with growing crypto sentiment as major firms announce cryptocurrency projects.

Since April, Bitcoin price has witnessed accelerated growth, and the surge is being associated with the anticipated Bitcoin halving in August and in 2020, and lesser concerns regarding fraud as well as a change in perception of how the coin is viewed.

>> Bitcoin Price Continues the Bull Run, Nears 5 Digit Mark

Growing Mainstream Adoption Boosting Bitcoin Price

eToro senior market analyst Matt Greenspan says that the market has greatly matured since the last time Bitcoin price crossed the $10,000 mark. He adds that the current surge is justified considering the current levels of adoption.

Currently, there is renewed mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency compared to last year, with Facebook’s Libra being one of the latest cryptocurrency projects. Facebook has partnered with Visa Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc. among other partners to build a cryptocurrency system. Equally, in March, Fidelity Investment rolled out a digital currency trade and custody execution operation.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © aa-w

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