Cryptojacking Rumors Force Nintendo Switch Game To Be Pulled After Launch

Rumors that the Nintendo Switch game Cooking Mama: Cookstar has had running cryptojacking malware in secret have appeared over this weekend.

While developers denied this had happened, Nintendo still pulled the game from the eShop. It was a Reddit post that said Cooking Mama is mining crypto in secrecy, whereas some other players mentioned their Switch heated up pretty badly and ran low on battery very fast while playing the game. Hours after the claims, Cooking Mama was pulled from Nintendo’s online store and the Reddit mods have been since removed.

Game’s Developer Vehemently Denies the Rumors

1st Playable, the game’s developer said:

“As the developers we can say with certainty there is no cryptocurrency or data collection or blockchain or anything else shady in the code. The Nintendo Switch is a very safe platform, with none of the data and privacy issues associated with some mobile and PC games.”

Ever since launched in 2016, the Cooking Mama franchise has included many titles, being available on both Nintendo and iOS. There has clearly been a problem with the game, seeing that it was removed from the eShop right after the crypto malware rumors.

Cryptojacking Is More and More Common

Crypto mining malware is a more common and very worrying matter. It’s done mostly on websites, as here it engages background mining secretly, while visitors are spending their time navigating the sites’ pages. There are also more sophisticated versions that install themselves in toolbars and on apps, mining the victims’ devices for an indefinite period of time. Therefore, it’s not surprising that video game consoles have been attacked as well.

A Solution Would be to Allow the Mining to Take Place

Being very difficult to prevent, cryptojacking has been suggested by some crypto enthusiasts to become legal by making restricted media content available to people in return for limited mining, something that could work very well with video games too. Since this practice is far from being implemented yet, the best way to fight cryptojacking at the moment is to be vigilant.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Binance CEO: Once QE Money Starts Flowing, BTC’s Price Will Go Up ‘Very Dramatically’

  • “Since coronavirus took over, business-wise the platform is doing really well” – CZ
  • COVID-19, QEg, depression, and countries printing a lot of money will boost crypto prices
  • Already, they are seeing “business demand” on the platform growing

The leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance recently acquired the crypto data site CoinMarketCap for $400 million which according to Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao, is based on a long-term vision.

CZ has maintained that the site will continue to work independently and provide access to crypto data and be the “landing page of crypto.”

CMC hasn’t been expanding super aggressively because of their small team and growing organically, he believes,

“it is one of the most valuable platforms in the industry and I think we’ll grow another 10x, 100x.”

CZ also announced the launch of a mining pool and shared that the goal is to build both POW for Bitcoin and POS for most other coins.

Volatility brings “phenomenal” numbers to exchange

In his interview with Anthony Pompliano on his podcast, CZ shared light on the finances and how despite the coronavirus induced fear triggering the market sell-off, they are having a good time, especially recently.

“The numbers we’re seeing are just phenomenal. So, in general roughly about 5x more volume than before. Since coronavirus took over, business-wise the platform is doing really well.”

The Futures market on Binance is clearly the number one feature, as per CZ.

Not just Binance, as we reported, other platforms like Coinbase and Kraken also recorded huge volume and onboarded new customers as the Bitcoin price went from $10,500 in mid-February to $3,850 in mid-March to now trading above $7,100.

This “Volatility is generally good for the business, for exchanges the worst is when the market is flat. When there’s volatility there’s always high volumes,” explained CZ.

COVID-19 and QE to work in favor of crypto

While countries are in lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, it has brought the world economy at a stop as businesses remain closed. But at the same time, some businesses are flourishing like that of crypto and video communication software such as Skype and Zoom. The reasons for the same according to CZ are,

“people are bored at home with nothing to do” and “the macroeconomic issues with quantitative easing people moving slowly back into crypto.”

In the current turbulent times, he said there are a “lot more opportunities” and he is expecting cryptocurrencies to “see a fairly strong boost combined with quantitative easing, depression, and countries having no other option but to print a lot of money.”

However, this money hasn’t entered the market yet and once it starts following, “most prices are gonna go up very dramatically and I think cryptocurrency will go up much more proportionally higher.”

Also, he sees more banks and financial institutions to take a look at cryptos and be more willing to work with crypto exchanges and payment services.

As specifically for Binance, CZ said,

“We’re seeing business demand on the platform growing and so we’ll so I think we’re kind of unique in that way where there’s a strong balance sheet supporting the business and that’s why we are very aggressive.”

During his interview, Zhao shed light on not wanting to be the first from crypto to have an IPO as it won’t offer them as much flexibility as they have now.

And the biggest misconception about him is that he controls the crypto prices because if he did, CZ said, “Bitcoin would be going straight up.” He shared that they don’t trade and,

“I’m always bullish. I always think the price is too low and for our business it’s much better for the price to be higher.”

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Author: AnTy

South Korean Central Bank to Roll Out Pilot Program to Test CBDC Through Dec 2021

On April 6, South Korea’s central bank has made the announcement that it started a pilot program for assessing the logistics of a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

While the bank doesn’t plan to introduce a CBDC very soon, it still had created the pilot scheme to make sure that it’s prepared to do just so in a market that’s continuously changing. After a research conducted in February this year, the pilot for legal and technological requirements of issuing a CBDC has started to roll out. It started in March and should last until December 2021.

Initial Phase of the Pilot Will Run for 5 Months

In the initial phase, the pilot will identify the requirements for designing a CBDC, for 5 months, until July this year. A review of the technology needed to implement a CBDC will overlap this initial phase and begin in April, only to last until August. After these 2 steps, an analysis of the business processes will take place until the end of this year. All through 2021, the CBDC pilot system is going to be built and tested.

No Plans of Going Live Yet…

It was made clear in the announcement that the bank is not looking to release a CBDC too soon in South Korea, but that it’s more focused on research when it comes to the matter. Here’s what has been said exactly:

“The need to issue a CBDC in the near future still remains slim when considering the demand for cash that still exists, the competitive payment service market and high-level financial inclusion, but there is a need to be able to quickly take steps in case market conditions at home and abroad change rapidly.”

…At Least not in South Korea

Meanwhile, China’s central bank is focused on developing its own CBDC, while the Bank of France has proposed to test the CBDC integration into interbank payments systems. The Philippines’ UnionBank’s head said the era of physical cash will entirely end, so the issuance of CBDCs is looking more promising all over the world.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Former Goldman Sachs Fund Manager Suggests Allocating 25% in Bitcoin

When Raoul Pal, the former hedge-fund manager who founded Real Vision first learned the coronavirus was spreading rapidly, he thought, “The whole world’s f—ed,”.

“I said: ‘Listen, this is the biggest economic event of all of our lifetimes — and it’s coming. And that was, in retrospect, the greatest call I’ve ever had,” said Pal on the “Lindzanity” podcast while recalling how in a span of three to four days the spread hit Iran and then Itay.

Pal who quit his jobs at Goldman Sachs and GLG Partners and now writes market research for his Global Macro Investor also predicted in October that the Federal Reserve needed to cut interest rates to zero and warned of them falling into negative territory.

A crisis like no other

According to Pal, the pandemic will cause “the largest insolvency event in all history.” He added,

“I think the balance of probabilities is that this is a much longer event — in terms of economic impacts — than anybody is pricing in. I think it’s a huge societal change that’s coming from all of this.”

The isolation will make people more local and lead to complications in supply chains, he said. Bond king Jeffrey Gundlach is of a similar opinion who recently said that we are going to be “much more, less-connected to globalization.”

Last week, Kristalina Georgieva, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also said that it is a “gigantic” problem and a “crisis like no other, (…).” Never in the history of the IMF have we witnessed a situation in which the world economy came to a standstill.”

“This is either zero or it’s millions”

Already, the norovirus caused the Dow and the S&P 500 to have their worst first quarter. But those projecting sharp V-shaped recovery in the last two quarters of this year, in Pal’s opinion are incorrect in their assumptions. He is expecting another 20% downside before “3- or 4-month bounce of hope.”

As coronavirus drags on without production and consumption, it heightens the risk of bankruptcy and deflation. Under these circumstances, Pal suggests allocating 25% of your portfolio to Bitcoin, gold, cash, and trading opportunities each.

While the world’s leading cryptocurrency dropped over 40% in line with the stock market, it has recovered 84% of its value since then.

Social Capital CEO Chamath Palihapitiya, an early Bitcoin investor who back in 2013 owned about 5% of the entire BTC, believes “This is either zero or it’s millions.”

A former Facebook executive, he said currently it is still a speculative investment but “the path dependence for Bitcoin is if it looks like [debasement] is likely, it will really emerge as a flight to safety,” Palihapitiya said.

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Author: AnTy

PwC Report Reveals 2019’s Crypto M&A’s Dropped Sharply; Total Value Decreased By 76%

The 2017 market boom led to the new era of funding in the decentralized space called ICO, however as we entered the bear market not only ICOs dropped off the fundraising radar, it also turned out that a majority of them were scams. However, despite that, the funds kept flowing in the crypto market despite the large bearish sentiment.

2019 on the contrast, which was believed to be the year of bulls by many did not see such significant investment. A recent report from PwC suggests that in 2019 most of the crypto firms kept buying each other and despite that M&A as well as funding flow in the market was at its lowest when compared to the past couple of years.

The report suggested that even though crypto native acquirers took 56% of the fund flow in 2019, the total number of such deals fell to 114 from 189 in 2018. And if we look at the overall valuation of thee deals then there was a massive drop of 76% falling from $1.9 billion in 2018 to $451 million in 2019. The report also noted an emerging trend where the market leaders who went on an accusation spree did not bother to buy out their competitors and rather focused on small firms which were mostly service providers and instead of trying to grow vertically, most of these big players are trying to expand horizontally.

Overall Fundraising Dropped by 40%

The overall fundraising in the crypto space declined by a massive 40%, although equity fundraising in comparison saw a smaller decline of just 18 percent. Even though Bitcoin price picked some pace in the last two quarters the downturn in the traditional market took a toll on crypto funding as well.

The evolving regulations around the globe did help in increasing the corporate Venture Funding in the space which contributed 6 percent of the overall funding in the crypto market. 2019 also saw a change in investment trend, where a majority of the VC funding in 2018 went towards various blockchain infrastructure providers while a majority of VC funding in 2019 went towards crypto compliance and regulatory companies.

Another pattern observed from the PwC report shows that while a majority of these funding deals were concentrated in the USA, 2019 saw these funding deals mostly moving towards the Asian and European markets. Hong Kong has become a hotspot for companies looking for retail clients which are understandable given Singapore’s newly introduced regulatory framework.

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Author: James W

How Much New Inflow Bitcoin Needs to Stay at this Price Level?

  • For the last 2.5 years, $400 million of new investment each month kept BTC price at $7,000, after halving it would require just $200 million
  • With the spread of the coronavirus slowing and volatility coming down, investors looking for the next trade

In yet another green start of the day, Bitcoin jumped 5.16% to trade at $7,148. In the past week, the world’s leading cryptocurrency recorded gains of 12.60%.

Following Bitcoin, altcoins pumped even harder this time, with Stellar (XLM) up 16.60%, ZEC 9.17%, Ethereum 8.94%, IOTA 8.84%, EOS 7.44%, and Monero 7.03%. In total, $12 billion were added to the market cap today.

Source: Coin360

Bitcoin would need just $200 million a month

In an interesting and uplifting tweet, popular analyst PlanB shared that in order to maintain the price at $7,000 since October 2017, Bitcoin has had about $400 million in new cash inflow every month. Assuming all trading is zero-sum game, for the last 2.5 years, 30d x 24h x 6blocks x 12.5btc x $7k, fresh flow of $400 million investment was made.

After the halving in May that would cut down the bitcoin rewards in half from the current 12.5 BTC to 6.25 coins, we would only need $200 million per month to keep the price at $7,000 level.

If this $400 million per month stays the same, then we would rocket, said PlanB. Although not all of the Bitcoin mined were sold, “if we assume the % sold the same before and after the halving, the logic still stands.”

Also, it may sound simple but doing so is difficult because it means HODLing until next halving and not trading, being scared by the high volatility, and falling prey to altcoins, said the analyst.

But of course, it won’t all stop here, as he noted that in 2012-2016, the inflow was $30M and then throughout 2008-2012 it was $1 million. “So I expect it to increase at least an order of magnitude, say $1B+,” said PlanB.

Investors now looking to hedge inflation

We have been already seeing retail buying the dip and institutions are also jumping in, given the large number of transactions happening on-chain again.

Commentators are also expecting a trillion-dollar stimulus to push the bitcoin prices up. According to Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano “Over the next two years, I think that it will have hundreds of percent of appreciation, given the quantitative easing and the volatility it brings,” and his personal view is of bitcoin hitting $100,000 before December 2021.

Binance CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao is of similar opinion who said QE, depression, and central banks printing money would work in crypto’s favor. Once this money starts flowing in, “most prices are gonna go up very dramatically and I think cryptocurrency will go up much more proportionally higher,” he said.

As we are seeing today, Bitcoin and gold both are looking for a breakout. The precious metal is up sharply at $1,642 per ounce.

“Since the beginning of this crisis cash has been the main benefactor in the markets as investors sold off just about anything with value in order to avoid the rapid sell-offs,” said analyst Mati Greenspan. “Now that the spread of the virus seems to be slowing and volatility is coming down, it’s time to look for the next trade.”

While the Fed will be deploying new swap lines, the Japanese government is also out with their stimulus measure of just under $1 trillion, an unprecedented 20% of their GDP. According to Greenspan, investors may have gotten hold of their cash and are likely to be looking to put it back to work. And this time, they are “looking to hedge inflation.”

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Cash & Bitcoin SV Halving Next Week to Put Selling Pressure on Bitcoin as Well

  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin SV (BSV) halvings to “drastically” expose them to potential 51% attacks
  • A cycle of decreased profit margins, increased selling, capitulation, and a culling of the least efficient miners to take place

Crypto community is excited about the Bitcoin reward halving next month but interestingly bitcoin forks’ halving is here.

Bitcoin Core’s (BTC) fork Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and the latter’s fork Bitcoin SV (BSV) will go through their respective block reward halving on April 8 and April 9 next week.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin Cash has laid off 50% of its employees just days before its halving.

More Miners will Turn to Bitcoin

Both these Bitcoin’s forks will have their halving one month prior to bitcoin because of the very rapid block generation in Bitcoin Cash which started right after its fork in August 2017. However, the block production rate was later normalized with an update of the difficulty adjustment algorithm.

Now, these early halvings might have a “dramatic effect” on both BCH and BSV’s hash rate, according to Arcane Research. Currently, a vast majority of this hash rate share (94.8%) belongs to the world’s leading cryptocurrency and both BCH and BSV have a meager less than 3% share.

Source: Arcane Research

The halving event could be expected to have at least a temporary halving of the hash rate as the miners switch to mine BTC because mining Bitcoin will be more profitable than BCH and BSV.

Both the forks can capture the share only if their price or fees increases drastically or hash rate halves.

A decline in hash rate means both Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV will be “drastically” more exposed for potential 51% attacks.

Things could change when Bitcoin halving occurs in mid-May, however, the effect on BTC would be “minuscule” because it already accounts for almost 95% of SHA-256 hash rate.

Selling Pressure for All Three

In its latest report, Coin Metrics also discusses the effect of halving and that,

“miners are a continuous and significant source of selling pressure that has a pro-cyclical impact on prices.”

Miner-led selling pressure for all three of the cryptocurrencies is currently high which is only expected to increase further as all of them undergo their halvings. This is because all three assets share the same SHA-256 mining algorithm and miners can “seamlessly” redirect their hash power to the digital asset that provides the highest return.

BCH and BSV halving will force miners to direct more hash power to Bitcoin which is expected to increase the difficulty and further squeeze profit miners for all miners. Coin Metrics states,

“We expect miners to follow a cycle of decreased profit margins, increased selling, capitulation, and a culling of the least efficient miners from the network.

Once this cycle is complete, the miner industry should return to a healthier state that is supportive of future price increases.”

At the time of writing, Bitcoin (BTC) has been trading at $6,750 BTC -0.61, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) at $235 BCH -2.65, and Bitcoin SV (BSV) at $177 BSV -1.86.

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team

BTC’s Correlation With Gold Has Increased, Hinting At A Growing Safe-Haven Status: VanEck

  • Long-term bitcoin correlations with traditional asset classes remain low
  • Bitcoin ETF may have “significantly” reduced the volatility during the recent sell-off

In the past few weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw the correlation between bitcoin and the stock market surging to a new high. However, according to Gabor Gurbacs, a digital asset director at VanEck, bitcoin’s correlation to gold also jumped in 2020.

Talking about the investment case for Bitcoin, in his latest report Gurbacs said, previously, because of bitcoin’s low correlation to traditional asset classes including broad market equity indices, bonds, and gold, it has been good for portfolio diversification.

But its correlation with traditional assets began to increase during the COVID-19 induced global market sell-off. And still, “a small Bitcoin allocation may have reduced volatility for 60%-equity/40%-bond portfolios.”

Even during sell-off, Bitcoin reduced volatility

Notably, Bitcoin’s correlation with gold reached levels never seen before in the past four years.

Source: VanEck Report

Over the past four weeks, Bitcoin’s correlation with gold was 0.49, 0.19 with the Nasdaq 100, 0.17 with U.S. bonds, and 0.15 with the S&P 500. Also, we saw Bitcoin’s correlation with emerging market currencies at 0.31, 0.27 with oil, and 0.18 with U.S. real estate.

Overall, in 2020, so far, Bitcoin’s correlation with gold is 0.42, 0.16 with the Nasdaq 100, 0.13 with U.S. bonds, and 0.13 with the S&P 500. As for its correlation with emerging market currencies and oil is 0.29 and 0.15 with U.S. real estate.

Coming onto the investment case, when having a proportional addition of 0.5%, 1%, and 3% allocation to bitcoin in a 60% equity/40% bond blended portfolio, although the YTD portfolio performance with a BTC allocation was only slightly better than the 60-40 blend, just a small addition of BTC to a portfolio “significantly” reduced the volatility.

This volatility reduction was even “more pronounced” during the market sell-off in mid-March. This means, even when crashing, bitcoin is a better bet. Gurbacs said,

“We conclude that while long-term bitcoin correlations with traditional asset classes remain low, in the short-term, the COVID-19 induced market sell-off increased bitcoin correlations with gold may potentially hinting to bitcoin’s increasing safe-haven status.”

Bitcoin ETF further helpful

A Bitcoin ETF, according to Gurbacs may have further “significantly” reduced the volatility during the recent sell-off.

Besides reduced volatility, ETFs offer daily proof of reserves (NAV), transparent holdings, transparent prices, high liquidity, proper tax documents, and investor protection, he said.

For now, there is no Bitcoin ETF proposal left for the SEC to review after rejecting the last one in February this year.

Recently, we reported that Kraken’s VIP traders and investors are hopeful of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) this year.

As per the exchange’s 2020 Sentiment Survey, a staggering 48% of respondents said “yes” to a Bitcoin ETF approval by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2020 while the majority 52% still leans towards a “No”.

Regionally, 60% of South Americans, 51% of Europeans, 49% of North Americans, 46% of Middle Easterns, 30% Asians, and 14% of Africans comprise the “yes” people.

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Author: AnTy

Crypto Rating Council Adds IOTA, BAT and USDC, While Ripple Gets Ignored

The Crypto Rating Council (CRC) is a consortium of United States-based crypto firms who advocates for better regulatory clarity in the crypto space and is backed by the likes of Coinbase, Kraken, Bittrex, and others.

Given the growing debate over whether cryptocurrencies fall under the security category apart from Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) (they are considered as assets, given the level of decentralization and transparency), they analyzed a number of digital assets to determine whether they possess traits of Security.

In a blog post dated 2nd April, CRC revealed that they have inducted three new cryptocurrencies in its list with different ratings which include Basic Attention Token (BAT), USDCoin (USDC), and Iota (IOTA). The blog post also revealed that the recent analysis was based on reviewing their previous ratings along with new developments and available information in the public domain. CRC also updated the scores for Maker and Polymath tokens.

How Do CRC Ratings Work?

CRC rates each token on a scale of 1-5, the higher the rating, the higher its chances of showing traits of security. Security ratings are important since it ensures that these are not sold unregulated. Every country has different security laws and they must adhere by them and have a regulatory clearance before making it into the market. However, it is also important to note that CRC is not affiliated to any government body and its ratings are not endorsed by any developers, regulators or third-parties.

The CRC rating gave IOTA an overall score of 2.00 which makes it unlikely for it to be considered as a form of security. IOTA has always claimed to be among the decentralized projects and belive the current rating by CRC would really help it expand its credibility in the US market. The firm responded to their rating of 2.0 saying,

“With our Crypto Ratings Council rating, we believe the US market and CRC’s partner organizations will feel more comfortable and confident engaging with the IOTA token and protocol.”

Apart from IOTA, even BAT scored a 2.00 rating on CRC while USDC scored the lowest of 1.00 suggesting it inhabits the least qualities of security. USDC which is a US Dollar backed stablecoin, even DAI, the decentralized stablecoin scored 1.00 on CRC ratings suggesting stablecoins shows the least traits of security.

Ripple Shows High Traits of Security

Ripple backed XRP token when evaluated by the CRC back in 2019 scored 4.00 rating that suggest it shows high traits of Security. While CRC ratings are not taken into consideration by any government-affiliated agency or security regulators and probably won’t change any of their opinions, but Ripple is facing a lawsuit for being security in the United States. XRP still maintains a rating of 4.00 on CRC.

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Author: James W

QE and Quantitative Hardening to Push Bitcoin Prices by “Hundreds of Percent”

  • The halving “will cause significant stress” – BitMEX Research
  • “My personal view is that we’ll see bitcoin hit $100,000 before December 2021” – Pomp

Just over a month is left in bitcoin reward halving which according to Anthony Pompliano, host of The Pomp Podcast will be like “rocket fuel” for the world’s leading cryptocurrency.

The bitcoin reward halving occurs every 210,000 blocks or 4 years that will see miner flow to be cut down in half from 1800 BTC per day to 900 BTC per day. This halving will also see the scarcity-based stock-to-flow to double from 27 years to 54 years.

The Morgan Creek Capital Management co-founder likened this to gold miners cutting their supply by half.

According to Pompliano, while quantitative easing would push gold’s price to the $2,000 to $2,500 range, it won’t be a material increase compared to bitcoin’s.

“Over the next two years, I think that it will have hundreds of percent of appreciation, given the quantitative easing and the volatility it brings,” said Pompliano.

“My personal view is that we’ll see bitcoin hit $100,000 before December 2021.”

Quantitative Hardening

Blockstream founder and CEO Adam Back came up with another term for this event, “quantitative hardening.”

He explained how central banks have restarted QE programs to tackle the impact of coronavirus on the economy. QE is a tool used by central banks to inject money into the economy and allows them to create money which they then use to buy government debt.

The aim of QE is to boost spending and investment in an economy by firing up the money printer.

Unlike this, bitcoin with a limited supply of 21 million BTC ever, will have a supply shock.

“Bitcoin halving is “quantitative-hardening,” fiat undergoing lots of politically driven quantitative easing. Bitcoin supply algorithm starts quantitative hardening next month,” said Back.

Impact of Halving

According to BitMEX’s latest research on Mining Incentives, when the halving occurs, the network hash rate may decline by 30% to 35%.

However, BitMEX’s estimate is based on the assumption that the BTC price won’t change, all miners are rational, and a significant proportion of miners aren’t operating at a loss. But with the ongoing heightened volatility, it’s to be seen how miners and the market will react.

In March, after reaching its all-time high this month the hash rate already dropped 45%, after the price of bitcoin crashed. However, BitMEX feels, the halving

“will cause significant stress. On the other hand, given the actions governments have taken all around the world in order to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, many other industries will also be going through a challenging period at the same time.”

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Author: AnTy