Northern Bitcoin AG Enters Merger with Whinstone Group to Build Massive Bitcoin Mining Farm

  • The merger will allow the companies to create the largest Bitcoin mining facility in Texas.
  • As a joint company, Whinstone and Norther Bitcoin AG become a leading global player.

Northern Bitcoin AG is responsible for the operation of a Bitcoin Mining Site in Louisiana and is presently working on developing the biggest Bitcoin mining facility in the world. According to a recent press release from BusinessWire, Northern Bitcoin decided to eliminate their competitor Whinstone US, Inc. by signing a merger agreement with them.

The Whinstone Group has been involved in the blockchain industry for the last five years, establishing its own mining facilities that are located in the US, along with Sweden and the Netherlands. The most recent site for the company was established in Texas across 100 acres, making it the largest data center in all of North America and the largest facility for mining Bitcoin.

The first construction phase of the new facility is scheduled for the first quarter of next year, and the company will end up ranking at the top of the industry worldwide. Two stock-listed corporations are the first customers of this site, which will use much of the 300 megawatts of capacity that will be available at the time.

Along with the focus on blockchain applications, the data center will be usable for the purpose of video rendering and artificial intelligence applications. The co-founder and managing director of Whinstone, Aroosh Thillainathan, elaborated, saying:

“With stock-listed Northern Bitcoin AG, we have found the ideal partner to position our successful business development on the capital market from now on. The joint company has the immediate potential to shape the future course of the global mining industry.”

Mathis Schultz, the CEO of Northern Bitcoin AG, chimed in on this merger as well, commenting:

“With this merger, we are catapulting ourselves faster than originally planned to the top of the world in Bitcoin mining. Whinstone’s team has done a great job over the past few years and is proving its leadership in the blockchain industry by building the world’s largest mining facility.”

Schultz added that their collaboration offers a “dominant leadership position” in cryptocurrency and that both companies are set to “benefit significantly” as blockchain technology progresses.

The joint efforts of the two companies will make their merged brand into a global leader for Bitcoin mining. The arrangement allows the management of Whinstone to complement the management that already exists for Northern Bitcoin AG.

Learn more about Northern Bitcoin at www.northernbitcoin.com.

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Author: Krystle M

New CasperLabs Proof of Stake Blockchain Specification Announced as ‘CasperLabs Highway’

According to a recent announcement published by CasperLabs, the company managed to create a new specification for a much more secure, live, PoS (Proof-of-Stake) protocol. The new specs are named CasperLabs Highway.

As many already may know, PoS protocol came as an alternative to the mechanism used by many cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, called Proof-of-Work (PoW). However, while PoW is used for verifying blocks by staking computing power, PoS works differently. It allows users to stake actual currency, which brings several advantages.

One such advantage is that there is no need for a powerful mining network or networks, which ultimately saves not only energy but also money. On top of that, it helps preserve the environment.

The second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, Ethereum, has been developing its own PoS protocol that is supposed to be implemented shortly. However, there is still a lot of work to be done. According to CasperLabs, PoS faces several various issues regarding the security of the blockchain that uses it.

The company believes that a proper PoS needs to be live, but also much safer than what the developers’ efforts so far were able to produce. These issues were already addressed in the past, with one of the best-known examples being a research paper by Ethereum researcher, Vlad Zamfir. Zamfir released a study called CBC Casper last year, in which he addressed safety, but he left out the live aspect.

Now, with the release of the specs by CasperLabs, both issues were addressed for the first time. The company’s Highway did this by having a ‘summit,’ which will have to reach the consensus, as well as various levels of agreement.

The way that the company explains it is by imagining a mathematical highway, where cars have a constant speed, and vehicles traveling in different lanes tend to send messages over time. When the leading car sends its message, it spreads from one car to another, where each new car sends its own message to the next. Confirming these messages would lead to different agreement levels, which are then reached in ’rounds,’ which represent certain periods of time.

All of this can be possible if the process of moving the ‘lanes’ is dynamic, meaning that the frequency of switching gets doubled when it comes to the left lane, and cut in half for the right one. The concept will be able to speed up the process, while not sacrificing the security of the blockchain. It is still unknown whether the concept could be applied in practice, but CasperLabs is optimistic.

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Author: Ali Raza

Crypto Payments on Amazon Just Got Easier via New Moon Browser Extension

Moon, a startup with only three people, was able to create a new browser extension that will certainly be very helpful to people. According to the announcement made by the company, the new extension will let people use Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH) using the Lightning Network to make payments on Amazon.

The service, which is available for Google Chrome, Opera and Brave (but not Mozilla Firefox for now) solved one of the main issues with people who want to use crypto to make payments: the largest retailer in the world simply does not accept crypto.

It was to solve a huge pain for crypto users, was why the app was created. After you install the extension, the app will recognize you after logging into Amazon and put it’s own payment widget, together with the other payment options. Before accepting the transaction, you can see exactly how much crypto you are going to spend.

You can either use the Lightning Network to pay (because it is way faster than normal BTC wallets) or your Coinbase account. In any case, the company can quickly confirm that you sent the money and move on with the transactions.

The service works because Moon uses fiat currency to pay Amazon for you. The company then automatically updates the money without charging any fees.

At the moment, only people in the United States and Canada can use the service. However, it is expected that other countries will be able to use it soon. It was already announced that the product will be available in Europe soon. Unfortunately, it seems that the rest of the world will have to wait a little longer.

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Author: James W

Google’s New Quantum Computer Is Not a Risk To Bitcoin, Affirms Developer Peter Todd

Google has claimed they were able to create the first quantum computer in the world. Can this be a threat to Bitcoin? Several people were concerend by the possibility that quantum computers could disrupt the crypto network, but Peter Todd, an ex- Bitcoin Core developer, doesn’t agree with them.

To understand why Todd doesn’t believe that this will be an issue, it is important to understand what Google actually did. The tech company used its computer to solve an equation that would normally take 10,000 years in around 3 minutes and 20 seconds.

This does not mean that the so-called quantum computer can solve any problem that fast. It was able to solve that specific problem so quickly because it was devised to do it. This is the most important point here.

The developer affirmed that what Google achieved was only a very primitive type of breakthrough. The company was nowhere near being able to break something as complex and powerful as Bitcoin.

He affirmed that the scientists involved in these experiments still don’t know if it is really possible to scale quantum computers without having huge costs. Because of this, they are mostly used for tests in order to develop the technology, not to solve any actual issue.

The U. S. National Security Agency (NSA) was recently reported to be attempting to create its own quantum computer. In this case, crypto’s would be far more endangered than if Google did it, but it is still hard to confirm that this technology can or will be a threat any time soon.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Square Crypto Beefs Up Developer Roster, Adds on Libra and Lightning Network Members

Jack Dorsey’s Square Crypto is on its way to create its “dream team”. The company, which is a crypto-focused subsidiary of Square, a payment app created by Jack Dorsey, who also founded Twitter, just announced that it would hire three new developers. The open-source project has hired Arik Sosman, Valentine Wallace and Jeffrey Czyz.

Arik Sosman was an engineer who worked at Facebook and BitGo. During his time on Facebook, he was a part of Calibra, the subsidiary that was in charge of the creation of the Libra project. Sosman told the crypto media that he is very interested in both privacy and layer 2 solutions.

He also affirmed that he is curious to see what work the team will do and that he was excited to contribute to such an important project that has the potential to change the crypto world for the better.

Valentine Wallace comes from Lightning Labs, a company that is focused on developing solutions for the Lightning Network, a second layer solution to scale the Bitcoin network. Jeffrey Czyz, on the other hand, comes from the giant Google.

The duo was hired to grow the developer base of the team, the company affirmed. The team will be led by Steve Lee, who was a former product director at Google. At the moment, the team is still hiring, however. Square Crypto is currently looking for a designer to join the team.

Now, the only information left to be divulged will be what kind of project will be the first attempt of the group.

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Author: Hank Klinger

North Korea Is Creating, Designing and Implementing Its Own Cryptocurrency

The North Korean government has set out to create its own cryptocurrency. As reported by Vice News, a government representative has recently affirmed that this new crypto would be used to avoid international sanctions and to help in the circumvention of the global financial system, which is currently controlled by the United States, one of the main adversaries of the country.

According to the media outlet, the government has shown interest in cryptos for a long time and has recently decided to bring together several experts to create the asset.

The currency does not have a name yet, but Alejandro Cao de Benos, the official person in the charge of cryptos, has affirmed that it will “like Bitcoin”.

Cao de Benos has affirmed that the process of creating the token is still very early in its development. The team is still studying how to do it. No plans of digitizing the national fiat currency were made, however, so this will be a cryptocurrency, not a digital fiat one.

Vice News reported that North Korea is said to have the necessary expertise to create its own token. In fact, the country is well-known for its talent with the digital world, but not for the most positive actions. Several hackers based in the country have already hacked exchanges, installed cryptojacking malware and more.

What remains to be seen, however, is whether the new token will receive sanctions or not. Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has created a similar attempt with the national crypto called Petro, but the token has failed to achieve any success, partly because of how the international market ignored it, partly because of the asset lacked transparency. Will North Korea’s new crypto be any different?

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Author: James W

Mastercard Teams Up With R3 To Develop Cross-Border Payment Solution Using Corda Blockchain Platform

Popular payments services provider Mastercard is teaming up with blockchain company R3 to create an international payments solutions, CoinDesk reports.

In a press statement, the two companies will develop and pilot a fresh blockchain-based cross-border platform. The payments solution will aim at linking world’s faster payments platforms, schemes as well as financial institutions majorly banks.

As per the press statement, the partnership is part of Mastercard’s plans to enhance its international payments network adding on its latest acquisition of an international payments firm Transfast at the beginning of this year.

The teaming up with R3 is a ploy by Mastercard to provide a wide range of payment solutions for its clients in efforts to allow them to decide how their money should be moved across the world.

Mastercard’s executive vice president in charge of new payment platforms, Peter Klein, stated that development of a high-quality cross-border payments platform will help the company enhance its connectivity around the world which is a key ambition for Mastercard. Klein went ahead to explain that Mastercard’s goal is to provide worldwide payment infrastructure and the partnership with R3 will help the company to achieve its vision.

According to R3, the new payment platform will be developed on top of Corda Enterprise, which is the commercial version of the Corda blockchain, and not on the open-source Corda platform.

The new cooperation is set to take advantage of R3’s blockchain development expertise and Mastercard’s global network and payment platforms. The two companies are hopeful that the partnership will allow them to eliminate various industry challenges such as high processing fees, management of liquidity and problems associated with domestic clearing systems.

This is not the first time the two companies are teaming up for a project. At the start of this month Mastercard officially became a member of Marco Polo trade finance blockchain platform that was started by R3 in collaboration with TradeIX.

Cointegraph reports that in the recent past, Mastercard has been angling to enter the crypto industry and in August the payments giant advertised for new job for blockchain as well as crypto -related products.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Catalonia To Develop ‘IdentiCAT’ A Blockchain Identity Platform To Give Citizens Control Over Data

Catalonia, an autonomous region in Spain, is about to create a new decentralized ID platform that will be used in order to give the locals more control over their data. According to the local government, the platform, which is known as IdentiCAT, will empower Catalan citizens to be safe when using the internet.

The minister of Digital Policy and Public Administration Jordi Puigneró was responsible for the announcement, affirming that the new platform will use the distributed ledger technology and that the platform will be centralized. According to him, the government will act as the validator of the network.

However, he affirmed that the government will not collect any data from the people, as this is the whole goal of the initiative. The government has also revealed that the users can use several apps to manage their identities on the platform and that they can maintain their privacy this way.

Another use for the new platform is that, for instance, a user could verify his age by using the platform instead of having to provide more data to private systems.

The new IdentiCAT platform will be used to develop solutions that will be compliant with the rules from the European Union on electronic IDs and trust services.

Now, the government is focused on getting the system up and running to be used soon. As soon as the development of the platform is finished, the system will be distributed and used by local citizens, public companies and organizations.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Facebook Ditched Bitcoin For Libra Over Its Inability to Scale: Bill Barhydt

  • Facebook (FB) actually preferred to use Bitcoin: Abra CEO, Bill Barhydt
  • The plan was to create a scalable Bitcoin as anything transactional with BTC was effectively untenable
  • Bitcoin consultant, Udi Wertheimer begs to differ

Before going with its own stablecoin Libra, social media giant Facebook (FB) has been considering using Bitcoin, Bill Barhydt, CEO of the Bitcoin Investment platform Abra shared with Peter McCormack, on the What Bitcoin Did podcast.

Instead of creating its own fiat-backed cryptocurrency Facebook apparently wanted to use the leading cryptocurrency to power its payment system. But, Barhydt claims the company had “no choice” but to develop its own digital currency because of Bitcoin’s inability to scale.

His claims are based on his conversation with a number of people that were directly involved in the development of Libra.

Earlier this year, Abra announced the launch of a new way to invest in traditional stocks, commodities, ETF’s using Bitcoin, becoming the first one to introduce fractional-share investing with BTC.

In July, the cryptocurrency investment app restricted its services for US users over

“regulatory uncertainty and restrictions”

in the country.

A Plan for a Scalable Bitcoin

In his multiple conversations with Facebook’s team members, Barhydt got to know about the goal of the company that was to become a payment platform that serves the users’ needs and not to create a cryptocurrency.

“Ideally, from my discussions, they actually would have preferred to use Bitcoin,” he said.

Facebook had plans to create something like a “scalable Bitcoin” but Barhydt said,

“you can’t go fully permission-less out of the gate.”

So, with the problems FB has been trying to solve, Bitcoin, was not going to work for them.

“I think there’s a huge belief in the system. But if you want to build a remittance system and you want to build a cross-border commerce system and you have 1.2 billion users today, what would happen to Bitcoin? Fees would skyrocket. Doing anything with Bitcoin that was transactional was effectively untenable.”

However, Bitcoin consultant, Udi Wertheimer doesn’t agree with this. He said, scalability wasn’t the issue, Facebook didn’t want to in the first place.

Facebook according to Barhydt considered all the options including Lightning Network, the second layer on Bitcoin network that aims to solve Bitcoin’s scaling problem.

“These are smart people. They’ve looked at Lighting, they’ve looked at Bitcoin, they’ve thought this through. And they came to the conclusion that Bitcoin is not optimized to be a payment network, Bitcoin is optimized to be digital cash right now,”

he added.

Barhydt said, Facebook, however, had “infinitely” more favorable chance of executing it than any other company.

As for the heightened regulatory scrutiny Libra is facing from regulators all over the world, Barhydt said the company’s previous track records are that make it easier for lawmakers to question it.

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Author: AnTy

Hotmine’s Bitcoin Miners Are Using Mining Rigs To Heat Homes In Eastern Siberia

Oles Slobodenyuk, the CEO of Hotmine, has created a very interesting product. His company decided to create a Bitcoin mining machine that could be used as a way to heat homes. The place in which it will be used? Siberia, one of the world’s coldest regions.

The idea of his project is to be able to sell at least 200,000 mining devices that can also be used as heaters. Crypto mining generally heats up a lot, so the idea is really useful. The company’s goal is to offer the ability to heat houses in at least 80% of the devices sold.

According to him, the miners will not be so potent as industrial ones, but they will be very useful. They can provide a lot of heat at the same time that they can make around $55 USD per month. This way, the owner will not only spend money heating the house but also make some cash at the same time.

With local electricity being around one to two cents per hour, the heater would spend around $10 USD to be used, so the profit would be $45 USD. Free heating for all, it seems.

This company was founded in 2013 and it has grown up a lot recently. Mostly due to the creativity of its leads and their ability to tackle problems and find interesting solutions.

Slobodenyuk is not only an inventor but also an idealist. He believes that crypto mining should be more decentralized. According to him, each house should have its own full node, which is the only real way to provide all the needed decentralization to mining.

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Author: Hank Klinger