Blockchain.com to Give Support to Russian Ruble
Crypto exchange Blockchain.com has talked about the company’s plans and new products. In particular, the founder of Blockchain.com, Peter Smith, has said:
“Russian users already make up a large portion of our traffic and exchange volume. Today, we’re pleased to announce that in the coming weeks, we’ll be one of only a handful of exchanges that support the Russian Ruble.”
The company has reported that since 2012, Blockchain.com has made up 27% of all Bitcoin transactions, a percentage that has grown to 32% since May. The number of wallets registered on the platform has reached 50M, while the next target is 1B by the end of 2030.
The company also plans to update its Explorer in order to simplify its user interface as well as add new products related to data analysis.
Blockchain.com has also launched its own Interest Accounts, which allow users to deposit Bitcoin and earn as much as 4.5% interest annually. Even though this service is only compatible with BTC at the moment, the company plans to add more assets in the future such as ethereum and USDT. Blockchain.com will also add margin trading in the near future. Smith has added:
“We believe the internet will have its own financial system. We believe that macro forces will accelerate the crypto thesis and will drive more and more consumers to be crypto-curious.”
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Author: José Rodríguez
ROUNDUP: Problems with the emergency assistant after VW also at Audi and Seat
WOLFSBURG (dpa-AFX) – The problems with the electronic emergency call assistant eCall concern not only the new VW (Volkswagen (VW) vz) golf, but also other car models from the group. According to information from company circles, there are the same difficulties with models of the daughters AUDI and Seat. Accordingly, it concerns the Audi A3 and the Seat Leon, which are based on the same basic kit as the Golf 8. According to a report by the industry newspaper "Automobilwoche", the Skoda Octavia model is also checked for problems with eCall.
On Friday it became known that Volkswagen (Volkswagen (VW) vz) had to prepare for a recall of the Golf 8 that had just started. According to the company, it was determined in the course of internal investigations that unreliable data transmission to the control unit can occur with individual vehicles of the model. Therefore, the function of the emergency assistant cannot be fully guaranteed. "In exchange with the responsible authorities, we check the further procedure for the affected vehicles," said a VW spokesman for the "Automobilwoche".
A decision by the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) to call back and to take remedial action via software update is expected in the coming days. The company imposed a freeze on delivery for the new model. Golf production continued for the time being – but all new cars would be put in stock for now, it said.
The works council warned – also with a view to the massive sales crisis in the auto industry and the full stock due to the corona consequences – against further setbacks for golf production at the main plant in Wolfsburg. The current underutilization with several canceled shifts could worsen. The employee representative therefore calls for an additional mass model to be established in Wolfsburg in the medium term. The Golf is considered the most important product of the largest German industrial group./jap/DP/men
How This Billionaire-Backed Crypto Startup Gets Paid To Not Mine Bitcoin
It’s everyone’s dream to get paid to do nothing. Bitcoin miner Layer1 is turning that dream into reality — having figured out how to make money even when its machines are turned off.
Layer1 is a cryptocurrency startup backed by the likes of billionaire Peter Thiel. In recent months, out in the hardscrabble land of west Texas, the company has been busy erecting steel boxes (think shipping containers) stuffed chockablock with high-end processors submerged inside cooling baths of mineral oil. Why west Texas? Beause thanks to a glut of natural gas and a forest of wind turbines, power there is among the cheapest in the world — which is what you need for crypto.
“Mining Bitcoin is about converting electricity into money,” says Alex Liegl, CEO and co-founder. By this fall Layer1 will have dozens of these boxes churning around the clock to transform 100 megawatts into a stream of Bitcoin. Liegl says their average cost of production is about $1,000 per coin — equating to a 90% profit margin at current BTC price of $9,100.
So it’s odd how excited Liegl is about the prospect of having to shut down his Bitcoin miners this summer.
Already this year west Texas has seen a string of 100-degree days. But the real heat and humidity don’t hit until August, which is when the Texas power grid strains under the load of every air conditioning unit in the state going full blast. During an intense week in 2019, wholesale electricity prices in the grid region managed by the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) soared from about $120 per megawatthour to peak out at $9,000 per mwh. It was only the third time in history that Texas power hit that level. And although the peak pricing only lasted an hour or so, that’s enough to generate big profits. Analyst Hugh Wynne at research outfit SSR figures that Texas power generators make about 15% of annual revenues during the peak 1% of hours (whereas in more temperate California grid generators only get 3% of revs from the top 1%).
Turns out that running a phalanx of Bitcoin miners is a great way to arbitrage those peaks. Layer1 has entered into so-called “demand response” contracts whereby at a minute’s notice they will shut down all their machines and instead allow their 100 mw load to flow onto the grid. “We act as an insurance underwriter for the energy grid,” says Liegl, 27. “If there is an insufficiency of supply we can shut down.” The best part, they get paid whether a grid emergeny occurs or not. Just for their willingness to shut in Bitcoin production, Layer1 collects an annual premium equating to $19 per megawatthour of their expected power demand — or about $17 million. Given Layer1’s roughly $25 per mwh long-term contracted costs, this gets their all-in power price down 75% to less than 1 cent per kwh (just 10% of what residential customers pay).
It may seem like grid operators are paying Layer1 a lot for something that might not even happen, especially with coronavirus reducing electricity demand, but it makes total sense, says Ed Hirs, a lecturer in energy economics at the University of Houston and research fellow at consultancy BDO: “It’s a lot cheaper option than building a whole new power plant or battery system just to keep it on standby.”
As for Layer1, Liegl says his next step is to vertically integrate into financial products, including Bitcoin derivatives and more. “We are building an in-house energy trading division to leverage this into being a virtual power plant.”
His message to any pikers still trying to mine cryptocurrencies from their bedroom PC or even via cloud services: “I can’t think of something more irrational at this point. It’s like if I wanted to dig a hole in my backyard and try to get oil out of the ground.”
MORE FROM FORBESWhy Is This Peter Thiel-Backed Startup Mining Bitcoin In West Texas?By Christopher Helman
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Author: Christopher Helman
Bitcoin Futures, Options, and Open Interest: Crypto Derivatives Break Records After the Halving | Finance Bitcoin News
Since the market rout on March 12, otherwise known as ‘Black Thursday,’ bitcoin futures and options contracts have seen significant demand. On May 14, CME Group saw the total number of outstanding derivatives contracts (open interest) touch a high of $142 million. Four days later, CME broke records again. Data from the researchers at Skew.com detailed that CME’s regulated bitcoin options open interest is up 10x this month.
Ever since the halving on May 11, there’s been a lot of action when it comes to bitcoin-based derivatives products. The research and analysis team from Skew.com publishes daily information about CME’s bitcoin futures and options, products from Bakkt, and a slew of other exchanges that offer crypto derivatives.
For instance, Skew detailed that the exchange Deribit’s bitcoin options open interest had touched $1 billion for the first time this week. On May 14, CME Group saw $142 million in 10-day combined daily volumes, which is far smaller than Deribit’s volumes but still a milestone for CME. The regulated exchange touched $172 million in total CME BTC options open interest, following the record performance four days prior.
On May 8, CME Group published a blog post about the bitcoin halving and discussed its derivatives products as well. “The emergence of a futures and options market has created a new ecosystem for bitcoin markets, which faces its first supply cut since 2016,” CME Group’s Payal Lakhani wrote at the time. The May 14, open interest breakout for CME Group’s bitcoin options was the first time it has ever crossed $100 million, Skew noted.
Between Deribit, CME, Bakkt, Okex, and Ledgerx the volumes pushed “total bitcoin options open interest to a new record [of] $1.1 billion,” Skew explained. Additionally, “CME bitcoin futures traded nearly $1 billion,” on May 12, 2020 the researchers disclosed.
Even Bakkt’s trade volumes increased after the halving, despite lackluster trading volume months prior to the event. “Bakkt had a solid halving session with a record volume day in $ notional, $51.8 million bitcoin futures crossed,” Skew tweeted the day after bitcoin’s third halving.
There’s been a lot of action with ethereum-based (ETH) derivatives products as well. Skew explained on May 21 that “17,500+ Jun20 240 calls traded yesterday on Deribit [at] $10.1 average dollar equivalent price.” When looking at Deribit’s ETH options buy/sell ration Skew said it “reads like overwriting as 76% of liquidity takers were sellers yesterday.”
The market carnage in mid-March was devastating to a lot of traders, and many derivatives players lost their shirts during massive liquidations. The price of BTC has strengthened since it dropped to $3,600 per coin on March 12, and cryptocurrency derivatives markets have seen a great deal of increased action since then as well. Moreover, the third bitcoin halving that took place on May 11, 2020, at 2:30 p.m. ET, sparked even more interest in bitcoin-based futures and options contracts betting on the next few months.
What do you think about the latest interest increase in bitcoin derivatives products? Let us know in the comments below.
Bitcoin Deravitives, bitcoin futures, CME Group, crypto derivatives, Cryptocurrency, deribit, derivatives products, Futures, LedgerX, Markets, Okex, options, Skew Research, Skew.com, trading
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.
Author: Finance by Jamie Redman