In a recent interview with Cointelegraph, Brian Kelly, the founder and CEO of digital currency investment firm BKCM LLC, said that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are around to stay, but with some changes.Kelly, who is also a crypto analyst and regular contributor to CNBC, sat down with Cointelegraph to discuss various aspects of the crypto industry. Kelly stated that he sees blockchain and cryptocurrencies as “early stage technology,” saying as example that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos probably could not imagine his online bookstore turning into a major video streaming platform. He added:“We have a new technology that disintermediates a lot of industries. That’s important, and that’s going to be something that’s here for the rest of my career at least and likely a lot longer than that.”Speaking on whether ICOs as a form of fundraising will end soon, Kelly suggested that “it will stay, but with a little change.” He said that ICOs proved to be an effective tool for funding projects using cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. However, he added that “the days of a whitepaper and a dream and $30 million are probably over.”Kelly said that when choosing which digital currencies to invest in, there is a combination of positive indicators, such as activities that will increase the network, as well as catalysts like conferences or potential software updates..Last month, Thomas Zeeb, CEO of securities services at Switzerland’s top stock exchange SIX, also said that ICOs are “here to stay.” Zeeb predicted that mass adoption would come in around five years.The ICO market has seen positive growth this year, more than doubling since 2017, according to ICORating’s ICO market report for the the second quarter of 2018. Per the report, in Q2 2018, 827 projects raised over $8 billion in funding, compared to $3.3 billion in Q1 2018, representing a 151 percent increase. The report notes a “continued decline in the number of retail investors,” while institutional capital in ICO markets has increased.Mr. Kelly will be speaking at the Crypto Finance Conference at the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, CA, which runs from September 5-7. window.fbAsyncInit = function() FB.init( appId : ‘1922752334671725’, xfbml : true, version : ‘v2.9’ ); FB.AppEvents.logPageView(); ; (function(d, s, id) var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s); if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); (document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s) if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function()n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments); if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n;n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.version=’2.0′; n.queue=;t=b.createElement(e);t.async=!0; t.src=v;s=b.getElementsByTagName(e); s.parentNode.insertBefore(t,s)(window,document,’script’, ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbevents.js’); fbq(‘init’, ‘1922752334671725’); fbq(‘track’, ‘PageView’);
In the summer of 2017, rising cryptocurrency prices led to a run on high performance graphics cards. Coveted cards with a high hashrate were snapped up like proverbial hot cakes, leaving gamers, scientific researchers, and anyone else who relied on flagship GPUs priced out as the cryptocurrency frenzy escalated. One year on, and those same graphics cards can be acquired for bargain prices.
Also read: SHA-256 Mining Hashrate Climbs Significantly in One Year
From Hot Property to Obsolete Hardware
It was the summer of 2017 and the Geoforce 1070, Nvidia’s second-most powerful graphics card, was retailing for $450. There was just one problem: no one could get hold of one. In PC stores around the world, bare shelves occupied the space where gamers’ go-to upgrade should sit. That’s because a cryptocurrency mining boom, the likes of which had never been seen before, was in full swing, with crypto miners clearing stores and wholesalers of all the units they could lay hands on.
While computer shops in many countries ran dry of desirable GPUs such as the 1070 and Radeon 570, on second-hand marketplaces they could still be acquired – for a premium. From last summer into early 2018, when crypto mania was at its peak, cards such as the $400 1070 regularly traded hands for $800 or more. The wailing of gamers was drowned out by the whirr of cooling fans as miners overclocked their newly acquired GPUs and started crunching numbers in exchange for altcoins. Bitcoin was only minable on ASICs by then, and ethereum was heading that way too, but smaller coins such as sia, monero, and zcash, as well as hundreds of lesser known microcap coins, were still viable.
Some of the mining rigs currently listed on Gumtree in the UK
One year on from the summer of shitcoins and the value of all leading cryptocurrencies has taken a tumble, while network hashrates have continued to rise. BTC, ETH, and all the rest might be worth more than they were a year ago, but their ballooning hashrate has meant that mining on GPUs is scarcely profitable, causing secondary market supply to exceed demand once more. It’s now the turn of gamers, data researchers, and scientists to gloat, as they snap up cheap graphics cards offloaded by former miners whose dream has died.
Second Hand Mining Rigs Are Cheap – But Who’s Buying?
A look around Craigslist and Gumtree, two of the leading P2P marketplaces in the UK and US, shows the sort of mining rigs that can now be acquired. Many of those for sale have seen less than six months’ use, suggesting that their original owners may not even have turned a profit before offloading them. In the Bay Area, one seller is offering 16x 1080s for $3,950 – or about $246 a card. The seller professes to have paid over $4,000 for them but to have made most of the costs back from mining.
In the same area, someone’s selling a bunch of 1070s and 1080s at $375/$425 apiece. “Since I got too many rigs and electric rates for tier 3 high electric use is too high for me at 45 cents watt rate, I’ve decided I will have to sell some,” they explain. One of the rigs looks precarious, to put it mildly. Over in the UK, Gumtree is currently showing 42 mining rigs for sale, including a build of 7x RX480s, “Now surplus to requirement, built in Q1 2017 for a friend”. There’s also a rig of 8x 1070s going for around $4,500.
For the first time in a long time, single GPUs are selling secondhand for less than their RRP, showing that the crypto mining boom is over, for now. While hashrates – like market prices – can fall, it’s unlikely that conditions will make it profitable to solo mine with a handful of GPUs again. With mining moving to cooler climes with cheaper energy, and from residential spaces to purpose built farms, the era of amateur mining is almost over. Aside from the reduced profitability of solo mining on GPUs, there’s another reason why many sellers seem to have decided to call it a day: there simply isn’t room.
The price of the 1070 spiked in January before declining
Judging by the reasons cited in many classified ads, a change of circumstances – usually an impending move or a new girlfriend – is often the final straw. Like accepting your band will never make it and selling your electric guitar, selling your mining rig can be construed as the acknowledgement that the crypto dream is over without having made you rich. As most sellers will surely aver, though, it was a blast – a noisy, hot blast that was fun while it lasted.
Do you think the era of solo GPU mining is over? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Gumtree, Twitter, PCpartpicker.com and Craigslist.
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There has been a big push for investors to be able to buy Bitcoin without actually having to buy the digital currency. Products — such as futures — have entered the market and upon their arrival in early December last year, Bitcoin rallied toward $20,000. However, the biggest prize on offer for investors — mainly of the institutionalised variety, who are still skeptical about owning Bitcoin — is an exchange-traded fund (ETF). There has been a push, through the SEC, to try and get a Bitcoin ETF in place for some time now, starting with the Winklevoss twins’ first attempt in March 2017. Meanwhile, a product, called Bitcoin Tracker One, which has been trading on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange since 2015, offered what is known as an exchange-traded note (ETN), and this week, it was suddenly quoted in dollars. The ETN is considered a ‘soft’ alternative to the Bitcoin ETF that many are chasing after, but even with this move to make it accessible to an audience in the United States, separate from their country’s regulations and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), there was not much movement in the market. It seems that, even with the option to buy an ETN, U.S. investors — and the Wall Street money they can bring to Bitcoin — are not biting. There was no excitement in the market — a market notorious for taking news as a catalyst for up-and-down movements. This could have to do with the fact that this ETN is not an ETF, but it could also be the heavy bearish sentiment. Why an ETN or an ETF? These products, which allow to invest in Bitcoin with relative safety as investors do not own the actual commodity, have been highly praised by many, but they also have their detractors. An ETF is a marketable security that tracks either an index of funds, a commodity or a basket of assets — and in this case, the asset is Bitcoin. So, what would happen, should the SEC allow a Bitcoin ETF, is that the fund would purchase an underlying amount of actual Bitcoin and distribute those funds into shares, which are then distributed to shareholders. Thus, they make it far more comfortable and familiar for the institutional investor who has been using ETFs for other assets and commodities, and this might be why many think it could be a big entry point for a lot of money into the Bitcoin space. An ETN, on the other hand — seen as a ‘soft’ ETF — is a debt instrument that is backed by its issuers, such as a bank, rather than a pool of assets. Often, they focus on esoteric strategies that don’t easily fit into a fund. The interesting debate about whether these types of products are needed in the cryptocurrency ecosystem is often exaggerated by the broad and all-encompassing nature of the space. There are traders, blockchain engineers, get-rich-quick types, crypto-anarchists and cryptocurrency purists who are all operating around Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and all have their own beliefs. Andreas Antonopoulos is quite against the idea of a Bitcoin ETF, stating: “I am going to burst your bubble […] I know a lot of people want to see an ETF happen, because of ‘to the moon’ and Lambos and all of that. […] I still think it is going to happen, I just think it is a terrible idea. I am against ETFs. I think a Bitcoin ETF is going to be damaging to the ecosystem.” Antonopoulos’ criticism is not that an ETF would cause prices to drop or investments to stop. In fact, he goes on to state: “Everybody is so excited about ETFs, because what we have seen in other markets is [that] when an ETF becomes available — as we saw in gold — the price really increases dramatically, as suddenly that commodity becomes available to a lot more investors. And these investors pile on.” While many see ETFs as the kickstart that the crypto markets need right now from a price point of view, Antonopoulos argues that the real dangers of the introduction of ETFs lie somewhere else: “But, the other side of it is that there [are] always these claims that these commodities markets are heavily manipulated. And opening up these ETFs only increases the ability of institutionalized investors to manipulate the prices of commodities — not just on the markets where they are traded as an ETF, but also more broadly.” Why this ETN is not a market-mover Taking into consideration assertions that ETFs could skyrocket the price of a commodity as institutionalized investors pile into the market, it could seem strange that the announcement of this option — i.e., an ETN that is able to be traded with dollars — brought very little movement in the market. One could assume that a smaller, ‘safer’ option to an ETF would be snapped up and popular for the institutionalized market, but perhaps these investors are holding out — or are still too bearish. Jeff Kilburg, the founder and CEO of KKM Financial, explains that Bitcoin and its up-and-down volatility is going to continue until a decision is reached on ETFs and that even the ETN won’t have much say in it all. “I think there will be continued volatility, but it really is contingent on this exchange-traded fund. […] These long-term, bullish buyers have to understand that people are going to have access globally to an exchange-traded product and, if that comes in — and we do get some absolute determination that it is coming short-term […] this fall — then I think the rally continues.” Kilburg is clearly optimistic about the power an ETF would have on the market, and so is Bart Smith, the head of the digital assets division of the global investment market giant Susquehanna International Group, who says that the ETN has gained some traction, but is nowhere near as explosive as the possibility of an ETF. “What you are seeing now is that we are right back to where we were. A month ago, we were talking about breaking out, but this is a bear market rally. Until we break to new highs, people are not buying.” Smith follows in Kilburn’s reasoning that this ETN is not as big as a potential ETF would be: “This is not as big as [it would be] if it was SEC regulated. An ETF in the U.S. — that was SEC registered — would have a much bigger effect. But, if there is something that is driving new money into the price of Bitcoin, then you would imagine it would raise it up.” The ETF Holy Grail With an ETN now available to U.S. investors — as well as futures trading possible through a number of institutionalized trading houses — Bitcoin is still not reaching new heights. There is a lot of hype and excitement about a possible ETF, as the SEC continues to mull over a number of applications for various Bitcoin ETFs. While no one can predict the future of the price of Bitcoin and how it will react to the news of an ETF, the sentiment is strong from most that it will make a big difference. The feeling is that there is a mountain of money waiting to enter the Bitcoin space that is being held back by nontraditional methods of investing. 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Does CryptoKitties meet Pokemon Go? Although it is an early goal of the bubble, the team thinks that distributed location tracking technology has greater potential.
TRON [TRX] – The TRON main net launch is just two weeks away.
To kick off this momentous event, the Tron Foundation has had a ton of things up their sleeve. They’ve just announced their latest marketing tactic, which looks very similar to their joint tactic back in December.
Last year it was a Maserati and a Mercedes-Benz. This year we’re taking our giveaway to a whole new level — your dream home! Stay tuned. #TRON $TRX #TRX
— Justin Sun (@justinsuntron) May 16, 2018
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