Bitmain Has a New 7nm ASIC Chip for Mining Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash

On Monday (February 18th), Chinese crypto mining giant Bitmain Technologies Limited ("Bitmain") announced a new next generation 7nm ASCI chip for mining cryptocurrencies that use the SHA256 algorithm for Proof of Work (PoW).

Bitmain says that its new BM1397 chip "achieves new feats in performance, chip area and energy efficiency" for SHA256 mining, and it "requires lower power and can offer an energy consumption to computing ratio as low as 30J/TH," which is "a 28.6 percent improvement in power efficiency in comparison with Bitmain’s previous 7nm chip, the BM1391." 

Bitmain will be announcing two new Antminer models that will use the BM1397 chip—the S17 and the T17—at a future date.

It is important to note that the BM1397 is Bitmain's second generation 7nm ASCI chip. Its first generation ASIC chip was the BM1391, which was used in the Antminer S15 and T15, which were announced on 6 November 2018 and launched on 28 November 2018. The Antminer S15 has a "high-performance mode can achieve a hash rate of 28 TH/s with a power efficiency as low as 57 J/TH," while the Antminer T15 has a "high-performance mode sees a hash rate of 23 TH/s and a power efficiency as low as 67 J/TH."

Last month, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that Bitmain was "poised to name a new chief executive to replace company co-founders Wu Jihan and Zhan Ketuan" according to "people with knowledge of the matter," and that the "potential successor is Wang Haichao, who currently holds the position of product engineering director at the Beijing-based company, but has already taken over duties from co-chief executive Wu and Zhan in a transition period that started in December."

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Israeli Courts: Bitcoin Is a Taxable Financial Asset, Not a Currency

A central district court in Israel has reportedly ruled in favor of the nation’s tax collection department, which has categorized bitcoin (BTC) as a financial asset - but not a medium of exchange (MoE).

According to the court’s ruling, the Israeli tax department may impose and collect taxes on transactions involving bitcoin, the world’s most dominant cryptocurrency. The court’s decision on the matter was announced on Monday (May 20, 2019).

Bitcoin Is a Taxable Financial Asset

As confirmed by Israel’s central district court, bitcoin-related transactions are subject to a capital gains tax as the pseudonymous cryptocurrency is considered a financial asset by the country’s central bank.

Notably, the matter was brought before court Judge Shmuel Bornstein by the founder of a crypto startup that argued bitcoin should be treated as a currency, or medium of exchange. The entrepreneur said that transactions involving the cryptocurrency should not be taxed because it’s a currency, not a financial asset.

Bitcoin's Status Hasn't Yet Been Established

As noted by local news outlet Globes: 

The Central District Court in Lod accepted the tax authority’s interpretation, and held that bitcoin is an asset and not a currency, and that the transaction in question is therefore taxable.

Going on to mention that Israeli financial regulators have not yet established a comprehensive regulatory framework for cryptoassets, Judge Bornstein said that it was “hard to envisage a result whereby Bitcoin would be considered a currency for tax purposes in particular.”

According to Globes, the case involving bitcoin-related transactions could reach Israel’s Supreme Court.

Commenting on the status of Bitcoin, Itay Bracha, Managing Partner at Israel-based law firm Bracha & Co., remarked:

The ruling is a signal to all those who have yet to report cryptocurrency-related [capital gains] or based their actions on differing legal advice.

Building Decentralized Infrastructure for the Transportation Sector

Per the legal specialist, the recent ruling is “unequivocal” and that it is only a “judicial interpretation”, not a “new legalization.” Therefore, the current ruling on the status of bitcoin would only “apply retroactively.”

As noted by local sources, the latest BTC-related case involves Noam Copel, the founder of blockchain startup DAV. As stated on the crypto firm’s official website:

We’re building a decentralized infrastructure to revolutionize the transportation industry on the blockchain.

In 2011, Copel reportedly purchased BTC and sold it in 2013 for a profit of around $2.3 million. Arguing that his profits, or capital gains, were not taxable, the crypto entrepreneur stated (in court):

Bitcoin should be classified as a foreign currency, and that his profits should be seen as exchange rate differences received by an individual not in the course of a business, and therefore should not be taxed.

As explained, the Israeli courts ruled in favor of the nation’s central financial institution by categorizing Bitcoin as a financial asset - which is subject to taxes.