Bitmain to Deploy 100,000 ASICs to Mine Using Hydropower, in Recovery Bid

Colin Muller

Crypto-mining hardware producer Bitmain are set to deploy 100,000 of their own ASIC miners to the Sichuan (also spelled Szechuan or Szechwan) province of China, a center of hydroelectric power production in the country, according to bilingual news outlet 8BTC.

Bitmain research, develop, and manufacture ASIC, or application specific integrated circuit miners, which are computers specially built to mine certain cryptocurrencies - like Bitcoin (BTC) and Litecoin (LTC) - and nothing else.

It is now well known - and CryptoGlobe have covered several times - that the Sichuan province is home to the vast majority of cryptocurrency mining in China, due to the extremely cheap electricity available there. This cheap power is, in turn, due to significant investments into hydroelectric damming by the Chinese government.

CryptoGlobe reported recently that the region’s rainy season, anticipated to start in May, is already expected to prompt “a million” mining machines in Sichuan to reactivate, after being shut down during the dry season.

It seems Bitmain’s machines will join them, after former co-CEO Micree Zhan (or Zhan Ketuan, who left Bitmain along with Jihan Wu after punishing 2018 losses) apparently took his leave of the company to set up his own mining operation in Sichuan. But Zhan’s connection to Bitmain remains strong, as the new company that he leads is, according to 8BTC, 40% owned by Bitmain.

The company that Zhan now heads is reported to be called “Hainan Continental Ark Data Technology,” although no reliable industry data can presently be found confirming its existence.

Time will tell if this gambit will help Bitmain out of its doldrums. CrypoGlobe reported late last year on the technology company’s attempt to list an IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange - and on the bleak prospects of its success, along with other ASIC-producing competitors.

Cannabis Shops Turn to Crypto Apps Amidst Coronavirus Cash Shortages

Michael LaVere
  • Cannabis shops in Boulder, Colorado are using bitcoin payment app Strike to conduct "contactless" exchanges.
  • Cash shortages and lack of sanitation are causing businesses to find alternative means for transaction. 

Cannabis shops are using bitcoin payment services to conduct business in place of fiat amidst the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to a report by CoinDesk, cannabis dispensaries in Boulder, Colorado have been onboarded to the closed beta for Strike, a bitcoin payment service application founded by lighting network supporter Zap. 

Zap, founded by Jack Mallers, has been operating a closed beta for the payment application Strike which allows users the option of sending bitcoin or dollars and receiving funds in their bank account. The application uses a simple QR code interface, similar to Venmo, that allows users to send funds without having prior knowledge or expertise with bitcoin. 

Mallers said, 

Every Strike user is given a public domain at strike.me. We’re using Lightning for really fast online settlement of value transfers. … It’s also beneficial for privacy on the sender’s side.

Johnny Kurish, general manager at Boulder’s Helping Hands Herbals cannabis shop, said the application allowed his dispensary to process $1,000 worth of purchases since being added to the beta last week. 

Kurish said the dispensary will switch to only accepting Strike payments, which allow for contactless exchanges in light of the coronavirus pandemic. 

He said, 

We’re really lucky to have curbside drop-offs. We check the ID through the roll-up window, deliver the cannabis to a podium in front of the car. We’re happy to reopen with an option that’s safe for our staff.

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com