The top daily news from the cryptocurrency and blockchain space:

  • CoinShares Bitcoin Mining Report estimates that renewables make up 74% of Bitcoin mining network’s energy mix.
  • Zilliqa launches first-ever smart contract platform built on sharding.
  • Binance to let 1,000 into the final round of testing its margin trading product.

At the time of writing, bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) are trading at $7,957.6 (+4.1%) and $245.5 (+5.3%), respectively. As for the MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 Index, it is currently tracking at 3,888.6 (+0.2%).

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CoinShares: Renewables Make Up 74% of Bitcoin Mining’s Energy Mix

A new study by cryptocurrency investment and research firm CoinShares estimates renewable energy is powering almost three quarters – 74.1% – of Bitcoin mining operations. This percentage was slightly down from the time since CoinShares’ November 26, 2018 report, where they estimated renewables power 77.6% of the Bitcoin mining network.

The latest CoinShares Bitcoin Mining Report also found that Bitcoin mining operations tend to be geographically concentrated in areas where renewable energy sources are abundant. What’s more, CoinShares calculated that the market-average, all-in marginal cost of mining bitcoin had decreased since November; suggesting that, “at current prices, the average miner is highly profitable.”

Zilliqa Launches World’s First Sharding-Based Smart Contract Platform

The team behind Zilliqa (ZIL) – a public blockchain platform that harnesses a scaling technique known as sharding – announced that smart contract functionality had gone live on the Zilliqa mainnet.

“This launch enables developers to write and deploy smart contracts on the Zilliqa blockchain using our safe-by-design smart contract language Scilla,” wrote Zilliqa president and chief scientific officer, Amrit Kumar, in a blog post released on Monday. He then went on to describe the various core features of Zilliqa smart contracts.

The Singapore-based team working on Zilliqa plans to elaborate on their project’s new smart contract functionalities during the two-hour-long Zilliqa Day event on June 18.

Binance Offers Early Access to ‘Last Round of Margin Testing’

Binance announced they are offering 1,000 people the opportunity to partake in its final round of testing its forthcoming margin trading product.

Per the application form shared by Binance, “users that are able to commit to providing feedback based on their experience [and] hold 10 BNB (Binance Coin) or more will be given priority.”

The form – which is only available to users who own a Binance account that is “level 2 verified” – requires the applicant to divulge the email address and referral ID of the Binance account they would like margin trading enabled on.

It also asks the applicant if they are willing to commit to providing feedback based on their experience testing the crypto margin trading product. Finally, the form asks whether the applicant is holding BNB in their nominated account.

What Caught Our Eye: Binance to Become a Bank?

Twitter user @DegenSpartan compiled a thoughtful, eight-part thread surmising that Binance will soon “offer interests on deposits once their margin trading [product] is up and running smoothly.” It sure is a convincing read. So convincing, in fact, that Binance’s chief executive Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao took the time to reply with a tweet that will certainly excite BNB holders (shown below).