A noteworthy step in the bitcoin network is almost here: a difficulty level of 20 billion.
While only a projected four percent increase, according to mining data service Bitcoin Wisdom, the change shows the every-climbing increase in mining power and reminds us that growth in the mining network shows few signs of slowing down.
In this week’s roundup, we’ll look at a new announcement from BitFury’s leadership, a financial audit from ROCKMINER and a one-of-a-kind hobby miner from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
A look inside the Mine’ellium Falcon
While it might not make the Kessel Run in twelve parsecs, the aptly dubbed Mine’ellium Falcon, created by hobby miner and Star Wars enthusiast Stephen Molyneux, is certainly one of the most unique approaches to mining on this side of the galaxy.
The official website includes a very appropriate quote from beloved Star Wars smuggler Han Solo, who declared in Episode IV: “I’ve made a few modifications myself.”
Sporting a single Gridseed 5-chip dual miner, Molyneux uses it primarily for scrypt mining. At maximum output, the Falcon delivers between 250 KH/s and 500 KH/s in power during operation.
Molyneux told CoinDesk that the inspiration for the project came from seeing other homebrew computers built using Star Wars toys, saying:
“I’d seen various Millennium Falcon custom computers that have been put together and thought to turn my totally delapidated toy from when I was a kid (also have a mint boxed version at home). The toy was in pieces because when I was a kid I wanted to modify it because I’d exhausted all the play out of it. This was kind of finally managing to do that and tie it in with bitcoin.”
Looking ahead, Molyneux sees a future in Star Wars-themed hobby miner making. The projects grassroots fans have reportedly been calling for an adaption of fictional bounty hunter Boba Fetts’ famed starship, Slave I, and Molyneux said he is strongly considering the option.
BitFury grows its board of directors
On 5th August, bitcoin hardware maker and cloud hosting company BitFury announced that it has added two new members to its board of directors. Bil Tai and Varun Gupta will both serve, with Gupta also acting as chief legal and compliance officer.
The addition of Tai and Gupta brings a wealth of legal and technology expertise to BitFury’s senior leadership. Tai’s background includes time on a number of startup boards in the technology space, and Gupta served for decades in corporate law. Notably, Gupta’s experience includes work in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and initial public offering (IPO) coordination.
BitFury CEO Valery Vavilov hailed the new members as critical additions to the team in a press statement, saying:
“These hires will give us tremendous experience, contacts and insight as we work to establish BitFury as the cryptocurrency infrastructure leader and I’m thrilled that they’ve joined us. Their combined understanding of both international markets and technology will be invaluable as we grow and mature.”
The inclusion of Gupta and Tai respresents yet another significant announcement from the company in recent months. In May, BitFury secured $20 million in new funding, netting support from investors like Binary Financial and Crypto Currency Partners.
The company has also begun pushing past its original business model, establishing a cloud hosting service late last month and moving to invest in the broader space through its newly created investment vehicle, BitFury Capital.
ROCKMINER releases financial audit report
China-based bitcoin mining hardware maker ROCKMINER took a significant step forward in the name of transparency by releasing an operational audit on 28th July detailing the company’s assets, liabilities and business trajectory.
The audit provided financial information over a four-month period, starting with the company’s March IPO. As detailed in the report, ROCKMINER raised 1,875 BTC, worth roughly $900,000 when sold at the time for an average price of $480 per bitcoin.
Since then, the company has made almost $300,000 in cash and about 820 BTC from hardware sales. Of the latter, ROCKMINER has approximately 200 on-hand remaining.
ROCKMINER detailed a litany of expenses, including hardware development, facility maintenance and personnel costs. The company spent more than $1m on BE200 chips numbering more than 147,000. It paid out $35,000 in salary costs and $160,000 in R&D expenses during the four-month period.
In a statement posted on its official Bitcoin Talk forum post, ROCKMINER elaborated on a wide range of topics related to the company’s past, present and future. It addressed community concerns about the costs incurred during the past four months, saying:
“The main reason that our financial report doesn’t look good is our input for prophase R&D was too much. We paid a lot of tuition. However, we have basically grown now, still need to pay tuition inevitably, but it’s going to be less and less. I firmly believe that we have already gone through the toughest period. Please also give us a little more time. We did not slack off, did not take your money to splurge. We are doing the work.”
BitCrane announces new miner
A new bitcoin ASIC has hit the market as hardware maker BitCrane, based in China, has announced its new flagship mining product, the T-110.
As reported by Bitell, the T-110 is hitting the market as a product pitched to both hobby and larger-scale miners. According to the company’s website, the miner offers an estimated 1.1 TH/s in hashing power, combining two 28nm chips that provide 550 GH/s each. The unit’s power consumption is advertised as about 1100W.
On the software end, the T-110’s controller board supports Linux and provides a CGMiner-based user environment for product management. Cooling-wise, the T-110 sports two internal fans and a liquid cooling system built into the unit. BitCrane says that the T-110 has an ambient operating maximum temperature of 35C.
In a statement, the company said that the product line had been “rigorously tested and tuned”.
Images via Shutterstock, BitCrane, BitFury, ROCKMINER, Stephen Molyneux
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Disclaimer: This article should not be viewed as an endorsement of any of the companies mentioned. Please do your own extensive research before considering investing any funds in these products.