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China’s BSN predicted as long-term global project, still ahead of others

China’s Blockchain Service Network may not have a global impact anytime soon, but the region’s national blockchain infrastructure continues to outpace other regions…

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First announced in October 2019, China’s Blockchain Service Network, also known as BSN, is aimed at providing a global public infrastructure designed to support both private and public blockchain networks across interconnected cities. 

According to the BSN introductory white paper, the project serves as an “information infrastructure” designed to advance the development of smart cities for the emerging digital economy. The white paper also explains that the goal of the BSN is for cities to build one or more public city nodes that are linked via the internet to form a nationwide — and eventually, worldwide — physical city node blockchain service network. 

Although ambitious, China’s BSN appears to be making progress since its launch one year ago. For example, the BSN officially became available for global commercial use in April this year. The initiative is backed by the Chinese government policy think tank, The State Information Center, along with major players involved with China’s communication, financial and software industries.

Even during the BSN’s beta phase, the project has reportedly attracted more than 2,000 developers, who have created applications to advance public water supply systems, item traceability and electronic invoices. Since then, China’s BSN has launched an international website designed to bring in more developers. The website also states that major cloud providers, including Google and Amazon Web Service, are part of the initiative. Most recently, the BSN announced that three well-known public blockchains have joined its growing ecosystem.

Yet, progress doesn’t always equate success, especially when it comes to a global infrastructure with goals as lofty as the BSN’s. As such, market research company Forrester revealed in its 2021 enterprise blockchain predictions that China’s BSN will “languish” due to the region’s current geopolitical climate.

Martha Bennett, principal analyst at Forrester and a co-author of the report, told Cointelegraph that within China, build-out for the BSN will continue at a steady pace. However, Bennett explained that China’s ambitions for the BSN to be a truly global network won’t be fulfilled in the near term:

According to Bennett, sanctions, along with many countries’ desire to reduce dependency on China, will impact global progress for the BSN. While Bennett’s thoughts about the BSN are just a prediction, some recent statistics reveal that unfavorable views of China have now reached historic highs. In addition, the United States has demonstrated a fear of technology controlled by the Chinese government, seen through bans being called for apps reportedly associated with the Chinese government, such as TikTok and WeChat.

However, some beg to differ that China’s geopolitical climate will affect the BSN development. Yifan He, CEO of Red Date Technology — the private company behind the daily operation and maintenance of the BSN — told Cointelegraph that the current geopolitical climate has not affected the development of the BSN. “Half of our tech partners are from the U.S, and we are working closely with Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud as our global cloud partners,” he said. He further noted that the BSN is currently more of a technical project:

Specifically speaking, the BSN white paper discusses the potential of blockchain for an initiative like the BSN. The document states that blockchain will enable a resource-sharing mechanism for smart cities, greatly lowering the cost of resources. The white paper states that blockchain application publishers can “use uniform public services provided by the BSN and lease shared resources as needed. This greatly reduces the publishers’ and participants’ costs.”

According to He, the BSN is moving forward smoothly, noting that the BSN testnet for permissioned blockchains was recently launched. “In the long run, we really think the broadcasting way of data transmission created from blockchain technologies will reshape, even rebuild the Internet for better security and better privacy,” he added. He further commented that a date has not been set or even predicted as to when the BSN will make a global impact.

It’s also important to point out that there are two versions of the BSN: one is called “BSN China” and the other is “BSN International.” According to He, BSN is still one network, but the governance is divided between BSN China and BSN International. “Just like the Internet, China has one agency to regulate the Internet, and the U.S. has another,” he said.

Although the idea makes sense, skepticism regarding BSN International is being demonstrated. Kevin Feng, former chief operating officer at enterprise blockchain company VeChain, told Cointelegraph that China’s geopolitical climate is definitely one of the key challenges for BSN International. “It’s a concern to U.S. or EU-based companies that most of the BSN blockchain infrastructure is hosted on China-based cloud providers,” he said.

Moreover, Feng pointed out that BSN China only utilizes permissioned, private blockchain networks, while BSN international incorporates permissionless, public blockchains. Feng believes that China BSN can make a swifter impact, yet he noted that the international version is “more for marketing purposes for public blockchain protocols.” Feng further commented on flaws with this model, like charging users based on the traffic generated:

Although skepticism remains around the BSN initiative, Forrester’s recent enterprise blockchain report also predicts that China’s national blockchain infrastructure will advance faster than most regions. According to the report, in 2021, the Chinese government will make strategic investments in most provinces, with deals signed and systems going into production. The report states: “This national investment will help create bridges between siloed processes in areas like citizen services that have been especially challenging in China. This concerted effort will propel China ahead of other regions.”

According to Charlie Dai, a Forrester analyst and co-author of the report, China’s “new infrastructure” national initiative makes blockchain an integral part of the country’s digital infrastructure. Bennett further pointed out that while this isn’t much different from Europe’s blockchain ambitions, China is a single country where technology and the build-out of a network can be translated into reality more quickly:

Moreover, Czhang Lin, network blockchain advisor for Haier Group — a Chinese multinational corporation — told Cointelegraph that China’s national blockchain infrastructure will move faster than other regions, mainly due to the country’ historical top-down central planning culture. “Since President Xi announced blockchain as national strategy level technology in 2019 October, we have seen a massive interest among governments of all levels to study and plan blockchain adoption,” he remarked.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/china-s-bsn-predicted-as-long-term-global-project-still-ahead-of-others

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Crypto miners eye cheap power in Texas, but fears aired over impact on the grid

Can Texas meet the electricity demands of migrating Chinese Bitcoin miners?

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The recent crackdown on crypto mining in China has seen concerns expressed over the potential impact a hashrate migration could have on Texas’ unreliable electricity market, as an increasing number of dislocated miners eye the Lone Star State.

Texas’ abundant sources of renewable energy and highly deregulated power grid make the state an obvious choice for migrating miners from China and elsewhere, with 20% of Texan electricity being generated by wind as of 2019.

Speaking to CNBC, Brandon Arvanaghi, a former security engineer at crypto exchange Gemini, predicted Texas will see “a dramatic shift over the next few months” as miners look to set up shop.

“We have governors like Greg Abbott in Texas who are promoting mining. It is going to become a real industry in the United States, which is going to be incredible,” he said, adding:

“Texas not only has the cheapest electricity in the U.S. but some of the cheapest in the globe.”

Castle Island Ventures’ founding partner, Nic Carter told CNBC that half of the world’s hashing power could ultimately exit China’s borders and will need new homes, stating:

“Every Western mining host I know has had their phones ringing off the hook. Chinese miners or miners that were domiciled in China are looking to Central Asia, Eastern Europe, the U.S., and Northern Europe.”

Global hash rate has fallen by one-third since early May following reports that China’s mining industry would be subjected to stricter supervision.

But is the Texan power grid up to the challenge of providing power for an influx of more crypto miners? The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has just requested that Texans curb their electricity usage amid the recent heatwave that saw many residents turning up their air conditioners earlier this week.

Roughly 12,000 megawatts of generation capacity was offline as of Monday — enough to power 2.5 million homes. ERCOT described the scale of forced outages as “very concerning.”

The regulator warned that a failure to heed the request could result in a repeat of the widespread winter power failures that left 69% of Texans without electricity, and roughly half without water in February. According to Buzzfeed, February’s outages could have resulted in up to 700 deaths in the state.

Angela Walch, a Texas research associate at University College London’s Centre for Blockchain Technologies, tweeted her concerns regarding the share of Texas’ electricity being devoted to Bitcoin mining, emphasizing that her family has been “asked to reduce our air conditioning use, not run washing machines & dryers, etc.”

Obviously, Bitcoin is not the sole cause of this cluster*^% that our poor political leadership in Texas has caused.

But, I am curious to know the portion of the grid it uses. Maybe Bitcoin miners are the first to be shut down in times of grid stress.

— Angela Walch (@angela_walch) June 15, 2021

However Tierion CEO Wayne Vaughan responded by asserting that much of the electricity used to power Texan mining operations comprised stranded resources that “would never be able to reach your home to power your appliances.”

Others argued that wholesale Bitcoin mining operations could actually alleviate Texas’ power issues, with Texas’ seasonal surges in electricity demand incentivizing miners to sell power back to the state’s grid that otherwise go uncaptured.

In September 2020, the Peter Thiel-backed crypto miner Layer1 in West Texas reported it had reaped profits exceeding 700% by selling renewable electricity back to the grid amid surging summer demand.

While up-to-date data for global hashrate distribution is not available, the Cambridge University’s Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (BECI) estimates that China represented 65% of the world’s hashing power as of April 2020.

Earlier this month, district regulators in Western Xinjiang and Yunnan issued notices mandating the suspension of virtual currency mining enterprises. BECI estimates the two regions account for 40% of the country’s hash rate.

Castle Island Ventures’ founding partner, Nic Carter told CNBC that half of the world’s hashing power could ultimately exit China’s borders and will need new homes, stating:

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/crypto-miners-eye-cheap-power-in-texas-but-fears-aired-over-impact-on-the-grid

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Bitcoin price hits $40K as Paul Tudor Jones slams Fed inflation claims

Bitcoin price action is back at $40,000 as Paul Tudor Jones recommends a 5% BTC portfolio.

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Bitcoin (BTC) passed $40,000 on June 14 as a consolidation period snapped to unleash a solid breakout.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingViewBTC price breaks out past $40,000

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/USD gaining 3% in under an hour, reaching $40,500 on Bitstamp.

The largest cryptocurrency capitalized on upside which resulted from a new positive tweet from Elon Musk over possible acceptance by Tesla in the future.

Earlier, Cointelegraph reported on traders betting on a leg up to around $47,000 before a correction.

A look at buy and sell positions on major exchange Binance showed support at $38,000, wit resistance at $40,500 the next hurdle for bulls.

Buy and sell levels on Binance as of June 14. Source: Material Indicators/TwitterTudor Jones advocates 5% BTC allocation

Bitcoin reached a $2 trillion market cap because of a “dichotomy” in Federal Reserve policy which “questions” its credibility, says famous trader Paul Tudor Jones.

In an interview with CNBC on June 14, the founder of Tudor Investment Corporation sounded the alarm over advancing inflation.

After last week’s consumer price index (CPI) report showed that U.S. inflation had hit a 13-year high, Bitcoin’s deflationary nature has rarely looked so appealing.

For Tudor Jones, the idea that higher inflation is just temporary due to recent events, as suggested by the Fed and central banks in general, is a myth.

“It’s somewhat disingenuous to say, for them to say, that inflation is transitory,” he told CNBC’s Squawk Box segment.

Today’s environment is entirely different to that which saw episodes of inflation in the past, such as 2013, and as such, there is little sense in the Fed applying the same forecasts.

CPI was much lower then, Tudor Jones noted, while now, unemployment and jobs also roughly equal each other.

Related: Paul Tudor Jones says Bitcoin is ‘like investing early in Apple or Google’

Meanwhile, gold and Bitcoin have provided a refuge for many. Despite the precious metal vastly underperforming Bitcoin in terms of gains, it remains near record highs.

“When you look at the Fed today and the Fed back then, you wonder how can you have such wildly different policy views on what constitutes the right levels for employment, the right levels for inflation,” he continued.

“How can you have that with an eight-year timeframe? It’s almost like a split personality and you wonder why Bitcoin has a $2 trillion market cap and gold’s at $1,865 an ounce. And the reason why is you have this dichotomy in policy that again questions — questions — the institutional credibility of something.”

Ultimately, a 5% Bitcoin allocation is one of the only things he advocates to those seeking portfolio advice.

“I say, ‘OK, listen, the only thing I know for certain is I want to have 5% in gold, 5% in Bitcoin, 5% in cash, 5% in commodities at this point in time,'” he added.

A look at buy and sell positions on major exchange Binance showed support at $38,000, wit resistance at $40,500 the next hurdle for bulls.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitcoin-price-hits-40k-as-paul-tudor-jones-slams-fed-inflation-claims

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Investment product issuer 21Shares will list Bitcoin ETP on Aquis Exchange

Exchange-traded product issuer 21Shares said it will make its Bitcoin ETP available to U.K. professional investors through the Aquis Exchange.

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The announcement comes the same day as ETC Group’s Bitcoin ETP began trading on the same exchange.

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Investment product issuer 21Shares will list Bitcoin ETP on Aquis Exchange

Switzerland-based 21Shares, formerly known as Amun, has said it will make its Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded product available to traders in the United Kingdom through the Aquis Exchange.

According to an announcement from 21Shares, its Bitcoin exchange-traded product (ETP) will be available to professional investors on the Aquis Exchange this summer. U.K.-based firm GHCO will be acting as the crypto ETP’s liquidity provider, with 21Shares saying the product would be “engineered like an [exchange-traded fund].”

“ETPs trade on exchanges in a similar manner to a listed stock and institutional investors in the U.K. will get exposure to Bitcoin via a regulated framework and structure which they are already accustomed to,” said 21Shares. “The ETP has been designed to provide institutional U.K. investors with secure and cost-effective exposure to Bitcoin without the associated Bitcoin custody and security challenges.”

21Shares reported more than $1.5 billion in assets under management across 14 ETPs available on European stock exchanges. One unit of the firm’s Bitcoin ETP on Aquis will reportedly represent exposure to 0.00035 BTC, or roughly $12.54 at the time of publication.

A few companies have begun expanding their crypto products to the U.K. market. Also on Monday, crypto investment manager ETC Group’s Bitcoin ETP began trading on the Aquis Exchange in London and Paris. However, the country’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, banned the sale of crypto derivatives to retail traders in January.

21Shares reported more than $1.5 billion in assets under management across 14 ETPs available on European stock exchanges. One unit of the firm’s Bitcoin ETP on Aquis will reportedly represent exposure to 0.00035 BTC, or roughly $12.54 at the time of publication.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/investment-product-issuer-21shares-will-list-bitcoin-etp-on-aquis-exchange

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