Iran’s crypto mines could be used to help fund car imports

Iran’s crypto mines could be used to help fund car imports

It seems that the private sector is not satisfied with the country’s local fiat money.

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According to ArzDigital, Gholam Hossein Mozaffari, CEO of the Kish Free Zone Organization, hopes that the Iranian government will approve a proposal to use crypto funds, such as Bitcoin (BTC), to pay for car imports on Kish Island in Iran.

The decision will fall to the Central Bank of Iran, who has said in the past that this type of funding would not be possible due to the hyperinflation of the rial — the nation’s currency. 

Mozaffari told local media outlets that the issue of car imports has been a “sad story,” because of the expensive costs involved:

“Our next suggestion was that we would provide the required currency through digital currency mined in free zones, the origin and amount of which are known, and would not put any pressure on the country’s currency.”

Mozaffari is meeting with the head of the Central Bank next week, and hopes the outcome will be fruitful. The organization appears to have already begun working with companies in the private sector to set up a framework for crypto transactions, in the event that the central bank does indeed greenlight the proposal.

In August, Taras Kulyk, Senior Vice President of Blockchain Business Development at Core Scientific, told Cointelegraph that governments – like Iran – are looking to make their policies more favorable to mining in order to gain competitive advantages over other countries.

The Iranian government recently took down over a thousand crypto mining farms that were operating without a license.


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It seems that the private sector is not satisfied with the country’s local fiat money.

Cooking Mama Developer Denies Rumours it Mines Crypto

Cooking Mama Developer Denies Rumours it Mines Crypto

Rumors circulating that a Nintendo Switch game is being used to hijack consoles to mine crypto appear to be unfounded

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Developer 1st Playable has denied rumors one of their games was used to hijack Nintendo’s Switch console to mine Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

While the recent Nintendo release, Cooking Mama: Cookstar, is connected to blockchain technology —  it’s not in the way some players have speculated. 

Addressing the rumors on Twitter, 1st Playable said there was absolutely nothing “shady in the code”:

The official Cooking Mama: Cookstar account echoed this, pointing out it had only considered utilizing blockchain “as a means to allow players to trade in-game assets,” not to mine cryptocurrency:

“The internet is alive with rumors that Cooking Mama: Cookstar contains hidden cryptocurrency/blockchain capabilities that are causing the Switch to overheat. This is absolutely incorrect.” 

It later stated: “Cookstar, nor any of our other titles in the past or near future will utilize crypto technology.”

How the rumors got started

The Nintendo console was reported to use blockchain prior to its release, which did not create much of a stir at the time. However, when Cooking Mama: Cookstar was suddenly no longer available in Nintendo’s eShop just a few hours after its release, the rumor mill went into overdrive on Reddit and Twitter.

Combined with reports that the Switch was prone to overheating and drained the battery, some users speculated the console was surreptitiously being used to mine cryptocurrencies.

While there’s no official statement from Nintendo as yet about why the game was pulled in the first place, the rumors have begun to subside in the face of pushback from the developers and independent analyses of the code.

Less-than-reputable methods for cryptocurrency minings

While the Cookstar rumors appear unfounded, there have been some instances of hackers and supposedly reputable companies cryptojacking processing power. 

After basketball legend Kobe Bryant’s death, hackers took advantage of fans searching for digital reminders to hide malicious html code in desktop wallpaper featuring the NBA star. The code allowed them to hijack processing power from the infected computers to mine cryptocurrencies remotely.

Larger platforms aren’t exempt either. A clone website for Cryptohopper was discovered last year. Hackers installed a Trojan on anyone who clicked a certain link on the site. This enabled them to use any computer infected with the virus for mining, among other things. Even YouTube has had its share of attempts by cryptojackers.


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Rumors circulating that a Nintendo Switch game is being used to hijack consoles to mine crypto appear to be unfounded

Argo Blockchain Defies COVID-19, Mines Record Levels of Bitcoin in Q1 2020

Argo Blockchain Defies COVID-19, Mines Record Levels of Bitcoin in Q1 2020

Bitcoin miner Argo Blockchain has reported bullish results for March 2020, seemingly unperturbed by the COVID-19 pandemic

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London Stock Exchange-listed mining firm Argo Blockchain has broken its own records for Bitcoin (BTC) mining, seemingly escaping the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

An operational update published by Argo on April 6, revealed that the firm had mined 333.8 Bitcoin in March, as compared to 337.5 Bitcoin in February. 

Cumulatively, the amount of Bitcoin mined during the first three months of 2020 amounted to 918 Bitcoin — a record for the firm, and more than double what it had mined during the last three months in 2019.

Everything is “as normal,” reports Argo

In its update, Argo notes that its mining operations, based in North America, “have not been impacted by COVID-19,” adding: 

“Argo’s management and staff are working remotely and all mining facilities are running as normal.”

Alluding to “challenging conditions,” CEO Peter Wall said that the firm is continuing to deliver what he claims are “some of the best mining margins in the industry.”

In March, Argo generated mining revenue of £1.8 million ($2.22 million), slightly down from £2.5 million ($3.08 million) in February. 

For March, the revenue clocked in at a mining margin of 42%, which Argo again contends is “among the most efficient in the market.”

Argo attributes the slight decrease in revenue month-on-month to the algorithmic increase in mining Bitcoin early in March, alongside the cryptocurrency’s steep decline in value during the second week of the month.

Increasing capacity

Overall, Argo generated £6 million ($7.67 million) in revenue for the first three months of the year. The company revealed that its order of 1,000 Bitmain Antminer S17+ machines “remains on track,” and it expects to install by the end of April. 

The new machines will bring Argo’s total Bitcoin mining capacity to roughly 730 peta hashes (PH) — up 10% from current capabilities.

Over the past month, the company’s stock price has decreased by 25% from £5.35 ($6.58) to £4.00 ($4.92) per share, according to Google Finance.

In January, Argo Blockchain reported a tenfold increase in revenue for 2019 over the previous year, notwithstanding a decline in revenue in Q4 due, the firm said, to a decline in crypto prices, increased mining difficulty, and unfavorable foreign exchange rates.

As reported at the time, the global mining sector is expected to feel the pressure of Bitcoin’s halving, scheduled to occur around May, which will reduce mining rewards by 50%.


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Bitcoin miner Argo Blockchain has reported bullish results for March 2020, seemingly unperturbed by the COVID-19 pandemic

New York Power Plant Mines $50,000 of Bitcoin a Day

New York Power Plant Mines $50,000 of Bitcoin a Day

A power plant in New York’s Finger Lakes region now mines about $50,000 of Bitcoin each day using the electricity it produces

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A New York power plant turns to Bitcoin mining in a successful bid to increase profitability.

Bloomberg reported on Mar. 5 that a power plant in New York’s Finger Lakes region now mines about $50,000 of Bitcoin (BTC) each day using the electricity it produces.

Atlas Holding, the private equity company that owns the facility, installed 7,000 crypto mining machines at the Greenidge Generation’s 65,000-square-foot power plant in Dresden, New York. The firm pointed out that since it produces the power consumed by the machines on its own, the mining operation is extremely low cost.

An extremely profitable operation

Cryptocurrency mining is extremely energy-intensive. Mining facilities tend to concentrate where electricity prices are the lowest. In this case, the power cost is equivalent to production costs.

Atlas Holding’s mining operation consumes about 15 megawatts of the 115 megawatts of the power plant’s total capacity. In the past, the Dresden power plant used to operate only when there was higher-than-usual energy demand during summer and winter, but now it operates the whole year. 

Bitcoin block reward halving is “favorable”

The cryptocurrency community is afraid that Bitcoin mining will become unprofitable for most miners after the block reward will be cut in half in about little over two months. Dave Perrill, the CEO of colocation service for crypto miners, recently told Cointelegraph that the profitability of all but the most efficient mining operations will be greatly challenged after the halving takes place.

Still, the profitability of Atlas Holding’s mining operation is high enough to be safe after the block reward cut. Greenidge’s chief financial officer Tim Rainey said that he expects the operation will stay profitable after Bitcoin’s halving:

“We are in a favorable market position regardless of how the halving materializes. […] Due to our unique position as a co-generation facility, we are able to make money in down markets so that we’re available to catch the upside of volatile price swings.”


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A power plant in New York’s Finger Lakes region now mines about $50,000 of Bitcoin each day using the electricity it produces

New Linux Malware Mines Crypto While Remaining Undetectable

New Linux Malware Mines Crypto While Remaining Undetectable

Two threat analysts stumbled upon new Linux malware that keeps its crypto mining operations under the radar

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Two threat analysts recently stumbled upon new Linux malware that keeps its cryptocurrency mining operations hidden.

On Sept. 16, Augusto Remillano II and Jakub Urbanec revealed in a post on Trend Micro, a security intelligence blog, that they found new Linux malware. According to the analysts, this malware is particularly notable because of the way it loads malicious kernel modules to hide its cryptocurrency mining operations.

Malware provides hackers full access to infected machine

The analysts revealed that Skidmap masks its cryptocurrency mining by utilizing a rootkit, which is a program that installs and executes code on a system without end user consent or knowledge. This makes its malware components undetectable by the infected system’s monitoring tools.

Besides running a cryptojacking campaign on the infected machine, the malware reportedly gives attackers “unfettered access” to the affected system. The analysts add:

“Skidmap also sets up a way to gain backdoor access to the machine, and also replaces the system’s pam_unix.so file with its own malicious version. This malicious file accepts a specific password for any users, thus allowing the attackers to log in as any user in the machine.”

Cryptojacking campaigns up by 29%

Cryptojacking is an industry term for stealth crypto mining attacks which work by installing malware or otherwise gaining access to a computer’s processing power to mine for cryptocurrencies without the owner’s consent or knowledge.

In August, cybersecurity company McAfee Labs released a threat report, in which it noted an increase in cryptojacking campaigns and ransomware attacks in Q1 2019. According to the report, cryptojacking has been on the rise, with a 29% increase in cryptojacking campaigns.


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Two threat analysts stumbled upon new Linux malware that keeps its crypto mining operations under the radar

Bitcoin Passes New Milestone as Network Mines 85% of Its Total Supply

Bitcoin Passes New Milestone as Network Mines 85% of Its Total Supply

There are only 3.15 million bitcoins left to mine

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Bitcoin (BTC) now has 85% of its supply in circulation as of August 1, leaving just 3.15 million new coins for the next 120 years. 

3.15 million bitcoins, 120 years

According to data from monitoring resource Blockchain, Thursday saw Bitcoin miners extract the 17,850,000th unit as part of the transaction validation process. 

As a result, due to the number of coins awarded to miners per block decreasing over time, the remaining supply will only be unlocked in the year 2140. Bitcoin has a total fixed supply of 21 million units. 

Bitcoins in circulation

Bitcoins in circulation. Source: Blockchain

“Scarcity is about to kick in,” the crypto trading account known as Rhythm on Twitter commented on the event. 

The current Bitcoin supply means only a maximum of 17,850,000 people can own an entire coin. In reality, however, some of the existing mined supply is not in circulation and never will be, as users lose access to private keys. 

Estimates, such as those from blockchain research firm Chainalysis in 2017, have put the proportion of these lost coins at up to 4 million — or over 20% of the total supply. 

Bitcoin mining competition heats up

Looking forward, May 2020 will see the next reduction in miner payouts — from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC per block — an event which analysts consistently state will produce Bitcoin price increases. 

Among those subscribing to the theory is analyst Filb Filb, who last month forecast that BTC/USD would not dip below $6,500 again thanks to miner support. In general, in the run-up to the halving, miners will exert considerably more influence over the Bitcoin price, he said. 

Competition among miners is already fierce since Bitcoin began booming in 2019. As Cointelegraph noted, both network hash rate and difficulty continue to set new records as activity makes Bitcoin ever more secure for its users.


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There are only 3.15 million bitcoins left to mine

Scientist Mines Bitcoin on Computer Model Used by Apollo Missions

Scientist Mines Bitcoin on Computer Model Used by Apollo Missions

American scientist managed to mine Bitcoin on a 52-year-old Apollo Guidance Computer, one of the computers used by NASA to navigate moon landings

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An American computer scientist has managed to mine Bitcoin (BTC) on a 52-year-old Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC), British tech media outlet IT Pro reports on July 9.

Ken Shirriff, a specialist in reverse engineering, has reportedly worked out a code that enabled him to mine Bitcoin on one of the first integrated circuit-based computers that were used to navigate the first moon landings by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the 1960s.

As Shirriff wrote on his personal website, the machine on which he managed to integrate Bitcoin mining code is the world’s only remaining working AGC.

With performance comparable to the first generation of home computers from the late 1970s like the Apple II, the 15-bit AGC is apparently not the best hardware to mine crypto. The computer turned out to have a hash power of 10.3 seconds per hash, the engineer reported, explaining that it would take a “billion times the age of the universe to mine a block.”

In comparison, the Antminer S9, a popular ASIC bitcoin miner developed by Chinese mining giant Bitmain exclusively for mining crypto, advertises a hash rate of around 13 terahash, or 13 trillion hashes per second (TH/s).

On his website, Shirriff noted that he has also attempted bitcoin mining on a 55-year-old IBM 1401 punch-card mainframe.

On July 7, Cointelegraph reported that the Bitcoin hash rate reached a new all-time high of 65.19 TH/s. Since then, the growth has continued, breaking 74 TH/s on the same day. As a major metrics for miners, hash rate is the number of calculations that a given hardware or network can perform every second.

A higher hash rate indicates miners’ chances of finding the next block and receiving their reward, also making the network safer by increasing the necessary resources for deploying a 51% attack.


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American scientist managed to mine Bitcoin on a 52-year-old Apollo Guidance Computer, one of the computers used by NASA to navigate moon landings