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Riot Platforms & Ordinals Invest $291M

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It adds to a prior agreement in which Riot bought 33,280 miners from MicroBT. The term sheet was also updated, allowing Riot to buy another 265,000 miners in the future.

Bitcoin miner Riot Platforms is buying 66,560 Bitcoin mining rigs from manufacturer MicroBT, in one of its largest orders of hash-rate in the firm’s history — ahead of the Bitcoin halving scheduled for April 2024.

The additional purchase agreement totaled $290.5 million, Riot stated in a Dec. 4 statement — meaning it paid an average of $4,360 for each machine.

The right-to-purchase option was included in Riot’s initial agreement with MicroBT when it agreed to buy 33,280 machines from MicroBT in June. The two firms have now updated this agreement to provide Riot with options to purchase up to 265,000 additional miners from MicroBT on the same terms as the new order. 

Riot’s CEO Jason Les said the purchase order is “the largest order of hash rate” in the company’s history and hopes the updated agreement will enable Riot’s mining performance to strengthen further.

Over 48,000 or 72% of the new machines will be MicroBT’s latest model, the M66S, which has a hash rate of 250 terahashes per second (TH/s), while the remaining machines will consist of the M66 (14,770) and M56S++ (3,720) models, Riot noted.

Altogether, the 66,560 miners will add 18 exahashes per second (EH/s) to Riot’s operations.

Riot said the first 33,280 miners bought in June will start to deploy in the first quarter of 2024, while the newest stack of 66,560 miners will deploy in the second half of 2024.

The firm estimates its self-mining hash rate capacity to reach 38 EH/s once the 99,840 rigs are fully installed and operating, which the first expects in the second half of 2025.

The firm previously cited the upcoming Bitcoin halving event — scheduled for April 2024 — as one of the main reasons behind its recent buying spree.

Riot’s stock, tickered RIOT, increased nearly 9% on Dec. 4, according to Google Finance. It is now up over 345% so far in 2023.

Bitcoin miner CleanSpark produced 666 BTC in November, up 5.2% from the 633 BTC it produced in October and up 24% from November 2022.

The firm’s CEO Zach Bradford said the firm saw a “significant increase” in production from fees, which he said is likely due to rising interest in Ordinals.

“This trend suggests that fees might soon become a larger source of revenue as bitcoin’s use cases grow and adoption increases,” Bradford added.

Meanwhile, NASDAQ-listed TeraWulf said it mined 323 BTC in November, up 3% from its October production. The firm said much of this was driven by higher network transaction fees but didn’t mention the impact of Ordinals.

Hut 8 completed its merger with United States-based mining firm Bitcoin Corp on Nov. 30 to form Hut 8 Corp, which started trading on the NASDAQ and Toronto Stock Exchange (ticker: HUT) on Dec. 4.

However, the merged entity’s exchange debut seemingly stumbled, falling 11.75% and 7.44% on the day, according to Google Finance.


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Cryptocurrency Market Update: Bitcoin Slips Below $70,000 Amidst High Liquidation

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In a swift turn of events, Bitcoin (BTC), the pioneering cryptocurrency, dropped below the $70,000 threshold early on Wednesday following a wave of investor sell-offs. Just a day prior, Bitcoin had crossed the $71,000 mark, but market sentiment swiftly shifted, dragging other major altcoins—including Ethereum (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), Ripple (XRP), Solana (SOL), and Litecoin (LTC)—into the red zone.

According to CoinMarketCap data, the overall Market Fear & Greed Index stood at 75 (Greed) out of 100, indicating a mix of optimism and apprehension among traders. Notably, the Bittensor (TAO) token emerged as the top gainer with a remarkable 24-hour surge of over 7 percent, while dogwifhat (WIF) experienced the largest loss, plummeting nearly 16 percent.

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Update Bitcoin’s price tumbled to $69,089.01, marking a 24-hour dip of 3.05 percent, as reported by CoinMarketCap. On the Indian exchange WazirX, BTC was priced at Rs 60.93 lakh.

Other Major Cryptocurrencies Ethereum (ETH) saw a 24-hour loss of 4.81 percent, trading at $3,508.86, while Dogecoin (DOGE) registered a dip of 5.59 percent, currently priced at $0.1879. Litecoin (LTC) and Ripple (XRP) also experienced losses, with Solana (SOL) marking a 24-hour loss of 3.44 percent.

Top Gainers and Losers Bittensor (TAO) led the pack of gainers with a 7.30 percent surge, while dogwifhat (WIF) suffered the most significant loss, dropping by 15.58 percent.

Market Analysis and Expert Insights Experts weighed in on the market scenario, attributing Bitcoin’s downturn to heightened liquidations and cautious sentiment ahead of the upcoming US CPI data release. While Bitcoin’s immediate support rests at $67,700, resistance is expected at $70,400. Ethereum proponents face challenges amid hopes for an ETF approval, with the SEC providing limited updates on the matter.

Final Thoughts The cryptocurrency market remains highly dynamic, with prices fluctuating rapidly and investor sentiment playing a pivotal role. As the market navigates through volatility, it’s essential for investors to stay informed, exercise caution, and seek expert advice before making any investment decisions.

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Cryptocurrency: A Scapegoat for Foreign Policy Failures?

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Cryptocurrency has once again found itself at the center of a heated debate, this time regarding its alleged role in facilitating illicit activities and circumventing sanctions imposed by the United States. The Biden administration, in particular, has come under scrutiny for its handling of the issue, with some accusing it of using digital assets as a convenient scapegoat for broader foreign policy shortcomings.

In a recent hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo raised concerns about the misuse of cryptocurrencies by foreign adversaries such as Iran, Russia, North Korea, and militant groups like Hamas. Adeyemo’s remarks underscored a growing unease within the U.S. government regarding the potential national security implications of unregulated digital currencies.

However, voices from within the cryptocurrency industry and Congress have pushed back against the administration’s narrative. Faryar Shirzad, Chief Policy Officer at Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, pointed out that the prevalence of illicit activity in the crypto space is relatively low compared to traditional finance. Instead of demonizing cryptocurrencies, Shirzad argued, the focus should be on targeting bad actors operating offshore.

Senator Tim Scott, the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, echoed these sentiments, accusing the Biden administration of using digital assets as a distraction from its failure to effectively combat financial flows to sanctioned entities. Scott’s criticism reflects broader skepticism among some lawmakers about the government’s approach to regulating cryptocurrencies.

One area of potential agreement between the Biden administration and the cryptocurrency industry is the need for clearer regulations governing stablecoins, a type of digital asset pegged to a fiat currency like the U.S. dollar. Both sides recognize the importance of addressing the potential risks associated with stablecoin issuance and usage, particularly in the context of national security and financial stability.

The debate over stablecoins has intensified following reports of their alleged role in facilitating illicit transactions, including those linked to Russia’s war effort in Ukraine. The Treasury Department has called for increased oversight of stablecoin issuers and transactions, while also advocating for legislation that would subject them to stricter regulatory standards.

Despite the contentious nature of the discussion, there are signs of bipartisan cooperation on certain aspects of cryptocurrency regulation. A bipartisan bill addressing stablecoin regulation passed the House Financial Services Committee last year, signaling a potential path forward for legislative action in this area.

As the debate over cryptocurrency regulation continues to unfold, it is clear that finding the right balance between innovation and security will be paramount. While concerns about illicit activity and national security must be addressed, policymakers must also recognize the potential benefits of cryptocurrencies in fostering financial inclusion and technological advancement.

Ultimately, the resolution of these issues will require thoughtful collaboration between government officials, industry stakeholders, and lawmakers to develop a regulatory framework that promotes innovation while safeguarding against misuse. Only through constructive dialogue and cooperation can we ensure that cryptocurrencies fulfill their potential as a force for positive change in the global economy.

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Bitcoin Resurgence: Why Wall Street Is Embracing the Crypto Revolution

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Andrew Pratt of Wiser Wealth Management in Marietta, Ga., finds little resistance as he proposes Bitcoin investments to his firm’s committee. With Bitcoin surging 140% in the past year and backed by giants like BlackRock, skepticism has waned. Pratt sees the potential to allocate a modest 1% of client portfolios to Bitcoin, acknowledging the limited downside risk compared to potential gains.

The debate over Bitcoin’s intrinsic value seems to have lost its relevance amidst its soaring market performance. Once dismissed, Bitcoin now boasts a market value of $1.3 trillion, driving the total crypto market to $2.5 trillion. Wall Street, once wary, now views cryptocurrency as an opportunity for profit rather than a speculative venture.

Despite lingering doubts about Bitcoin’s utility beyond speculation, Wall Street executives are increasingly supportive. BlackRock’s CEO, Larry Fink, notably reversed his stance, endorsing Bitcoin’s long-term prospects and championing the iShares Bitcoin Trust, now one of the largest Bitcoin ETFs with nearly $18 billion in assets.

While skepticism persists about Bitcoin’s status as a real asset or currency, its growing acceptance on Wall Street underscores the evolving landscape of finance. As institutions embrace cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin’s journey from pariah to portfolio asset highlights the transformative power of digital assets in reshaping traditional investment strategies.

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