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Bitcoin free fall amid China crackdown

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Bitcoin is in a free fall – tumbling to a two-week low amid an intensifying cryptocurrency crackdown in China.

China’s crackdown on mining has been an ongoing story since around 2013. But this time might be different.

Bitcoin fell to a two-week low amid an intensifying cryptocurrency crackdown in China.

The largest virtual currency fell 10% to $32,350 as of 8:50 a.m. in New York. Ether declined 13% to $1,950.

China announced on Monday that it summoned officials from its biggest banks to a meeting to reiterate a ban on providing cryptocurrency services. It’s the latest sign that China plan to do whatever it takes to close any loopholes left in crypto trading.

According to bitcoin aficionado Stephan Livera this latest crackdown, on one of the main regions for bitcoin mining, is the real deal.

This time seems like a more serious time. The largest mining pool operators have come out…so for example the leader of F2Pool (has said) from our numbers we’re seeing a very large drop in the amount of hash rate that’s coming to our pool out of China.” 

STEPHAN LIVERA, MINISTRY OF NODES

Bitcoin has many complex layers, it’s important to remember we’re talking specifically about bitcoin mining.

Mining is simply the process that sees new bitcoins entered into circulation. It’s also a critical component of the maintenance and development of the blockchain ledger. Mining is performed using very sophisticated computers that solve extremely complex computational math problems.

Chinese authorities are clamping down on the local mining operations that accounted for over 65% of Bitcoin’s global hash rate in 2020.

You might want to Google ‘bitcoin hash rate’, essentially it’s how often computers verify bitcoin transactions to secure the network.

The total hash rate has hit a new six-month low as China continues its clampdown on operations within the country.

What does this change mean for the future of bitcoin mining?

Livera says “it might be a turning point, an actual change in the industry. In terms of the composition in terms of where does the mining hash-rate come from. Because bitcoin is a decentralised project, what we ideally want to see is the hash-rate distributed around the world.”

So where to next?

Miners in China say their firms will pack up shop and move to North America with some predicting that China will lose crypto computing power to foreign markets.

Livera predicts short-term pain for long-term gain.

“Yes there is a short-term drop in the hash rate in the here and now. It’s unfortunately bad for Chinese miners. But it is good for anybody outside of China who is able to set up a mining operation, and be more profitable on the margin.”

A sell-off across the crypto markets took hold over the weekend. The world’s two dominant tokens bitcoin and ethereum both declined following China’s continuing crackdown particularly on the southwest province of Sichuan.

How these changes in bitcoin mining affect the long term price is a wait and see.

Business

Big tech stocks tumble amid market uncertainty

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Big tech companies are struggling in the markets this quarter as interest rates rise to battle inflation

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has devalued tech stocks causing further supply chain disruptions and sending the broad S&P 500 index down about 5 per cent.

Rising interest rates triggered more severe plummets with the S&P dropping another 16 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite index by 22 per cent.

Tesla’s stock took a huge hit sinking to nearly 38 per cent its largest decline since 2010.

Amazon saw similar results falling by 35 per cent the most in over 20 years.

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Business

Google to pay millions to app developers

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App developers are accusing Google of tempting users into making in-app purchases.

The lawsuit relates to money that was made by app creators for Android smartphones.

The lawsuit was filed in a San Francisco court, where the 48,000 app developers are believed to have been affected.

“Following our win against Apple for similar conduct, we think this pair of settlements sends a strong message to big tech: the law is watching, and even the most powerful companies in the world are accountable when they stifle competition.”

Steve Berman, ATTORNEY FOR the Android developers.

Google says the settlement’s funds will support developers who have made less than USD $2 million in revenue between 2016 and 2021.

“A vast majority of U.S. developers who earned revenue through Google Play will be eligible to receive money from this fund, if they choose,” the company says.

Google says it will charge developers a 15 per cent commission on their first million in revenue.

The court is yet to approve the proposed settlement.

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Business

Tesla deliveries expected to fall – here’s why

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Tesla deliveries are expected to drop significantly in the second quarter, as prolonged Covid lockdowns in China and supply chain issues take their toll

The company is also struggling to ramp up its new factories, with Tesla boss Elon Musk seemingly distracted by his very public pursuit of Twitter.

Tesla has been plagued by production glitches in China and slow output growth at new factories in both Texas and Berlin.

Experts predict deliveries will slump to just over 295,000 vehicles for the second quarter.

This would be down from the company’s record of 310,000 in the preceding quarter, marking Tesla’s first quarter-on-quarter decline since 2020.

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