Pro-Russian groups raised only 4% of crypto donations sent to Ukraine

Pro-Russian groups raised only 4% of crypto donations sent to Ukraine

“While significant, the $2.2M worth of crypto donated to pro-Russian orgs still pales in comparison to the tens of millions in crypto donated to Ukraine,” said Chainalysis.

According to data from crypto analytics firm Chainalysis, users have sent more than $2 million in crypto to 54 pro-Russian groups since Feb. 24, a fraction of that received by many wallets controlled by the Ukrainian government.

In a Friday blog post, Chainalysis said it had tracked funds sent to social media accounts controlled by pro-Russian groups in Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), USDT-TRX, and Dogecoin (DOGE) starting with the country’s invasion of Ukraine in February. According to Chainalysis’ data, users sent roughly $2.2 million to the pro-Russian groups, with more than $1 million going to a single unnamed account.

While there may be other groups outside of Chainalysis’ investigation of those supporting pro-Russian forces, the available data suggested that the $2.2 million in donations amounted to roughly 4% of crypto sent in support of Ukraine. Wallet addresses connected to Aid for Ukraine, a platform backed by the government’s Ministry of Digital Transformation, showed the organization had received more than $45 million in crypto since launching in March. Crypto exchange Binance, which facilitates donations through its Ukraine Emergency Relief Fund, reported more than $10 million received since February.

Both Russia and Ukraine have taken heavy losses and casualties since the invasion began. Aid for Ukraine reported that crypto sent to its wallets would be used to support the country’s military as well as humanitarian projects; meanwhile, Chainalysis reported the $2.2 million sent to pro-Russian groups could be used primarily for military equipment and to finance propaganda sites.

“While significant, the $2.2M worth of crypto donated to pro-Russian orgs still pales in comparison to the tens of millions in crypto donated to Ukraine,” said Chainalysis. 

The donations to Ukraine have seemingly been in accordance with international laws. However, Chainalysis reported that roughly half of the crypto sent to the pro-Russian groups would be used to support military forces in the Donetsk and Luhansk territories of Ukraine’s Donbas region — areas specifically sanctioned by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, at United States Department of the Treasury.

In addition, Chainalysis reported that Russian national Alexander Zhuchkovsky, also listed as a Specially Designated National on OFAC’s sanctions, has used social media channels to promote the Terricon Project. The group reportedly supported Russian efforts in the war against Ukraine through crypto donations for the military in the Donbas region and the fraudulent sale of nonfungible token artwork.

Related: NFT sales will fund the restoration of physical monuments in Ukraine

Following the invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent economic restrictions imposed on Russia by the United States, many global lawmakers targeted crypto as a way for Russian individuals and businesses to potentially evade sanctions. Amid these measures, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill into law prohibiting digital financial assets as payments in July.

KuCoin crypto exchange debuts USDT-dominated NFT ETF

KuCoin crypto exchange debuts USDT-dominated NFT ETF

KuCoin's new investment product aims to increase the liquidity of and access to leading nonfungible token collections such as BAYC.

Seychelles-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin has launched an exchange-traded fund (ETF) tied to major nonfungible token (NFT) assets like Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC).

KuCoin’s NFT ETF Trading Zone went live on Friday, the firm announced. The new investment product is launched in collaboration with NFT infrastructure provider Fracton Protocol.

The KuCoin NFT ETF is a Tether (USDT)-dominated product that marks particular underlying NFT assets like Bored Ape Yacht Club. BAYC is one of five NFT ETFs that KuCoin is launching. Trading under the symbol hiBAYC, the asset is an ERC-20 token representing 1/1,000,000 ownership of the target BAYC in the BAYC meta-swap of Fracton Protocol.

The ETF aims to increase liquidity as it enables exposure to NFTs via the USDT stablecoin instead of Ether (ETH). It also eliminates the risks and concerns around managing NFT infrastructure elements like wallets, smart contracts and marketplaces like OpenSea.

In addition to hiBAYC, the investment covers CryptoPunks (hiPUNKS), Koda NFTs (hiKODA), hiSAND33 and hiENS4. Starting with hiBAYC on Friday, the investment product is scheduled to list hiPUNKS on Aug. 4. Listings for hiKODA, hiSAND33 and hiENS4 will be announced at a later date, the exchange said.

The ETF marks an important milestone in KuCoin’s efforts to accelerate the establishment of the NFT market by lowering the investment threshold of leading digital collectibles. 

The exchange has been focused on developing the NFT sector, launching the interactive NFT launch platform Wonderland in April 2022. KuCoin also rolled out Windvane, another NFT marketplace providing an NFT launchpad, mint, trade, management and other services.

“KuCoin will continue to offer user-friendly products for investors, allowing them to easily participate in NFT investments,” KuCoin CEO Johnny Lyu said. According to Lyu, KuCoin is the first centralized crypto exchange to support NFT ETFs that allow users to invest and trade top NFTs directly with USDT.

Related: US federal agency issues legal advisory on NFT investments

KuCoin is not the first to explore NFT ETFs, though. In December 2021, registered investment adviser and fintech firm Defiance launched the world’s first NFT-focused ETF on New York Stock Exchange Arca. The ETF tracks an index of companies that are operating or plan to operate in the NFT and Metaverse sectors.

Ethereum will outpace Visa with zkEVM Rollups, says Polygon co-founder

Ethereum will outpace Visa with zkEVM Rollups, says Polygon co-founder

A new scaling solution, zkEVM Rollups, could allow Ethereum to overcome Visa in terms of transaction throughput, says Polygon co-founder Mihailo Bjelic.

zkEVM Rollups, a new scaling solution for Ethereum, will allow the smart contract protocol to outpace Visa in terms of transaction throughput, said Polygon co-founder Mihailo Bjelic in a recent interview with Cointelegraph. 

Polygon recently claimed to be the first to implement a zkEVM scaling solution, which aims at reducing Ethereum’s transaction costs and improving its throughput. This layer-2 protocol can bundle together several transactions and then relay them to the Ethereum network as a single transaction.

The solution, according to Bjelic, represents the Holy Grail of Web3 as it offers security, scalability and full compatibility with Ethereum, which means developers won’t have to learn a new programing language to work with it.

 "When you launch a scaling solution, you ideally want to preserve that developer experience. Otherwise, there will be a lot of friction," explained Bjelic. 

According to Sandeep Nailwal, Polygon's other co-founder, this solution will slice Ethereum fees by 90% and increase transaction throughput to 40–50 transactions per second.

As Bjelic pointed out, if further upgraded, ZkEVM Rollups could one day handle thousands of transactions per second, thus outpacing mainstream payment systems like Visa.

Watch the full interview on our YouTube channel and don’t forget to subscribe!

Bitcoin bear market over, metric hints as BTC exchange balances hit 4-year low

Bitcoin bear market over, metric hints as BTC exchange balances hit 4-year low

Coins stationary for at least a year are suggesting that accumulation is done — something which traditionally accompanies the end of bear markets.

Bitcoin (BTC) may already be beginning its new macro uptrend if historical "hodl" habits repeat.

That was the conclusion from research into the latest data covering the amount of the BTC supply dormant for one year or more as of July 2022.

Hodled BTC hints that the bear market is over

According to independent analyst Miles Johal, who uploaded the findings to social media on July 29, a “rounded top” formation in "hodled" BTC is in the process of completing.

Once it does, the price should react — just like on multiple occasions before.

The clue lies in Bitcoin’s HODL Waves metric, which breaks down the supply according to when each Bitcoin last moved. One year ago or more — the one-year HODL Wave — currently reflects the majority of the supply.

Johal’s accompanying chart shows that the greater the proportion of the overall supply stationary for at least a year, the closer BTC/USD is to a macro bottom.

More importantly, however, a slowing of the one-year HODL Wave — indicating accumulation is calming down — followed by the start of a reversal has always come at the start of a new long-term BTC price uptrend.

This “rounded top” chart phenomenon is thus being keenly eyed as a potential source of hope with Bitcoin already making up lost ground.

In comments, Johal argued that few had been paying attention to HODL Waves.

Bitcoin 1-year+ HODL Wave annotated chart. Source: Miles Johal/ Twitter

Exchange balances lowest since 2018

Separate data from on-chain analytics firm Glassnode, meanwhile, highlighted the ongoing trend of Bitcoin leaving exchanges.

Related: Bitcoin bull run ‘getting interesting’ as BTC price hits 6-week high

BTC in exchange wallets now accounts for just 12.6% of the overall supply, down 4.6% of the overall supply since the March 2020 crash, staff noted.

In BTC terms, the figure is 2.4 million BTC now compared to 3.15 million BTC in March 2020. The number is the lowest since July 2018.

BTC balance on exchanges chart. Source: Glassnode

Earlier this month, Cointelegraph reported on the accelerating trend of removing coins from exchanges.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Charles Schwab's asset management arm launches crypto-linked ETF

Charles Schwab's asset management arm launches crypto-linked ETF

Schwab said the investment vehicle will offer exposure to firms involved in mining and staking as well as those developing blockchain-based apps or distributed ledger technology.

Schwab Asset Management, the asset management arm of financial giant Charles Schwab, has launched an exchange-traded fund (ETF) with exposure to firms linked to cryptocurrencies. 

In a Friday announcement, Schwab said its Crypto Thematic ETF was expected to be available for trading on the New York Stock Exchange’s Arca under the ticker STCE on Aug. 4. The fund tracks Schwab’s Crypto Thematic Index, providing an investment vehicle with exposure to companies “that may benefit from the development or utilization of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.”

Likely because the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, has not given the green light to ETFs providing direct exposure to Bitcoin (BTC), the Schwab fund will indirectly invest in crypto through companies. Schwab said the firms included those involved in mining and staking as well as those developing applications on the blockchain or distributed ledger technology.

“For investors who are interested in cryptocurrency exposures, there is a whole ecosystem to consider as more companies seek to derive revenue from crypto directly and indirectly,” said David Botset, Schwab Asset Management’s managing director and head of equity product management and innovation.

The anticipated launch of the crypto-linked ETF followed the firm announcing a Crypto Economy ETF in March. According to Schwab, the exposure to companies dealing in cryptocurrencies between the two funds would be similar — while the former would track the firm’s Crypto Thematic Index, the latter would invest “at least 80% of its net assets” for companies listed on its Crypto Economy Index.

Related: Grayscale reports 99% of SEC comment letters support spot Bitcoin ETF

The SEC has not approved spot Bitcoin ETFs — those directly investing in the cryptocurrency — in the United States. However, some asset management firms in the U.S. have launched ETFs offering indirect exposure to crypto through futures contracts, and Canadian regulators first approved a Bitcoin spot ETF from Purpose Investments in February 2021.

Crypto contagion deters investors in near term, but fundamentals stay strong

Crypto contagion deters investors in near term, but fundamentals stay strong

Many experts believe that the recent slew of insolvencies may be good for the market in the long run, weeding out any weak players from the industry.

The past six-odd months have been nothing short of a financial soap opera for the cryptocurrency market, with more drama seemingly unfolding every other day. To this point, since the start of May, a growing number of major crypto entities have been tumbling like dominoes, with the trend likely to continue in the near term.

The contagion, for the lack of a better word, was sparked by the collapse of the Terra ecosystem back in May, wherein the project’s associated digital currencies became worthless almost overnight. Following the event, crypto lending platform Celsius faced bankruptcy. Then Zipmex, a Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange, froze all customer withdrawals, a move that was mirrored by crypto financial service provider Babel Finance late last month.

It is worth noting that since December 2021, nearly $2 trillion has been wiped out from the digital asset industry. And, while markets across the board — including equities and commodities — have been severely affected by the prevailing macro-economic climate, the above-stated slew of collapses have definitely had a role to play in the ongoing crypto drain. To this point, Ben Caselin, head of research and strategy for crypto exchange AAX, told Cointelegraph:

“The contagion has played a big part in the recent downturn, but we cannot ignore the wider market conditions and the change in fiscal policy as important factors playing into price. The situation concerning Celsius, Three Arrows Capital but also Terra is expressive of an over-leveraged system unable to withstand severe market stress. This should in the least serve as a wake-up call for the industry.”

He went on to add that increasing mass adoption of digital currencies in the future should be done by expanding the scope of crypto beyond its prevailing “sound money narrative.” Caselin highlighted that the market as a whole now needs to take into account and implement financial practices that are sound and sustainable in the long run.

What do the recent insolvencies mean for the industry?

Felix Xu, CEO of decentralized finance (DeFi) project Bella Protocol and co-founder of ZX Squared Capital, told Cointelegraph that the past month has been a “Lehman moment” of sorts for the crypto market. For the first time in history, this industry has witnessed the insolvency of major asset managers such as Celsius, Voyager and Babel Finance within a matter of months. 

According to his personal research data, while ailing projects like Voyager and Genesis collapsed due to the fact that they had the most exposure to Three Arrows Capital (3AC), the collapse of 3AC, Celsius and Babel Finance emanated due to rogue management practices associated with the assets of their users. Xu added:

“I believe the first wave of forced liquidation and panic selling is now over. As asset managers and funds file for bankruptcies, their crypto collaterals will take a long time to be liquidated. On the other hand, DeFi lending platforms such as MakerDAO, Aave and Compound Finance performed well during this downturn, as they are over-collateralized with strict liquidation rules written into their smart contracts.”

Going forward, he believes that the crypto market is likely to move in correlation with other asset classes including equities, with the industry potentially taking some time to rebuild its lost investor confidence. That said, in Xu’s opinion, what happened last month with the crypto market is nothing new when it comes to the traditional finance space. “We’ve seen it in the 2008 financial crisis and the 1997 Asian financial crisis,” he pointed out.

Recent: Metaverse visionary Neal Stephenson is building a blockchain to uplift creators

Hatu Sheikh, co-founder of DAO Maker — a growth technologies provider for nascent and growing crypto startups — told Cointelegraph that the aftermath of this contagion has been strongly negative but not for the reason many people would imagine:

“A key loss here is that many of the centralized finance platforms that went bankrupt due to the contagion were active onramps to the industry. Their unsustainable and often deceptive means of attracting new industry participants brought millions of people to trickle deep into nonfungible tokens and DeFi.”

In Sheikh’s view, while DeFi onboarding may come to a halt or at least slow down in the near term, many venture capital firms operating within his space have already raised billions and are thus capable of continuing to inject funds into many upcoming startups. “We’ll have a new roster of companies that’ll replace the lost ones’ role of being an on-ramp to the industry,” he said.

Undisputed damaged to the market’s reputation 

Misha Lederman, director of communications for decentralized peer-to-peer and self-custody crypto wallet Klever, told Cointelegraph that the recent crash has definitely damaged the reputation of the industry but believes that the aforementioned insolvencies have helped cleanse the industry of bad players, adding:

“This presents a huge opportunity for blockchain platforms and crypto communities with a responsibility-driven approach to innovation, in which user funds are protected at all costs. As an industry, we have to be better than the fiat debt system we aim to replace.”

A similar opinion is shared by Shyla Bashyr, public relations and communications lead for UpLift DAO — a permissionless and decentralized platform for token sales and swaps — who told Cointelegraph that the industry has been hit hard and is currently shrouded with more negativity than ever before. 

However, she believes such scenarios are sometimes needed since they present new opportunities to build transparent products that provide additional insurance, hedging and security for peoples’ investments.

Sheikh pointed out that while there’s rampant criticism that DeFi apps have lost billions, it is worth noting that the losses accumulated by CeFi lenders are notably higher:

“The fact remains that the notable blue chips of DeFi have remained mostly unscathed, yet the losses in CeFi are from industry leaders. However, as crypto CeFi is a stepping stone in people’s journey to DeFi, the industry’s adoption will be steeply hurt in the short term.”

He concluded that the “CeFi contagion” could eventually prove to be a powerful catalyst for the growth of its decentralized counterpart as well as a validation of crypto’s core use case, such as being self-sovereign wealth. 

The future may not be all bad

When asked about what lies ahead for the crypto market, Narek Gevorgyan, CEO of CoinStats, told Cointelegraph that despite the prevailing conditions, the market has already started showing promising signs of recovery, stating that institutional investors are back on the playing field and exchange inflows are on the rise. 

In this regard, banking titan Citigroup recently released a report stating that the market slide is now in recession, with researchers noting that the “acute deleveraging phase” that was recently in play has ended, especially given that a vast majority of large brokers and market makers in within the industry have come forth and disclosed their exposures.

Not only that, but the study also shows that stablecoin outflows have been stemmed while outflows from crypto exchange-traded funds have also stabilized.

Gevorgyan believes that the trust investors had built up over the last couple of years has been somewhat dissolved due to recent events. Nevertheless, the blockchain community is still better funded than at any point in its short history, with development most likely to continue. He then went on to add:

“The Terra implosion triggered a meltdown that brought several CeDeFi platforms down with it. The community has become more aware of the shortcomings of the CeDeFi model. Overall, the string of insolvencies has provided the crypto market with a chance to start afresh, as DeFi2 and Web3 are continuing to become more significant. Maybe the Metaverse will take center stage in this new configuration.”

CeFi vs. DeFi

Sheikh believes that the best of CeFi has lost more than the worst of DeFi, highlighting that Bitcoin (BTC) has continued to remain one of the most liquid assets in the world. In his view, the next wave of retail adopters will have glaring references to the problem of skipping self-custody, thus paving the path for greater focus on decentralized apps, especially as the market continues to mature.

On the other hand, Bashyr sees a lot of protected projects such as insurance protocols and hedged products flourishing from here on out. In her opinion, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) will become more prominent and functional, providing real governance and allowing users to participate in instrumental decisions by voting on proposals that make a difference.

Recent: Decentralized storage providers power the Web3 economy, but adoption still underway

Lastly, in Xu’s opinion, the insolvencies have resulted in millions of users calling for regulations like those governing traditional finance within the global crypto economy so as to increase transparency on investment of user assets. Xu added that since DeFi benefits from no single point of control while offering full transparency and autonomous rules, it will eventually take over the crypto asset management business.

Therefore, as we head into a future plagued by economic uncertainty, it will be interesting to see how the future of the crypto market plays out. This is because more and more people are continuing to look for ways to preserve their wealth — thanks, in large part, to the recession fears that are looming large on the horizon — and therefore consider crypto to be their way out of the madness.

Top 5 cryptocurrencies to watch this week: BTC, BNB, UNI, FIL, THETA

Top 5 cryptocurrencies to watch this week: BTC, BNB, UNI, FIL, THETA

Consolidation from BTC has opened the door for BNB, UNI, FIL and THETA to run higher.

Bitcoin (BTC) has made a strong comeback in the month of July and is on track for its best monthly gains since October 2021. The sharp recovery in Bitcoin and several altcoins pushed the Crypto Fear and Greed Index to 42/100 on July 30, its highest level since April 6.

Investors seem to be making the most of the depressed levels in Bitcoin. Data from on-chain analytics firm Glassnode shows that Bitcoin in exchange wallets has dropped to 2.4 million Bitcoin in July, down from the March 2020 levels of 3.15 million Bitcoin. This has sent the metric to its lowest level since July 2018.

Crypto market data daily view. Source: Coin360

Bloomberg Intelligence senior commodity strategist Mike McGlone highlighted that the United States Federal Reserve’s indication to consider rate hikes on a “meeting by meeting basis” may lay the groundwork for Bitcoin to outperform most assets. He said that Bitcoin’s “risk vs. reward tilted favorably for one of the greatest bull markets in history."

Could Bitcoin extend its rally in the short term and could that trigger buying in select altcoins? Let’s study the charts of the top-5 cryptocurrencies that may outperform in the near term.


Attempts by the bulls to sustain the price above $24,276 have failed in the past two days, indicating that the bears are defending the level with vigor. However, a minor positive is that the bulls have not ceded ground to the bears.

BTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

This indicates that the bulls are not booking profits in a hurry as they expect a break above the overhead resistance. If the price breaks and closes above $24,276, the BTC/USDT pair could pick up momentum and rally toward $28,171. This level may act as a resistance but if bulls overcome the barrier, the next stop could be $32,000.

The upsloping 20-day exponential moving average ($22,480) and the relative strength index (RSI) in the positive territory indicate that bulls have the upper hand.

To invalidate this bullish view in the short term, the bears will have to sink the price below the 20-day EMA. That could clear the path for a possible drop to the 50-day simple moving average ($21,386) and then to the support line. A break below this level will suggest that bears are back in command.

BTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows that bulls pushed the price above the overhead resistance of $24,276 but could not build upon the breakout. The bears pulled the price back below the level but are struggling to sink the pair below the 20-EMA. This indicates that bulls are buying on dips.

If the price rebounds off the current level, the bulls will have another shot at the overhead zone between $24,276 and $24,668. If this zone is scaled, the bullish momentum could pick up further. Conversely, if bears sink the price below the 20-EMA, the pair could drop to the 50-SMA.


Binance Coin (BNB) broke above the downtrend line on July 28, indicating a potential trend change. The up-move is facing resistance near the psychological level of $300 but a positive sign is that the buyers have not given up much ground. This suggests that the bulls are not hurrying to book profits.

BNB/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The upsloping 20-day EMA ($263) and the RSI in the positive territory indicate that the path of least resistance is to the upside. If buyers drive the price above $300, the BNB/USDT pair could resume its uptrend toward the overhead resistance at $350.

Alternatively, if the price turns down and breaks below $285, the pair could drop to the downtrend line. The 20-day EMA is placed close to this level, hence it becomes an important support to keep an eye on. If bears sink the price below the 20-day EMA, the pair could decline to the 50-day SMA ($239).

BNB/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The pair turned down from the overhead resistance at $300 but the bulls are attempting to defend the 20-EMA. This indicates buying on dips. The bulls may again attempt to push the price above $300. If they manage to do that, the uptrend could resume. The pair could rise to $311 and then to $322.

This positive view could invalidate in the short term if the price turns down and breaks below the 20-EMA. If that happens, the pair could slide to the 50-SMA. The buyers are expected to defend this level aggressively because a break and close below it could open the doors for a decline to $239.


Uniswap (UNI) rebounded off the breakout level of $6.08 on July 26, indicating strong buying on dips. The up-move reached near the psychological resistance at $10 on July 28 where the bears are mounting a strong defense.

UNI/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The upsloping moving averages and the RSI in the positive territory indicate advantage to buyers. If the price rebounds off $8.11, it will suggest that buyers are trying to flip this level into support.

A strong rebound off $8.11 could open the doors for a retest at $10. The bulls will have to clear this overhead hurdle to indicate the start of the next leg of the up-move to $12.

Conversely, if the price turns down and breaks below $8.11, the UNI/USDT pair could drop to the 20-day EMA ($7.48). A break and close below this level will suggest that the bullish momentum has weakened.

UNI/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows that the bulls are attempting to defend the 20-EMA. If the price turns up from the current level and rises above $9.18, the pair could challenge the overhead resistance zone between $9.83 and $10.

Alternatively, if the price breaks below the 20-EMA, it will suggest that supply exceeds demand. The pair could then drop to the zone between $8.11 and the 50-SMA. This is an important zone for the bulls to defend because if they fail to do that, the short-term momentum could tilt in favor of the bears.

Related: Hong Kong university to inaugurate mixed reality classroom in Metaverse


After staying in a tight range for several days, Filecoin (FIL) broke out sharply on July 30, signaling a potential trend change. The RSI has risen into the overbought territory which is another sign that the downtrend may be ending.

FIL/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The up-move may face resistance at the overhead resistance at $9.50 but if bulls do not give much ground from this level, the likelihood of a breakout increases. If that happens, the FIL/USDT pair could start its northward march toward $16, which may again act as a strong resistance.

If the price turns down from the current level and breaks back below $6.55, it will suggest that bears are active at higher levels. The pair may thereafter oscillate in a large range between $5 and $9.50 for a few days.

FIL/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The pair picked up momentum after breaking above $6.40. The bears tried to stall the up-move at $8.89 but the bulls had other plans. They aggressively bought the dip and have pushed the price near the stiff overhead resistance at $9.50.

If the price turns down from the current level, the bulls will attempt to arrest the pullback at the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level of $8.04. A strong bounce off this level will increase the possibility of a break above $9.50. If that happens, the pair could rally to $10.82. This bullish view could invalidate below $7.70.


Theta Network (THETA) has been consolidating between $1 and $1.55 for the past several days. The bulls tried to push the price above the overhead resistance on July 30 but the bears held their ground.

THETA/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If the price rebounds off the moving averages, the bulls will make another attempt to clear the overhead hurdle at $1.55. If they succeed, the THETA/USDT pair could start a new uptrend. The rally could first reach the pattern target of $2.10 and if this level is crossed, the rally may extend to $2.60.

Contrary to this assumption, if the price breaks below the moving averages, the bears will try to pull the pair to $1. Such a move could indicate that the range-bound action may continue for a few more days.

THETA/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows that the pair turned down from $1.50 and is struggling to rebound off the 20-EMA. This indicates that traders may be booking profits on every minor rise.

If the price sustains below the 20-EMA, the pair could drop to the 50-SMA. This is an important level for the bulls to defend because a break below it could sink the pair to $1.15.

Alternatively, if the price rebounds off the moving averages with strength, it will suggest that lower levels are attracting buyers. If bulls push the price above $1.42, a retest of the $1.50 to $1.55 resistance zone is possible.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Ethereum Merge: How will the PoS transition impact the ETH ecosystem?

Ethereum Merge: How will the PoS transition impact the ETH ecosystem?

Ethereum is all set to transition to PoS by the third week of September, but most of the promised scalability features will only be available after 2023.

The Ethereum blockchain is on the verge of one of the most crucial technical updates since its inception, moving from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS), also called Ethereum 2.0, or Eth2. 

Ethereum devs gave Sept. 19 as the perpetual date for the merger of the current PoW chain to the PoS chain. The Merge is expected to be deployed on the Goerli testnet in the second week of August. After the successful integration of the Goerli testnet, the blockchain will initiate the Bellatrix update in early August and roll out the Merge two weeks later.

The discussion around the transition began with a focus on scalability, so Ethereum developers proposed a three-phase transformation process. The transition itself is nearly two years in the making, starting on Dec. 1, 2020, with the launch of Beacon Chain, initiating Phase 0 of the three-phase process.

The Beacon Chain began the shift to PoS, enabling users to stake their Ether (ETH) and become validators. However, Phase 0 did not affect the main Ethereum blockchain: The Beacon Chain exists alongside Ethereum’s mainnet. However, both the Beacon chain and mainnet will eventually be linked with the Merge.

Phase 1 was meant to launch in mid-2021 but was delayed to early 2022, with developers citing unfinished work and code auditing as major reasons. From Phase 1 onward, Eth2 will house Ethereum’s entire history of transactions and support smart contracts on the PoS network. Stakers and validators will officially step into action, as Eth2 will take mining out of the network.

Phase 2, the final phase of the transition, will see the introduction of Ethereum WebAssembly, or eWASM, over the current Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). WebAssembly was created by the World Wide Web Consortium and is designed to make Ethereum significantly more efficient than it currently stands. Ethereum WebAssembly is a proposed deterministic subset of WebAssembly for the Ethereum smart contract execution layer. The eWASM was specifically designed to replace the EVM, which would see implementation in Phase 2.

Marius Ciubotariu, co-founder of Hubble Protocol — a decentralized finance (DeFi) lending platform — told Cointelegraph that he is not really worried about the delays, as any new technology with such vast implications on the ecosystem would take time:

“PoS is not live yet; however, I do not see this as a concern. I understand the Merge has taken longer than some would expect. But, with new technology and the opportunity for critical issues, a non-rushed approach is the best one. As this Merge goes live, I’m confident more protocols will show up. We’ll continue innovation within the Ethereum community; something I have and continue to enjoy seeing/experiencing.”

Merge’s impact on the Ethereum ecosystem

The upcoming Merge will see the current PoW mainnet merge with the Beacon Chain, transferring the whole Ethereum history to the new chain. A complete change of consensus for an ecosystem as large as Ethereum will have a dramatic impact from both a technical and political perspective.

Barney Chambers, co-founder and co-lead developer at cross-chain DeFi platform Umbria Network, told Cointelegraph that the Merge will be challenging:

“The accumulation of Ethereum will centralize in the hands of validators who already hold the majority of the tokens. The Ethereum Foundation claims that the merge will not impact the price of Ethereum, but the Merge will cause a fundamental shift in the way that new tokens are distributed and this will have a dramatic effect on the price of both Ethereum and the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem.”

The proof-of-work mining difficulty level will skyrocket due to the difficulty bomb, making it unable to conduct mining at economically viable scales. The difficulty bomb is a code ingrained in the Ethereum protocol since 2015. It is set to execute every time a specific number of blocks have been mined and added to the blockchain. It makes the mining activity on the existing proof-of-work blockchain significantly harder.

Recent: Metaverse visionary Neal Stephenson is building a blockchain to uplift creators

As a result, Ethereum’s proof-of-work chain would be compelled to stop generating blocks, as the difficulty bombs would make mining a block nearly impossible. This situation is described by its developers as an “Ice Age.” The bomb’s simple goal is to encourage miners to merge completely, which will increase the adoption of the proof-of-stake chain.

The transition to a new PoS network became necessary for Ethereum, given its expanding ecosystem leading to several network congestion and very high gas fees. Over the past year, however, the narrative has also shifted toward PoS being more environment-friendly than PoW. While some laud Eth2 as paving the way for a more environmentally friendly protocol, Patricia Trompeter, CEO of carbon-neutral crypto mining company Sphere3D, has other thoughts. Trompeter told Cointelegraph:

“PoS only leads to unnecessary spending and misallocated energy resources, as ‘Band-Aid solutions,’ and marketing schemes like the ‘Change The Code’ campaign don’t offer any solutions to a full industry shift toward renewable resources.” 

Patricia believes PoS rather dismantles crypto’s decentralized infrastructure, “pushing power toward the wealthiest holders with unimpeachable control over users.”

Post-Merge, ETH issuance will drop to about 0.6 million per year, with a similar 2.7 million ETH burned, meaning a net 2.1 million ETH burned per year, or -7% in yearly ETH supply, making it a deflationary asset. ETH miners will be out of business officially once the difficulty bomb hits, being forced to mine other PoW coins with the same hashing algorithm for their existing equipment or fully exit the market.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has predicted that the transition would not only help scale the network but also bring down the energy consumption by 95%. The transaction processing speed is expected to get on par with centralized payment processors. However, none of these features would arrive with the Merge on Sept. 19.

The major scalability solution called sharding that allows for parallel transaction processing will only arrive after the completion of Phase 2, which is expected to take place in the second half of 2023.

Daniel Dizon, co-founder and CEO of noncustodial and liquid ETH staking protocol the Swell Network, told Cointelegraph:

“The Merge represents a significant change to Ethereum’s underlying economic model and hardware requirements, resulting in massive energy output reduction. It is expected there will be a significant demand for ETH as the rewards from participation in ETH staking will be increasing significantly from priority fees and MEV capture. The implication of the Merge is not fully priced in. Increased demand and reduced issuance for ETH will result in structural upward pressure on price compared to the existing state of Ethereum today.”

Does the Merge make Ethereum a security?

Apart from the technical and financial impact of the Merge, the biggest discussion seems to be around whether Ether would qualify as security once the network makes the move to PoS. The discussion has gained a lot of steam online in recent days and the answer to the question would depend on who you ask.

The debate around Ethereum’s security status was prevalent long before the transition to PoS came into the picture. The debate gained a lot of momentum after the United States Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit against Ripple, deeming its sale of XRP tokens as a security.

Many XRP proponents have since pointed to the “pre-mine” of ETH and have often blamed the SEC for giving Ethereum a free pass. The confusion and dilemma around security status arise from a lack of clear regulations for the crypto market. While lawmakers agree that Bitcoin (BTC) can be regarded as an independent asset class, the status of Ethereum has been a topic of debate.

Adam Levitin, a research professor at Georgetown University Law Center, outlined what could make the PoS-based Ethereum network a security in the eyes of regulators:

He added that “Howey speaks of an investment of ‘money,’ but that has always been interpreted just to mean an investment of value. Putting up a stake readily satisfies this element.”

Recent: Decentralized storage providers power the Web3 economy, but adoption still underway

Coin Metrics co-founder Jacob Franek countered Levitin’s argument, suggesting that Ethereum is one of the most decentralized platforms with open-source support.

Another major concern about the PoS transition has been the centralization in the decision-making process. Konstantin Boyko-Romanovsky, CEO of reward-monitoring and block transactions validation platform Allnodes, told Cointelegraph:

“While the risk of centralization with Ethereum’s new consensus mechanism PoS exists, it is ways away from being realized. So far, the strong community behind the Ethereum network has tackled every challenge, and there is no reason to assume that the issue of centralization won't be resolved either.”

The Ethereum blockchain has become the backbone of the DeFi, nonfungible tokens and decentralized autonomous organizations. While the ecosystem will continue to support such nascent use cases, the true transition to PoS with sharding and high scalability features will only be available after 2023. The success of Eth2 will highly depend on the execution of the final phase, but many market pundits are still skeptical about it, given the past delays.


What happens when 21 million Bitcoin are fully mined? Expert answers

Mining expert Mohamed El Masri predicts that Bitcoin will be worth around $430,500 when the last coin is minted.

When the last Bitcoin (BTC) is finally mined, the livelihood of miners who rely on block rewards as a source of income will be affected. Despite this, the future of mining stays promising, according to an expert in the space. 

In a Cointelegraph interview, Mohamed El Masri, the founder of mining solutions provider PermianChain, talked about new players jumping into mining, the future of mining and what happens to mine profitability after the 21 millionth BTC is minted.

El Masri highlighted that efficiency is a very important focus that new players in the space must take into consideration. Because mining profit depends on how efficient a mining operation is, the executive noted that efficiency brings the cost of energy down to a minimum.

When asked about the future of the mining space, the executive shared that it’s not always about profit. El Masri said that the future of the mining sector relies on what he described as the “real Bitcoin miners” who value solving blocks more than how much BTC they can convert into fiat currency. The executive noted that these types of miners will be the leading operators in the space. He explained that:

“The future of the Bitcoin mining sector depends on the continued commitment of industry players to support the infrastructure of this monetary and financial breakthrough, at any cost necessary.”

The executive also shared his predictions on what the industry will look like once the last BTC is mined. According to El Masri, when the time comes, a BTC mining business can still be profitable because transaction fees will replace block rewards as a source of revenue for miners. By then, the mining executive predicted that BTC would be worth $430,500 each.

Related: BTC mining costs reach 10-month lows as miners use more efficient rigs

El Masri explained that transaction fees will generate almost $3 billion in a year at this price point. He noted that there are also other growth drivers to consider, including layer2 improvements and energy efficiency enhancements.

In a panel hosted by Cointelegraph Research, Bitcoin mining experts shared how they prepare for the next Bitcoin halving. According to the panel, several possible moves exist, including planning for survival during the bear market and capitalizing on the bull market.

Semantics? Analysts unpack 'technical recession' as crypto markets recover

Semantics? Analysts unpack 'technical recession' as crypto markets recover

Cryptocurrency market analysts unpack the ramifications of consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth in America.

Data from the United States commerce department suggests America has entered a technical recession, but market analysts have highlighted key metrics that suggest investors are optimistic.

The American economy shrunk for the second consecutive quarter, according to government data released on Thursday, fitting the criteria for a technical recession. The Biden Administration maintains that the U.S. is not in a recession, highlighting low unemployment rates and other metrics that counter the argument.

Mati Greenspan, founder & CEO of Quantum Economics, addressed the topic in his latest QE newsletter, noting a paradoxical effect between the GDP drop and a surge in stocks and other risk assets.

He attributed this move to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates by 0.75%, which saw cryptocurrency markets outperform stocks, with Ethere (ETH) surging 5% immediately after the announcement.

Related: Bitcoin bull run ‘getting interesting’ as BTC price hits 6-week high

Greenspan conceded that the current unemployment rate was "extremely low" when compared to other periods of recession but was not convinced that this was enough to prove that the U.S. economy has not receded:

“For a President to insist there's no recession when the technical definition is met does make sense from a political standpoint. Better to allow people to argue semantics than to admit you've made the economy shrink.”

Anthony Pompliano also addressed the release of the Q2 GDP number for the U.S. economy in his daily newsletter, labeling the government’s commentary on the technical definition of a recession as "gas-lighting," given the unique circumstances of economic metrics:

“This recession is interesting because it is not accompanied by high unemployment or a significant drop in consumer spending, but there is no denying that GDP is falling and the Federal Reserve is successfully achieving their goal of destroying demand.”

Other prominent market analysts like Cointelegraph contributor Michaël van de Poppe also highlighted the seeming disparity between the U.S. government and Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell’s insistence that the U.S. economy was not in a recession.

The latest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve continue to be cited by market analysts as a key driver for a newfound rally in risk assets like gold and cryptocurrency markets. 

Bitcoin holds $24K as USD taps 3-week lows on eurozone inflation report

Bitcoin holds $24K as USD taps 3-week lows on eurozone inflation report

Estimates for July inflation across the euro area make for grim reading at 8.9%, with the U.S. dollar rebounding.

Bitcoin (BTC) sought to pin $24,000 as support before the July 29 Wall Street open as fresh inflation data sparked worries for the euro.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

Eurozone inflation estimate shows no peak

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/USD maintaining most of its latest gains after spiking to nearly $24,500 overnight. 

The day’s macro action delivered painful news for the European Economic Area (EEA), as the latest estimates for euro inflation came in at 8.9% for July — still climbing from June’s 8.6%.

“Looking at the main components of euro area inflation, energy is expected to have the highest annual rate in July (39.7%, compared with 42.0% in June), followed by food, alcohol & tobacco (9.8%, compared with 8.9% in June), non-energy industrial goods (4.5%, compared with 4.3% in June) and services (3.7%, compared with 3.4% in June),” an accompanying report compiled by Eurostat read.

The data provided a curious contrast in some European Union member states, where growth outperformed expectations despite the highest inflation figures in the history of the euro’s existence. This led some commentators to suspect that all was not what it seemed.

The European Quandary, nonetheless, buoyed the United States dollar, which had been retreating from its latest two-decade highs against a basket of trading partner currencies through July.

The U.S. dollar index (DXY) touched 105.54 on the day, its lowest reading since July 5, before rebounding to near 106 at the time of writing. 

A key inverse correlation for crypto markets, additional DXY advances could signal fresh pressure on BTC price action.

“DXY just dropped to the previous high now support and seems to be holding. A possible bounce here to 107, 108 before further drop,” popular trading account Mikybull Crypto predicted in a fresh Twitter update, adding that this scenario would entail a pullback to $22,800 for BTC/USD.

U.S. dollar index (DXY) 1-day candle chart. Source: TradingView


In an arguably unexpected bullish turn, meanwhile, Arthur Hayes, ex-CEO of derivatives platform BitMEX, implied that a weaker dollar was now imminent.

Related: Bitcoin bull run ‘getting interesting’ as BTC price hits 6-week high

Following the Federal Reserve’s latest key rate hike, Hayes stated that the central bank’s return to accommodative monetary policy and more neutral rates had now begun.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell, he wrote on July 28, would not be increasing hikes any longer, something he called the “Powell pivot.”

The theory, as Cointelegraph recently reported, revolves around the Fed having little room left to maneuver thanks to rate hikes increasing the likelihood of a deeper recession in the U.S. economy.

The latest GDP data released this week had already placed the U.S. in a technical recession thanks to two straight quarters of negative numbers.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Cardano Vasil hard fork hit with another delay for several weeks

Cardano Vasil hard fork hit with another delay for several weeks

The Vasil hard fork was originally scheduled to go live in June, but teams behind the Cardano blockchain development have prioritized a smooth network transition.

After failing to go live last month, the Cardano Vasil hard fork is delayed again as teams behind the Cardano blockchain development target a smooth network upgrade.

Input Output Global (IOG), the organization responsible for Cardano’s research and development, released a YouTube update on Thursday on the upcoming Vasil hard fork.

IOG technical manager Kevin Hammond announced that the Vasil hard fork will be postponed one more time to ensure that all parties, including exchanges and API developers, are “all ready for that.” Hammond said:

“Obviously, from where we are, there could be a few more weeks before we go to the actual Vasil hard fork [...] This is incredibly important. All the users must be ready to progress through the hard fork to ensure a smooth process.”

Hammond pointed out that IOG has been focused on solving some testnet issues, progressing with the Cardano node version 1.35.2. The new node version fixes issues related to stake pool operators, decentralized application (DApp) developers, internal testing and other issues identified on the testnet.

“The goal is that it will flush out any final issues as we go to the Vasil hard fork. What we’re doing is fixing on testing authority, getting it right and not rushing,” Hammond added.

Amid the expected update, Cardano’s (ADA) price has seen some significant volatility, surging more than 7% over the past 24 hours at the time of writing, trading at $0.537. The cryptocurrency has been up 21% over the past 14 days, according to data from CoinGecko.

Cardano (ADA) 14-day price chart. Source: CoinGecko

The Vasil hard fork is the biggest upgrade to Cardano since the Alonzo hard fork, which was completed in September 2021. The upcoming fork is positioned as a “game changer” in the Cardano development, as it’s expected to improve the network in terms of speed and scalability, making it more suitable for smart contracts and DApps.

Input Output released the roadmap for the Vasil hard fork in May 2022, originally aiming to execute the hard fork on the mainnet on June 29. The hard fork was eventually delayed until the last week of July over several “severe” bugs.

Related: Sell the news? Cardano price risks 20% drop despite Vasil hard fork euphoria

Vasil’s delay comes amid the cryptocurrency community anticipating another important event for one of the largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Ethereum, the second-largest blockchain by value, is scheduled for a merger phase of its proof-of-stake (PoS) transition on Sept. 19. As previously reported, the phase was delayed multiple times, while the full upgrade is expected to go live in 2023.

$1.26B in Ethereum options expire on Friday and bulls are ready to push ETH price higher

$1.26B in Ethereum options expire on Friday and bulls are ready to push ETH price higher

Ethereum network developers confirmed September as the date of the upcoming Merge, a move which prompted traders to flip long on ETH.

Ether's (ETH) 53% rally between July 13 and 18 gave bulls an edge in July's $1.26 billion monthly options expiry. The move happened as Ethereum developers set a tentative date for the "Merge," a transition out of the burdensome proof-of-work (PoW) mining mechanism.

Ether USD price index, 12-hour chart. Source: TradingView

According to some analysts, by removing the additional ETH issuing used to finance the energy cost required on traditional mining consensus, Ether could finally achieve the "ultra-sound money" status.

Whether or not sound monetary policy revolves around constantly changing the issuing and burning rules remains an open question, but there's no doubt that the Ethereum developers' video call on July 14 helped to catapult ETH price.

On July 26, a sudden dramatic spike in Ethereum network active addresses raised multiple speculations about whether Ether is targeting its previous all-time high. Analytics firm Santiment reported that the number of 24-hour daily active addresses reached 1.06 million, breaking the previous 718,000 high set back in 2018. Theories such as "Binance doing a maintenance sweep" emerged, but nothing has been confirmed yet.

The main victims of Ether's impressive 20% recovery on July 27 were leveraged bearish traders (shorts) who faced $335 million in aggregate liquidations at derivatives exchanges, according to data from Coinglass.

Bears placed their bets below $1,600

The open interest for Ether's July monthly options expiry is $1.27 billion, but the actual figure will be lower since bears were overly-optimistic. These traders got too comfortable after ETH stood below $1,300 between June 13 and 16.

The pump above $1,500 on July 27 surprised bears because only 17% of the put (sell) options for July 29 have been placed above that price level.

Ether options aggregate open interest for July 29. Source: CoinGlass

The 1.39 call-to-put ratio shows the dominance of the $730 million call (buy) open interest against the $530 million put (sell) options. Nevertheless, as Ether stands near $1,600, most bearish bets will likely become worthless.

If Ether's price remains above $1,500 at 8:00 am UTC on July 29, only $80 million put (sell) options will be available. This difference happens because a right to sell Ether at $1,500 or lower is worthless if Ether trades above that level on expiry.

Bulls are comfortable even below $1,600

Below are the four most likely scenarios based on the current price action. The number of options contracts available on July 29 for call (bull) and put (bear) instruments varies, depending on the expiry price. The imbalance favoring each side constitutes the theoretical profit:

  • Between $1,400 and $1,500: 120,400 calls vs. 80,400 puts. The net result favors the call (bull) instruments by $60 million.
  • Between $1,500 and $1,600: 160,500 calls vs. 55,000 puts. The net result favors bulls by $160 million.
  • Between $1,600 and $1,700: 187,100 calls vs. 43,400 puts. The net result favors the call (bull) instruments by $230 million.
  • Between $1,700 and $1,800: 220,800 calls vs. 40,000 puts. Bulls' advantage increases to $310 million.

This crude estimate considers the put options used in bearish bets and the call options exclusively in neutral-to-bullish trades. Even so, this oversimplification disregards more complex investment strategies.

For example, a trader could have sold a put option, effectively gaining positive exposure to Ether above a specific price, but unfortunately, there's no easy way to estimate this effect.

Bears should throw in the towel and focus on the August expiry

Ether bulls need to sustain the price above $1,600 on July 29 to secure a decent $230 million profit. On the other hand, the bears' best case scenario requires a push below $1,500 to reduce the damage to $60 million.

Considering the brutal $330 million leverage short positions liquidated on July 26 and 27, bears should have less margin to pressure ETH price lower. With this said, bulls are better positioned to continue driving ETH higher after the July 29 monthly options expiry.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Africa Is Poised For A Bitcoin Mining Boon

Africa Is Poised For A Bitcoin Mining Boon

Surging general interest in Bitcoin, ideal energy sources and other facts make Africa an ideal region for growing bitcoin mining operations.

Mining headlines are typically filled with mentions of North America and Asia, with occasional mentions of Latin America. But another region of the world is showing some unnoticed signs of consistent interest in the mining sector.

This article explores some data that shows interest from African nations in mining and profiles a few companies known to be mining in the region, with all of this contextualized by Africa’s widely-reported general interest in Bitcoin as a plausible precursor to a booming mining industry.

Data On African Bitcoin Mining

Google Trends are some of the most frequently cited data sets in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency circles to demonstrate interest, sentiment shifts and various market conditions. The reliability and accuracy of this data is never perfect, but it often does generally reflect reality.

So, who is searching about bitcoin mining the most?

The answer is multiple African countries, according to Google Trends at the time of writing. This data was also noticed by the mining research team at Compass Mining almost a year ago, and it still holds true today. 

Here’s the top-10 countries ranked by regional search interest in bitcoin mining from the past year:

  1. Nigeria
  2. Zimbabwe
  3. Cameroon
  4. Ethiopia
  5. Mauritius
  6. Ghana
  7. Albania
  8. South Africa
  9. Myanmar
  10. Kenya

But does this data matter? Search data from the U.S., for example, offers a bit more color on Google Trends data that can reflect some realities of the real-world mining industry. After limiting to searches made in the U.S., Google Trends shows Wyoming as the top-ranked location for bitcoin mining queries. And, in fact, this state is one of the largest and fastest growing hubs for mining in the U.S. suggesting Google Trends data reflects legitimate industry action.

African Bitcoin Mining Status Quo

Despite interest in the topic, most signs point to African countries collectively representing a small percentage of Bitcoin’s total hash rate. Data collected by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, for example, claim that no African country contributes more than 0.14% of Bitcoin’s hash rate. That amount apparently comes from Egypt, the region’s largest hash rate contributor. This data set is notoriously problematic, but generally speaking, mining activity throughout the region is relatively small.

Mining in Africa is nonetheless happening, and it’s growing. BigBlock DC is a prime example of a mining company operating in the region. It has shared photos and videos of facility buildouts to Twitter. Additionally, there are reports of off-grid solar mining operations in Zimbabwe. And a Ghanian IT company has made claims of energizing the region’s first mining operation back in 2016.

Africa’s Potential To Power Bitcoin Mining

Few things excite Bitcoin miners more than cheap, abundant energy. Considering Africa’s potential future as a regional mining hub, its abundant energy resources are key. Here’s an overview.

African countries have some of the largest untapped potential for large scale hydropower development in the world. It’s already the region’s main source of “clean” energy, and planned developments mean that is shows no signs of losing pace.

Africa also has more potential solar resources than any other continent, although solar power development is not widespread or significant. One study found that a solar power farm covering 0.3% of North Africa could supply all of the energy required to power the European Union.

Flare gas is also a strong contender as a power source for African mining activity. Angola, for example, has already sought ways to monetize its gas flaring activity, and is the region’s second-largest crude producer.

Nuclear energy is one of the most scarce forms of power in Africa. Out of 54 countries in the region, only South Africa has operational nuclear facilities. South Africa currently generates over 10 billion kilowatt hours (KWh) baseload electricity at the Koeberg nuclear power station in Cape Town. Bitcoin miners and the nuclear energy industry are rapidly forming strong relationships, and hopefully this trend extends to Africa to catalyze more nuclear development.

Beyond Bitcoin Mining

Setting aside the mining sector, Africa’s leading role in growing global Bitcoin use is no secret. A steady stream of headlines over the past few years in particular have highlighted the region’s surge in interest for Bitcoin from investors, developers, merchants and other users. For instance:

  • Paxful CEO Ray Youssef says Africa is “leading” cryptocurrency adoption
  • Square CEO Jack Dorsey says Africa “will define the future” of Bitcoin
  • Programs like Qala are recruiting and training Bitcoin developers
  • Even the UN has noticed Bitcoin and crypto use in Africa
  • Central African Republic was the second country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender
  • Kenya has one of the highest per capita levels of bitcoin ownership, according to a UN brief

Widespread interest in buying and using bitcoin typically precedes strong interest in mining bitcoin, too. China, the U.S. and parts of Latin America, for example, have historically been geographic leaders in bitcoin investment and use, and it’s no coincidence that these regions are also leaders in retail and industrial-scale mining activity. Although it doesn’t necessarily explain all of the apparent interest in mining from various African countries, people who want bitcoin tend to also eventually want to learn how to mine it.

Mining: The Natural Step In Africa’s Bitcoin Journey

At the risk of reiterating the obvious, much of this article is speculative analysis based on a few statistical and anecdotal signals of mining growth throughout Africa. It’s hard to know for sure if or when parts of that region will become the next Texas or Kazakhstan for the mining sector.

But what is certain is that the existing mining activity there is not slowing and a sustained level of general curiosity about mining is seen in Google Search queries. And, of course, the region’s general interest in understanding, using and building with Bitcoin has been widely reported.

Given Africa’s excitement over Bitcoin and its abundant, diverse energy resources, mining is a natural step in the region’s Bitcoin narrative arc. Africa’s Bitcoin future is no doubt a bright one, and mining could play a prominent role in it.

This is a guest post by Zack Voell. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.