After finishing 2017 up ~1300%, Bitcoin (BTC) is down from all time highs. The cryptocurrency’s market cap now stands at US$229 billion, with US$3.95 billion traded in the past 24 hours. Trading volume should begin to increase again as traders return from their year end celebrations.

Hash rate and difficulty continue to rise as more miners join the network. With multiple mining innovations in the pipeline and new hardware on the horizon, expect the hash rate to continue to rise unabated.

The most cost-efficient Bitcoin miners are application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) which are specifically designed for mining. The largest ASIC producer is currently Bitmain, a Chinese company headed by Jihan Wu.

Bitmain Antminers account for a large percentage of the total hash rate. Both the S9 and L3+ models are currently sold out.

A new contender for efficiency, based on computations per kilowatt, is Halong Mining’s Dragonmint 16T. Halong has been taking pre-orders since November and is aiming to deliver the mining hardware in March. Read more from…

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