Samsung Is Building ASIC Chips for Halong Mining

Samsung Is Building ASIC Chips for Halong Mining


Seoul-based multinational conglomerate Samsung has confirmed that it is providing ASIC chips to mine bitcoin, ether and assorted cryptocurrencies for hardware manufacturer Halong Mining.

Prior to entering the mining space, Samsung was producing “high-capacity memory chips” for GPUs, which are predominantly used to handle computer graphics but also possess mining capabilities. Its partnership with Halong is expected to bring heavy competition to the ASIC industry, primarily to China’s Bitmain, which, up to this point, has largely dominated the chip-development arena. Both companies work with Taiwanese giant TSMC, which has seen quarterly revenue increases of $350 to $400 million, thanks to ongoing developments in cryptocurrency.

Reports regarding the association between the companies date as far back as January 2018, when it was suggested that Samsung was working with an “unnamed” Chinese mining company. Rumors became a reality on April 10 when online mining rig retailer MyRig posted a picture on its Twitter page of a thin slice of semiconductor material known as a “wafer.” The company wrote that the item was being used in the “fabrication of integrated circuits” and that it had been produced by electronics giant Samsung.

Halong Mining has remained relatively quiet regarding its new relationship, though its first miner, the Dragonmint T1, is now available for purchase. The item is believed to stand among the world’s most efficient miners, purportedly beating out Antminer S9 by Bitmain in terms of performance.

Slush Pool also confirmed last March that someone in its mining network had mined coins using Halong software and that its overall efficiency could be attributed to an upgrade known as “AsicBoost,” which was developed in 2016 by former CoinTerra CTO Timo Hanke.

The technology works by exploiting a portion of Bitcoin’s proof-of-work algorithm by allowing miners to take “shortcuts” to find new blocks. This technology is equally available to multiple mining companies thanks to Halong’s membership with the Blockchain Defensive Patent License (BDPL), which is designed to keep competition levels in the cryptocurrency mining space fair and accurate, but so far, only Halong Mining is known to be using the overt variant of AsicBoost.

The DragonMint T1 was produced by BtcDrak, who’s been involved with Halong Mining since it began. The developer also maintains and the Bitcoin Core Community Slack.

“We started a mining project with the aim to bring much needed competition to the market,” he states. “We want to ‘make SHA256 great again.’”

BtcDrak also says that the DragonMint T1 is the most “advanced miner to date,” claiming it is about “30 percent more energy efficient” than the AntMiner S9 and that it could produce a total of “16 tera hashes per second.”

Samsung also worked with Hangzhou-based company Ebang last year to develop DW1228 chips for its new bitcoin mining machines the Ebit E9++ and the E10. The chips were slated to boost an E10 hash rate to 18TH/S. The machines were first released in early February and units sold out almost immediately.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Another Major Hong Kong Cryptocurrency Exchange Sets Its Sights on Malta

Another Major Hong Kong Cryptocurrency Exchange Sets Its Sights on Malta


A second major Hong Kong–based cryptocurrency exchange is planning on setting up shop in Malta, a small island nation in the Mediterranean.    

OKEx, one of the top five cryptocurrency exchanges by 24-hour trading volume, announced today, April 12, 2018, that it is expanding its operations to Malta. In late March, Binance, the largest exchange by trading volume, also announced plans to move operations to the cryptocurrency-friendly EU member state.

In an email to Bitcoin Magazine, a spokesperson for OKEx clarified, “… everything stays in Hong Kong (all functions) and we are establishing a new entity in Malta in full accordance with the expected Malta regulations and framework. This expansion has no effect on our existing offices and operations in other jurisdictions.”   

OKEx CEO Chris Lee stated: “We look forward to working with the Malta government as it is forward thinking and shares many of our same values: the most important of which are protection of traders and the general public, compliance with Anti Money Laundering and Know Your Customer standards, and recognition of the innovation and importance of continued development in the Blockchain ecosystem.”

OKEx says it has already met with Maltese government and regulatory leaders to get a better understanding of the country’s evolving regulatory plans and provide feedback.

The move further establishes Malta as a growing hub in the cryptocurrency space. Currently, the country is in the process of setting up the Malta Digital Innovation Authority aimed at building a regulatory framework for blockchain technology, and by extension cryptocurrency, in the country.

OKEx and Binance are not the only Hong Kong–based exchanges that are looking to expand outside of Hong Kong. In recent weeks, Bitfinex, another major cryptocurrency exchange, announced it was moving to Switzerland.  

Of all the countries, China has been the most heavy handed toward cryptocurrencies. Starting in September 2017, the People’s Bank of China completely banned initial coin offerings. Later, the country froze bank accounts associated with exchanges and began clamping down on bitcoin miners. In February 2018, it began taking measures to cut off one of the few remaining avenues for its citizens to buy cryptocurrencies.  

Governed under the principal of “one country, two systems,” Hong Kong is both China and not China. The city reverted back to Chinese rule in 1997 under an agreement that Hong Kong would remain autonomous but that China would evaluate and revise the relationship moving forward. Since then, China has been slowly encroaching on Hong Kong’s sovereignty. Thus, businesses that choose to operate in Hong Kong could risk complications in the future if their models are banned in China, though still legitimate (for now) in Hong Kong.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Op Ed: We Can Combat Poor Data Privacy with Blockchain Applications

Op Ed: We Can Combat Poor Data Privacy with Blockchain Applications


By now we’ve all seen the headlines about Facebook’s poor data practices: as many as 87 million users’ personal records affected by Cambridge Analytica, 2.2 billion users’ profiles scraped by third parties, and so on.

But what went wrong isn’t limited to Facebook. The problem is that an internet run by centralized digital superpowers leaves users with little control over their data.

Centralization’s Weaknesses

Think of the internet as an extremely efficient copy machine that anyone can use. This makes it very easy to share information — including information you want to keep private.

That’s why we need rules. When we say “data privacy,” we are referring to the rules set by platforms — determining who has permission to handle data and who gets informed when it happens.

To use a platform, users have to check a box saying they agree to the rules. The problem is tech giants don’t give users real insight into the rules beyond saying, “Trust us!”

As we now know, Facebook gave wildly disproportionate permission to third-party app developers to copy their users’ personal information. By exploiting this permission, Cambridge Analytica was able to use a single app to collect millions of personal records at almost no cost, and nobody was informed until it was too late.

Unfortunately, these types of situations will continue to happen. Centralized platforms lack incentives to properly disclose their data practices, so users will be left in the dark when the “copy machine” falls into the wrong hands again.

The Role of Decentralization

For data that is clearly valuable, users should be able to explicitly set permissions around who can access it, and those permissions should be easy to verify.

We can use blockchain technology for this. The idea is not to store everyone’s private data on-chain; it’s very expensive to add records to a blockchain, and public blockchains can be read by anyone.

What makes a blockchain special is that it’s write-only; it’s practically impossible to change a record on the blockchain once it’s there. Here’s the insight: we can use a blockchain to store not the data but the permissions. If private data is secured in an encrypted database, a blockchain can act as a ticketing system, keeping track of who can get in, without exposing the data underneath.

Suppose you had your health data stored off-chain, requiring a cryptographic key to unlock it. You want three parties to have access: your doctor, your health insurance provider and your partner. These parties could be represented by white-listed addresses that are recorded on the blockchain, representing their right to use the key.

A blockchain is an immutable sequence of events. If, say, the white list suddenly included four or five parties, you would know something else was going on. Just as you can see where your bitcoin or ether came from, there should be a clear record of who is accessing your data.

Scarcity as Protection

To return to the idea of the internet as a giant copy machine: the same principle that makes bitcoin possible — “digital scarcity,” meaning the coin can’t simply be duplicated or created by anyone — can also help make data harder to replicate.

The idea is that we can tokenize the data in order to create laws of physics around it. In order to prevent future Cambridge Analyticas from exploiting loopholes, we could create an ecosystem in which user data is represented by tokens. This creates an extra layer of protection between outside parties and valuable data, and assigns the data some value.

From a developer’s perspective, calling an API would be represented by a transaction on the blockchain, with a cost proportional to the amount of data requested. The cost would be negligible for normal, day-to-day use — but it would prohibit a single app from making off with tens of millions of records. Scarcity and value provide friction, which exposes unusual activity.


These transactions would receive oversight from miners or validators who collect fees for enforcing the network’s agreed-upon rules. Depending on the kind of blockchain, these validators could be individuals spread out across the world or they could be something more like private arbitrators or internal auditors. The point is, there would be third parties keeping the system accountable.

Final Thoughts

As a centralized entity, Facebook has no incentive to be a fair referee, and it’s clear they’re not up to the task of keeping our data safe. We need an approach to data privacy that doesn’t count on the word of a single party. Blockchains allow us to create systems with multiple points of accountability and transparency that can give users real control over their digital lives.

This is a guest post by Chris Tse. Opinions expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Bitcoin Magazine or BTC Media Inc.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Promoted: Building an ICO Dream Team



Nearly half of initial coin offerings (ICOs) fail. In February, analyzed ICO statistics from TokenData and found that 46 percent of ICOs in 2017 tanked, leaving a trail of broken websites and neglected Twitter accounts. Some of these were outright scams, but others had the best of intentions. The key for potential investors is sorting the wheat from the chaff.

One telltale sign of a specious ICO is the absence of information about its team. Conversely, a solid team with a track record suggests that an ICO means business. Armin Ebrahimi, founder and CEO of ShoCard, has been busy mining his contacts to craft a solid squad in preparation for ShoCard’s May crowdsale.

Ebrahimi might be one of the best people to start a company that uses blockchain technology to protect and share digital identities. His 30 years in Silicon Valley include a spot as senior vice president of platform engineering at Yahoo!, where he looked after its registration and anti-platform services.

His time there from 1998 to 2008 placed him at the heart of a growing company as it scaled from 10 to 450 people. It also gave him a front row seat to watch the internet grow from infancy to the force it is today.

Six years after he left the company, it began losing hundreds of millions of customers’ personal information — including his — in what would become one of the most significant data breaches of all time.

“You don’t think they’re going to be so careless with it,” said Ebrahimi, lamenting the firm’s trajectory after he left. “Yahoo wasn’t in the same spot, and it took its eyes off the ball.”

However, these breaches gave him valuable insight: The world needs a better way to manage identity. Now with ShoCard, Ebrahimi plans to use blockchain technology to do it. As he saw during the dawn of the web, he plans to capitalize on this new emerging technology that he believes will change our working paradigms in the future.

This time, he hopes to use a robust team of his own choosing to engineer that change, spanning not only his leadership team but also his broader community of advisors and investors. As it goes through its initial phases, he said that a startup like his needs a mixture of skills.


The launch team must have the go-to-market experience to help get the technology into the public eye, but also an ability to look to the future rather than the past when developing a new way to manage identity.

“For disruptive technologies like blockchain, you must have the ability to question previous ways of doing things,” he said. “Sometimes blockchain firms have great teams, but they still have elements of central services inside them. You must be flexible and be prepared to challenge your preconceptions.”

To that end, he has bought Gaurav Khot on board as chief technology officer. Khot brings over a quarter-century of experience building scalable systems. Ebrahimi also enlisted the advisory services of experts including Naveen Agrawal, who is currently the lead for federated identity at Google.

Ebrahimi also has worked hard to secure experts with proven track records in bringing new technologies to market. These include Mike McBride, former senior vice president of worldwide field operations at the cybersecurity firm Lookout, and Bob Tinker, who served as founding CEO of MobileIron from 2008 to 2016.

“Bob built out a network of about 15 thousand enterprise clients and 15 million users on that, and took the company public,” said Ebrahimi. “He is technically savvy, but his background is all go-to-market.”

The other key factor in building a robust startup team is connections. ShoCard’s investors include the likes of Yahoo! founder Jerry Yang and Morado Venture Partners’ Ash Patel, who was the chief product officer at Yahoo!.

“We have used our VCs [venture capitals] to broaden our reach,” Ebrahimi explained, adding that part of the networking process involves giving value rather than merely looking for it. Rather than reaching out to people only when needing something, it is essential for entrepreneurs to always look at what they can give back to those in their contact book.

With his dream team in place, Ebrahimi is already looking to the future. “The next stage, after the ICO, will involve both adding to existing resources and also bringing in talent that is not in place today.” He said that one of those areas is marketing talent.

That’s the other thing about fast-moving startups. The required skills — and the team that provides them — are always evolving.

This promoted article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Bank of England Conducts Further Blockchain Tests

The Bank of England has released the results of its latest investigation of blockchain technology, conducted in partnership with a startup called Chain. Specifically, the UK central bank has published a proof-of concept for a digital ledger network that will handle data in a way that will allow both privacy and regulatory oversight. The paper, [&#8230;]<br />Post source: Bank of England Conducts Further Blockchain Tests<br />More Bitcoin News and Cryptocurrency News on

22 European Nations Come Together with Blockchain Partnership

<br /><br /> <br /><br /> On April 10, 2018, 22 European countries joined forces to cooperate on blockchain regulation and education.The European Blockchain Partnership “will be a vehicle for cooperation amongst Member States to exchange experience and expertise in technical and regulatory fields and prepare for the launch of EU-wide blockchain applications across the Digital Single Market for the benefit of the public and private sectors,” states the European Commission press release.A complete list of the participating countries includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the U.K. An invitation to join the partnership has been extended to “other countries, Members of the EU and of the European Economic Area.”Spearheaded by the European Commission, the partnership wants to ensure that Europe stays at the forefront of blockchain development in the years to come. The press release gives a nod to blockchain technology for “promoting user trust,” and the partnership believes it will play a foundational role in a number of digital services in the future, including logistics, finance and regulatory reporting.Partner states especially see the potential for blockchain technology to integrate with Europe’s Digital Single Market, a policy initiative that looks to unite Europe’s disparate online markets into one. Like the Digital Single Market, the partnership will try to avoid disjointed approaches to blockchain development among EU and European Economic Area members. It’s the partnership’s hope that cooperation will lead to smooth, cross-country interoperability with blockchain technology “in full compliance with EU laws and with clear governance models that will help services using blockchain [technology] flourish across Europe.”   The European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, sees the partnership as a progressive move that will affect the quality of Europe’s public and technological services for the better.“In the future, all public services will use blockchain technology. Blockchain is a great opportunity for Europe and Member States to rethink their information systems, to promote user trust and the protection of personal data, to help create new business opportunities and to establish new areas of leadership, benefiting citizens, public services and companies. The Partnership launched today enables Member States to work together with the European Commission to turn the enormous potential of blockchain technology into better services for citizens.”<br /><br /> <br /><br /> This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.