Friday, June 29, 2018

Pornhub Adds New Tokens, Fcoin Defends Trans-Fee, Coinbase Goes Pro

 


Among the interesting stories featured in today's edition of Bitcoin in Brief are the new crypto tokens added by Pornhub, Fcoin founder's defense of the controversial trans-fee mining practice and an update on the upcoming launch of Coinbase Pro.

Bigwigs Talking Bitcoin vs Blockchain
The Daily: Pornhub Adds New Tokens, Fcoin Defends Trans-Fee, Coinbase Goes ProA few well known people who don't routinely speak about Bitcoin and blockchain technology have recently shared their opinions about the subjects. Jack Ma, the Chinese billionaire behind Alibaba Group, opined that "Blockchain technology could change our world more than people imagine. Bitcoin, however, could be a bubble." And he added that "traditional financial institutions serve 20 percent of people and make 80 percent of profits. New financial institutions should service 80 percent of people, and make 20 percent of profit."

Steve Wozniak, the Bitcoin-loving co-founder of Apple, has on the other hand said he feels that all the current hype around blockchain technology is just a bubble akin to the Dot Com one. "If you look now you say all that internet stuff happened, we got it, it just took a while," Wozniak explained. "It doesn't change in a day, a lot of the blockchain ideas that are really good by coming out early they can burn themselves out by not being prepared to be stable in the long run."

And Professor Robert Shiller, who received the 2013 Nobel prize in economics, thinks that Bitcoin is a generational social movement, that might be in a speculative price bubble but it does not mean it is going away any time soon. He said in an interview that: "The East Coast is less into it than the West Coast. Silicon Valley is really into it. It's a social movement. It's an epidemic of enthusiasm. It is a speculative bubble. That doesn't mean that it will go to zero."

EOS to Get a Makeover?
After coming under a lot of criticism lately over centralization, freezing accounts and other issues, EOS might soon get a serious makeover. Daniel Larimer, the creator of EOS, has proposed a major revision to the way its constitution works. He explains that this is because, he just now learned that, "if you give people arbitrary power to resolve arbitrary disputes then everything becomes a dispute and the decisions made are arbitrary. The more power the arbiter has, the more vicious and petty the disputes become and the less predictable the outcome." Better late than never.

Pornhub Adds New Tokens
The Daily: Pornhub Adds New Tokens, Fcoin Defends Trans-Fee, Coinbase Goes ProAdult entertainment video portal, Pornhub, has announced it will accept two new cryptocurrencies, Tron and Zen Cash. As you may recall, a couple of months ago Verge has made a big deal about the site accepting its token. There is no explanation on the way Pornhub selected the few tokens it did, but at least in the case of Verge it is reported it just got paid 75 million XVG for doing so.

"Here at Pornhub, as one of the most viewed websites in the world with over 90 million daily visitors, it's important that we continue to expand our crypto payment options to align with our community's growing payment preferences. Decentralized payment systems have continued to grow in popularity, and cryptocurrency adoption is exploding across a broad economic spectrum. Today, cryptocurrencies are especially viable in the adult entertainment industry because they are privacy-centric and incorporate more anonymity tools than traditional tender," said Corey Price, VP of Pornhub.

Fcoin Founder Defends Trans-Fee Mining
In an interview released in China yesterday, Jian Zhang, founder of Fcoin, faced challenging questions regarding his business and controversial business model of "trans-fee mining." As we previously reported, the practice of rewarding users with exchange issued tokens for generating transactions was called an over-priced backdoor ICO ripe for manipulation by critics including Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao.

FCoin Founder Jian Zhang
Zhang said: "With respect to the accusations of pyramid selling, currency manipulation, and being a stock maker – I won't be answering these questions directly. You can refer to the notion and history of Bitcoin, and see how many people have been wronged this way. Are there still people who think Bitcoin is pyramid selling? If so, you are not rejecting Fcoin, you are actually denying the economic value of the cryptocurrency in general."

"The accusation of an expensive ICO is the most funny and ridiculous. First of all, Binance grew from an ICO, some people must be out of their mind when criticizing the ICO of others while raising no money by themselves. Second of all, it's wrong in the first place for some people to calculate our market value using the total amount of Fcoin token yet to be issued by us. Those unissued FT [Fcoin token] cannot be regarded as transaction, nor can they be a part of any distribution of dividend. They actually don't exist until after issued. Therefore, the miscalculation is just wrong. In no cryptocurrency exchange is market value calculated this way. Lastly, our valuation is actually very low, given our transaction amount, dividend ratio, number of active traders and growth rate."

Coinbase Switches to Pro
If you are a GDAX user, this is a kindly reminder that the platform will be switching over to Coinbase Pro tomorrow, Friday June 29, and you will not be able to access the old domain anymore. According to the developers, the redesigned platform is meant to make the trading experience easier and more intuitive, with a simplified deposit and withdrawal processes, improved charts that will allow customers to easily scroll and access historical data and a new consolidated portfolio view called "My Wallets" that lets customers see an overview of their account orders and balances.

Japanese Economist Explains Why Another Bitcoin Price Surge Is Unlikel

 


Yukio Noguchi, a famous economist in Japan and an advisor to Waseda University's Business and Finance Research Center argues we can't expect Bitcoin's prices to rapidly surge again. In his books and in recent articles, Noguchi makes his case eloquently. He wrote a recent article in Diamond Weekly clarifying his position but has been making his case since January of this year and published a book last December.

"Because It's Now Possible to Trade on Bitcoin Futures You'll Never See a Rapid Surge Again"
Noguchi points out that the price of BTC is now almost a third of what it was in December of last year. He believes that because it's now possible to trade on Bitcoin futures people will never see a rapid surge again.

On one hand, he says that because the price of bitcoin has gone down, the costs of sending bitcoin are now back to a level that makes it cheaper than doing bank transactions and this is welcome.

Bitcoin won't surge, Japanese economist says
He argues that the introduction of the futures market has driven down the price considerably. This year in January he persuasively argued that the cause of Bitcoin price collapse was the start of the selling of bitcoin futures. "Bitcoin prices were a bubble, to begin with, and now we're seeing a return to normal values. The San Francisco Federal Bank, in a report, also suggested that the introduction of Bitcoin futures trading caused a price drop.

Additionally, the market is heading towards a situation in which it will be possible to short-sell bitcoin futures and that will also contribute to keeping the prices down.

Noguchi points to a paper published on May 7 by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, "How Futures Trading Changed Bitcoin Prices", authored by Galina Hale, Arvind Krishnamurthy, Marianna Kudlyak, and Patrick Shultz. Here is the key passage:

"From Bitcoin's inception in 2009 through mid-2017, its price remained under US$4,000. In the second half of 2017, it climbed dramatically to nearly US $20,000, but descended rapidly starting in mid-December. The peak price coincided with the introduction of bitcoin futures trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The rapid run-up and subsequent fall in the price after the introduction of futures does not appear to be a coincidence. Rather, it is consistent with trading behavior that typically accompanies the introduction of futures markets for an asset."

Waseda University, Japan
Noguchi insists that actually, the majority of investors are predicting that prices of bitcoin will continue to fall, especially when some are able to make money from short-selling the cryptocurrency.

He also feels that allowing cryptocurrency to branch off, it makes people feel like they can get new cryptocurrency for free and that also drives down price.

Does he see that as resulting in a decline in the popularity of Bitcoin?
Surprisingly, Noguchi believes it's a good thing. As the price of bitcoin drops, it becomes a more attractive means of sending money. He calculated that at current prices, if you had to use Mitsubishi UFJ Bank to send money, it costs you 432 yen for any amount above 30,000 yen. But with the current value of Bitcoin, it's cheaper to send via a regular bank transfer than BTC, unless the value of BTC falls to 675,000 yen. When BTC returns to that level, it will finally be trading at what should be a normal value.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

What Is a Decentralized Autonomous Organization?

 


A key topic of discussion within the cryptocurrency space is the ultimate implications of cryptocurrency and the underlying blockchain technology. One of the first transformational possibilities shared among the community was the idea of the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO). 

What Is a DAO?
A Decentralized Autonomous Organization represents an environment that handles some function or output in a manner that is entirely self-governing, self-sustaining, and self-fulfilling. The term was first coined in 2013 by Daniel Larimer, creator of BitShares, perhaps the first working example of a DAO. The famous early example was given by former Bitcoin contributor Mike Hearn, who described a future DAO as an autonomous vehicle that seeks out and picks up a passenger, drops them off at their destination, and uses the Bitcoin received from the passenger to recharge at an electricity station, before finding its next passenger.

To put it more broadly, a DAO can represent any form of production or protocol in which the mechanisms for its purpose are carried out automatically, through the use of algorithms and machinery, made possible through an integration of blockchain technology. In contrast to real-world methods of production, a DAO looks like a business in which the job of manager/CEO is replaced completely with an automatic process, and business decisions are left entirely up to the token-holding participants who make up the ecosystem within and around the business.

Current Instances
Perhaps the most widely known Decentralized Autonomous Organization is The DAO, a failed autonomous investment fund launched on the Ethereum network. Due to insecurity, The DAO was hacked soon after its launch, and resulted in the Ethereum Classic fork.

Besides The DAO, there are a number of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations that populate the cryptocurrency space. Alongside BitShares, DASH's development protocol is a DAO. DASH holders vote on projects for the development team to pursue, and the developers are funded via a development pool of DASH that a portion of each block mined goes towards. DigixDAO and Maker are two more examples. Both provide autonomous ecosystems that create and govern stablecoins. Digix's DGD represents digital grams of gold, while Maker's Dai is a tokenized US dollar.

Recent Developments
While the first plans for DAOs utilized the distributed financial ledgers of Bitcoin and other altcoins, the introduction of Ethereum's smart contracts completely expanded the possibilities for DAO structures and entities. Smart contracts enable the algorithm-backed system to encapsulate exponentially more than what was previously imagined.

Finance, medicine, and insurance are three industries that will likely be transformed by such platforms. Each of them faces major externalities that are addressed by an autonomous organization of capital and labor, and initiatives within the cryptocurrency space are already beginning to take on these three sectors.

Future Implications
Several academics and economic theorists are beginning to view Decentralized Autonomous Organizations as capable of enabling a global transition to a post-capitalist society. When implemented correctly, a DAO unifies many of the elements beginning to emerge amidst what many theorists suggest is an ongoing evolution beyond capitalism. These elements include the programmable economy, the token economy, and the sharing economy.

The automation of an entire component of the production function in any output (the manager/CEO organizer) indicates that the DAO can potentially be superior in terms of efficiency when competing with firms in any industry, as the DAO eliminates a major input cost entirely. Perhaps within the next few decades, the DAO could pioneer a transition from a worker/manager relationship to a participant/algorithm one.

Bitcoin Businesses Denied Banking Services in Ireland

 


Leading companies from the crypto sector in Ireland have complained they are being denied services by some of the country's major financial institutions. Among the affected businesses are bitcoin exchange Bitcove, winner of the bank-sponsored "Best Business Startup" award, and Ireland's "longest running" bitcoin broker, Eircoin.  

Banks Close Accounts of Award-Winning Startup
Several Irish businesses have been forced to either stop trading cryptocurrencies or seek partners abroad after local financial institutions refused to offer them banking services. Some of them have lost their bank accounts, while others have never been allowed to open one in the country, the local press reported.

Bitcoin exchange Bitcove, which has been operating since 2014 and had previously worked with Allied Irish Banks (AIB), Permanent TSB and Bank of Ireland, is one of the affected companies, The Irish Times reported. One of its co-founders, Peter Nagle, told the newspaper the banks closed its accounts stating they do not support companies offering cryptocurrency exchange facilities. The trading platform has since been using the services of "a more progressive banking partner" in Europe.

"Particularly disappointing was Bank of Ireland. We were participants on the Ignite startup program, which is backed by the bank. Our business and its progress were reviewed monthly by a panel which included Bank of Ireland representatives. At the end of the incubator Bitcove won the award, but then just a few months later our accounts were frozen and eventually closed," Nagle explained.

One of Ireland's First Bitcoin Brokers Also Hit
Bitcoin Businesses Denied Banking Services in IrelandAnother crypto firm that has suffered from the clampdown is Eircoin, one of Ireland's oldest bitcoin brokers, which closed a couple of months ago. An affiliated consulting business was also refused banking services. "We are being shuttered due to a negligent and defensive banking system," Eircoin's cofounder Dave Fleming said, quoted by the Irish daily. He added that his company, along with other cryptocurrency sellers, had previously consulted with the Central Bank of Ireland which told them that as long as they were abiding by the regulations their operations were in line with the law.

Bank of Ireland, one of the four largest Irish commercial banks, admitted in a statement it was not providing banking services to virtual currency exchange platforms, but noted that its customers were not prevented from transacting cryptocurrency. AIB Group, another "Big Four" bank, denied it was refusing services to companies from the crypto sector. A spokesman was quoted as saying, "We don't discriminate in relation to providing banking services to cryptocurrency companies nor have we been systematically exiting such companies." According to the official, some of these businesses are unable to comply with the anti-money laundering and know your customer requirements that the bank is obliged to adhere to.

Bitcoin Businesses Denied Banking Services in IrelandThe Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI) stated that it wasn't aware of any policy to close accounts of companies trading cryptocurrencies. However, the organization presenting 70 traditional financial institutions noted that Irish lenders are expected to take measures to minimize the risk of facilitating "financial crimes which are enabled by cryptocurrencies," such as money laundering and terrorism financing.

Sharp Contrast
The negative attitude of the legacy financial institutions towards crypto businesses sharply contrasts with the view of Ireland as a crypto-friendly jurisdiction in general. Recently, it was reported that a new government-backed platform will promote the country as a hub for developers of applications based on the technology behind cryptocurrencies. Blockchain Ireland was launched by the Irish Blockchain Expert Group in partnership with a young company called Consensys. The initiative is supported by Enterprise Ireland, the Department of Finance, members of the industry and representatives of academic institutions. The agency promoting foreign investment in the country, IDA Ireland, has also backed blockchain and crypto projects.

Bitcoin Businesses Denied Banking Services in Ireland

Cryptocurrencies and the related economic activities received another recognition by authorities in Dublin with the decision of the Irish revenue service to issue guidelines on the taxation of crypto transactions. The new "Tax and Duty Manual" clarifies related matters and confirms that in most cases the existing tax regulations apply to the crypto sector. According to the advisory, crypto incomes and profits are subject to direct taxes such as corporate tax, income tax, and capital gains tax. Officials have also stated that for VAT purposes bitcoin constitutes a currency. The Irish tax agency regards cryptocurrencies as "negotiable instruments" and exempts them from the value added tax.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Delegated POS vs POW and why Ripa Exchange is on the right track

 


Proof of Work can be thought of as the traditional method Blockchains use to validate and finalize transactions. In fact, many of the major cryptocurrencies still use this methodology including Ethereum and Bitcoin.

The way Proof of Work validates blocks:

Miners within the system are required to process and finalize transactions using very complicated algorithms. This has an immediate and somewhat counterproductive impact on the performance of the network as a whole. This is also one of the reasons why Bitcoin is yet notorious for serious delays when completing transactions.

Although many still the advantage of such a system enhances network security making it virtually impenetrable. But it places undue strain on electricity, requires plenty of workspace, and demands extra cooling as well.

How DPOS is different to POW and POS?




Delegated Proof of Stake, and DPOS for short takes a completely different approach to transaction validation. The first difference is that miners are chosen specifically who hold fair amounts of tokens on the network. And they are rewarded with amounts of the cryptocurrency for the duties of producing blocks and confirming transactions.

The incentives, therefore, provide a layer of social trust across the entire network. But the biggest benefit is that DPOS turns out faster with this
streamlined approach.

Why DPOS is better then POW

Clearly, the greatest advantage DPOS has over POW is speed. Transactions can now be completed in seconds. And thousands of transactions per second do not stress the network in any noticeable ways.

Energy requirements are also significantly cut down, and the system is more efficient overall. The best part is security is not hampered in any way. DPOS is also way more decentralized than POW.

How RIPAEX working on DPOS is a very solid and innovating project


Ripa Exchange — which promises to remain free of charges to its constituent membership, is making exclusive use of the DPOS protocol. This will ensure transactions are quick, secure and with many extra benefits to its members.

With DPOS people are not randomly selected for the purpose of delegation. They are voted in by existing members of the network. Those with the most votes are called Witnesses.

In a sense, the network is run mainly under the direction of ordinary people. There is a bold spirit of democracy inside the system of DPOS which encourages miners to prove themselves.

As the network gets bigger, Witnesses find themselves competing with one another. This results in each of them trying to perform better as time goes on. They also have to pay attention to following set protocols, since they are in a sense governed by the people in the rest of the network. This helps to keep everyday operations running fair, compliant and efficient.

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Thailand Expects to Approve Five ICO Projects out of 50

 


The Thai financial regulator is expected to approve five ICO projects once the new regulatory framework takes effect this month. Out of 50 ICO projects in the country, only five satisfy the registration requirements set out by the regulator this week.

Five ICO Projects Expected to be Approved
Thailand Expects to Approve Five ICO Projects Out of 50The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is expected to approve five initial coin offering (ICO) projects once the law to regulate cryptocurrencies and ICOs goes into effect, according to the Bangkok Post. The Commission approved the relevant regulations earlier this week and expects them to become law by the end of the month, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported.

While the SEC has not revealed which ICO projects will be approved, Mr. Thawatchai Kiatkwankul, the Commission's director of corporate finance in the equity department, was quoted by the news outlet:

Out of 50 ICO projects expecting to raise funds from the Thai capital market, five are ready as initial pilot projects.

The announcement follows two recently launched ICOs in Thailand: Jfin Coin by Jay Mart Plc's subsidiary, J Ventures Limited, and ZMN tokens by Zmine Holdings.

New ICOs Expected in Q3
Before the law takes effect, the regulator has put the brakes on all new ICOs. However, "Previously-leveraged companies are still able to make transactions as normal since the law does not apply retroactively," Krungthep Turakij explained.

Mrs. Tipsuda Thavaramara.
Mrs. Tipsuda Thavaramara, Deputy Secretary-General of the Thai SEC in charge of Policy and Corporate Finance Groups, said this week that an ICO issuer must first gain approval from the ICO portal it wants to be listed on, Prachachat Turakij described. ICO portals will act like financial advisors to the issuers, making sure that all know-your-customer (KYC) rules are followed. After gaining the approval of the ICO portal, the SEC will take about two months to review the ICO before approving it.

Companies wanting to issue tokens must satisfy a number of criteria set by the SEC. For starters, they must have registered capital of at least 5 million baht (~US$156,625).

Retail investors can only invest up to 300,000 baht (~$9,343) per ICO project or no more than 70% of the total value of offered tokens, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported. The limits do not exist for institutional and ultra-high-net-worth investors.

Thai SEC's Future Plans for ICOs
Mr. Thawatchai Kiatkwankul added that in the future the Commission "is preparing to expand and combine its unit for registration of ICOs with initial public offerings (IPOs)," the Bangkok Post conveyed. Citing that ICO projects have growth potential, he further noted that the SEC will work with ICO portals to screen potential scams.

The publication elaborated, with reference to the director:
Rules and regulations related to digital asset investment and transactions could be eased, given that market participants are more educated on digital asset investment and domestic competition is on a par with other digital asset markets.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Coinbase Acquires Investment Firms to Offer Regulated Crypto Securities

 


Coinbase is seeking to become a fully licensed broker-dealer through its acquisition of three federally regulated firms. The company is confident that it will get the approvals necessary to start offering fully-regulated crypto securities.

Coinbase as Regulated Broker-Dealer
One of the world's largest cryptocurrency companies, Coinbase, has implemented a plan to list crypto securities, the company announced on Wednesday. President and COO, Asiff Hirji, wrote:

Today, we're announcing that Coinbase is on track to operate a regulated broker-dealer, pending approval by federal authorities. If approved, Coinbase will soon be capable of offering blockchain-based securities, under the oversight of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra).

With a presence in 32 countries, the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency company has traded $150 billion in assets and claims to have over 20 million customers.

Obtaining Licenses
Coinbase Acquires Investment Firms to Offer Regulated Crypto SecuritiesIn the US, crypto tokens exhibiting the characteristics of securities are subject to the SEC oversight.

Hirji explained that becoming a regulated broker-dealer for the company is "made possible by our acquisition of a broker-dealer license (B-D), an alternative trading system license (ATS), and a registered investment advisor (RIA) license," adding:

If approved, these licenses will set Coinbase on a path to offer future services that include crypto securities trading, margin and over-the-counter (OTC) trading, and new market data products.

The company hopes to secure these licenses through the acquisition of three federally-regulated companies: Keystone Capital Corp, Venovate Marketplace Inc, and Digital Wealth LLC. All of them are registered with Finra.

Operating Under Keystone's Licenses
Keystone Capital is a Finra-registered broker-dealer with licenses to operate an alternative trading system (ATS) and as a registered investment adviser.

A regulatory approval is needed for Coinbase to operate under the Keystone licenses, the Wall Street Journal explained, adding that "Coinbase is essentially buying Keystone for its licenses."

According to Hirji, the company "is confident it will get those approvals," after which it would take several months to integrate Keystone's operations into its own, the publication noted, adding:

Buying Keystone also raises the prospect that Coinbase could, down the line, expand into products tied to stocks or other securities.

On the company's blog, the COO wrote, "Ultimately, we can envision a world where we may even work with regulators to tokenize existing types of securities, bringing to this space the benefits of cryptocurrency-based markets — like 24/7 trading, real-time settlement and chain-of-title."

Mining Manufacturer Obelisk Announces ASIC-Friendly Launchpad

 


Obelisk, a new ASIC manufacturer led by Siacoin developer David Vorick, has released plans for an ASIC launchpad for Proof of Work coins. Its aim is to provide new and existing cryptocurrencies with an ASIC-friendly algorithm that will mitigate the rising threat of 51% attacks. Although initially devised with the company's own ASIC miner in mind, an open source design will allow other ASIC developers to release their own compatible units.

Obelisk Proposes a More Open ASIC Algorithm
New ASIC manufacturer Obelisk has shown a knack for releasing pronouncements that set tongues wagging within the industry. Founder David Vorick's hard-hitting manifesto The State of Cryptocurrency Mining went viral last month, and the company has followed this with news of a launchpad for ASIC-friendly coins. Obelisk plans to partner with coin developers to devise an algorithm that ought to reduce the risk of 51% attacks. In the past month, Verge, Monacoin, Bitcoin Gold, and Zencash have all been hit with huge amounts of rented hashpower and double spend transactions forced through.

There are drawbacks to this proposal though as Obelisk concedes: "This does mean that at launch, the coin is centralized around a single ASIC manufacturer…An Obelisk Launchpad release will include open source chip design schematics that can be leveraged by competing companies to bring their own ASICs to market." The upside to coin teams partnering with Obelisk is the added security that comes from knowing who controls the hashrate. The company explains:

The algorithm is not disclosed to the public until the ASICs are completed, meaning there is no chance that another group is able to be first to market. This gives the coin developers control over the launch of their coin. ASICs can be distributed throughout the community, and we can ensure that no party controls more than a certain percentage of the hashrate, nor has any capacity to commit abuse. From genesis, the coin is protected by powerful community owned ASICs.

Mining Centralization: The Lesser of Two Evils?
Interest in cryptocurrency mining had been waning up until April, as rising hashrates forced more hobbyists out of the game and new coins moved to Proof of Stake. That has all changed in the last couple of months, however, as a string of 51% attacks has piqued interest in mining once more and propelled the industry to the forefront of the cryptocurrency news cycle. On the one hand, there are those who believe that the centralization of mining, led by the dominant Bitmain, is a dangerous trend. But on the other hand, there are those who believe that mining centralization is a small price to pay for avoiding 51% attacks.

Battle of the Algorithms: How Bitmain Sparked an ASIC Mining WarGenerally speaking, coins which are equipped with ASIC-friendly algorithms are less prone to being hit with 51% attacks that can be perpetrated with rented hashpower. The flipside is that these coins can be plundered by huge pools of ASIC miners, squeezing out the community of smaller miners that have formed around a particular coin, and granting the lion's share of the mining rewards to a privileged few.

Leading industry figures have spoken in strong terms of the need to combat further mining attacks, with Zcash founder Zooko stating that "defending against them is an urgent and critical job." Should Obelisk's ASIC launchpad prove successful, it, together with the emergence of GMO's new miners, suggests a sliver of hope that Bitmain's stranglehold of the industry could eventually loosen.