UNICEF turns to cryptocurrency mining to help Syrian children

UNICEF turns to cryptocurrency mining to help Syrian children

Charity organizations always look to out-of-the-box methods for increasing the money they collect for their causes. One of the world’s most well-known non-profit organizations, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), is paving the way for unique methods. They are looking to online gamers to mine cryptocurrencies for the charity.

A few days ago, UNICEF launched a fundraising program designed to raise funds to protect Syrian children. Gamer Chaingers, as the new program is called, takes advantage of cryptocurrency mining to deliver funds to the group, foregoing the need to ask the public for donations. The novel approach is expected to run until March 31 of this year.

UNICEF created a website especially for the event. From there, users can download the mining software and review the operation instructions. So far, 326 people have downloaded the software, and just over $1,000 has been raised.

Because the group typically goes to the same donors repeatedly seeking funds, it decided to try a different tactic with Gamer Chaingers. The gaming community was chosen because computer games require powerful graphics cards to provide better rendering to the games. These same graphic cards are beneficial for faster cryptocurrency mining.

Since gamers aren’t always using their computers—they have to sleep, work, stop to eat or even study—the downtime can be used to mine coins like Ethereum. This will generate the funds UNICEF desperately needs, without the user having to be hassled with money transfers.

The one obvious drawback to this solution is the current market volatility witnessed in the cryptocurrency market. The recent fluctuations in major coins like SegWit1x (BTC) and Ethereum could produce results lower than what UNICEF anticipates receiving. However, if the analysts are correct and cryptocurrencies continue to bounce back, it could be a significant whirlwind of funds.

Founded in 1946, UNICEF is one of the most well-known and well-respected charity organizations around the world. It receives donations from both governments and private citizens, and has raised over $5 billion since its inception. It joins a very short list of non-profit charity groups to have won the Nobel Peace Prize, which it was awarded in 1965.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Cryptocurrency mining causes GPU shortage

Cryptocurrency mining causes GPU shortage

Despite losing some $44 billion as the year opened, the current market cap for cryptocurrencies is fast approaching the trillion mark. Because of this growth, the demand for cryptocurrency mining hardware has reached record-high levels, affecting other industries that need the same equipment.

Traditionally, the pricing index for graphics processing units (GPUs) made by companies like AMD and Nvidia are relative to the demand from one of its primary consumers: gamers, and the whole industry of professional eSports built around it. Recently, however, there has been an increased demand for hardware components like GPU, which has been attributed to the rising cryptocurrency mining industry.

These changes in the GPU market has resulted in supply shortages. Gamers looking to build their rigs with mid-range or high-end graphics card now have a harder time to set up their gaming machines.

Small cryptocurrency mining enthusiasts actively buying the hardware in bulk in hopes of improving their passive profits are often pointed as the culprits. While some crypto-mining companies like Bitmain have shifted to creating dedicated processors like ASICs (application-specific integrated circuit chips) mining units, there are cryptocurrencies that have differing algorithms which may still make use of current GPUs in the market and continue to mine profitably.

These significant changes in pricing have affected gamers negatively. As hardware enthusiasts, gamers are often keen as to what kind of GPUs are set to run their graphics-intensive games. Specifications matter most, and the capabilities of a GPU determine what a gamer may or may not be able to play.

In a report by Polygon, it has been noted that the average pricing for Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1070, a higher-tier mid-range GPU, has soared past $700 because of stock shortages. Such an increase is 80% more than the typical price range, even with retailer repricings taken into account. With GPU brands such as Galax, Asus, EVGA, MSI, Gigabtye, Zotac, and Palit all competing in the market, gamers now also have to compete with cryptocurrency miners looking to purchase powerful GPUs.

Because crypto mining hardware with algorithms adjusted specifically for GPUs instead of CPU compete by solving the mathematical problems needed to verify transactions on a blockchain, better power efficiency and higher hashrates create more returns and profitability.

As the difficulty of a cryptocurrency adjusts in relation to the current height of blocks mined, the supply of a certain cryptocurrency also dwindles. Miners are then compelled to adjust their own hardware capacity in order to stay competitive and profit from their efforts. To date, cryptocurrencies using encryption algorithms such as SHA-256 (Bitcoin Cash), Scrypt (Litecoin, Dogecoin, etc.), and X11 (Dash) can still profit from using GPUs as mining hardware.

Gamers are taking the toll, with the impact of the demand in GPUs adversely raising prices for mid-range cards like the Nvidia GTX 1060 or GTX 1070, or AMD’s Radeon RX 570, 580, Vega56, and Vega 64 cards. Higher-specced cards like the GTX 1080 or even the top-end Ryzen series from AMD have also been affected by the demand surge.

To curb this, Nvidia has advised its retail partners to prioritize sales for gamers over miners, in an attempt to pacify its gaming-oriented consumer base. However, retailers are less likely to follow this notice, given how the margins provided by sales to miners are significantly higher than those from the gaming crowd. This trend has resulted in the introduction of new policies and offers from retailers such as purchase limits for a specific model and bundled discounts for gamers who buy GPUs with other hardware components.

The push for mining companies andmining pools to verify more blocks has reached an unprecedented proportion of competitiveness, one that can be observed particularly with the legacy bitcoin, or SegWit1x (BTC), network which has been noted to have serious effects to the environment. More sensible cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin Cash have since attracted investments for environmentally-sustainable mining infrastructures to be built. As the crypto industry heads into a new phase of development following the maturity of its software, networks at the forefront of its global adoption and growth should take responsibility over the adverse effects of its mining hardware requirements.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Samsung begins manufacturing cryptocurrency mining hardware

Samsung begins manufacturing cryptocurrency mining hardware

South Korea’s electronics and tech behemoth is now officially a player in the cryptocurrency space.

In a report published by Korean capital market news site The Bell, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has begun the production phase for ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) miners and other cryptocurrency mining peripherals.

Confirming the news in a tweet, cryptocurrency analyst Joseph Young opined that Samsung’s move to create and sustain their own foundry dedicated to cryptocurrency mining is “unprecedented,” adding that it would most likely “provide Bitmain its first real competitor.”

In the report by The Bell, however, a long-term plan was revealed in which Samsung has partnered up with a Chinese bitcoin mining equipment manufacturer, a partnership that began in 2017. It was only this year that the design and development of Samsung’s own ASIC chips were finished. This is related to news of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) taking mass orders for ASIC miners from Bitmain.

With suppliers like TSMC and now Samsung both providing for major mining companies like Bitmain, the revenues for the foundry business is expected to rise. Samsung Securities analyst Hwang Min-seong, however, said that “[While] Samsung Electronics could increase its revenues through ASIC chip manufacturing but because the foundry only accounts for a small portion of the company’s semi-conductor manufacturing plant, it is difficult to predict that the firm’s mining venture will have a significant impact on the company’s revenues.”

The new foundry is expected to expand its operation in coming years, with Samsung planning ventures from China to other Asian regions like South Korea and Japan which both have strong demand for cryptocurrencies despite government regulation. The foundry’s operation is aligned with the demand from the Chinese bitcoin mining firm that Samsung has partnered with.

As a new player in the foundry business, Samsung’s position isn’t one poised at targeting revenues, rather, it is merely opening and laying out foundations for future ventures. After its brief showcase of upcycled old smartphones repurposed as crypto mining rigs last year, Samsung also has GPU-based mining development in its roadmap for the newly-opened foundry. With its well-established portfolio for large-scale and sophisticated semi-conductor manufacturing, Samsung is stable enough to provide for and match the demand by major mining companies like Bitmain.

With the rising demand for prominent cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash, ASIC mining rigs have also experienced increased orders. Mining ventures have attracted strong investments from global players and continue to expand as more people are enlightened about the benefits of cryptocurrencies for a future filled with unrestricted growth, global adoption, permissionless innovation, and decentralized development.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.