09/07/2023 0 Comments

1. US Bitcoin ETF applications could supercharge demand for Bitcoin

Spot Bitcoin ETF’s (exchange traded funds) are a way to invest in Bitcoin real time through traditional finance, similar to equity investments in stock. While Spot Bitcoin ETF’s have been approved in many countries, including Canada, the US has resisted because of the SEC’s (Security and Exchange Commision) hostile view of crypto. But last month Grayscale won a lawsuit against the SEC’s blocking of its ETF application, leading many in traditional finance to speculate that a US Spot Bitcoin ETF could be on the horizon. The influx of new demand thanks to these ETF’s coinciding with the Bitcoin halving, could lead to a bull run in 2024.

A spot Bitcoin ETF tracks the real time price of Bitcoin, so traditional investors can own the asset through a fund, and not worry about managing keys themselves or deal with risky exchange hacks. While many Bitcoiners see this as a violation of the principle “Not your keys, not your coin” most in the crypto industry see this as an opportunity for Bitcoin to go mainstream. A Bitcoin ETF would enable US retirement funds, and other regulated institutions to invest in bitcoin, and average americans would be able to get BTC exposure through their 401K accounts.

The explosion in demand the ETF’s could create coupled with the Bitcoin halving could create conditions for a robust Bitcoin bull run and crypto market recovery.

High interest rate environment

As of Sept 4 2023, the Fed funds rate stands at around 5.5% which is the highest since 2001. The fed funds rate has implications for borrowing costs and a high rate makes it more expensive to borrow money. This has reduced the amount of capital available in the market overall and therefore stock markets and the crypto market overall has seen significant declines in value.

The current high interest rate environment is a response to high inflation in the US. Inflation has been tapering off so there could be a slight reduction in the rate next year. This rate or a higher rate could curb the Bitcoin bull market as there would be less capital to invest. However, if the rate is decreased even slightly there could be enough fuel to support a crypto market recovery.

Bitcoin Miner power

Bitcoin miners, who use expensive computers and lots of energy to produce Bitcoin ultimately hold significant market power. The current low Bitcoin price is hurting their business and pushing many with high energy costs into bankruptcy. Bitcoin miners who add much of the new supply of BTC to the market could support a price increase by choosing to sell at a higher price after the halving. They would have significant pressure to do so as the same amount of energy would now only produce half the bitcoin they are used to mining. Therefore, the mining community could drive prices higher simply by choosing to sell at higher prices.

Perfect conditions for a bull run?

Bitcoin ETF’s, the Bitcoin halving, slightly lower interest rates, and miner support could drive bitcoin prices higher next year. Since Bitcoin usually drives the crypto market, it will likely lead to a general bull run as well.

Regulations could be a dampener, but the SEC has declared Bitcoin a commodity and most jurisdictions have favorable Bitcoin regulation, with more coming this year. So it seems unlikely that regulatory bad news could dampen the market.

All in all conditions so far seem to be coalescing into a favorable environment for a Bitcoin bull run next year. If the ETF’s are approved early, the bull run could come sooner. But crypto is volatile, so we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed.


2. How Bitcoin miners can accelerate the energy transition

Understanding Bitcoin Mining And Energy Consumption

The process through which new Bitcoins are created and recorded on the blockchain is known as Bitcoin mining. It also acts as the system for validating and confirming network transactions. To complete the process, miners compete to answer challenging mathematical riddles. The miner who solves the puzzle correctly earns the opportunity to add the following block of transactions to the blockchain, as well as freshly created Bitcoins and transaction fees.

Bitcoin mining’s dependency on computing power is what makes it unique. ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) machines are frequently used by miners to conduct the difficult calculations necessary to crack cryptographic riddles. These calculations need a lot of resources and computer power.

As of May 2023, Bitcoin’s energy consumption was estimated at 95.58 Terawatt-hour (TWh) per year, according to Statista.com. To put it in perspective, 1 trillion watt-hours (or TWh) make up 1 terawatt-hour (TWh). An hour of use of one watt of power is equal to one watt-hour of energy.

The total energy used by the Bitcoin network is 95.58 TWh each year, which indicates that during the course of a year, the network as a whole uses around 95.58 TWh of electricity.

Renewable Energy Integration In Mining Operations

Due to their high energy needs, Bitcoin miners have the potential to accelerate the use of renewable energy sources. Both parties may profit from this relationship: miners get access to affordable, ecologically good electricity, and renewable energy projects obtain a steady market for their spare capacity.

Miners can assist these initiatives in obtaining funding and growing their operations by supplying a steady supply of renewable energy. This interplay can hasten the switch to greener energy sources and lessen the environmental hazards of bitcoin mining.

To take advantage of their energy output, bitcoin mining companies can be strategically placed close to renewable energy plants. Solar, wind, hydropower, and geothermal renewable energy sources all produce varying amounts of energy depending on the time of day and the weather.

Mining activities can help reduce waste and absorb extra energy during moments of high production. Demand response is a theory that uses excess energy that would otherwise go unused to help balance the energy system.

Environmental Accountability For Using Renewable Energy

Making use of renewable energy sources is a big step in the direction of environmental responsibility. Carbon credits, which encourage the reduction of emissions, are frequently available to businesses that use renewable energy. The exchange or sale of these credits can result in financial gains while advancing a greener cause. It is critical to provide transparent reporting on energy use and carbon emissions.

By enabling stakeholders to evaluate the actual environmental impact, it promotes accountability. This kind of reporting not only makes sure that laws are followed, but it also shows that a company is committed to sustainability, which can draw in investors and environmentally aware customers. Overall, adopting renewable energy is a potent strategy for business accountability and environmental care, reinforced by carbon credits and open reporting.

Transitioning To Sustainable Bitcoin Mining: Challenges And Future Outlook

While there are many obstacles to overcome, switching to environmentally friendly Bitcoin mining offers an optimistic future. Addressing the industry’s high energy use and carbon footprint is one of the challenges. To lessen their influence on the environment, miners are increasingly using renewable energy sources and cutting-edge cooling techniques.

To come up with acceptable solutions, miners, governments, and communities must work together. Sustainability is anticipated to be fueled by developments in energy-efficient mining equipment, strengthened regulatory frameworks, and the use of renewable energy sources. Bitcoin mining can become more ecologically benign and in line with global sustainability standards as the sector develops.

3. Croatia launches one of world’s first crypto pig farm platforms

Three Croatian companies launched on Wednesday an online platform where investors will be able to buy “crypto pigs” that can later be converted into pork meat, in a bid to boost the sagging meat industry in the country.

The companies – Agroporc, Beyondi, and Blok Be – launched the GoAgro platform, where investors can purchase pig NFTs (non-fungible tokens), Poslovni Dnevnik reported.

Each NFT costs €250, which equals 100 kilos of pork meat, and the plan is to issue some 240,000 Pig NFTs altogether, each of which matures in 900 days.

After 900 days, the investment can be rolled over, sold on, or converted into 107.5 kg of actual pork meat. The proceeds will be used to start pig farming on two farms owned by Agroporc.

Its director, Kresimir Kuterovac, said the aim of the project was to connect directly farmers and consumers”, considering that overall, pig farming was on the decline in Europe.

It is falling even more sharply in Croatia, where it was adversely affected by the recent outbreak of African swine fever: Kuterovac said Croatia will soon be able to meet only 40% of domestic demand for porc meat from local production.

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