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CHINA’S MINING DOMINANCE

A new report has found that nearly 65% of the bitcoin hashrate originates from China, meaning that China has dominated bitcoin mining more than any other country this year. 

2019 has been a relatively good year for miners in general, generating $5.4 billion in total revenue, and China has consistently been a major market for bitcoin miners due to its cheap electricity and affordable resources. Companies like BitmainF2Pool and Canaan, which account for a large portion of the Bitcoin network’s hashrate, are all based in China.

Following Chinese President Xi Jinping’s call for increased efforts in blockchain development, China essentially unbanned bitcoin mining in the last quarter of this year.

CRYPTO MARKETS

Bitcoin, which started the year at around $3,500, soared to well above $10,000 this summer before crashing back to trade around $7,000 amid fears that Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency project could cause central banks and regulators to take action against crypto. 

The digital currency suffered a notable decline last month—bottoming out at a monthly low of $6,524—after surging nearly 40% in a matter of hours after China’s head of state made optimistic comments about blockchain technology in October.

TAGOMI SLASHES FEES

Tagomi, a New Jersey startup whose software helps institutional investors trade cryptocurrencies, has cut its fees nearly in half, now charging 0.1% or less per trade. Its new rates are about 70% lower than what you’d pay on digital asset exchanges Coinbase and Gemini if you wanted to buy $10,000 worth of bitcoin. On a trade that size, you’d save $25 using Tagomi.

Tagomi’s goal is to attract customers with low trading fees and then upsell them on “prime brokerage” features, including letting users borrow cash, borrow crypto assets and sell assets short.

THREE ARRESTED IN CRYPTO PONZI SCHEME TARGETING “SHEEP”

The U.S. Department of Justice arrested three people this week for running a Ponzi scheme that bilked $722 million from investors over the last five years. The operators of“BitClub Network,” a purported mining pool operation, fooled investors by posting imaginary returns on the Bitcoin mining operations—all while not actually mining any bitcoin.

According to the DOJ, the target audience was “dumb” investors, who the operator referred to as “sheep,” saying he was “building this whole model on the backs of idiots.”

ENTERPRISE

Health-insurer Anthem is using blockchain to help patients securely access and share their medical data.

The company plans to roll out a new feature, currently in pilot testing now, which lets users open an app on their phones, scan a QR code, and instantly grant different healthcare providers access to their health records—but only for a limited amount of time. As soon as the appointment is over, users can revoke access and make their medical records private again.

BLOCKCHAIN 2020

Bear market or not, 2019 was a banner year for blockchain tech. We saw the birth of new alliances, new cryptocurrency trading products, bitcoin and ether survived that bear market, and a plethora of blockchain protocols matured and expanded in growth. 

But what does 2020 have in store? We’re looking ahead to the launch of China’s Central Bank Digital Currency, developments surrounding libra’s launch, the progression of Ethereum 2.0, and more. Click here to learn more. 

ELSEWHERE

Electronic Swiss franc? Not so fast, government says [Reuters]

Hold Tight, Here Come the Blockchain Wars [CoinDesk]

Blockchain is becoming key for global trade – but is that a gift for hackers? [World Economic Forum]



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