There was a moment yesterday when Bitcoin seemed to be heading to USD 11,000, creating a new weekly high not seen since before mid-August when price went below that mark. Unfortunately, that breach did not happen, but price has been in a healthy range since, trading at more or less the same price right now as it was yesterday this time at 8:45 UTC (CoinDesk) around USD 10,550.
That isn’t the only positive thing to come out of the charts. Our technical analysis yesterday notes also that for the first time in weeks, seller exhaustion is becoming apparent, with the volume of sell orders counteracting buys getting smaller and smaller. Of course, this could just be that sellers are waiting for a new monthly high to take advantage of situations and short Bitcoin. On the other hand, this will only mean consolidation and higher lows, good news for Bitcoin permabulls.
There is scant little in terms of new Bitcoin specific sentiment, but a new study from data aggregator Statista seems to suggest that, despite more computing power entering the Bitcoin network to secure it, energy usage is not increasing at the same rate.
When tracking worldwide Bitcoin energy consumption, the data shows surprisingly that record levels of hash power is needing less energy to fuel it. In July this year, 69.69 terawatt hours of electricity was needed to power the Bitcoin network, a notch lower than exactly 12 months ago where 71.12 terawatt hours were needed.
The difference in hashpower? In July 2018, hashpower was almost 60% less than a year later.
Good news to delay the doom scenarios of polluting Bitcoin miners? Perhaps. But the data does fit into the supposed trend for Bitcoin miners to seek out more ecologically sustainable sources of electricity. The recent price recovery this year for Bitcoin has also prompted several miners to research more efficient means to mine Bitcoin. A June study published on Cointelegraph found that as much as 75% of mining operations were already powered by renewable energy like hydro and wind power. At the same time, chip manufacturers are constantly developing newer chips that have better processing power yet demand less energy. Bitmain and its 7nm Antminer is one example of this, and it is rumored a successor is already in the works.
All this happens amid a report that the US National Security Agency (NSA) is the latest state body to want to attempt a version of cryptocurrency. NSA’s crypto is a response to a perceived threat by quantum computers that, in the future, are thought to be capable of brute-forcing private keys of crypto wallets.
Anne Neuberger, Director of NSA’s new Cybersecurity Directorate says that the agency will propose hardware and software standards again. Also notes agency is working to build quantum resistant crypto. pic.twitter.com/IIvjz1aTjO
— William Turton (@WilliamTurton) September 4, 2019
A Bloomberg tech journalist, William Turton, Tweeted a picture from the Billington CyberSecurity 10th annual summit in Washington, saying:
“Anne Neuberger, Director of NSA’s new Cybersecurity Directorate says that the agency will propose hardware and software standards again. Also notes agency is working to build quantum resistant crypto.”
Further reports later on revealed that it was the NSA’s work in battling ransomware threats by political foes — North Korea, Russia among others. Neuberger, in her presentation, said that NSA identified 4,000 ransomware attacks every day and this was now a key concern for next year’s presidential elections.
NSA’s newly-established Cybersecurity Directorate, which is operational next month, is thought to be focused on Russian influence campaigns and IP theft and cyberespionage from China. The agency has given North Korea the dubious honor of being the most creative in conducting cyber warfare. It believes Kim Jong-Un is secretly hoarding funds in crypto for dark agendas. This is only after last month’s reveal from the UN that North Korean hackers have successfully stolen some USD 2 billion by hacking banks and crypto exchanges.
Crypto and political rivalry are not entirely new. Last year, a grand jury in District of Columbia indicted 12 employees of the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) with using crypto to ramp up efforts to hack into the computer networks tied to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and US elections-related state boards and technology firms. Months later in October, 7 more GRU officers were charged with crypto-funded global hacking and disinformation operations.
Earlier this month, a leaked confidential report from the United Nations revealed that the U.N. Security Council North Korea sanctions committee believes that North Korean hackers have netted around $2 billion by hacking banks and cryptocurrency exchanges.
It may be a while before spy games drive Bitcoin price sentiment, but those who are critical of Bitcoin will always have fresh fuel for their fire.
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