• Bitcoin gaining ground on USD 9,000
  • JPMorgan Chase signs on its first crypto exchange clients in Coinbase and Gemini
  • A new Chinese miner has emerged to become the sixth largest Bitcoin mining pool in the network

Bitcoin markets responded sluggishly today, or not at all, as the reward halving occurred less than 24 hours ago. Despite the hype and fanfare surrounding the event, with live streams from dozens of crypto influencers around the globe, markets rather made for a subdued showing.

Nevertheless, price is climbing back towards USD 9,000 as we speak, and it is good reminder that the past two halving events also did not see immediate market reactions.

All that aside, one big sign that blockchain and crypto are gaining credibility in the space is the news that JPMorgan Chase, the large US bank whose CEO famously dubbed Bitcoin a fraud, has not welcomed its very first crypto exchange customers.

Sources has confided in the Wall Street Journal that the banking icon onboarded two crypto exchanges already long in the business, Coinbase and Gemini, who are mainly used by clients in the US and are regulated in American jurisdictions. This fact made them easier to approve, WSJ confirmed, as vetting proved to be a lengthy process, only confirming the two accounts last month.

Financial services for crypto firms in the US have been a pain, so this move will be seen as a huge step for adoption, since most other banks view crypto businesses as risky, leaving them to go to smaller banking institutions like Silvergate.

JPMorgan isn’t exactly a crypto virgin, though, as it has already regulated transfer agent TokenSoft as its client since 2017, as its CEO Mason Borda was quick to point out on Twitter, when claims that Coinbase and Gemini were the bank’s first crypto clients.

US banking regulator Brian Brooks, speaking at virtual summit Consensus Distributed as senior deputy at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, said:

“Banks not only have the ability, they have an obligation to serve all lawful businesses. They shouldn’t be discriminating because something’s a new technology. As crypto matures, there are increasingly many companies that have perfectly robust risk management systems and do have an ability to comply with those laws, and they shouldn’t have trouble finding bank relationships.”

In other news, a mysterious Chinese company has chosen to emerge post halving, making it now the sixth largest Bitcoin mining pool, with 5% of the total hash power dedicated to secure the Bitcoin network.

Calling themselves Lubian, based in China, it now holds about 5.15% only three weeks after finding its first block, #627,441, on 24 April 2020. Reported by Chinese blockchain media BlockBeats, they now sit on 6.30 exahashes per second, according to btc.com data,

Primitive Ventures founding partner and crypto analyst Dovey Wan suggested that this could have been a private pool before, that has only now decided to come out into the public, based on the fact that overall network computing power did not suddenly surge. She said:

“It must be a private pool before now reveals itself to be public as hashrate didn’t see a pop… Whoever owns the pool, must have owns the bootstrapping hashrate to start with as other pools didn’t see a major drop off.”

Crypto commentators are expecting the entire mining sector to be rolling out changes to their operations since Bitcoin rewards for new blocks found is now only 6.25 Bitcoins, compared to 12.5 for the last four years. Profitability will surely be an issue as most miners will not be on new equipment and will be expected to shut down their rigs, with as much as 30% of mining power thought to disappear when this happens.

However, newer, more efficient mining equipment, coupled with cheaper sources of energy, could potentially cause hash rate to recover quicker than expected.

 

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